erin judge writes this

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I'm Erin Judge. I'm a comedian and a writer. I live in Los Angeles. Let's hug.

August 28, 2013

art for joy's sake

A couple of weeks ago, I performed at the Nines Festival with lots of other fantastic comics and some amazing musicians. I spent my afternoon laughing, telling jokes, dancing, and marveling at the magnificent creativity of the sculptors, dancers, visual artists, food venders, and talented producers who contributed to the feast of human expression and potential on display all around me that day.

I realized recently that, as an an artist, I'm no longer anywhere near as interested in feeling recognized and accepted and celebrated as I am in making my audience feel recognized and accepted and celebrated. And happy. This transition has been somewhat gradual, but where I am with it now feels good and right.

Here's to the art that makes your heart swell with love for yourself and the promise of your own creative genius.

(And if you're gonna be in California, Maryland, or DC over the next few weeks, come check out a show. I'll do my best to make you smile.)

August 13, 2013

spare me some change


It's inevitable.

It's also what most middle-class educated American women -- female members of what I call "the Googling class" -- desire for ourselves. Change. Reform. Get skinnier. Exercise more. Dress differently. Cook healthier. Keep everything nicer, neater, cleaner. Resolve. Improve. Be better.

And it's no wonder. Every cover of every women's magazine for the past 60+ years has featured a list of imperatives. Organize! Lose weight! Change!

Fifteen years ago, I bounced between severe anxiety and severe depression. I took medication but was too fucked up and too immature to manage it very well, so I had to deal with the problems of sporadic SSRI levels too. I saw a psychologist I trusted in high school and college (along with several I never liked through my college's counseling center and in town nearby), and I tried really hard to get better. I went to the hospital when my doctor told me to. I participated in the groups earnestly, shared and cried and tried to learn and grow and rewire my brain.

I did the work then, and I continued to do the work, as best I could, for a decade and a half.

And now I'm... well, I'm pretty much okay.

One of the most difficult transitions I've ever had to make is the internal shift required when radical change is no longer necessary. My entire post-adolescent life -- my identity -- is based on the idea that everything in my life needs to be WAY different. So how do I approach each day when the need to change is no longer such an emergency, when the idea of myself as a broken person in need of radical reform is no longer true?

Habits are hard to break, and the habit of resolving to overhaul your whole shit turns out to be no exception. Every day I have to talk myself down from radical self-improvement projects, potential cross-country moves, and other brave and lofty and utterly unnecessary life makeovers. It turns out this last step to self-acceptance is the one where I finally accept that I've already accepted myself. And then, well, what do I do?

I guess... I blog, apparently. Sometimes all you can really do is blog.