Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A cloying mess of thank you + a video made by Lolly

Well, wow.

I'm not sure what happened yesterday. I wasn't expecting to write such an insecure-sounding post. But I'm glad I did, because your comments and emails were so, so refreshing and helpful. 

I'm probably not going to be able to describe to you how relieving it was to have so many of you share your thoughts yesterday. The answers varied, but there was a general theme of people being truly kind and welcoming and open and patient and accepting and loving. As I read your responses and suggestions, I realized that many of you guys actually know me. Thank you for that. Thank you for reading and for getting to know me. Thank you for being supportive and kind. I consider you all friends, and I have really, really fond feelings for you. (Sorry to be so cheese-dog, but I'm really feelin' it right now.) There have been times over the last year when I felt like I was a laughing-stock, where I felt like I was bearing my soul to an audience ready to pounce on me and attack anything I had to say, just looking for the first thing to criticize--and it's no wonder I didn't feel safe posting with that image in my mind. Your responses yesterday proved that to be so, blessedly wrong. Your comments were a like tender conversation with a good friend--kind and loving, filled with good advice and acceptance, ending in a warm hug.

I can't tell you how much I needed that right now. 

Yesterday gives me the courage and comfort to pour myself into this blog. It gives me the courage to speak. It gives me the courage to open up and continue to be vulnerable, putting my words and pictures and family and precious things and deep thoughts and not-so-deep thoughts out there. There is more I have to say--I have more to offer than humorous ditties. There are posts that are written, important posts, that are in my draft folder because I was starting to let fear overtake me. I was forgetting you exist--this group of people that is so kind and giving and wonderful. This group that actually cares about me and my life; that wants what's best for me and my family; that wants me to reach deep and just be myself. Knowing you are out there, even if things get dicey and controversial, helps me to feel the courage I need to keep "keepin' it real". And I know that, statistically, for every person who left a supportive comment, there are many more who are silently supportive and loving and caring and amazing. Thanks to all of you as well.

I hope nobody has gotten sick to their stomach reading this cloying mess of "thank you" but I wanted to make sure I expressed it and expressed it well. Thank you for being you. It helps me to be me. 

In closing--and completely changing the subject--here's a video of the girls after they find a dead bird. 

I love how Viva doesn't want to show me at the end. She probably knows it would make me sad, as the death of birds generally does...is it weird that I also take spiders outside and let them live instead of squashing them?

All right peeps. Sleep well. And thanks again. 






32 comments:

  1. I'm the same way with spiders and other bugs. Except for mosquitos and black widows. Those suckers can die.

    In college, my roommates were less civilized, so we'd let my boyfriend handle it. He chased out several wasps (mostly because the rest of us hid).

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  2. I think there is something about the dynamic that is worth pondering, Josh.

    Look - the way the blog technology is structured, you write and there are responses down the line, but, as you experienced, it is sort of one way-ish - certainly all of the initiative is structured over in your corner.

    So I'm wondering - I mean, the technology is just how we use it, it's just like a pencil or pen or typewriter with the limitations of any tool - what can be built into the way the blog conversation goes so that you can experience more of the genuine contact with your readers that your last post evoked. I don't think this is something that would just be good for you - good communication is empowering to everyone, those "in" it and those witnessing it as well.

    I'm not saying drop all the light stuff - but just - how can some more qualitative feed-back loop be built in so that you get more reminders of who WE are, just as we get more reminders of who YOU are.

    I think that's why we are all still here - because there are aspects of the essential nature of our beings that belong together and respect one another across the board. So the goal is to allow those parts of us to have access to that sense of community and respect in a genuine way, whether we are contemplating the mysteries of the universe, or discussing cake, not that I'm suggesting there is really a difference....

    Just saying.

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    1. I agree with Judith. Blogging seems to be a one-way street. I often read your blog but never post anything, mostly because I'm a little shy (go figure, I have a blog of my own)-and mostly ADD as well. But there's another blog I follow that has "guest posts" in which he receives a post in an email, previews it and then puts it up on his blog so others can read it. In a way that helps us all know that we're all on the same road here, we've got our own bumps and detours, but its all the same. It's just taking Judith's pondering to another level, but honestly I don't think you need to do it. I love reading about you and your family.

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  3. Maybe you had to be a "gay mormon" for so long that you forgot that 99% of the world doesn't see you that way. It's only the bigots that want to hold you into a pattern that doesn't define you, it only illuminates. Being who you are on the web is always scary. A big hug to you for going through everything you have. As the songsters like to say "the worst is over". Now it's time to make small differences instead of big ones.

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  4. Hey, thanks for saying that. I am one of the statistics who support you but didn't say anything yesterday. One reason I didn't was that others had already said much of what I thought; the other was that *I* was afraid of sounding cheesy, and possibly stalker-ish. I *do* feel like I know you, and I love you and care about you. But my own voices-in-the-head say, That's crazy. He's a man in a blog. You've never met. And why would he care? You're a stranger. And now he's a celebrity.

    For some reason, I feel ridiculously vulnerable posting this, but I guess I'll take the plunge. Blog about whatever, whenever. I think you are a big support to a lot of people, for all different reasons. Thank you from the lurkers, as well as the posters. :>

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    1. yep. I lurked and though about how to respond, but for totally similar reasons didn't. Because of vulnerability, and stuff. But yes, I do feel weirdly like a friend. Because of similarities (beat myself up for not blogging, being productive, getting distracted, trying to write (and in my case also illustrate), being a Mormon who more liberal and open-minded than many around me.. you know. things. And I really admire you courage in being so real and open. It is freaking hard, and it takes its toll on your psyche. So, yes you are right about the silent supporters Josh. And when the thank you's are real and sincere, they aren't overbearing and cheesy. Just be you. That is why we're still around. Because we like you for who you are.

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  5. AuntSue
    Isn't it revealing, when we gave you overwhelming support, now you see that your reluctance to post your blogs was really fear of negative responses. We do love and support you. We love your silly children stories and your deep thoughts. We eagerly read your posts to brighten our day, whether that is with a chuckle or an illuminating message. When you bare your soul about your imperfections, we feel free to accept our own. Thank you, for just being you, and sharing yourself with the rest of us.

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  6. Ditto everything elden just said. <3 There are a lot of us who are quiet, but we read and love just the same.

    -Anne

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  7. I just wanted to add that I really enjoyed the Wednesday check-ins. They really made me feel more connected to this community. You're awesome. I will read whatever you write!

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  8. Your girls are so adorable, and I love Lolly's reaction too. :) I am not entirely sure what I would do in that situation... my reaction would probably be a lot like your girls, except the getting close to it part. Mostly just the 'get rid of it' part. :) Dead animals, and bugs are some things I like to steer clear of. There was a spider on the wall near my bathroom a few weeks ago, and I started to call for my dad, begging for him to come kill the thing. He refused... and I stood there for 15 minutes, watching this huge spider not move. My daughter came over and watched him too (and my reaction to it). Until I finally got the nerve (and a big enough shoe) to kill it. Imminent spider threat: Averted.
    The fact that you take spiders outside so they can live is noble and endearing (and courageous to me!). I wish I could be like that, but I don't have the nerve to stay that close to a spider long enough to carry it outside. There is a wonderful excerpt from one of my favorite books, about this very thing.. "Phantom," by Susan Kay. Just a thought. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  9. I too am on a don't kill animals kick. Drives my kids nuts.

    This was influenced early by 'Elrond McKenzie' from the album 'Great White North'. You can hear the track here:

    http://musicmp3.ru/artist_bob-and-doug-mckenzie__album_great-white-north.html#

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  10. Don't let the 1% dictate how you do your blog. I love reading it.

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  11. "It's SO dead." My favorite line :)

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  12. OH my gosh that video is hilarious! I love your kids! I would have just pushed the bird into my neighbors lawn :)

    though regarding the thank you section I love that you are so real and very sympathetic. I want to become a therapist and I see other therapists and they seem to have the "perfect life" and here I am living in a chaotic mess of things. So I'm REALLY glad and grateful to hear that therapists are real people and that you're a real person with a fun and chaotic life like mine. I really was starting to feel like an oddball out here.

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  13. I can SOOO relate to what Elden said above... all of it.

    Josh, there are so many of us who have come to feel like we know you and love you. I often think of you as "my friend Josh Weed." Strange, perhaps, since we've never met in person but it seems you've had that effect on a lot of people. Through your writing, we feel your heart, we feel your sincerity, and you bless our lives. I think you have a lot more friends than you realize!

    Oh, and I don't think it weird that you put spiders outside. I think it shows what a loving heart you have.

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  14. I love how Viva says "fink" instead of think. I remember my boys doing that too. Such cute girls!

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  15. "draft folder" - as I read this I remembered you announcing a post about pornography. I was so curious about it and still want to read it!

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  16. 1st I'll comment on the video- SO cute and funny! Our kids are just about grown, only 1 at home who is a senior in High School. I remember vividly these types of events. You'll look back on this one day, not so far away...and see those sweet young faces and miss it.

    On your posts, your blog: Thank you from all of us who are secretly dealing with the struggles of a mixed orientation marriage. I found you while praying for "encouragement and guidance" after my husband came out about his homosexuality. I swear I don't even know what I googled but there you were. Just what I needed when I needed it. That's what God does though right? Your words about your desire to lead the life you want to lead, to have the family you deserve in spite of what your attractions are is exactly what I heard from my husband. His struggle is more complicated though because he was sexually abused.

    To keep this from becoming its own blog I'll simply say: Please continue to write the REAL stuff. People like us need to see the normal stuff and the no so normal stuff and to hear from a real person who's out of the closet that you can choose how you live your life and you can truly be happy! Your struggle is truly a gift. Please continue to use to inspire, encourage and even crack up the rest of us. God Bless you and your entire family.

    Lolly- you are a strong, beautiful woman who really understands life, love and God's blessings. Thank you for helping other women like me on those days we're not sure which way is up!

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  17. I had an extremely busy day yesterday, so didn't get a chance to comment. I started following your blog after your coming out post - and it was that post that was my reason for doing so. As a new follower, I did find it odd to be reading the posts about your family etc, sort of like, isn't it just a little creepy that I'm reading stories about a stranger's kids? But at the same time, I am grateful that you do post that stuff. I'm not married, I don't have kids. My parent's divorced when I was 4 years old, and both had subsequent long term relationships/marriages that have also ended in disaster. So I don't really know much about what its like to live in a real family setting. But I've gotten of glimpses of both the joys and the challenges of marriage and raising kids from your blog. It is something I'd like one day. Your posts about being gay are interesting and give me hope as a LDS member who does struggle with same-sex attraction sometimes. Your posts about ADD aren't so relavent to me, but they have made me more aware of the challenges people who are affected by it face, so maybe I can be more understanding if/when I come across those who do struggle with it. I never really knew much about it at all before. When people mentioned it, I'd think of hyperactive kids, I didn't even know adults could have it. Your funny posts make me laugh - even if sometimes its a bit of a 'lame' laugh. (Don't worry, my father has the lamest sense of humour ever). But even those posts, still somehow bring a smile to my face. They brighten my day somehow. I always get excited when I wake up and check my emails in the morning, and there is message from 'The Weed' telling me there is a new post. Out of all the things I'm subscribed to and get notification emails for, The Weed is the only one for which I open every single email, for which I read every single post. And while I know you're busy (and your ADD doesn't help) I do miss your posts when there hasn't been one for a few weeks. I wonder where you are and I hope everything is going ok for you. I don't comment on a lot on your posts, but I do read them and appreciate them.

    So please don't give up on the blog, your posts, even the ones of lame ramblings that take place in your head, do make a difference. :)

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  18. hey Josh.

    I just watched you and Lolly on Mormon Stories, Voice(s) of Hope and a few clips here and there. but I basically spent almost four hours listening to you.
    then I saw another clip of some folks being distrustful, but then I thought "you so do not now the Weeds"..

    now I'm not claiming to know you that well, but I praise God for using you as His witnesses to bless so many other people all around the globe. and that is something we can give Him glory and be thankful for.

    I'm not a good writer. as you see, this is a rather short post. but I'll end this with some of the less quoted words from the famous chapter of 1. Corinthians 13. :)
    "
    For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
    "

    Be blessed, Brother (and Sister :) ).


    Mark

    ps: I'm an Indonesian living in Germany. so I meant it when I wrote "global". :D

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    1. btw, I watched the videos a couple of days ago. not just now.
      not that it's that important an information to tell you now. :p

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  19. You mentioned you hoped noone got sick to their stomach reading your grateful acknowledgment of our support, love and understanding of you. I have to admit, I'm feeling a little queesy but I think it's because I just ate Hamburger Helper for the first time in like 24 years AND then saw a dead bird hanging over the top of your fence. Poor birdie :-(. Such cute girls! We just buried my 8-year-old's first pet last week (a bunny rabbit) so it's a little close- deep breath. That was a really strange place and position to die, huh Lolly? Ack!
    I'm glad you've been reassured that it's ok to do this blog however you like. Deep, funny - it's ALL good and ALL kinds of real. I personally feel very safe here even when things get a little heated. You have a gift for teaching and sharing in a way that is both illuminating and disarming of subjects previously gone uncharted. And that's because we know you're real and you've allowed yourself to be vulnerable. I also think you have professional xperience and are learning so much in your field that you need to share and get some things out there that are important for us all to hear.

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  20. This spring my daughter found a dead baby bird on the sidewalk and she was devastated. So I got her sand toys and managed to shovel the bird into a napkin and she wanted to bury it under a rock and she colored on the rock in crayon RIP Baby Bird. Both these things violate the lease because you're not supposed to mess with any of the gardening stuff. And then she was like "Mommy can you say a pwayew fow the baby bowd?" and I DID IT!!! I'm an atheist and I broke my several year non praying streak for a dead bird! Not even a child with cancer I tell you! But it was so touching to see her express compassion for one of God's creatures I couldn't not do it.
    I'm glad you're back to blogging.

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  21. LOVE all of this. Especially the video and the fact that Viva wanted to protect you from the heartbreak. How come we have NEVER noticed the similarity between you and Blake saving spiders and being sad at dead animals?? Viva will already be good at protecting his poor sensitive heart :)

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  22. One more comment-- This one is for Lolly-

    What a fabulous Mom! I love that you grabbed a camera, plastic tupperware, and went to investigate the situation. You didn't brush it off and expect Dad to brush it into the trash when he gets home. (Maybe because he would cry) Or hit it with a broom to knock it back onto the neighbor's side of the fence. You talked to your kids about it, learned their feelings and emotions, and had a great moment with your girls. Talk about a great mom. Don't forget how much your girls are learning from you constantly. They are such happy girls, and are so lucky to be Weeds. Love you lots.

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  23. So. My husband and I made a couple of tiny humans who's lives are so entirely dependent upon my not being online everyday that I (sadly) missed that post. (Let it be known that the day before I'd logged on specifically to check whether or not you'd written a new post.) However, if I'd seen it, I'm sure my response would have been similar to the responses given. I love your blog so much! I reference you and your family a lot which is sometimes awkward when I realize that the people I'm talking to don't know you like I 'know' you.

    I tend to relate a lot to the posts about your family and kids. (My family is somewhat similar except we seem to be only capable of producing male type children. If you'd be so kind as to send me girl vibes, it'd be much appreciated.) but I love the more serious 'here let me tell you what I've figured out about life' kind of posts as well.

    You are awesome. Thanks for posting. Thanks for keeping it real. Thanks for connecting so many different kinds of people and voices and getting us all talking and thinking. Thank you for changing minds and hearts by being willing to be so vulnerable. It's a brave and selfless thing you're doing. I always love seeing that you've posted again!

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  24. I especially love how the girls' reaction to the bird in the tupperware goes back and forth between "EW!" and "Let ME see!"

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  25. Um, probably a cat killed it and was leaving it there for later and you guys just stole that cats snack. RUDE.

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  26. I saw a dead bird yesterday and thought of this video and your cute girls!! :)

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