Wednesday Afternoon: Clean Slate


Well, it’s here:  The end of the High Holy Days.

I have to say that it has been a testing period in time. I really believe that every day has been a test in character and in strength.  Chris isn’t Jewish, so The High Holy Days don’t really have a deep meaning to him, but I have observed him over this last period of Elul (the month prior to Rosh Hashanah).  His mom’s passing at the end of the second night of Rosh Hashanah proved to be a lesson.  I saw his strengths and his weaknesses and I also saw mine.

At this time of the year for any observing the High Holy Days, it is your job to atone and be in a mental state of reflection.  I had many moments where I had to act out of myself and be a good partner.  I had many moments where I shut up and listened to him when I, myself, tend to demand attention.  I have learned that life goes on and tragedy waits for no one.  It doesn’t matter what day it is, life can change intensely!

This morning, I woke up to Chris being uber sweet and I had an intention of waking, meditating, praying, reading Torah and cleaning the house.  Chris had every intention of going to the DMV and taking his driver’s test.  He had many road bumps today going from one office to the other and then coming home upset.  I felt bad for him because he’d walk in and all I can do is listen and I didn’t feel like my listening was helping him.  I hate to see him irritated.   I don’t think anyone likes to see their partner or spouse upset.  He left and I went back to reading and eventually started checking emails.  I haven’t conducted any business today, but I have been reflecting on the fact that when I schedule out time for self-growth, it seems a bit useless.

I have had to learn to deal with unacceptable behavior this year that has tested me on many levels, cost me relationships and changed the dynamic of my existence.

Last Rosh Hashanah, I was moving onward into a new era without a lot of key players I had had in my life before.  My best friend of six years and I had stopped talking and separated our ways and I was on an uphill confidence re-building.  I had valued him way too much! I realized I didn’t need someone as negative as him in my life and I had started dating again. I had not dated in a long time!  My comedy appearances and bookings were on fire and I met Chris in October and we began seeing each other and fell in love very quickly.

I learned that throwing caution to the wind and going with natural instinct can bring wonderful things into your life. You are more open to love and acceptance when you trust your gut.  In December, Chris proposed to me and I accepted.  As I announced the engagement, friends, clients and followers online “broke the internet” expressing their excitement.  A day went by and I talked to my parents about the engagement to some less than desirable feelings that lead to one of the biggest verbal fights I ever had with my family.  I did not have Sunday dinner with them for three weeks and did not want to speak of the horrible, malicious words they spoke and the attitude they expressed.  I knew deep down my mom didn’t want me to get hurt emotionally, but she didn’t realize by being that critical that she had indeed broke my heart like a break-up all over again.  The residual effects of this have brought distance between us and we do not hang out as often as we once did.

I love my mother very much, but I was not about to back down the feelings and happiness I was feeling.  This all happened on January 2nd and definitely left a sour and tainted taste in my mouth and still causes me to roll my eyes when I think back to the raw emotions emoted by both of us.  What I learned from this was that when you bring another connection into your life, not everyone is going to be jumping for joy as they may feel replaced.  The sad conclusion to this is that it’s generally ego-based and that I cannot allow the grimness of that sentiment to always overshadow our conversations and gatherings.  Sadly, they still do at times.  My relationship with my mom changed this year and it’s all do to reaction.  Do not react hastily to your family (especially parents to grown children and grown children to parents).  You need your family in your life.  Don’t ever count them out.

A couple weeks later, a comedian in town took a few public digs at me that led into an online fight between him and me.  I said some very salty things about him and really felt kicked while I was down.  I still do not care for this particular gentlemen and refuse to move into the world of local comedy with him in proximity.  I had refused to work with comedians that worked with him or with venues that booked him.  He continued to use me in his act and I found out that people would listen, laugh and not say shit about it.  People love drama! The public loves drama!

I learned to just let people talk shit.  Please talk shit.  It seems as though my luck is that when I express my thoughts that there is a gang up against the one trying to say that another person is harassing them.  Why even speak up? No one seemed to be listening …

In April, I had a horrible situation happen in a bar that involved a very loud, belligerent drunk that harassed me and this was the night I lost my shit for the ultimate low of lows.  I put hands on the person and suffered publicly when a video of the incident was released and made my year the most difficult one publicly.  The public that I was had seduced to read the blogs, drink the Cooley Kool-Aid and support me was divided on a hot button issue where I was clearly wrong in my reaction.  I quickly apologized and sought legal advisement to be greeted with multiple threats, gifs created by the comedian that started trouble earlier in the year and friends and clients that eventually turned their back on me, silenced their ears to my words and refused to speak to me or even check up on me.  I thought long and hard three months after this incident and have concluded that each of these events were nothing but tests and hard lessons.

I have remained publicly relevant, I have maintained a successful business and have had to learn that sometimes cutting off connections and staying silent is better than retaliating.  I began writing “LuxeLove” again in July and have since been happier.  I have been reminded once again that I am a writer, a thinker and a personality that lives better in my Garbo-esque tendencies of exclusivity and reclusiveness.  I have accepted that sometimes its alright to let people take jabs at you because they look horrible doing it and that reactions make you look as stupid as them.

This year has taught me alot.  I have learned about love, I have learned about forgiveness and how hard it is to receive the redemption you are seeking from others.  I have learned that forgiveness is only needed when you feel you have wronged someone.  I don’t feel as though I have wronged anyone.  I haven’t.  I may have made some bad choices and reacted way different that someone thought I normally would, but I learned that raw emotions get attention and raw emotions create distance that is sometimes needed.  It may look bad, but people sat up in each situation and talked about it and either said, “you’re alright, Josh” or “fuck you, Josh Cooley, you’re an asshole.”

In either case, I learned that life has a filter and that sometimes there are those of use that choose to live without it.  Any hurt, pain, or betrayal I may have felt is all because I wanted to play with a filter this year.  It doesn’t work for me.

As the Yom Kippur fast closes soon, I can peacefully move on knowing that raw emotion is too raw and that sometimes my quick wit and fast talking do not bring peace into the world, they bring an instant reaction. I have learned that true love makes people nervous and that people that feel they have the right to talk negatively of someone’s bond are generally ego-based, jealous and need a hobby. I have also seen true friends and true support and love each person for their love and support even if it was in the form of a sweet message or a listening ear this year.

As the afternoon moves into evening, my intention is to go be a sounding board to Chris, hold him close and rest up for a full roster of clients tomorrow.  Tomorrow is a new day.  Tomorrow’s energy is a symbol of the judgement felt on Yom Kippur.  Its time to accept the terms and move on.

Lastly, if I wronged you this year, I’m very sorry, but before I stop typing, I will ask one question to ponder: what happened between us to warrant my response?

My door is open to each of you. As long as you bring clean, pure, positive intent, my world is open to you.  That is what I feel this Yom Kippur. I can listen to you, evaluate and try to get along with you or we can part ways.  Its up to you.  I’ve accepted my judgment from the past year and prefer to move on as anyone given a clean slate would do.


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