Taylor Tomlinson ON: The Quarter-Life Crisis & How to Let Go of Toxic Relationships | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Taylor Tomlinson ON: The Quarter-Life Crisis & How to Let Go of Toxic Relationships".
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My grandma will say things like, your mom would have thought this was so cool. Your mom would have been like in the front row. And I go, I don't know that I'd be doing this. If mom was still here, I don't know. It's so strange to be sad that a parent isn't here to see your success, but also know that a big reason you're successful is this drive to become somebody they would have been proud of. Hey everyone, welcome back to On Purpose, the number one health podcast in the world, thanks to each and every single one of you that come back every week to listen, learn and grow. Now you know that I get to sit down with a lot of exciting, interesting, fascinating people, but sometimes there's someone that I reach out to that I'm just a huge fan of. And actually it was my dear friend Adam Grant who gave me an excuse to reach out to this individual with an opportunity that he had for her which I even forgot what it was. And he's been an amazing guest on the podcast too. It's given me an excuse to DM her and say, "Hey Taylor, would you like to do this thing?" Which is my way of sneaking in and saying, "Hey, can you come on the podcast too?" I've been a huge fan of today's guest since her first special, her Instagram, her social media, her TikToks incredible. I have sent her videos to my wife, my family, my friends, my trainer this morning. I mean, she's one of those people that as soon as I watch her, I start laughing. I learn something new and I just feel an incredible sense of joy. And in the few moments that she's walked into my home and into our studio, I love her even more. I'm speaking about the one and only Taylor Tomlinson who began performing comedy when she was 16 after her father signed her up for a stand-up class. She became a top 10 finalist on the ninth season of NBC's last comic standing in 2015 and was named one of the top 10 comics to watch by Variety at the 2019 Just for Laughs Festival. Her first Netflix stand-up special, which is where I discovered her, quarter life crisis premiered in March 2020. In 2021, she started her own podcast called Sad in the City and in the same year, she was placed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Now, her second stand-up special, Look at You, is now streaming on Netflix. I want you to go and watch it straight after this. And she will be at the LA Netflix Comedy Festival show at the Ace Theatre on May 6th, 2022. So make sure you grab some tickets. Welcome to the show, Taylor Tomlinson. Taylor, thank you so much. - Thank you so much. We were just talking about this before we started recording but I was like, what am I doing here? - Like truly, your podcast is just full of so many interesting, wise people teaching you how to live a better life. And so to come in as a stand-up comedian and you're like, I can't wait to learn things from you. I'm like, yeah, absolutely. I have so much to teach. I'm coming into this fully hoping to, I almost brought a notebook to take notes 'cause that's why I feel every time I listen to your podcast or watch any of your TikToks. Like I am still thinking about the video where you talk about checking your phone first thing in the morning where you're like, you wouldn't just have a hundred people come into your bedroom and I'm like, oh my God, that's exactly what you're doing every morning and I'm still terrible at it. I do it every morning but every time I do it, I think about you telling me not to. - Yeah, well, I genuinely feel that not only do I laugh at everything you put out. I mean, I can name my top three favorite moments in your special easily. I think for me, I also learn from you because I think what you do so phenomenally well, especially when it comes to love and relationships but also life is you're able to get inside people's minds as to how they think about situations and how they navigate relationships and how they make certain decisions in their life. And so I do think you teach. I'm not expecting you to teach. I wanna laugh with you today. I wanna get to know you better. This was just an excuse for me to be a fan and for me to hang out with someone that I admire and adore so much. And genuinely from even the few moments we've spent, I'm just so happy meeting you and I hope this kicks off a wonderful friendship. So that's kind of why I do this whole podcast instead. - I love that. - Is to be able to lure people into being friends with me but I'm so excited. I wanna start by talking about a lot of your journey because I think I discovered you, like I said, through your first special. You've been doing this for a lot longer than that and then I kind of went backwards and I was like, oh, wait a minute, this person's incredible and it's such a fascinating story. And I am interested in stories because what we were just talking about now that sometimes when you see someone second Netflix special sold out tours, like you look at that person and you go, oh yeah, they've always been that way. And when I look at you, I go, well, wait a minute, your father signed you up for a stand up class.
Journey To Comedy And Personal Growth
Why did he sign you up for a standup class? (05:03)
Why did he do that? That sounds like a painful thing for a father to do. I think a woman at our church wanted to do it and she told him about it and then he brought me along thinking I could write for him maybe. - Oh wow. - He was like more of a performer. So I'm very glad he did, you know, for whatever reason. And yeah, it is a very strange thing because I didn't get into this super intentionally. Like it was something I sort of fell into as a result of just this one woman going, I think I'm gonna take the stand up class 'cause she was like a retired school teacher and did some public speaking events and wanted to inject some humor into it. So it's funny how something as small as that, like an after service conversation, just snowballed into my entire life, my entire career. And you and I were talking earlier about just you being very young as well and you being so successful in what you do and how it seems like, you know, maybe you've only been doing this for five years online and you're like, but I've been doing this. There were 17 years before that that I was teaching and interviewing and learning and I've had all these life experiences. And I think a lot of people look at my career similarly sometimes where they go, well you blew up very quickly or you got all these opportunities very quickly. And I think I feel very self conscious about that sometimes because 28 is very lucky and young to have two Netflix specials. It was not something I ever anticipated achieving at this age, I've just been very fortunate. But then I think back to when I actually started and I'm like, oh I've been doing this for 12 years. - Yes. - So, okay, it's not like I just started yesterday but I think when you are younger than what people expect from someone doing what you do, there can sometimes be a little bit of like, oh well it's just been easy for you. You just did it. - Yeah, but I also find it, it's quite an untraditional journey and it's so funny because we shared that my parents forced me to go to a public speaking class and drama class when I was 11 years old because they thought I was too shy and I didn't have any confidence. And so my parents signed me up to Lambda which is the London Academy of Music Drama and Arts and they said they forced the school to allow me in because they missed the sign up date or something like that and they're like begged and pleaded with one of the teachers saying, we really need our son to do this because he's shy and he doesn't have confidence. And now I look back and I think, wow, my parents made this amazing decision just like you said that has impacted my whole life. And I think I wouldn't have had that opportunity if I didn't do that. But even for you, it's an after sermon, after service conversation. Like that sounds very untradish to at least for my external ignorance. - Oh, absolutely. It's the thing people ask about the most because it's not an origin story. I think many stand up comedians have and if they do have it, they are generally still in the church world because there is a comedy church circuit. - That's amazing. - I love hearing that. - I mean, yeah, it's a different path that I did not choose to go down. But yeah, I mean, it's, there are so many different ways to do stand up professionally. Like I think that's what we forget. Like I also had a year in my early 20s where I did like eight cruise ship weeks, which is a whole other thing. And there are comedians who only do that. Like I feel like I've been very fortunate in my career that I have experienced kind of a lot of different pockets of this industry that is more than just getting the Netflix special, getting the HBO special. I've done corporates and I've done colleges. That's how I went full time initially when I was 21 or 20 is I was doing all these college gigs. It's why I dropped out of college to go perform at colleges, which is sort of funny. And cruise ships and churches. Yeah, I mean, I've kind of done everything you could do and then also all the bars and strange shows you do in backyards and whatnot. So yeah, there's a lot of different places to exist and do what you love to do. It's not just this one path that you see on TV or in movies or documentaries. So I think that's important for people to know as well who want to do something creative, whatever that may be, that it can look like a lot of different things. Yeah, definitely. And I think obviously you know on this podcast that we try and get into the psychology in mindset and the way people make shifts and what I find fascinating about standup comedy and what you do is that it really requires you to overcome some base fears. Like the fears of what will people think? How will I look? How will I be received? These are huge fears. And personally, I think standup comics face one of the hardest things because it's like you're introducing. This person is going to make you laugh and this person is funny. And then it's like the expectation is so much higher.
Performing on stage is still terrifying (10:34)
Talk to me about that first time or maybe something you learned in that standup class that started to be, that you started to be okay with that fear and dealing with that. Or did you never feel that fear at all? Oh, I was terrified. I mean, do you feel like you were shy? Yeah. I was like definitely massively. How long did it take for you to sort of feel like you weren't or do you still feel on a base level you're shy and you've just figured out how to not act that way? Yeah, I find that. So from 11 to 18, I went to public speaking at drama school and those years gave me the skills but I didn't have anything I was passionate to talk about until I lived as a monk and until I understood the wisdom, the Vedas that I studied and now I share. So to me, it was almost like you have a toolkit but I never used it because I still didn't feel confident. I actually got confidence because of what I was sharing. I have so much more faith and confidence in the ideas I share than I do even in myself and I think that's what gives me so much excitement and enthusiasm. But having said that now, I would say that even today, I feel really confident when I'm one-on-one with someone and when we both know what role we play but if I turn up to a random event, that isn't my event, that is someone else's event, I will just try and find one person that I can have a really deep, intimate conversation with as opposed to go up to everyone and introduce myself and make sure that everyone knows I came to them. I'm not like that because I feel more comfortable getting to know someone deeply. So I would still consider myself, if it's my event, I'm not shy because I know what role I play there and I'm doing something but I would say I'm shy when I'm at an event where I don't have a role. Does that make sense? - Yeah, absolutely. So I think that is on a base level, I'm an introvert and I'm shy. I feel the exact same way and I felt like that for years and I still feel that way. I think a lot of social anxiety. I think that when I started doing standup, I always liked performing but once I found standup, I was like, "Oh, this is where I feel the best "is on stage doing this thing. "This is where I feel like myself." And actually when I first started doing standup, I felt like the version of myself that I was on stage was who I wanted to be in life all the time but I couldn't 'cause I was too shy and I didn't have the confidence. And then at a certain point, it became more true to who I was out in the world and now I'm at this weird place where I'm like, is that even me? Is that the purest version of me? Is that the most sort of polished version of me? It's very strange to be in this business and see so many videos of yourself and so many photos of yourself and it can feel very like dysmorphic where you're like, who am I, is that? Who is that? That's not me, especially when you're, you are achieving these goals you've always had. Like, you know, when I got on Conan or something, like I was like, I'm in the thing I've been watching for years since I was a kid and it's sort of this strange out of body experience but I was terrified of performing when I first started doing standup. I mean, I felt sick, like physically sick for days before I went on stage. - How did you push through that? Like, how did you get through that? - I just loved it so much that I just wanted to do it more than I was scared to do it. Which is sort of how you have to be if you are somebody who's not naturally extroverted or what have you. And I think really what helped is once I graduated high school and was doing standup consistently in San Diego, once you're doing multiple spots a night, it takes less pressure off of it and you don't have as much time to be nervous. - Yeah, yeah, that's a good point. - Because I'm sure you feel the same way where you're like, I do a podcast every other day. Like, I'm not gonna get nervous to meet somebody new again. It's a muscle, it's really just a muscle. And if I don't go on stage for a few weeks, which doesn't really happen, like when we had lockdown and I didn't go on stage for five, six months, the first time back on stage, even for a Zoom audience, was terrifying. - Yes, yes, yes. - Like, it'll come rushing right back. It's not like I'm like, oh, I'll just go on stage. And I get nervous to do spots in town. I get nervous to try new stuff. I mean, I'm so lucky to be on this tour where people have paid money to see me specifically because for years it wasn't like that. For years it was people got free tickets or they got barked into a club and a mall and they were like, yeah, we'll go see comedy and maybe it's not what I want, but we'll check it out. We'll give it a chance. Obviously all of that makes it a little easier to go out on stage and know you have that grace period at the very least, but I think just the consistency and knowing that you can do the job, that's where you get the confidence. And like you said, you have more confidence in what you're saying. When I was first starting out, I was a teenager. I didn't feel like I could talk about anything with any sort of, yeah, wisdom or experience. - Wisdom or experience, yeah. And then I started talking about the fact that I had no wisdom or experience and that's what quarter life crisis is. Because I was like, what am I gonna talk about? How about the fact that I don't know anything? And so many people came up to me after shows going, oh my gosh, this is exactly how I feel. I don't know what I'm doing. I hate being this age. It's so confusing because I had always just assumed everyone's having a great time in their twenties. Everybody's killing it. And I didn't have a traditional college experience 'cause I dropped out to do stand up. So I didn't feel like I was doing my youth correctly. And so to start talking about that on stage, thinking it was like a new angle. And then to have everyone go, oh, we feel the exact same way. Even like people who looked like they were killing it in that area where I'm like, you look like you go out on the weekends and everything's awesome for you. Was really validating for me. And the same with the new special, look at you. I mean, so much of it is about my own struggles with mental health and finding out that I was bipolar and all these different things and losing my mom at a young age and getting the feedback from people that they relate to it or they've dealt with similar things if not the same things. In a selfish way, it makes you feel better about it and it makes you feel more confident in talking about your own experiences because with the internet, you can find your audience now. Maybe not everybody relates to what you're talking about or wants to hear you talk about something, but the people who do really appreciate it and really do connect with it. And so that's how I try to, right now, is I just try to write about things that I wanna talk about or I wanna hear about and find other people to relate to me about. - Yeah, I love that your special is called quarter life crisis because even in the work I do, I find that that is such a key pillar of a lot of people I connect with. So they come into you to laugh and understand and feel heard and resonated and a lot of people say to me, well, Jay, I'm stuck with where I am or I don't like my career. What was that transition like of saying I'm okay with not going down the right correct path of staying at college, completing, but I'm actually gonna go and do something that I enjoy and love.
Dropping out of college (18:20)
What was that transition like for you? Was it one welcomed by yourself and the people around you with excitement and joy or was it surrounded with worry and anxiety and a sense of, oh, this is gonna be tough or I'm actually scared about this? - I think when I left college, I had booked enough work that I would have never just quit college to see. I had enough work booked. I physically couldn't go to college anymore because at the time the school I was at didn't have enough like online options. So I just couldn't and I had already taken a semester off to audition for all these colleges. There's something called NACA where you essentially auditioned for a bunch of college bookers and so I had booked like 50 colleges in the winter and spring and I was like, oh, I'm gonna be gone for like three weeks at a time performing at these schools, mostly on the east coast. So I can't and I think I just told myself, well, you can go back, you can go back. And I told myself that for years. I told myself that until I got the first Netflix special. Once I got the first Netflix special, I was like, I think I don't have to go back to school and then the pandemic hit and I was like, maybe I do. So I really wasn't like all in. Like I was like, I held on to that because I was a good student. I really thought that I was going to college. I was gonna finish. Like a lot of it was tied up in like being a good kid, I suppose. So that wasn't something that I made a hard decision on. It was something that I sort of over time accepted as long as everything was going well in my career. What was harder honestly was just moving away from being a clean comedian and that transition from, I never performed in churches exclusively and I didn't wanna perform in churches exclusively or even mostly, but to move away from being somebody that could and was this like squeaky clean act that your family isn't embarrassed to watch or anything was really difficult and that took a couple years as well 'cause there's a lot of internalized shame that comes with that and feeling like you're not good enough for the world you grew up in, but then also feeling too inexperienced for this rock and roll standup world. 'Cause it's, I don't drink and I didn't really do any drugs. Like I just wasn't fun. So I was like, so you're not gonna be clean and respectable but you're also not gonna party. Which is again, a huge part of quarter life is I was like, what am I doing? What am I doing? Because I'm boring enough to be someone who should be like married right now, but I'm not like where's my person? Like you know, it's just, it's a strange time in your life and I've had friends tell me that somewhat harshly where they were like, hey I know you're complaining about whatever relationship not working out romantically but your career is going really well and you are in your 20s and people have this idea like everything's supposed to line up by whatever age they choose as the end goal and I was certainly guilty of that and I've had friends very bluntly say like, hey, maybe just be happy with one area of your life going great and trust that the other areas are gonna catch up or focus on the other areas instead of this one that you've been pouring all of your energy into. - That is probably the most real answer I've heard to that question, I really appreciate it because and that is such great advice even though you didn't know you were giving advice because when you started to talk about how when you made that shift you always knew you could go back and that the next stage was developed instead of just throwing yourself into it and I think there's such healthy concepts, I mean, I even say to my point, even at the stage of my life, I'll sometimes be like, I can always go back to the corporate world if I need to take the bills. And it's not, I'm actually not joking about that at all, I genuinely say that because it gives me the freedom to not live in a what if world of, well, what if this doesn't work and what if, it allows me to let go of that and say, I would have an amazing life because I'm so fortunate to have had a great education that would have got me a particular job and a job that I had or for you to say, hey, you know what, even beyond all this, I could go back to college and study again and I had a friend recently and I'm encouraging a lot of my friends who are in that quarter life crisis where they're stuck in jobs they don't love or they worked really hard for a career but it isn't what they wanted to do truly in their heart. They did it out of society pressure, family pressure, whatever it may have been. And a lot of them are now making pivots. So one of them's at film school in LA, one of them went on to actually become a stress coach for his own industry of law and they're making these pivots at like, potentially some of them between 25 to 30, some of them 30 to 35. And it's fascinating seeing their journeys because it's exactly like what you're saying, they're like, oh, but I can go back if I need to. And going backwards isn't as taboo as we make it out to be. Like we make it seem like if you're not moving forward, your life's falling apart. It's like, well, no, sometimes you have to go backwards to re-navigate and reconfigure. And so I love that answer. And even more so, what I really appreciated about what you said towards the end there is the idea that when you're feeling accelerated progress in one area of your life, we've also been somewhat trained to believe that everything should move at the same time and that your relationship and your career and this. And it's shocking to me how much we have in common despite being very different people. So when you talked about switching and I want to talk about that more, for me, when I left being a monk, and which I lived as for three years, is a fully ordained monk, most of it in India and living a very different life to the life I lived today. When I first left, I had so much shame and guilt about how I wanted to share what I'd learned because I wanted to share it in a non-sectarian in a universal way. And I wanted to share it with anyone and everyone without anyone feeling any pressure that they had to have a spiritual or religious belief to connect with my work. And that came with certain levels of criticism or judgment too because it's like, well, wait a minute, you were a fully ordained monk who has studied these 5,000 year old literatures and scriptures and texts, but wait a minute, you're not sharing those. Like how does that fit? And I know it's different, but there's that similarity. I wonder how did you get over that shame again?
It’s really about being confident (25:41)
Because I feel like that can be so restricting and I even know people in my own community who would feel restricted by their judgment. How did you receive that? How did you have the confidence again to break through that? And so, well, this is still something I really wanna do despite all of this. - Yeah, I mean, that is so interesting that you drew that comparison. 'Cause yeah, TikTok is about as far away from being a monk as you can get. - Literally. - It's so interesting to me that, I mean, what a perfect example you are of a huge pivot, but still it's all connected and it's all leading to the next thing. Anyway, to your question, I, how did I get past all of that? I have a lot of therapy, I suppose. I mean, when we were talking about, you can always go back to what you were doing before. I think what you said was so great. I mean, yeah, I do think people see it as giving up, but actually it's really confidence. - Yes. - You saying I'm confident enough that if this doesn't work out, I'll make it work. - Yes. - And if that means doing what I was doing before, that's fine. I have a good friend, Delaney Fisher, who I used to do self-helpless with. She said to me when I was, I think, moving in with somebody, she had given a few of our friends this advice where she was like, you can always move out. Like, you can always, it's okay if things don't work out. And I think we totally forget about that. As far as moving past, you know, shame of it, I will say there is no, like, I can always go back to the church market. Like, that was not something I ever felt. - Yeah. - Because that's a decision you make. And I felt very good about that decision, but that is a small pool of comedians who can do that. And it is, in some ways, easier to achieve a certain level of financial success in that area. There's a ceiling on it because, you know, it's a certain community, but I just knew that I wanted to talk about more difficult subjects. And yeah, I wanted to do jokes about sex. Like, I wanted to talk about whatever I wanted to talk about. And the expectations are so rigid in church comedy, in any sort of church situation because they just want you to be what they expect you to be all the time. It's not enough to just come in and be a clean comedian for an hour. They want you to be a Christian all the time. They want you to be a role model and a perfect public figure. And I would open for people and they would get emails from someone going, "Why saw her do a set somewhere?" And she said, "Damn." And I was like, "I cannot stay here. "This is not sustainable." But even if I try to be perfect, I'm gonna slip up. - Yeah. - And I don't wanna feel like this the rest of my life. And I wasn't sure that I believed in Christianity. I just didn't, I had felt that way since I was a kid. My mom passed away when I was eight. And as soon as she did, something kind of shifted in me where I realized nobody knew for sure. My family's very religious and a lot of people I grew up around and I love my family. I have very open-minded, extended family. But a lot of people I grew up around act as if they know for sure what happens, what the answers are as far as religion goes. And I just realized like, "Oh, nobody really knows." And while I feel very open to the possibility of something else, something greater, I know that even if I devote my entire life to it, I will never figure out exactly what it is. - For sure. - And so that always rubbed me the wrong way and I didn't like the way that it can be used to judge and manipulate people. And I just wasn't what they wanted and I started to feel like I was lying to anybody who hired me in that space. So at a certain point, I got taken off of a show for something I tweeted that had like innuendo in it. And I just told my manager, I was like, "If we get any offers for churches, I can't do it." And then they sent me a few more like, "It's this much money, do you wanna do it?" And I was like, "I can't, it's all or nothing with them." And that's fine. They can make those demands for whoever they want. Those people exist, those people absolutely exist. My friend Dustin Nickerson, who goes on the road with me is very clean and can perform literally anywhere. And that's who should be doing certain gigs that I'm not right for. I mean, you don't have to be right for every single thing. And it's okay if you're not right for a certain role. - Yeah, definitely. I think that's great advice. And it gives you such a, again, freedom to recognize there is an audience for what you want to do. It does exist. It may be smaller, it may be larger, it may be different, it may be here, but there is one. You touched on there and you mentioned it earlier, obviously like losing your mother at eight years old and I can't begin to imagine or understand what that feels like as an experience. You said that that was one of the things that opened up.
Everything happened for a reason (31:33)
Was, what else was there that that opened up for you? It sounds like you've spent a long time with therapy and reflection and being on a journey with that. What would you feel comfortable sharing with us that that opened up for you? - Oh, I mean, I talk about it a lot in the new special. It's, it is such a, it's the most important, thing that happened to me. You know, not the best thing that ever happened to me, but it's, it made the worst thing that ever happened to me. And it's, it's hard to, I don't know who I would have been if that didn't happen. Like, I don't think I would have been the same person. I mean, I have, I had a conversation with my therapist the other day where I was like, it's so funny because my aunt or my, my grandma will say things like, your mom would have thought this was so cool. Your mom would have been like in the front row. And I go, I don't know that I'd be doing this. If mom was still here, like what I have, I certainly wouldn't have lived where I lived because my dad got remarried and that's why we lived there. And that's why I took that class is because we were in that area where that woman suggested it. So who knows, maybe I would have found it, but also maybe I would have written children's books, which is what I wanted to do when I was younger. So I don't know. It's so strange to be sad that a parent isn't here to see your success, but also know that a big reason you're successful is this drive to become somebody they would have been proud of or like, it's weird, I'm like chasing the approval of a ghost in a way. But then when you achieve those things, there's a sadness to all of it 'cause you go, "Oh, this doesn't really fill that hole, I guess." But I do think it certainly, it made a lot of things much more difficult and I'm sure it made me shire and I'm sure it made me very, very anxious and it burst that bubble a lot of kids have, maybe not kids now 'cause they lived through a pandemic, but a lot of kids have where you think you're invincible and nothing bad's gonna happen to you. And when something like that happens to you really young, you're like, "Oh, okay." So at any moment, the piano could fall in my head or someone else's head that I love. So that's sort of when I started having really bad nightmares, which I still have and it definitely affected me in so many ways, but the positive ways it affected me is I think it made me more empathetic, I think it made me a hard worker. I think when something tragic happens to you as a child, you sort of retreat into your imagination 'cause you have to, which I'm sure made me more creative because living in my head was better than living out in the world where my mom was dead. So yeah, I think as I've gotten older, I've learned to find the positive aspects of that loss that exist alongside the really difficult things about it. - Thank you so much for sharing that by the way. - Oh yeah. - I find it so, it's so incredible to hear just the journey you've been on and from that experience. And to me, it's not about the positive or the negative or how it feels, it's just interesting to hear you think about it openly. And I can hear just how much work that's taken and what that process looks like. And I really appreciate you sharing that with us. Genuinely, it's so inspiring and it's hope giving and I know that there'll be countless people who are listening right now who just feel so connected to that. So thank you so much for going there and sharing that. - Oh, thank you. - Yes, of the world, yeah. - I think when I was growing up, it was so hard to tell other people. But again, it feels like such an important thing to know about you, but it made other people uncomfortable who hadn't experienced death or loss. So then you're like, do I just tell them, my parents are separated? Do I just kind of skirt around the issue? And it took years of like almost like rehearsing with new people. - Yeah, yeah. - How to give them that information in a palatable way. - Yeah, exactly. No, it's such an important part of the story to understand someone and to be able to receive them and connect with them properly. No, I'm so grateful you spoke about it. And I wanna go in another totally very different direction now, but only because you said something earlier, I'm trying to bring it back. So we were talking about love and relationships and even that relationship with your mother and with your parents is so important in how it impacts your relationships moving forward. One of your favorite clips that I love is where you talk about, I believe it's the boyfriend who cheated on you in your head. And that clip to me, I've said that clip to more people than I could possibly imagine. And I have a funny story to tell that I don't think I've ever shared publicly, but I have to share it with you. So I've had a very clear value around cheating my whole life. That if someone wants to cheat on me, or if I was to cheat on someone, I don't think I'm personally, it's not that I don't believe I'm capable, I don't feel enthusiastic about trying to continue on that path, because to me, it's such a big core value of who I am. Again, I don't project down to anyone, I wouldn't judge anyone for staying with someone or breaking up its everyone's personal choice. That's what my personal choice stands. And my wife knows that, and we've had this conversation, we've been together now nearly 10 years and married for six, and so we've known this for a long time. And so me and my wife do this thing, what we used to do before the pandemic, we haven't done it since, but we used to do this thing with every 30 days, we would drive somewhere three hours from where we live and stay somewhere like an Airbnb or wherever we can for three days, we'd lock our phones in a safe, and we'd just spend time together, because we found that every week we got so busy and I have a crazy schedule and so does she. And so like on a week night, it's like you're not really getting that deep into my connection, and then the weekend comes and maybe you see friends and maybe you see family or whatever, and time just flies, and then all of a sudden you've been married for 10 years or longer, and you're like, well do I even know this person that well? And I saw that in the people I coached, I saw that in the people I worked with, and I was like, okay, well what's a habit? I love coming up with like these, and I love numbers, and so it's like 30 days, three hours, three days. And so we're on this one of these journeys and we're driving off three hours, and we're listening to music, and this may surprise people, but we're listening to Future, the rapper, right? It's me and my wife, I was sitting, listening to music, we're listening to Future, the rapper for whatever reason, I have no idea. I do not know him, I've never met him. We're listening to Future on the way. We get to the hotel that we're staying at, and then we maybe watch the movie and went to bed, and I wake up in the morning, and I've had this dream that my wife is having Future's baby, and she's in the shower, I can hear her, that she's in the shower in the hotel room, and I wake up and it feels real. So I wake up and there's no part of me that is cognizant that that was a dream. I am fully in the reality that my wife, Radi, this beautiful, abundant human being, has had an affair with Future of all people, and now she's pregnant with Future's baby, and I woke up with this brick on my heart, that's how it felt, like it genuinely felt, like there was this massive brick on my heart, and it was weighing me down, and in my head I said, "When I take care of that baby, it's mine." I was just like, "I just have to," I was just like, "I love my wife so much, I love her." And it was so weird because I have this value, and then when you think that this thing's happened, all of a sudden, not that value's gone out the window, but that my love and my connection and attachment to my wife was stronger, and the hotel room had one of those, you know, those window doors that opened into the, from the shower bathroom into the bedroom area? So she opened, she looked at me, she was like, "Are you okay?" And I was like, "Oh, I just had a dream "that you were having Future's baby." And she just passed out laughing at me, she was just cracking up, and I've never told that story anywhere else apart from now, apart from to friends and stuff, but it's fascinating to me how interesting it is that we can have these views on love, we can have these perceptions of love, and then when you get into a relationship how these perceptions can change, how other people's music, thoughts, ideas, infiltrate our mind, and dreams and messages and all of that, I wonder for you, what have been some of the, would you say, misconceptions and love that you think you had growing up that had been broken down, or that through your comedy that you've learned, or maybe you've heard an amazing story from a fan at an event that has sparked some thoughts, but I'm always fascinated by things that we believe to be true about love, but as we grow older, we go, "Oh, they're not, "they're not the truth." Does that make sense?
On relationships and working through the issues (40:51)
- Yeah, absolutely. It's so funny you say that I have a friend who's been in a relationship for, I believe seven years now, and is like my oldest friend, and I had asked her a similar question, I don't remember when, but I had asked her, what would you do if your partner cheated on you? And she was like, "Honestly, at this point, "I love him so much, I trust him so much, "I would probably go to therapy "and figure out why it happens." And I was like, "Oh, but you wouldn't just leave?" And she was like, "No, she's like not at this point, "like we've just been through so much together." I would, she's like, "I know him so well, "if he did that, I would know there was a reason, "and we would need to figure out that reason." - That's beautiful. - Oh my gosh, and I was like, "Oh, okay, "so we're all mature now." Like, I think I thought, "Well, my friends in this relationship, that relationship, "they don't fight, or this would never happen "in so-and-so's relationship." And then as I've gotten older and I've dated more people, I've spoken to friends of mine and said, "Well, this happened." And they go, "Oh, we dealt with that." - Yeah. - Like, we had the same thing, or my partner did something like that, or I did something like that, and it took a while for us to unlearn it and get through it, and that's, I think, the hardest thing about dating in your 20s, and honestly, into your 30s, now as people are getting married later, it's so hard to know what is like a deal breaker. And what is something that you can work through, and I think the thing I've learned from friends of mine, and truly talking to audience members, 'cause I do ask people who have been married a long time for advice, and most of the time, they're like, "We don't have any, move on. "We just didn't leave, we nailed it." But so many people, it just seems like, find somebody that they love so much, they're like, "Well, I'm gonna make it work with you." - Yes, yes. - And whatever things I had in my brain of, if this happens, I'm gone, if this happens, I'll never get over it. Once you find somebody that you love and respect so much, and you've been through enough with them, if you trust somebody, and I feel this way with friends of mine, I should say that, because I don't have that marriage or partnership that I can point to in my own life, but I have several friends who I've had for a very long time who are there for me so consistently, that when they hurt me or disappoint me, it is over very quickly, because I'm like your family, and you have been there for me so many times, hurting me once is not gonna phase me, whereas if somebody that I didn't trust as much or hadn't been there for me for as long or as deeply did the exact same thing, we would not have a relationship anymore, we would be acquaintances now, so it is so dependent on the relationship you have with the other person. - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely, and that's what I mean, that for me, it just, it ultimately, it's knowing your value, but then having compassion for other people's values, because I think it's so easy to project your own ideas of what someone should do and how they should react, and what's a good boundary for themselves, and then almost going, well, wait a minute, like, just gotta have compassion and empathy for that person's decision and their relationship with that person. But when you look for, I'm interested by dating and relationships a lot myself, because it's a part of my work, it's a part of my coaching, as you know, it's part of what I think about, what have been the funniest, most interesting date situations you've been in, or ones that have given you hope, or ones that have broken your hope, or anything that you feel to share. - Well, it's so funny you bring up that joke from Quarter Life, because-- - Yes, I love that, like-- - It's so funny, 'cause in the new special, I have a joke about an ex cheating on me, and it's that guy that I talk about where I go, well, he never cheated on, I say, I do that joke where I say, he cheated on me in my head, and I go, no, he never cheated on me, but he did this thing, that guy did cheat on me, and he told me after I filmed that special, yes, he finally told me, and it was like, obviously, years later, but he and I dated on and off for years, and he had sworn up and down, that he never cheated on me, and really made me feel crazy, and to his credit, apologized very late, but really, like, sent me this long apology where I was like, I was gaslighting you, like, I-- - Oh my God.
That guy who actually cheated (45:02)
- Really a beautiful, I almost made it my iPhone background. That's all you want is just, I was wrong, and I gaslighted you, and I'm really like, yes! - Send it out as a template of everyone that uses it. - But also, really mess with my head, 'cause I'd been in therapy going, you know, I always was so suspicious of this guy, and he never did anything, and I just created it in my head, so for him later, for him later to be like, no, I was, and you were right, and I'm sorry. - I just paid for my therapy bill for the last 12 months. - I know, right, but also I got so many jokes out of the relationship, I really can't be mad. - It's paying the bills. - It really is paying the bills, I have no regrets, but after he, you know what's funny, in terms of like, I thought that if somebody cheated on me, I would hate them and never speak to them again, and especially in that way, which was pretty messed up, but there's obviously more to the story, circumstantially, that contextualized it for me, but if you had just told me 10 years ago, like, this is what's gonna happen with this person, I would have been like, well, I'm gonna hate them forever. And once he told me that that's what happened, and I did know him so well, and I knew what he was going through and what he was dealing with, I think it actually improved not our relationship because we don't really have a relationship, but improved our feelings about each other in a, you know, just an existing in the world as memories to one another. Like, I wasn't angry at him anymore because I finally knew for sure, and it does take a lot to admit to somebody that you did that. - Yeah, I see. - Yeah, and you can judge however long it took or the way in which it was said, or whatever you want, but at the end of the day, I was like, you know what? This is somebody who was really important to me and really encouraged me in my career and really, yes, hurt me in some pretty deep ways, but also made me better. - Yeah. - And I felt like I was able to sort of put that chapter of my life to bed and really care about him as a human being. And I just lived longer and I made my own mistakes and other relationships, and obviously I made my own my own mistakes in that relationship with him that we're not okay. So I think time, age, compassion and empathy comes with all of that. - Do you, I had this really strange vision while you were saying all this deep profound stuff. I was like, how amazing would it be to see you making this joke next to this clip of you talking right now? - I know. - And I'm just like literally, I'm like, Taylor, you're just mature, amazing individual. And then when I see you on stage, you're like this, you know, you're like picking fights with everyone. - I know. - I love it. And I love that. - I know. - And I love that. I love that paradox too. Like I love that you're able to speak so lightly of so many of these things. And of course, you know, make so many millions of people laugh, but at the same time, when I'm getting to know you today, it's fascinating to hear just how much thought and maturity and work and reflection, 'cause what you just said is so massively evolved. - I mean, look, I wouldn't have raised futures, baby, but I'm like, you're okay over there. - Literally, that was like the only thing. I said, oh my God, I literally felt that. Like it was, I felt it in my gut, 'cause yeah, because I was like, why is baby, I love it so much. Like, it was just one of those moments, but I'm glad it's not true, of course. - Did you see the video on TikTok that went viral about that girl being walked down the aisle by her stepdad? - No. - It was the exact same thing. She was like, my mom had an affair and got pregnant with me, and my stepdad raised me, and he is my dad. - Oh, wow. - And this is him walking me down the aisle? - Yeah, I know what you were doing. - Yeah. - Oh, it's just, yeah. And that's the kind of, that's the real life version, right? You can have all these ideas and thoughts in your head and make all these commitments to yourself, and then it happens, and then-- - Yeah. - Yeah, you change. No, I love that. I think if Taylor Thompson had any dating relationship, advice, mistakes, thoughts, what would they be right now?
Spend as much time as you need to know yourself (50:28)
- Oh, my advice is to not listen to stand-up comedians for relationship advice. My advice is to listen to your podcast and follow whatever you and your wife are doing. I don't know. I'm currently in this place in my life where I'm sort of coming to, and I'd like to talk about this on stage in the new hour I'm working on, is I have been in sort of like back-to-back relationships throughout my entire adult life in a way that I don't think is particularly healthy, and I have had friends, I have a new joke in the hour about a lot of my friends are like, you should maybe be single for a bit, and maybe get a cat or something, and I was like, hard pass, cats don't make me feel good about myself, but I am reaching a point now where I'm like, okay, we've put off doing this work on being alone for a long time, and I think you need to do it now. And it is so difficult because I'm not, I'm not a casual person, I'm much like you, where if I'm at an event I wanna talk to one person, so I'm not like that in any of my relationships, friendships or otherwise, so I'm generally in a relationship if I'm dating, I'm not like a casual data, I don't have that in me, but as a result, I'm always getting into these, year to two year things, and I've also just been so focused on my career, so anytime something wasn't working out or I was having problems with somebody, I was like, well I can always focus on my career, and that's fine, and focus on the next relationship, and now I've reached this level that I truly always dreamed of, like doing a theater tour and having specials on Netflix, like that is all I have ever wanted, and if nothing else happened from here on out, that is, this is more than I could have ever dreamed of, and so now I'm like, maybe it's time to get some hobbies, maybe it's time to work on who you are as a person, like you're very good at comedy, maybe get good at, I don't know, forgiveness, like maybe just work on that, so I think, I love that. - You know, what's that quote that people say, like you have to be somebody that you would wanna be with forever, like I do think that I have had moments of that over the years, but I'd like to really, I'd like to really focus on that, and I don't agree with the statement a lot of people make, which is you have to be totally okay by yourself before you get into a relationship. I know so many people who got into a relationship three days after they ended one, and they've been together for 10 years. I know so many people who got into a relationship when they were really not in a good place, financially, spiritually, whatever, and now they've been together for 20 years. I think it is so case by case, but I do think that if you can show up for yourself and take care of yourself, you are going to show up for and take care of someone else, much better, and not put so much on them to take care of you. And I would like to, I think before I get into a relationship again, which I don't know when I'm going to be comfortable doing that, I would like to feel like I am someone who brings a lot to the table. - I love that. - Not just in a purely superficial way of like, look how much I've achieved. My career's going well, which for a long time, I think on some unconscious level, I thought that if I achieved all of my career goals, I would be proving to someone whoever it was that I was worth loving, like I was worth being with. And then you achieve all those things and you reach that place and you're like, oh, this didn't do it. That's not what it's about. So I'm really trying to focus on that right now. I'm trying to focus on who I am as opposed to what I've done, because that has not been my approach the last 10 years to my life. And to go back to my mom dying young, I mean, I talk about that in the special as well as like, I had this irrational belief that I was going to die at 34 because that's when she died. And it's very common, a lot of people have it when they lose their parents, even if their parents are 55 when they pass, they get nervous coming up to that age. And then if you, I've heard if you get to that age and you surpass it, you actually feel sort of guilty. You have like survivors go. So I have that to look forward to. But I think that was not just affecting my career goals. It was affecting my personal goals as well, where I thought I only have this amount of time, not even from a fertility standpoint, from just a, this is what I'm going to die, that I have to rush everything. And I have to become this ideal person. And that's not how you become your highest self as it turns out. - Yeah, I mean, you know, when you said that, I'm like listening to you today going, I think, I think Taylor, you really do know who you are. And there's so much, you know, there has been so much investment in that part of yourself. Yes, there's been, of course, amazing acceleration in your career. But from the little time we've spent together today, I'm hearing so much self-awareness and, you know, so much great introspection and so much amazing energy around that. - So, thank you. I mean, I'm rambling. - No, you're not, this is you, guys. - No, no, no, no, you're not rambling at all. I mean, I'm also reflecting back on what you just said and it gives me great reassurance in hearing that because something I ask a lot of clients to do in the relationship spaces, I ask them to write down the amount of days in their adult life or years in their adult life that they've spent single versus they've spent in relationships. And when you look at those two numbers next to each other, I know people that are 55 who will say that the amount of time they've spent in their adult life, of course, 'cause we all know one's dating when they're born, right? - Right. - Well, maybe not, right. - Yeah, I'm like, yeah. But the idea that in their adult life, even people who are 55, 60 years, 55 is probably where people that I've spoken to, they would say that they've spent six months alone max in their whole adult life. - Yeah. - As in single without being in some sort of relationship. And when you hear that, and when I started to think about it, for me, those three years living as a monk are being single, of course, but I look back at those and I think, wow, those were like really important, formative years in my relationship with myself. And I fully agree with you too that that never stops or is never complete. So it's not like, check did that, now I'm ready for a relationship. I have completed level one of life, but I've started level one of life. - Yeah. - And I think that's, you know, going back to your point that you're not going to fully love yourself and be good alone before you can be in a relationship, but you've started that journey to some degree. And ultimately, all that does is it removes certain obstacles. Right? So someone could definitely go from one relationship to another and they could be together. It's just we would remove certain obstacles if both people had done a little bit of self-work. - Of course. - And that's all it is. But it's never that yes, you come to a relationship as this perfectly complete person. That is just a romantic view of what it looks like. And I saw that with me and my wife, like, you know, when we met and we fell in love as well, and you know, falling in love is not a logical, you're not planning it all out and you're not logically going through the steps. There's attraction and then there's affection and then all of a sudden there's attachment and you're like, okay, I think I love this person. And then now I'm like, wow, I think sometimes when I proposed to my wife, I didn't even really know her compared to the person who I know today. I'm like, I didn't know her. And I think the problem becomes when we think we know before and then we stop trying to know. And so you kind of go, yeah, I know who my partner is. We got married and then it's like, but I've never tried to get to know them again. And for me, it's been the other way around. We're like, yeah, we dated and we were together for four years before we got married to plenty of time. But I'd say I've learned more in the last six of being married than I ever did in the first four. So the knowing of that person was far more important than the belief that I already knew them, if that makes sense. - Well, and you're both changing all the time. I mean, that's the thing when people are like, well, they're not who I married. It's like, of course not. - Of course not, yeah. - Of course not, you're not who they married, right? Like you like me talking like I know. I'm like, marriage is like this. Yeah, I think that it's interesting what you said about the time that people spend actually alone as adults, 'cause I've spoken to friends of mine who have gotten out of really long relationships.
The time that people spend alone as adults (01:00:07)
Like that's such a common thing that I've never experienced where somebody was with somebody for the bulk of their young adulthood. Like maybe someone was with someone for eight years in their twenties and then they break up, which seems so devastating. Because I've never been in something that long that ended. Or people get divorced after however many years. And those friends realizing like, oh, I didn't, I never lived alone. Like I've never lived alone and I'm in my thirties now and I'm sort of in a similar place where I'm kind of like surprised how much I'm appreciating it right now. Like I'm really, I'm really like every night. I'm like, oh, I can just do whatever I want. And I love being in a relationship. I love being in a relationship. I love the people I've been in relationships with. I love hanging out with someone. I love having that person to talk to and share with. And cause you really do just become best friends with that person. - Yes, yes. - But I have spent very little time just with myself. And I really have spent years like dreading it. Where I'm like, I don't, I can't imagine just coming home at night or going back to the hotel after shows cause that's very lonely. And just like being by myself and not having someone to call, not having someone to watch a movie with. And now I'm like, oh, this is actually kind of peaceful. Like I was so scared to not have someone else to count on but I still have me to count on. - Yes. - Yes. - Yeah. And when we don't have that, those are the triggers that come out. I mean, even in marriage like right now I won't have seen my wife for the first four months of this. Yeah, she's in London working on stuff. I'm in LA, she can't be in LA right now for the work. She's doing an I can't be in London. And so I'd say in our marriage, we've spent probably, pandemic we spent completely together, which was wonderful. We loved it and it was actually great for us. But before that, I would say that we've spent at least three to six months apart a year because of work on and off, not always in one go. This time it's been in one go. And I miss her. I cannot wait for her to come back. Like I feel like I have to throw her apart when she comes back because I miss her so much. But at the same time, I'm also really happy because she's been able to focus. And I've been able to focus. And we've had this moment to like really go all in on our careers again. And then to come back again and be together and go all in on that. And it's just, I think it's so healthy because marriage will also demand separation, especially with careers that we have. Well, you could be on tour again. And you know, and you're in a relationship. And so that aspect of coming home alone is such a hell, even now, like I've, I mean, we were together every day for two years or in the pandemic. And now we've been apart for four months. It took days to get used to the fact that I didn't have someone's head on my chest going to sleep. Like just that process of like, wow, like, I was like, I need to get a weighted blanket or I need to like put that brick back on my heart or something like to feel like that weight. Like, I don't know. - Where's the future? - Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, because it was just not, it was so strange because of habit, of course. And the habit with that. But you raised something really interesting and I've actually not had the fortune yet to go on tour. I do a lot of events speaking, but I haven't been able to go on tour because I was meant to when my book came out in 2020 and then I didn't. And, but I do remember starkly and I work with a lot of musicians and artists who perform to many, many people on stage. And they always told me about that lonely journey home. And I've had very few experiences of it, but when I have, it really did hit me that when you have an audience of people that are fully immersed in everything you're saying and showing you so much love and showing you so much energy. And you dropped every joke right and everything fell and everyone's just in place. And you have this meet and greet and everyone just showers you with more love and tells you how much they connected. And then you get into that car ride back home alone. It's a really, really strange feeling, right? And you brought it up then. That's why I remember that. And I remember I got home and my wife had thrown me a party with all our closest friends as a surprise for when I got home. And I didn't even know. But it was really fascinating. I remember that drive, I was at the ace. I performed at the ace, which was the only show I've ever done, which is my own show. And then when I drove home alone in just a hired car, it was really interesting to see that settle down and be happy with myself in that moment. Tell, walk us through how it's felt for you because I do think that when we live in a world where you're showered with validation and attention to then leave it.
Getting this moment of peace after performing on stage (01:04:53)
Well, hopefully. Hopefully. Yeah, hopefully. But when you're showered with that genuine love from a lot, I know that my community, I feel so much genuine love from them. When you go home, you've got to have that relationship with yourself. Can you just walk us through that a bit? I want to hear about it from your thoughts. Oh man, I mean, in terms of like being on the road and going back to a hotel room. Just that lonely gym. I feel like that is such a unique experience because not everyone performs on stage and not everyone, it's like going home from a party is one thing, but going home from a party that was you on stage and everyone. Right. It's like, it's just really into, and I'm always fascinated by hearing about that lonely journey for artists on the way home. Yeah, there is sort of like a physical, at least for me, I feel like there's a heavy sort of like, after I get off stage. And now on this tour, I'm usually doing like a meet and greet afterward. Yeah. And so that's sort of like a little extension of the show is how it feels 'cause you're meeting people face to face and taking pictures and sometimes hearing very personal things from them. I guess it depends because some days are very hectic where you're just traveling all day. And then you have to go on stage and you're kind of like, just frantic, this frantic energy all day. And so when you hit like 10 p.m. And you're back in a car in a hotel room, it's so nice to just finally be still and quiet and not have anybody looking at you. You know, like how everyone was looking at me for a long time. I mean, I have really strange moments where I almost feel like I'm like outside of my body on stage where sometimes I'm like, there's 1500 people here just sitting quietly looking at me while I talk. Like do you have that? Of course, every time. And you're just in sort of, you kind of go into almost like autopilot. Well, you just sort of watch your hands move. And gesture to ideas you have. And it's so, I'm so incredibly grateful for it. I can't imagine, I couldn't have imagined that, I don't know, I'm obviously at a lost words, but it's such a strange feeling to have all of that love and validation coming at you, as you said. And then just be back to being you. Yeah. Because that's a version of you. But it's not that it's not you. Like people say like, well, that's not who you really are. That's not, I'm like, no, that is who I really am, but it's a piece of me. So well said, yeah. Yeah, it's a mode I go into. So it's not that like, well, they like me, but in my darker moments, I've talked about this in therapy, I go, sometimes I feel like people only like me for this like trick I can do. And she goes, but it's not really a trick, it's a skill you have. It's a job you do. And so that makes me feel better, but sometimes I feel so like, you know, 'cause nobody knows you really. Like they think they know you. Especially like doing a podcast like this, I'm sure. Your listeners feel like they just know who you are. But nobody actually does. I mean, it's a strange lonely space that's hard to explain to people. Yeah, I thought that was a good explanation. And yeah, I think I studied, I was looking into this. I was like, 'cause I love building new friendships and new connections and deepening relationships. And I really enjoy that. And even as I get older, because I find that a lot of the friends I grew up with, life changes and you move on. I've moved city twice, I lived in New York. I now live in LA, I lived in India for a time. So my life's been very fragmented. And so I've had to rebuild community and family wherever I've landed. And so I really value that as something I try and invest in, especially when I think about one day having children and wanting them to have other children to play with and people's homes to go to and things like that. I think there's an issue when you say, this is me or this isn't me. So it's like when you say, this person on stage or this person who plays on the field or on the court, that's me, that's me, that's all of me. Or the opposite where we go, that's not the real me. This is the real me when I'm on my couch and I'm in sweats. And you'd put it perfectly, you said, no, both of me. And that's just reality. Like, am I silly and goofy with Radi, my wife? Yeah, I am. But am I also really thoughtful and intentional and focused in my meditation? Yes, I am. And do I love being on stage? Yes, I do. Do I love business and strategy and growth? Yes. Do I love being a monk and being really simple and minimalist? Yes, I love all of those things. And yes, they're paradoxes and oxymorons and contradictions. But I've learned as time's gone on to stop trying to force myself to choose one and accept all parts of myself. And that has been the most freeing, the most authentic version I can find when I'm not forcing myself to live one truth and accept that I'm just made of a bunch of them. And that's okay. Like, I don't have to live a certain way or act a certain way to fall, because I don't feel happy there. If I was forced to either be one or the other, I think I'd be really sad. And I consider myself to be quite a joyful, content individual. And I would say that's because I've allowed myself to be okay with the paradoxes within me. Yeah. If that makes sense. Even with you, like when I'm listening to you, I'm going, there's a paradox right here where it's like a lot of people talk about how stand-up comedians use comedy to heal and cope and deal with things. I think that's been like a long-term myth that kind of gets thrown around probably a bit too much without ever asking people in the industry. And then when I look at you, I'm like, but here's someone who's doing therapy and work behind the scenes and like, think about it. And then the comedy is more expressed through that, learning as well and all of that with that. How do you find that?
Being open about your mental health (01:11:22)
As you mentioned earlier, obviously in the news special, you speak about bipolar and you speak about mental health. A lot more in your work. But you've been doing mental health work. So at least, and I don't want to assume anything, I'm asking, it sounds like comedy to you is not an outlet or a healing tool or an expressive tool. I guess it's more of an expression tool than it is a healing tool. Yeah. Yeah, sorry if I'm messing up the question, but. No, no, not at all. I think what's funny is I think maybe I used to think it was a healing tool, not in that this is where I talk about it, but I think I thought that if I could make fun of something or turn something into a joke, then that would be the same as me getting over it. Like that's dealt with because it's a joke now. Like I turned this into my career. This is turned into something that's gonna make me money. So now it's not a bad thing that happened to me. It is an experience that I turned into something that other people enjoy. And I think in that way, I thought I was going. But in going to therapy consistently and seeing both a therapist and a psychiatrist and recognizing that just because you know something about yourself doesn't mean you've dealt with it. Completely. Like I was so upset when I figured out that knowing something logically did not mean that it was healed. I was like, well, if I just untangle it, I'll be great now. But it's all that stuff about trauma living in your body. And when it's like you, you're like, but I know what this is. I know this is a traumatic response to X, Y, and Z that happened to me. Why am I still feeling the brick on my chest? Yes. Because it's more than just something you intellectualize. It is a physical, emotional, emotional, spiritual thing that you have to work through and spend a lot of time working through. Not just figuring it out and going, awesome, so that's done. Check the box. So I think that, especially with this special, at first I wasn't going to do any jokes about some of the aspects of my mental health journey in the last couple years. And then I think my brain just works this way. Where I just kind of think in jokes. So as soon as I started thinking of jokes, I was like, maybe I should try these. Now I was like, I won't do them, but I'll try them. And then once I started doing jokes about it, I started getting messages from people who were like, oh my gosh, I just got diagnosed with this or I've been trying to get on antidepressants or I've been feeling this way or you really encouraged me to go back to therapy. And I was like, okay, then maybe, you can just do it, but I was really nervous before the special came out. I was like, did I share too much? Did I put too much out there? But my therapist was like, you are doing the work. - Yeah, that's what I'm seeing. - Yeah, so I think as long as you're doing the work, it's not gonna be fixed by you posting a video. Posting about it on social media or even talking to friends about it, like you're good. Like you are gonna have to do that work privately. So I think that's the only way that I've been able to talk about it in my material. And I wish I was more of like a, I don't know, just generally observational comedian, but I'm not. I draw from my own life and I write about stuff I'm going through because again, I'm insecure about talking about things I have no experience with. - Yeah. - So that's just kind of how I come at it and the sort of writer I am, I suppose. - Well, it comes out great. I love it. - Thank you. - And I love what you said there. Like when you said I think in jokes, I get that 'cause you think in jokes, I think in quotes and it makes sense. Like whenever I hear something, I'm like, okay, how do I turn that into something really memorable and simple that I will keep in my brain that allows me to use it as a tool later on? - Yes. - And that's kind of how I think. Well, how do I find a quote or hear a quote or share a quote with my audience so that they can remember it so that that clarifies an idea for them as well. And so it makes sense 'cause you're like, okay, well, how do I make it funny so that it's memorable from it so that you remember it, they remember it. So that feels very real. I get that. Like that's how you try and, it's almost like that's how you try and capture an idea so that it sticks and stays and becomes some of that people can share. But Taylor, you've been so generous and kind with your time. It's been such a joy getting to know you today, honestly, it really has. - Oh, this was so nice. This is not, like most podcasts, I try to leave a cushion afterward to sort of recover as an introvert or you're like, okay, I gotta, this was just like refreshing. And this really just felt like hanging out with them when I wanted to hang out with. - Oh, thank you. - Like I feel like invigorated after this. This is so nice. - Oh wow, that means the world to me. Thank you so much. No genuinely, like, as I said, I've been such a huge fan for such a long time. And to get to know you today is just, it's even better than I thought it was gonna be because I feel like, I already had high expectations and that's what I'm saying, that you just blew through them and just who you are as a human and how you think about things and how you're making this. Like it's just, it's amazing. And I'm so grateful that you said yes to coming on the show and being here. We end every On Purpose episode with a final five, which is meant to be a fast five, which I always ruin because I get intrigued.
Taylor on Final Five (01:17:02)
But I will try and do it fast with you. So these are five questions I have to be answered in one word to one sentence maximum. - Ooh, okay. - And I will ruin it. So it's my job to ruin it and you pretend and try and stick to the rules. - Okay. - Okay, so question number one is, what is the best advice you've ever received? - You can always change your mind. - Nice, that's a great piece of advice. We've never had that, that's a great piece of advice. - Hey, I found a new one. - Yeah, you did, yeah. That's a great, I love that. What's the worst piece of advice you've ever received? - If you take time off, everyone might forget about you. - Wow, that's so good, too. I love this, you never had that either. - I know, that's great. - That's not great. I just remember that 'cause it really tapped into the workaholic in me. - Yeah. - That I've always, not always, but I've really tried to move away from. So the idea that somebody would say, my worst fear out loud. - Yeah, definitely. I mean, when I first came here and I was first started coaching here, I talent told me that they were told by their first manager that you've got a three-year career. - Yes. - You've got a three-year career. We're gonna make the most of three years and after that you'll be irrelevant. And it's the same thing, like you just get, you stop, and I remember even when I, I remember when I got to 1000, when I was first starting out 1000 subscribers on YouTube, which I was really happy about and excited about at the time, and still am, and I remember my friends going to me. So this is the peak, basically, like this is it. Like, don't never be more than this. And so you should just make the most of it 'cause that's, and I remember like that, it was that fear mindset that every time I hit a new peak, people around me would say to me, oh, that's the peak then. So that's it now, you've done it now. And I was like, wait, only if you think that, like, you know, so great, great answers so far. All right, question number three. What's something that you think people value that you don't value? - Maybe this sounds sort of dumb, but whether or not people think I'm cool, I guess, and that's probably pretty like entertainment industry-specific. But I do think that there's like a lot of insecurity in this business, and there's a lot of like hoping other people like you and like think you're cool. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - And I don't really care about that anymore. Like I really just wanna be happy and find my people and focus on those relationships. And everyone else is kinda like, feel however you wanna feel about me. But I definitely used to be very concerned about that. And it actually, I think, made me far less cool and less likable because I was really just terrified of everybody. So then I would be too quiet and then everyone would assume I was mean. And I'm like, I'm just scared. So yeah, I think, just what other people think of you and really, I just care what's the people I like to think of me. - Yeah, question number four, this has been a question I've been asking recently 'cause I wanna help people who are listening as well. Like how do you think about how you choose your friends and the people around you, whether it's personal or professional? - I want to surround myself with people who work really hard, are kind and empathetic and that I trust in every way. But mostly that if we ever have a disagreement or miscommunication or argument, we're gonna talk about it and deal with it and get through it. So I think that's, I want people around me that make me wanna be a better person and put in the same level of energy and effort into our relationship that I'm going to. - Love those. Fifth and final question, Taylor, what is, if you could create one law in the world that everyone had to follow, what would it be? - Ooh, one law in the world. - Yeah, we asked this kid-- - Everyone had to follow. - Question to every guest ever. - Oh my gosh, I wanna know the best answer you've gotten. - I don't think, they're all surprising. Like you get everything from something really simple, like be kind to some really specific, thoughtful stuff. And so I don't think we've had a best answer, but I am currently compiling every answer we've ever had 'cause I think it'd be fun to look at like the breadth of answers. - Ooh, one law that everyone had to follow. - Or one habit that they had to do every day. - One habit that they had to do every day, I mean, everyone should be journaling, probably. I guess that, maybe. - I love that. - Yeah. - Have you been journaling for a long time? - You know what I've noticed? This is going back to the relationship single thing. When I am in a relationship, I'm terrible about journaling. - Wow. - And then when I'm single, I'm great about it and it makes a huge difference. - Wow. - And-- I remember the last time I got out of a relationship, I had been telling myself, okay, well, I'll get back to journaling. - Yeah. - I've been telling myself that for months, and I thought I hadn't journaled in like two, three months, which is still bad. And I went back into it after my breakup, and my last entry was like going on a date with the person I-- - Wow. - Ended up in a relationship with-- - Wow. - Which is, I mean, again, I thought I was like, "Ah, it's been like 60 days, I'll get back to it." - Yeah. - And it had just been so long. - Well, that has so many lessons in it. That is such a great answer, because I think we leave so many of our best habits when we get into relationships, and then wonder what went wrong. - So journaling and no yelling, I guess. - Yeah. - Unless you're happy and excited. No mean yelling. - No mean yelling. I love that. Very deep and profound. - Thank you. - Taylor, you are incredible. I think you're cool. I would yell in excitement when you first came. No, I am so, so happy that we got to do this. I'm so happy to get to meet you. For anyone who's been listening or watching at home, make sure you tag Taylor on me on Instagram, on Twitter, on all platforms, so that we can see what resonated with you, what connected with you. I love, love, love knowing what Taylor said that is going to stay with you, is going to stick with you, that connected with you, that moved you. And of course, I highly recommend that you go and check out Quarter Life Crisis and look at you, and follow Taylor on every single platform so that you can stay up to date, and so that you don't have to see me send these scary videos, every other funny videos and exciting videos, but that you can do it yourself. But Taylor, you are, continue to be my, the comedian that I follow the most, that I love the most, that I watch the most, and-- - I'm so honored. - So excited to see what you do next. I'm convinced for someone as talented as you, and someone as grounded as you, and who's doing the work so early that anything's possible, and it's more and more is going to happen as time goes on, so really, really excited for you, excited to be an observer and a cheerleader on the journey. - Thank you so much. It was seriously so, so nice to meet you, finally, in person, and I'm obviously such a fan as well, and I can't wait to meet your wife as well, so you have to be friends with me now. - Yeah, I do, she comes back, and you're like a monk. So yeah, yeah, that's really, but thank you, Taylor. - Thank you. - Thanks, everyone, for listening and watching. Make sure you share this with a friend who would love to hear it, would benefit from it. I hope that you pass it on, and it changes someone day to day as well, so thank you, everyone. - If you want even more videos just like this one, make sure you subscribe and click on the boxes over here. I'm also excited to let you know that you can now get my book, Think Like A Monk, from ThinkLikeAMonkBook.com. Check below in the description to make sure you order today.