Lessons from Chapelle

I really enjoyed watching Dave Chapelle on Inside the Actor’s Studio tonight on Bravo.  I really like him, not just because he is one of the funniest people on the planet, but he really seems like a geniunely good person.  There were a few things he said tonight that really hit home with me.  This is a paraphrase to his answer to an audience member who asked him if he thought the success of the Chapelle show was deserved:

If I had reached the level of success of the Chapelle show when I was 19, instead of 32, who knows what I would’ve done.  I mean, I’m 32 now and I went to Africa (overwhelmed by the pressure), I have no idea how much I would’ve freaked out when I was 19. And no matter how badly I wanted to hit it big when I was 19, I wasn’t ready.  It was the years between 19 and 31 that not only made the Chapelle show great, but also made me ready to enjoy its greatness.

I love this.  It’s a reminder that we are never wasting a day as long as we’re just doing something, and putting ourselves out there to experience growth.  Because the truth is, you never really know where the road you’re on is going to take you, the person you’re meeting is going to show you, or the  trip you’re taking is going to teach you.  It goes along with what I said yesterday to worry less about where you’re going, and enjoy more of where you are.

I also was somewhat comforted to hear from Chapelle his thoughts and feelings surrounding the death of his father when he was 24.  He talked about how it shook everything in his life to its core.  It tore away all the layers we build up throughout our lives, and rearranged his priorities.  It has taken him a really long time to get over the anger from that, but he was also grateful for perspective the experience provided him.

Obviously I can share somewhat similar situation as Chapelle having just experienced the death of my mother. It really is teaching me a lot of life, death, love, and learning (3l’s and a D).  I’m really becoming aware of the fear and confusion that death causes people.  I for the most part ignored death for most of my life (and I think this is true for most people except for a few moments), and feared it.  I never thought I”d be able to handle a death of someone so close.  I never in a million years would’ve thought I could have survived through such an intense emotional journey,  but here I am and as my mom told me, “All is well.”  The truth is, anyone can handle it and we’ll all have to at some point.  And I have to say it’s not nearly as bad as I thought (don’t get me wrong, it’s very hard but I thought it would be unbearable).  My question now is, what was I (and everyone else) so afraid of?  Nothing really is worth fearing it seems, nothing really seems worth being afraid of…after all, All is well.

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