Erin Darling is full of energy, honesty, and loyalty. We met ten years ago while doing stand-up. I was instantly taken to her and we had many great talks and photo shoots over the years.
Erin has her own podcast titled Hot Pizza Ass.
Today we talk about
the friend zone
jogging the streets of hollywood
So put on your chill and listen in.
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Welcome to courage under the stars with Michael Vieyra. That's me, I am Michael Vieyra. Here I speak off the cuff with people that I find interesting when you're going through sit in a darkened room, just allowing you to eavesdrop. I tell my guests, no politics, no religion, but otherwise, I don't care what we talk about as long as it comes from my heart. I hope even just a small part of it resonates with you. Some of it will, some of it won't. And that's okay. But I'm just glad you're here. I really do love all of you. And thanks for coming. Let's get this thing started. I feel like this podcast is kind of like taking a nap. Yep. While podcasting. Just don't fall asleep. It's the podcast version of an app. That's how you should brand it. Get your merch done like that Ancash version of a nap. Yeah, if a podcast was a nap, this one. I don't know if that's a selling point. You would be shocked one of my favorite podcasts. It's called nothing much happens. Oh, I like that so good. It's actually sleep stories or just relaxing stories? Yeah, and I feel like her whole audience is people that want a nap podcast. I feel like this fits that category. And I hadn't even thought about that. Yeah, 100% fits that category. Especially because if this is the vibe, yeah, you're probably not going to have anyone that's like, fucking up the energy level. You know, I'm saying like, it's gonna stay, chill and calm. People can relax and listen to it. Yep. They can tune out and listen to it. They can fall asleep to it's like a lot of purposes to this podcast idea. And you know, what's funny is I'm looking through the, you know, I use Buzzsprout as a host. And they asked you to categorize it. And they didn't have a lot of categories that lend itself to what you're talking about. Oh, and I'm surprised I feel like what you're all those things. You're saying? It's like, yeah, I want it. That's how I want to categorize it. All right. But you know, what, all these stars, it makes me wonder what's the when was the last time that you laid out under the stars with somebody? Oh, well, you know, I think it was in December. I was in Costa Rica for my birthday. It was beautiful. And the area that we were in was pretty remote, and kind of high up in the mountains. So the visibility was just incredible. Got to see a lot of stars. Like it was the type of thing where you could actually pull out one of those apps like a constellation app. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Where it tells you Oh, that's Andromeda. That's the Big Dipper. Yeah, and I, we just did that for a little bit. And that was really cool, too. Because in LA you can't do that. Now, you got to go to at least Palm Springs or Lancaster. Were there a lot of people out there that night? No. We were the only people there. Who are you with? I was with the guy. I'm seeing. It's such a weird story. Awesome. Yeah. I mean, like, my, I guess, boyfriend at the time. But we ended up breaking up for a few months and then got back together. Okay, that happens. Yeah. So and I mean, even now, we're not even public. Like we're very. We're being very protective. Gotcha. Yeah. Okay. But you're enjoying it. You're enjoying your time. Yeah, absolutely. It's always hard, isn't it? Because you, you, I don't know about you. But for me once you break with broken up, and then you decide, okay, we're gonna give it another try. That's the scariest time for me. Oh, my God. I mean, I've done it a few times. And it's terrifying. Yeah. Yeah. What was your experience? My experiences, which was, I'm already in pain, because they broke up with me. And do I want to do that again? Am I literally saying yeah, go ahead and knock me down again. I didn't want to fall in love again. And I was I was still in love. So it turned out at the end of the day, it turned out where we broke up again and I was a little bit easier with it. But that fear going in is just like this. It's one of those things that you really have to overcome. Am I going to do this? Am I not going to do this? Did you ever feel like you were able to let the past be the past and truly forgive that person? I think so. On a quick thought. I really think I did. Cuz we had a lot of time together and and it was good time. So yeah, once I realized, Okay, I'm going to do this again. I was ready to commit. Wow. Okay, so I've been in situations like that where that was not the result. I felt like the person was never able to give me a true honest second shot it won't we when we tried to like rekindle things, right. I've been in experiences where that did not work. There was no real forgiveness and with no forgiveness, there's no future. Yep, I can't even take one day forward with no forgiveness. Oh, me, too. I had a very small actually a very generous threshold, I would say for like, what I was willing to put up with. Yeah. But when I was done, I was done. I was like, No, absolutely not. This is not working. But I've had opportunities where it does work out really beautifully. And, you know, we're talking about courage, I feel like that is one of the most courageous things that you can do is to truly choose forgiveness, to the point where it's not like I forgive you, and you're living your life over here. It's like I forgive you enough to get involved with you, again, to put my heart on a fucking cutting board, like give you the knife, right, trust that you won't slice it open. And if I will truly believe in that forgiveness, yes. As opposed to just kind of going alright, I'm gonna let it go. No, I believe what you're saying. And I'm ready to move on. So much trust is involved in that. You know, it's so funny. It's I think that, like, the more I grow up, and the more I mature, the way I see trust issues is very different. I at one point, I used to think trust is like, believing someone won't cheat on you. And then I realized it is so much deeper than that. Yeah, trust is believing that someone that has the ability to hurt you, has also the ability to have restraint and to not to have restraint and to not hurt you hurt you. And isn't that amazing that they can still do it? Oh, yeah. And a lot of the times I think it is unintentional. And you know, people you're gonna get hurt in relationships and friendships, like just walking through this world, you are going to get hurt. But I think that it takes so much trust to be able to open yourself up to someone and literally, you're like teaching them the ways that they can bring you the more someone learns about you. Here's what you can do to me. Yeah, you're giving them a guidebook, all your trauma. And being like, Here you go. It's funny with this what you will, right. So this is a roadmap to my heart. Go ahead and break it. Yeah. You know, it's funny because you had done podcasts on, on ghosting. And I don't know if it's ghosting has always existed. I don't feel like it existed until it actually became a term but I think ghosted by friends, for God's sake, girls, mainly. Where it's like, wait a minute, we were best friends for 45 years. How are you just gone? Why? Yeah. Oh, yeah. Best friends. Best friends. Should you? Yeah. Wait, did that ever get resolved? Did they ever come back into your life? No. And I'm not I'm not denying accountability for that. I mean, maybe obviously, there was something said or done that would make them do that. That I have to go. Okay, maybe I did something. But fucking tell me. I don't know. It's always that weird thing that I always say. I'm just like, Well, I would never do that. And it's like, Yeah, but you're how you do things are not our everybody does things. So you guys got to let it go. But it's still undeniably weird. Yeah. Yeah, that is really weird. I am, you know, it's so funny is the person who I did that podcast with. Yeah, it's called Ghost Hunters. And I don't think it's on the internet anymore. Okay. I did that podcast with another comedian. And we ended up actually like having a falling out. And we stopped working on that project. How ironic. I know. And we didn't go see each other. We had a conversation. We didn't talk for a few years, but we actually got back in contact and kind of it was a really beautiful reunion that's kind of on this same topic that we're talking about right now. Because we, you know, acknowledge what happened. We both apologized. We didn't really talk about it in detail or didn't feel the need to hash out the nitty gritty of like, this is how I felt well, this is how like we do any of that like therapy like times that just makes you mad all over again. Right. It's like reliving and talking to nothing but like we both apologized for the ways that we had hurt the other people hurt the relationship or whatever, and then just move forward and we're like, we don't really need to discuss any further. Like I'm Choosing to be your friend now with the person that you are today. And we both grown and we both changed. And it was just a really cool experience. And I feel like she taught me so much about, you know, forgiveness and moving forward. And just being like, yeah, none of that really matters. Like the past is genuinely the past. Like, it's not even the recent past at this point, you know, it's something that happened, we don't need to go into it. And let's just move forward because we did have a good friendship. And we did have a lot of great memories and we accomplished some really cool things together. And we both are now pro ghosting. I don't know what that means. Oh, you're in favor of ghosting? Yes, we are now in favor of ghosting. Yeah, horrible wire. Why is it's just easier? No, not because it's easier, I think because in some circumstances, I truly believe ghosting is okay. And in some circumstances, I feel like it's not only okay, it's warranted. Okay, I get the warranted but give me the easy example. What's the one that sometimes it's just easier? Okay. So for example, there was a brief period of time when I was single this year where I was on a dating app. And I was hanging out with maybe there was like three people I went on a few dates with. And by a few I mean, like, maybe the Max was three, no more than three. It's a few. Sure. And, you know, nothing physical happened with these people. Except, like, I think I kissed I think I kissed two of them. But, um, but nothing more than that. And it wasn't like we never had any conversations about being in a relationship being exclusive, like nothing that seemed to indicate that it was important that this relationship was important moving forward, right? Sure. Even though all of them had the potential to move forward. It was just one of those things where it's like, I had these experiences. And then, you know, after the second date, it was just kind of like, I tend to step back, and I kind of want to see what the other person does. And granted, they could be doing the exact same thing with me. Sure. I want to know how she does or does, she wants to see me and, and at that point, if I don't hear from someone within like a week, I pretty much just stop talking to them. Like I don't really put in the effort at that point. If you don't get even get like a check in text or like, Hey, how are you? Or like, thinking of you like if none of that happens? totally happy with just letting it go. And letting the experiences be what they were. And I don't think that anyone needs to really explain it like nothing happened. I don't think that required a conversation. I think that requires a goodbye. Yeah, I don't think it requires ghosting. I don't know if that's Gaussian. That's just like, oh, we kind of drifted apart. Yeah, I mean, not even drifted parts. Like we weren't even close. We weren't even on the door, the same Titanic door. But you know, What's so weird is like, technically, you know, like a second date is kind of a big deal. If you think about it, because the first date, I feel like anyone can get a first date, right? Like, it's like, let's see what happens. It's very low stakes. But if you decide you want to see that person, again, it means that like you're interested, and you agreed to that, it means that there's mutual interest. So it is kind of weird that like after a second date, who were just like, you know, whatever. Go on with our lives. Isn't that weird? Yeah. Because I'm like, what happened to this interest. But then also, it's weird, because when anytime you meet someone on an app, you have to assume that they're still on this app. They're meeting other people constantly and interacting right with other people, like in the app and in the real world. So it's like you never really know. And you also, most likely aren't disclosing all of that to a person that you're just barely starting to see you. Yeah, that's why your generation it's so weird. Because for me growing up, you just didn't know. It's like, I know that person is out there somewhere, and they're gonna know they're dating. But what are you going to do? Now? You guys have to like, you'll actually see them on your little dating apps. Good trying to hook up and it's just odd. Yeah, you know, I don't have that many experiences on dating apps. Like I don't have a well, gotcha, gotcha. Yeah. Like I, there was a brief period of time, like I said, a few months ago, where I was on a dating apps for a short period of time. Yeah. And before that, there was also a short period of time where I was dating, like, various people for like, right before the pandemic. And then before that, I feel like there was a period in like, 2016 or 2017 When I was on the apps, but like, I'm not the type of person that's always on them. Do you like them? Um, I don't feel as negatively about them as I think a lot of people do. Okay, yeah, that's good. It's worked for you. It does not work for me. But I feel like I've been treated well. I feel like I've had positive experiences. The most part. Yeah, there's obviously a couple of lemons in the bunch where you're just like, what happened there? You were so cool. But on average, I feel like I've had good experiences, whether or not they move forward. And I think that moving forward, is the thing that people get attached to, right. Like, it's so easy to write people off and be like, they're awful. They suck, or, Oh, they ghosted me whatever. But did they treat you? Well, when you were in their company? Like did? Were they thoughtful? Did they listen to you? Did you have fun with them? Like, why are we so attached to the outcome all the time, like, sometimes I just feel like experiences are experiences with people, and a lot of them are, if you look at most of relationships in your life, a lot of them probably are low stakes. Like you have probably have a small handful of people who really are those people that can break your heart that like really deserve that attention, that are really, really there for you that are like really good friends or, you know, people that you've dated. I feel like that's a very, very small handful. But most people that we interact with, and that we know, like, it is pretty casual. Here is an odd thing that you made that I thought of by what you just said. If you if you're ever pressed to like, come up with that list of your numbers, right? I couldn't tell you the name. I couldn't give you the list. I don't know that. I don't know their names. I don't know who they are. And it's like weird. How did you have that sort of interaction? And yet you can't years later, tell me who that was? That's a little odd. What do you mean? Well, you have such intimacy with a person in your life at some point. And then you can't even remember them. Oh, you mean like, people you've been in relationships with no people simply the methane act of sex? Oh, okay. Now you feel like you know, everybody? Um, I don't consider I guess I don't consider a lot of I would put a lot of those in my casual bucket like, like my meaningful. Yeah. Everyone I've had, I didn't realize there's a casual bucket, but you're right, there is a casual bucket. Yeah, they're not in my handful. The proverbial handful. Yeah, we just established you're never gonna forget the handful got no, no, a lot of those people aren't in the handful. You know, the people that are I could tell you, are you Aaron, are you the type that always? Not in a bad way? But I do always have to be with somebody? Um, ooh, that's a hard question. Because I don't think so. But I have gone through periods where I've been in, like, back to back relationships. And I always think that's kind of weird. Like, I remember I went through a period where I went, and like, I had three back to back year long relationships. Yeah. And I, at the time, I wasn't as interested or as well versed in healing, per se, as I am now. I'm definitely not an expert now. But I think I'm what like, I'm, I'm way more self aware, that's the best way to describe it. I'm more self aware of the fact that like, people need to process things like if your heart is broken, your heart is broken, and other person isn't gonna fix that. And I don't really know, like, I can't really speak for me back then, like, why I got into these back to back relationships, if it was a distraction, or if I genuinely was like, You know what, I love this person, or if that person was just there, and it just seemed easy, or they provided some sort of meaning. I mean, because all three of those relationships, like meant something to me clearly, but I don't, I can't really tell you why I like jumped into them. But I don't think it was the best. Because especially sorry to communicate, you know, I cut you off. I said, especially considering the fact that the beginning of every relationship that you jump into, which is also intertwined with the ending of another one, those first couple of months are not fair to that person that you're jumping into the new relationship with, because you are still obsessing about that person. Probably you're still thinking about it. You're healing you're probably projecting all of it. Yeah. And so that's not really fair for that person. Whether or not they've been like waiting in the wings like waiting to date you and loving you the whole time or they're willing to put up with this because they knew that they were going to treat you right whatever it was. That period of time is not conducive to building a strong relationship? For sure. And I know that because I've lived it. Yeah. And it hasn't gone well. It's tough. Yeah. Like I remember I, one of these relationships, I was in these back to back relationships. I had broken up with someone who, like nothing went wrong in our relationship. I just thought it was clear, I was never going to be a priority to them. And through their actions and the things that they were doing. There were just a lot of question marks of like, Am I important to you at all, like a year in? Yeah, if I'm your girlfriend, and like, you're not saying I love you like after, after a year, I felt I'm not a priority. I just think I need to say goodbye to this person. And if you, you know, miss me, or you want to figure this out, you know where to find me, right? Yeah. But that broke my heart so much, because, because nothing did happen. And I think I felt at the time, I didn't really know how to express my needs in a way that like, now that person won't last in my life, like more than two months. Like six weeks I'd be done. Yeah. But I was so young. Actually. It's probably around the time I met you for the first time. But 1011 years ago. Yep. I was such a baby. I was really not confident. Oh, especially when it came to like talking about my needs are my emotional needs or whatever. You know, like, I wasn't really good at that back then. It's weird because I see you today and then as very strong. And but in love as I know you were good friends, but we're not great friends. So I know who you are a little bit. And that you do seem like love is your weakness. Oh. Oh, you think it's my weakness? Like, what do you mean by that? Not your weakness in like, it makes you a bad person. But your weakness in that do fall Europe. You're a fool for love. Yeah, you know, I It's so weird that you say that? Because like I don't even really know if I've been actually I know I haven't been in earth shattering me move the world walk over fire type of love ever. I 100% have never met that person yet. Never. So it's really interesting that you say that I do. Put a lot on the line for my relationships. My friendships like I do stuff. You know, for a friend for boyfriends like I definitely give a lot. And believe in people a lot. You are that I see that. Love that about you. I love that about me too. I think it's awesome. And it sometimes it frustrates me what a great reaction to what I just said, for you. I love that about me. Yeah, I do. Yeah, no, no, I do. I think it's I think it's a really beautiful thing. Because if you make it into my circle, and you're, you know, a friend and if there's anything I can do to help you and be there for you. If I have that ability, like I'll do it. Honestly, what you just said is how I met you. That's the girl I met. And that's still the girl that I feel that I know. That's awesome. Yeah, it is good for you. I liked that about you. still hurt. Hollywood hasn't changed. Now you're still a bitch. Okay, wait, it looks like you do have something to say what? Yeah, so I feel like I didn't quite finish my thought. Got a little bit distracted. Okay. But what I was saying is when I was in that relationship, that I was kind of unconfident and I ended it because I didn't feel like I was a priority to this person. I got into a relationship right after that was someone who was just kind of always around. And they were a good person, actually really great friend. And I think a great guy. But that was kind of a version of me. I would say settling, because I'd known this person for so long. And I didn't really ever want to date them before it was a friend. It was a friend. I took someone out of the friendzone Yeah, that's tough. It definitely was. It was kind of an achievement for them. Because like wow, I hooked up with Aaron Darlene Yeah, in her moment of vulnerability. Good for you. That's the best time man. Hey, I want to see a movie. Yeah, but you know what, tell me. When I said settling, I didn't even mean that in a bad way. It was just kind of like, everyone around me was confused. Like, what? I don't understand this. But this person, like I had so much fun with them. And that's awesome right there. I know. And I'll never regret taking someone out of the friendzone in that way agreed. We like collaborated on a bunch of things together. We had so much fun. This person cracked me up. Yeah, we like he was really supportive and cool. And ended up not working out for like a series of actually kind of bad reasons. But when the time when it lasted, like dating someone that is a friend that you kind of share a friend group with was so fun. Like we had a blast. Yeah, the breakup was hard, though, because we shared that course. So there were some sides that were taken. And I felt like a lot of it was political considering like, what happened like this person. I'm pretty sure cheated on me. Because someone told someone else told me and was like, Hey, is it okay? If I tell my friend to date, boo, boo, boo, this guy's name here. Because they had so much fun at that party last night. And I just thought it might be awkward if you guys were still seeing each other. And I was like, what? Why would we not be seeing each other? Hold on? Yeah. So basically, someone asked, like, tried to get the download for her friend. Yeah. Right. And so that was a weird breakup. I was really upset about that. I like it. Sorry, pal. And I had some friends. take sides and choose him. That hurts. Yeah. Especially considering how it ended. It really hurt. Right? You hurt a lot. I feel Yeah. And I'm sorry. Yeah. And this is the friendzone guy. Yeah, I took him out of the friendzone. And that makes you have regret for that a little bit? Oh, it was see. That's what I'm saying about settling. That's why you can never settle in relationships. Because even if it's someone that you think you know, or no matter what the circumstances are of the settle of the settler that you let into your life. No matter what happens, if there's a breakup, you're still gonna go through heartache, and you're still gonna have to heal. Yeah, so you might as well be healing from a relationship that you really, really wanted to be in 100% the whole time not someone that you kind of dated because you were heartbroken or they were there or, you know, I've had friends have dated people that are famous just because they thought it was cool to date someone famous. Sure. I was like, you're still settling, it doesn't matter. Because you don't like this person. Really. You don't like how they're treating you. It's kind of gross. You like what they represent? Yeah, it means something to you. And that's all fine. Your choices are fine. But when that person breaks your heart, you're gonna have to heal no matter what. Or at the very least, and it may sound ugly, but if if you're gonna do that, recognize that you're doing that dating, you're just dating this famous person because, yeah, I mean, some, I don't know, that's the thing. It's like, I don't feel I don't feel like I can judge anyone for decisions that they make. Because I think that life is us making decisions to have different experiences, if you should to experience a famous person taking you out, like have that experience. I want it right just to like why not, but you do have to know that no matter who you're dating, or no matter what's going on, like if they end up breaking up with you or you break up with them or whatever. Yeah, the healing happens regardless. So do you want to be healing for a relationship when you're driving down the street and you see their face on the Billboard? I see what you're saying. I got to jump back a while back about 48 minutes ago, you said something about who you were 10 years ago when we met and when we met Aaron. Do you know where we met the store they commit the Spanish for Comedy Store. A store is a word the follow? They go media. Thanks so refreshing my memory. Hold on. I think I'm gonna have a cough attack. Oh we're just gonna roll through it. See, even your cough sounds good. And the microphone. sounded great. I'm not dead. Aaron. Thanks. He's for asking. Are you okay? Oh, good lord. She only cares about herself you have the best little night voice. You have the luckiest boyfriends ever because they get to hear your stupid little night voice. Honestly, I did it. I was waking up from a nap. And I had a night voice today before I came here and I called my boyfriend and he was like, Oh my God. I just wish I was there right now. That's awesome. Yeah, I have a good whispery voice. You do. Yeah, let me try. Okay. All right. Well, I'm gonna affect it too bad, but I'm gonna go for it anyway. Okay. Hey, Aaron, what's going on? Oh, my God. That's horrible. Who are you? I'm done. That's it. That's all I got that was it. Yeah. And then I critiqued myself. Immediately. I thought that was good. Hold on. Now see how that's all it takes is for somebody to like whatever you did for you to change your mind. No, I thought that was good behavior and what's going on part that was good. Yeah, that was a part of his doing. That was good. You have a good night voice to oh, I'm validated and now I feel good. Yeah, thanks, Aaron. darlin, everyone. I always call you darling. And I always feel like, I can't be the only one who does that. Yeah, a lot of people call me. Yeah, it's neat. It's a fun little name to say. Yeah, I love that name. Yeah, darling. Real name, right. Yes, Aaron. So we met at the Comedy Store. And we were doing an open mic night. And wasn't an open mic. It was a show. It was a booked show. What here's how I was told because I was one that was only my second show. And the term that I was told it's called a bringer. Yeah, it was a bringer show. Okay. Yes, you're right. It was not an open mic. That would be that is completely different. That was below us. Yes. Bring are correct. Which are basically open mics with bring your friend comics. Yeah, new comics are your friends pay? Here's what I loved about you. Is your energy at the time. It was everything we've been talking about. You were so confident, and you were working the greenroom like, but not here's the thing. You weren't working the greenroom. You were moving around in the way I saw it. You were making everybody relax. How are you? What do you do bippity bop. And there was part of me that was like, well, maybe she just networking. And it was like even if she's just networking guy. He seems really cool. Which was it? What are you are you? Are you really cool? Or were you? Were you just networking? Who are you? Well, let me say this. That was a decade ago. Yeah. And right now we're recording a podcast. So I mean, what do you think that means you were networking? Well, that's, I feel like I was building relationships. I consider you a friend. Yeah. Worked in a bunch of different capacities together. Yeah. And I think you're the only person. I really remember from that night. I don't remember anybody else. I don't remember anybody else. And you talk about our working relationship. You're right. I just realized because I just had a podcast with me it actually opened my, my podcast, shoes. My first guest is Yeah. And I remember we were talking I was like, we've done 15 shoots together. And then I just realized right now, you're the you're the runner up there. You and I have sat easily, five to 10 times. Yeah, I've referred you for jobs. Yeah. Have someone reach out to me recently asking for good photographers. And album covers, like, I think you've probably you've referred me for castings before. Yeah, brought you in? Yeah, I think that we've done a really good job of like, actually having a relationship. It's neat. And you can give me the honest answer, because I don't give a shit. But I see you more as a friend, even though we do have work ties. And I do help you if I can. And as you just said, you helped me but uh, you're more my friend than you are some sort of work. colleague. I agree. I feel us a friend Tim. Yeah. Yeah, totally. So I don't know. I think it networking is such an interesting thing. Because the word itself just feels so it feels so gross. It feels so like, disingenuous, but I think networking at its best isn't networking. It's building relationships. And I like that, you know, like, you never really know what friendships or relationships are going to pay off. So I think it's always best to not look at them like anything that is going to pay off. I think that you build relationships. Like just imagine every relationship that you're building is something that you will build for 10 plus years. So do you actually want to put in that time because time is precious, right? So do you actually like this person, do you connect with them? Like, could you get lost in the conversation or record a podcast like in their lives? I definitely. As I've gotten older, I've gotten to the point where I know if I if I'm feeling like, do I want to go to this thing? I'll just say, I'm not coming. Yeah, I'm not gonna go. No thanks. It's just gonna SAP whatever energy I have toward my life at that moment. And I'd rather live my own life it. I don't know what I'm saying. But I think I've made my point. Darlene, what is? I like how we were talking now about your confidence and how it's grown in the last 10 years? What was young Aaron? Like? Were you shy? Did you have bullies? Were you a bully? What was your deal? I think all of the above. So little Aaron, was I skipped a grade, what grade kindergarten? Which gives kindergarten silly someone who can read really well. All right, so I was advanced in that category. So they were like, she's ready to be in first grade. Okay, so I went to first grade with the consent of my parents. So I was in kindergarten for maybe three months. So that did a couple of things. One of them being it took me out of my social circle and put me in a new one. Yeah, it also made me really young for my peer group, because I'm also born, like in December, which was like the cutoff date at the time. So it put me two years behind my peer group for the rest of my education life. And it put me in a new situation where I had to learn all new rules. I didn't have like the orientation or the first day of school with everyone else. So sometimes I got in trouble. And also, I'm not advanced across the board. Like I'm not just reading. Yeah, I'm not strong in math. Like there's a lot of subjects that like, I'm mediocre at, I'm okay. Yeah, right. But it put me in a situation where I like really had to hustle ever since I was little to catch up and to learn everything and, and also to make friends and I wasn't necessarily super outgoing as a kid. So that was hard. And I remember feeling like I didn't really have a lot of friends and trying to make them always felt kind of weird. And I remember feeling like I wanted like, I wanted more friends. I wanted like this group of people to like me, and I think that my mom would try to help me. But brownies or dance class. But what about the simple element of day to day where you're eating lunch by yourself? Did kids play with you at recess? No, not I don't really remember that kind of stuff. Like, I don't think I was sitting alone at lunch. Like it's possible on the first day of in first grade. I was in first grade, like no one knew me. And maybe that's what happened. I don't really remember. But yeah, I think that that was kind of hard for me. I think ever since then. I've been hustling, like, ever since I was like five or six. And then I also feel like I kind of there were times when I feel like I was like a little like impatient or just kind of I don't know. I feel like I did have like an attitude for sure. So maybe I was like a little bit of a bully at times as well. I think I don't know, I think I honestly it's so hard to think about what I was going through because I feel like those years for me. Yeah, we're really different than like a lot of other people's experiences. How come because of that, because of getting promoted and having to like start over and like three months in and not really meeting friends. The way that a lot of people would on the first day of school like having to catch up. And then also being really young. Like think of how long that affected me. Like that affected me the most going through puberty. When people started to drive. I can drive for two years. I couldn't drive until the last semester of my senior year. Right? You know what I mean? All of these things. I couldn't date my parents will let me date till I was 16 guess when I was 16. Basically my senior year, like you dated anyway. Right now I'm like fake boyfriends like in you know, like, oh, I have a crush on Jimmy. And you know, you had a weird cartoon voice at the time I did. That also stunted my development. Well, that development came in nice and handy. But yeah, I don't know a lot of people that kind of had like the experience that I had. In that sense. It had to be very specific because I know people that did get jumped up and had to do the same things you're talking about. But you're carrying a lot of weight with it in the storytelling, whereas those people that I know are just like, oh, yeah, I just I skipped a grade. Yeah, I think that it affected me a lot. Yeah, actually, specifically, I think maybe in my work ethic, which I think in many ways has helped me, but in a lot of ways, I think that it has not helped my mental health. How's your mental health today? These days? Are you good? Is it tough? I'm great. You're great. Yeah, good. How are you? I'm better than I've ever been in my life. It's awesome. I got better than I've ever done in my life. That makes me so happy. Yeah. It's all the work. You know what it is, it's all the work we put in you. You do self care. I mean, I know you just talked about chakras and cutting cord ceremonies. Do you? What do you do for yourself care? Anything? So many things? I mean, I feel like self care is, it can be anything Correct? Right? Yeah. Um, but for me, my version of self care, like, I journal a lot. Um, I try now to be way better at listening to my body I used to power through if I was exhausted or tired, I would rely on you know, caffeine. Stimulants to be like, yeah, like, I'm just gonna power through this day, no matter what, yeah, and then get exhausted or not know your time. Yeah, and not be able to sleep at night, because I just had so much caffeine and like, just getting these cycles that weren't doing much for me. And for what like to get some random work done. That doesn't even mean anything long term, you know. So I think listening to my body has been really important, just like listening to my spirit and my thoughts by meditating. And by journaling. And then I think just really like, like, understanding that. And this one was really hard for me. But I think one of the biggest things that has changed my life is understanding that there are certain things that are really out of my control. And life is a series of experiences that I think are meant to be enjoyed. Yeah, awesome. So if I'm not enjoying my day to day life, if I'm stressing myself out, or just like focused on some random work that isn't necessarily life changing, it's not like I'm writing my opus right now. I'm like, turning in a writer's packet for an assignment. You know what I mean? It's like, those things are so temporal. So make sure that you are still getting out into nature, like, yeah, look up at the sky. See, the stars, like have the moments, go to dinner, like make the time to have the nice dinner with a glass of wine that you wanted to try, like, the time for the moments. It's one of the things I miss most without, without being able to drive is the nature of visits going out to the beach, looking at the stars, going to the, you know, a hike somewhere? I don't really go on hikes, but you know what I mean? And, but I still find my way, you know, I make up for it by getting outside and doing whatnot. But yeah, when you said looking up at the stars, it's like, Fuck, I just missed miss being able to drive to the beach at night and chill. Yeah, that's, I think that's what I'm trying to say is, yeah, life is unpredictable. You're not in control of a lot of it. So make time for the moments. I was talking to a friend last night who hadn't seen in about two years who told me a story and I had no idea that this had happened to them, but they were in a really weird freak accident. That happened while they were driving in their car hydroplaned on the freeway scariest thing in the world, right turned around and they ended up hitting like a senator divide but they were on the shoulder. The airbags deployed, they didn't know it was going to happen. They couldn't see if anything was coming their way if they're going to get hit by a truck or a car. And they ended up being okay. Thank God. Yeah. But obviously the car was totaled and that sucks. But I just think like about the stuff like that can happen. You never know when it's gonna happen. Yeah, and that's just from driving and it starts to rain. You know, like, like, yeah, there's something so innocuous so innocuous and something like you have to get home like you're doing something you have to drive home you know, like it just happened. Yeah. And to me that story is just like damn like that. There's never know you talk about that never know stories. I have a friend Who just today I found out, was having breakfast yesterday had a little cafe by herself and was attacked by, you know somebody on drugs and started punching her. And she had, like, I had to be pulled off and she had to go to the hospital. She's okay. But, you know, here you are just having your coffee, enjoying the beautiful day outside and next thing you know you're attacked. You just never know what's gonna happen. That's awful. Horrible. Yeah. And I bring it up because it's completely different, but still the same idea as the hydroplane. It's just like, you're just driving down the road and all of a sudden, wet oil. Boom. I mean, thank God that, you know, obviously the attack. Awful, but thank God she was okay. Because who knows that person could have had a weapon. Like There sure are things that could have gone way worse. That was also completely out of her control. You know? 100% Thank the Lord. She's all right. So scary ones last time. You were really scared. Really scared? Yeah. Like really, really, really scared? Oh, I don't. I don't know how to. I don't know. God. What a great question to think about though, but I couldn't. Can't give you the answer right now. Because it just was so long ago. Yeah, I don't think I have a great answer to that question. Right off the top of my head was last time you were mildly scared. There's often times you know, I live in the buzz of Hollywood. And so sometimes you'll walk outside and you're like, Okay, what's this guy gonna do? How much? How much? Do I have to pretend like I'm a badass? Don't mess with me? Or are you just gonna keep walking? And so that's where you're kind of, like, I'll take care of myself, I got no problem with that. But at the same time, I can't deny that I'm mildly scared that something's gonna happen. Yeah, I've I used to run a lot out in the streets. And I'm not even meaning that just like a saying, like, in the streets. I mean, like, I would literally run in the streets of Hollywood, I would like, put on my jogging shoes, and just, like do laps around Hollywood Boulevard and during, like, through through this area, but honestly, I had to stop doing this. Three years ago, because Hollywood has become so scary. And people do attack other people. And I remember times, just like, you know, I'd be on a jog or something. And he'd be, like, running right next to a homeless person or an encampment. I mean, I remember sometimes being kind of freaked out about that. Because sometimes these people like really, like really look at you. And you can tell that they're not really there, or they're on some sort of drugs, right? And it never really scared me that much. Because I was like, I can run whatever. But the problem is like, that's, like a really unfair assumption, I think, because I don't know what that person is going to do. And I don't know what they have. And I don't know, you know, how aggressive they are and who they think I am. You know, they're just like, oh, is my enemy. And thing for me is it's not like we're in a gang land, if you will. These people that are on the streets that are hurt you in Hollywood, are people who are on drugs and don't know better. It's a different animal, for sure. And I would definitely advise you, I'm glad you're not juggling the streets of Hollywood. Yeah, not anymore. I had to get a gym membership. So Oh, yeah. I miss exercising on the streets. Just kidding. I don't scratch Hollywood. I don't recommend you can go to Hollywood High School and run the track. I guess that's possible. I mean, it's a thing. But yeah, you get in there. Yeah. Like you just walk up and you're just like dT dt. I'm here. I'm not sure why you would make that little dT d dt. Sound me knocking on this chain link fence dT dt dt. I see. I didn't know that was the tune of a chain link fence. Yeah, I don't know how to make the chain link fence. No, I would imagine you've got to hop the fence. Oh, God, that sounds terrible. Okay, you're athletic. You can hop a fence. Yeah, but I also wear leggings and they're expensive and I don't want to rip them. Throw up. What if you were buying $100 Liking oh, by the way, what they cost the Why don't you buy some legs from pantyhose. What? See through tights. No. You have to buy something. That's the problem. But if you buy low quality leggings you wash them twice they start to fall apart or the ask at sea through and that's bad you know? Especially if you're gonna run the track at a frickin High School okay settle down then bring it down just a notch rank see through clothes at a frickin High School with minors and shit. No All right I got you get arrested you definitely wound up. I will tell you this. I see a lot of stuff for you ladies on the Tiktok through Amazon that seem like they're pretty good. And then for low prices. Okay, now he's now he's an expert on women's clothes. I'm an expert on not buying Lulu bizarre for $100 Yeah, it's got you got French mustard. Aaron, do you smoke cigars? No, like never had one once. I have tried a cigar. But why? Why would I ask her? Why would you try one? Why would you ask me this question? Aaron, you strike me as somebody who's so adventurous and gregarious. I could see you chillin at a happy hour somewhere smoking a cigar. Where where are these cigar happy hours. I've never even seen this before. All right before the day, you could smoke cigars in an outdoor patio. Imagine me just outside like somewhere I could totally. Yes. Hey guys, cigar. So like, Oops. I'm not sure where your sound effects come from. Do you know where do you know? Wait, would you smoke a cigar? Yeah, I mean, I would try when I don't like smoking a lot of things to be honest. I'm very, very sensitive. Okay, sensitive health wiser, sensitive. moralistically. What do you mean, emotionally? That's true. Um, no, I'm sensitive. Like, I'm sensitive to smoke. I'm sensitive to allergens. And energetically like, whoa, whoa, you walk into my this room you like have a bad vibe. Yeah, I will feel it. I can see that. I think that's true of a lot of artists. I feel it. I can tell if somebody's got, like, I don't want to be near that person. Yeah, like when when I parked in the parking structure? What happened? Well, I walked up to you. And you asked me a question. I think you were like, how are you feeling? Yeah. And I was like, Oh, he knows I'm having a bad vibe right now. I was stressed out, I was stressed out. First of all, I could traffic, I could tell that you had weight on your shoulders. But you would you would explain to everything that was going on at that time with you. So I knew. Let me ask you this. I want to I want to these are two important questions I want to approach with you. Who do you have in your life right now that you're extremely grateful to have that they're there? Wow. Well, my dad, it's Father's Day today. Yes. And I have the joy and the pleasure in this lifetime, to have the most amazing family. But today in particular, I'm thinking about my dad, and the ways that he had shown so much love and generosity and patience for me. And really everyone in our family and probably most people he encounters even casually Yeah, he's a very loving person. He gives a lot of himself going. I'm not necessarily he, I mean, he's very social. But he's, I feel like he kind of has like an more internal energy. He's outgoing in the sense that like, he loves talking to people. But when he talks to you, he really makes you feel heard and seen. He doesn't check out like he listens and he engages and he will talk to you back. Right. And I love the openness that he has. And the older that I get, the more I get to experience that especially when I come to him with vulnerability or with questions or things I'm facing and things that stress me out. The more open he has been with his personal experiences. And sometimes I realize we don't always really know our parents, like, some parents don't feel really comfortable. Yeah, opening up in certain ways. Some of them I think it's because they don't, they don't realize they can, because we don't let them we don't let them know that we don't let them be human. Yes. And I think sometimes like they feel like they need to be so strong. And you know, I feel like my mom has that my mom has this air about her of shows you to tell me when I was little like I'm not your friend. I'm your mom. That's true, though. And I feel like it's still like that and now the older I I got the more I want her to be my friends fucking you know what tell her and I should tell her what you just told me. Yeah, I want her to be my friend I want to know about, you know, her life and her past experiences and how she feels about her day to day existence. And I agree, you know, and I like an in a real level. I feel like sometimes people talk in platitudes, or, you know, can they dance around the subject, but yeah, especially parents. Yes. And I would just like love to know, like, just be real, like, level with me. Like, what do you really? Like, why is this important to you? Or like, why does that bother you? And don't clam up? Tell me. Tell me. I can see something's on your mind. Yeah. Why is it so hard sometimes to get to know? People like that? Sometimes even the people closest to you? It's really hard to get it is weird. I always say that to other people that it's I feel like sometimes it's so much easier to be open with a stranger. Yeah. Yeah. It's weird. Yeah. What about you? Somebody that's important in my life. I'm grateful for you know who it is. It's my brother. My brother's great. He used to we used to have a truculent relationship. And, and he's, he's turned a coat. I've turned a coat. And I really enjoy His company. I just told him yesterday. I was because he was here. I was like, Dude, I really enjoy you. So thank you for allowing yourself and for allowing me oh, you should start a podcast with him and call it truculent. turncoats. Man would want to hear two people. Good Lord, it can be ahead. All right, I'm gonna do it. Check Hewlett turncoat via the fighting Podcast Network. Darling. I'll produce it. It'll just be your 18th podcast. Yeah, I'll just hold up signs in the corner of topics that you can fight about. You run out of things to say it was just died down. I don't know that we would need an additional list. I think our the list that we have would be would be just fine. Okay, we'd start with airing out all of your grievances. There we go. There we go for a while. But it's awesome. We do. We have talked about our grievances before. And it's nice. It's nice. You know, when you turn and when you're vulnerable with yourself, you're vulnerable with everybody. And how people respond to you is who you give them in the first place. And so that's that's kind of what's happened. That's nice. We both are very vulnerable with each other. How people respond to you is who you give them in the first place. Right? Not what you give them. It's who you give. Wow, who am I giving today? I like who you are. That makes one of us. Just kidding, just kidding. defies everything you just said all the whole time you've been here. Alright, I got one more question. And I'm gonna let you go. So we just asked you who you're grateful for. Right? Yes. So who that exists? That's still alive. Do you miss right now? That's not around. That's not around. Oh, someone that's still alive. They miss Yeah. Damn. Doo doo doo doo. I know. I feel like it needs second to answer that. That's right. Okay, so I'll tell you what I was thinking. There's a person in my life, or who was in my life, who I did have feelings of missing them. But I think it was a connection that needed to end. And I think the pain of ending it was what made me feel like I missed them. But I've done so much healing surrounding that situation, that I don't feel as if I miss them anymore. I don't. And I think that's really, really good for me. But there were times when I thought it was very difficult to differentiate between the whole you know, do I actually miss them? Or is this like trauma? Yep. Because a lot of time, you're right. It's just trauma. And there's a difference. And I think we have to remember that, especially when it comes to like our own personal healing. And I think that's what people mean when they say, choose yourself, prioritize yourself, focus on yourself if you're going through a breakup or hard time or whatever it is. Because choosing yourself sometimes means like, doing that work to realize, like I am better off now or that was a trauma bond or this was dysfunctional, and it's better for me to be outside of it, then to be inside of it. And I think that's what that is. That's choosing you. Okay, that's focusing on you. And I think focusing on you doesn't mean to be an island. It doesn't mean to exclude other people. It doesn't mean to necessarily cut people off or make these forever decisions. But I think choosing you means making the best choices for you and your well being every single day. Love that right? Yeah, having no shame about it. Yeah. And you know what, Aaron, you really have to, in my opinion, because it's only going to make you better for everybody else. And within that, of course, you're going to be better for yourself. You know what, I'm gonna miss this screensaver. You can take it with you if you want. Is it on YouTube? Yeah. Okay, then. I guess I'll have it wherever I go. Well, then you don't need me anymore. I'm coming to bummed out. To come here if I want to watch. Yeah, it was agreed under the gun and done. Aaron, I hope you had fun. I had a lot of fun. Thank you for having me on your podcast. This is a great idea. I like it. I'm glad you were here. Yeah, me too. Aaron can show Andrew to take us out. Andrew, take us out all right, you guys. Thanks for coming out. That was awesome. We're gonna be back in a couple of weeks. So hopefully you'll join us then. And if you feel so inclined, please leave a positive review on any of your, your favorite platforms. And if you didn't like us, of course, this is Xavier McGillicuddy signing out for today. It's Michael Vieyra. You knucklehead See you later