Laughing So Hard: Why I Love the Bloggess


Life is not easy. That's a lesson we learn over and over and over, until sometimes we simply want to wave the white flag, get on our knees and beg for mercy. Or cry uncle. Or curse uncontrollably.

Although Jenny Lawson's delightfully funny book will make you laugh till you pee a little, it isn't because she doesn't know this reality about life not being easy. It's because she knows it all too well.

My introduction to The Bloggess was her metal chicken Beyonce post (topped only by this post), where she messes with her husband Victor. I love Victor only second to Jenny. They have a delightful relationship where he plays the straight man to Jenny's antics, in a similar way to how Rick handles all of my shit (with a long-suffering sigh and shake of the head and often a "What the fuck?").

This week was the girls and my spring break, although it did not feel much like a break, as I graded for hours every day through Thursday afternoon and continue to answer student emails. It was also a week that was capped with attending the funeral for one of my students, a 20 year old young man who had so much ahead of him and who, in his short time on earth, managed to touch many lives. It was a heart-heavy week, in many ways, and not just because of the unexpected loss of a student.

Life isn't easy. I'm reminded of this each and everyday as people I know and care about face obstacles that often seem insurmountable.

Life isn't easy. I'm reminded of it as members of my family struggle with what life throws at them, curve balls that often appear out of nowhere.

Life isn't easy. I'm reminded of that as I work each day to deal with my various issues and challenges, and learn to release ballast so that I can remain afloat.

But life is rich and profound and majestic, if you just hold on. It hurts like a son of a bitch and often has you jumping up and down to avoid the hot coals underneath your feet or the puppy teeth at your ankles and toes.

Jenny Lawson gets this. Her book is full of belly laughs and tears, some of which occur simultaneously. Her book got me through this week. Made me laugh more than cry. Made me feel less alone. Made me grateful to be alive.

Gratitude for that, for her ability to share her both her zaniness and her issues, her struggles with depression, with generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks--to know that there is in fact a tribe (her words) of us out there, that we are not alone: that kind of kinship fills in empty spaces, lonely places (the way my closest friends help me each and every day).

It cannot be easy (and is not, I know), to bare that much of oneself for the world to see. The world is not a nice place far too often, but the chance to meet others who struggle with similar issues, who cope with laughter and oddity and obsessions, is priceless and more than makes up for those who would use that vulnerability to attack.

If you've never heard of the bloggess, (and you're my friends, so I suspect you have), give her blog a place in your day--you'll laugh, I promise, and her book a place on your shelf.

I used to pull out William Shatner when I needed a laugh or an uplift, but I am thrilled to know that I can also pull out Jenny Lawson, too, on those down days.


Thank you, Jenny, for that. As much as my family loves Shatner, they are not as fond of his "music" as I am, so reading your blog and book is much easier on their ears.

My chicken's not as big or as bold, but my husband reacted similarly. Thank heavens for husbands that are long-suffering (and who actually think we're pretty cool, even if we're also pretty effed-up, too).


Opal L said...

I adore The Bloggess. I too found her post about the giant chicken and wound up spending hours that day reading her past posts. I love her red dress movement and how open she is to everyone on the days that she just isn't able to be funny. I too deal with depression and reading her blog has been a salve on an old wound.

K Wombles said...

Opal L, Th Bloggess does good work--speaking openly and honestly about depression is so important--we stand together, stronger for the sharing.