Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post about how podcasts have affected my life in huge ways, including helping me through my divorce and generally keep me sane and focused at work.
If you want an overview of my favorites, you should probably start with my old post here but I think I’ll probably reiterate the highlights in this post. I actually have stopped listening to some of those I wrote about last year, but most of them still hold up. I’ve just moved on to different things in my quest for maximizing enjoyment while following way too many podcasts!
But today, I’m going to add to that list. I’ve discovered tons of amazing new podcasts that you should know about over the past year.
When you first meet me, I’m painfully shy and have a difficult time carrying a conversation (especially if I don’t find you particularly interesting…shhhhhh…)
And once I warm up, I’m a passionate flailing-muppet-arm word-vomity mess. Without a filter. I overshare. I’m brutally open and honest to a fault. Some may even call me abrasive or obnoxious.
Especially when you get me going on issues I’m passionate about.
This has been something that has become painfully clear to me over this past year on my path to a deeper sense of self awareness.
And so, here I am, with a whole lot to say about things that directly affect me and the people I care about, trying to figure out how to speak about them and gently educate people who may not be aware of them and/or strongly disagree with them.
There’s a fine line to walk and, over the past election season especially, I have witnessed all sorts of variations of communication and debate.
Since I have an MFA in an aspect of theatre, I’ve read a lot of plays, and I am no stranger to the work of Samuel Beckett.
I first saw a production of Waiting for Godot as a senior in high school while visiting what would become my undergrad theatre department in 2004. I knew nothing about the play, and, while I claimed to be an artsy and intelligent student, I was pretty perplexed by it all.
Waiting for Godot is an existential absurdist play in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, are stuck in an eternal loop of limbo in which they are constantly waiting for a character named “Godot” who never comes.
NOTE: This post is dealing with similar themes, though a different aspect of my life-long struggles with feelings of inadequacy. You can read the companion post here.
This spring, there was a seminar held at my workplace in which we were expected to dig deep within ourselves to discover what our biggest roadblocks were to peace of mind, joy and satisfaction personally and professionally.
It was going to be 16 hours of who-knows-what, and I had no idea what to expect, and what I could possibly get out of it.
There were a lot of wise platitudes uttered which proved to be a bit of a mindfuck for me: “We’re only our perception and our experiences. And the way we perceive others doesn’t make it true–it’s just our experiences.”
Furthermore, we were introduced to the concept that “What you see is what you anticipate seeing, what you’ve always decided things were. How do you ever see anything new?”
Basically by the end of session three, I was convinced it was entirely probable we were living in The Matrix.
But then, we were asked to write down the biggest issues we had at work, and in our lives in general, that kept us from experiencing joy.
Most people listed issues with coworkers or protocols or family.
This morning on my walk to work, I was listening to the most recent episode of one of my new favorite podcasts “2 Dope Queens” which features stand-up comedians.
And I had to laugh when their first featured comic, Shane Torres opened his set with this bit:
“Do you remember meeting your first homeschooled kid? They always act exactly the way an alien would act if they took over a human’s body. Like, they kinda get it, but if you watch them from a distance, you’re just like, “that one’s eating cereal with a fork.” And they just show up one day, just walk out of a house in your neighborhood you thought no children lived in, and when they come out, they always smell like laundry that wasn’t dried properly. And the first thing they say to you is always nuttier than squirrel shit. It’s never “How you doin’?” It’s always something bizarre like, “My name is Baxter and my dad puts honey in our milk.”