This is my house.

The greatest gift in the world is to grant a kindness to another. The amazing thing though is that the aforementioned gift is one you give yourself. It may be a small thing. Leaving a flower for the tired woman at the coffee shop. Telling a stranger that they have such kind eyes. Listening happily to a story told by an elderly friend or relative who has told you the same story a million times. Nodding in solidarity even when you don’t completely understand. Letting a friend or a stranger yell hurtful things at you because you hope it will help them let go of a small part of that anger…that it will open up room in them for the greater things that they deserve.

This is the way the world goes. Small, mean acts affect the next person who in turn amplify that anger or sadness and take it out on others who suffer as well. Then small, kind acts of grace work their magic and pull the world back into balance. Those acts echo into the world. They reverberate long after we are gone. And sometimes? Sometimes they bounce back to us in unexpected ways.

I’ve been writing for years and it’s only in the last year that I’ve let myself feel bad about what I write. Well, not about what I write exactly. I write about my life. I write funny stories that I hope make people smile. I write books that I hope make others laugh loudly and inappropriately in airplanes. I write honestly about difficult things I’m haunted with, like depression or self-harm. And occasionally I veer off into strange waters where I don’t quite know if I’m the best person to say something, but I know that I’m the best person to say the things that I think. You sometimes get small glimpses of those things but in such light amounts you could be forgiven for missing them. If you look closely you probably know that I’m a feminist. That I’m a big supporter of gay rights.  That I don’t believe in church but do believe in God. That I believe racism is institutional and exists far deeper than we see. That I don’t deal well with authority. That I have eternal hope in goodness. That I am quick to anger and quicker to forgive and that I don’t believe in picking sides because the world is flexible and moving and ever changing. The only side I pick is the one with less assholes, but even that is fluid because people change. Sometimes the assholes are later the people who have come so far, and who we revere for their ability to change. Sometimes we find that our heroes were undercover assholes, hiding amongst us until they let down their guard. Sometimes the assholes are us. In fact, if you aren’t prepared to recognize that occasionally you will look back at your life and think, “Wow. That was a real dick move. What the shit, me?” then you are the most dangerous of all the assholes.

This is a long post but in my defense I’ve been very quiet for the last week while I sorted this out.  I do have a point and I’m coming to it.

In the time I’ve been writing I’ve had thousands of people send me emails or links or tweets asking if I would weigh in on something, or support their cause, or ask everyone I know to donate to their personal fund or charity. I’ve read other blog posts by friends who tell me if I don’t write about their personal beliefs then it means I don’t care. Then I remind myself that if someone would potentially not know where I stand if I’m not screaming it on my blog then perhaps they aren’t as good a friend as I thought. I’m asked to stand up for people being bullied. I’m asked to stand up for the other people who are being censored and being called bullies. I hear:

“How can you not go to our Gay Pride parade when you yourself are bisexual?”

“Today is International Suicide Awareness day. Why aren’t you promoting it?  Don’t you care?”

“You’ve spent time in wheelchairs and hospital beds from your autoimmune disease so why aren’t you promoting our walkathon for chronic pain awareness?”

“If you don’t publicly take a stand against racism on every platform you have then you are a racist.”

“If you don’t write about 9/11 every year the terrorist win”.

“If you don’t write a post explaining that most Muslims are peaceful and lovely then their blood will be on your hands if they are killed.”

“If you don’t write about my personal version Jesus Christ then you’re sentencing your readers to everlasting hell.”

“If you don’t promote my kickstarter about my journey to adopt 56 Chinese orphans then all orange kittens will spontaneously lose all their legs.”

These are all real things said to me in the last year, except for the last one which I suspect is probably just stuck in my spam filter.

Here’s the deal.  I just can’t. I can’t use this blog to tell you that testing makeup on animals is bad or that if we don’t reduce our carbon footprint our children will suffer the consequences. I don’t have the stamina or willpower to denounce every shitty thing in the world that I assume everyone else here already agrees with. I don’t have the strength to write about ISIS and kidnappings and poverty and children starving and bombs and other terrible things because I know I will become fixated and depressed and unable to function.  I know my limits and I know that without self-care I will fall into those dark holes of depression where I’m no help to anyone.

And I’m okay with that because I don’t have to tell you that Nazis are bad and mass murderers are fuckheads and that racism is bullshit and suicide should be avoided and rape is shitty and water is wet and cats will scratch you if given enough time. This is all common sense. If I have to say this out loud for you to get those things then you are in the wrong place. Mostly because I’m typing and so I can’t say anything out loud, but also because if you know me, you already know these things. We may disagree on the finer points. I may have a looser definition of what it means to be a feminist. I’m in the middle ground when it comes to gun control so if I ever decide I’m educated enough to have a salient point of view worth sharing out loud we may disagree. I suspect I view racism as being more of a problem than the average American (or average white Southerner at least) and occasionally I’ll say something about it and lose followers…both those who are angry that I believe racism is systemic and deep-seated, and those who agree but who are mad that I don’t say even more. And that’s okay. Sometimes they come back, later, with open minds and less fear or anger. Sometimes they are replaced by others who are here to laugh and smile at the ridiculousness that comes out of my head. Sometimes (mostly) it’s read and then forgotten. Just one tiny voice in a world that won’t shut up. In a world so busy speaking that it can’t hear.

I had a point and I’ve strayed from it a bit but this is it: I appreciate the links and suggestions and tweets and probably half the time my posts come from something one of you has sent me because you know me and you know what fuels me. I read what you’ve sent me and laugh or cry or learn. Sometimes I write about it.  Sometimes I keep it for myself.  Sometimes there isn’t a better way to say it so I’ll just retweet it, or forward it to others who I think might need it or be inspired to write more about it. But I will never tell those people that it is their responsibility to write about what I want to read. And that is the difference.

Please keep sending me links. Tweet things you think I’ll want to see. Email me your thoughts, or posts. Or share them here. But there are two things you should know: One– I almost never share fundraisers because if I do one then a million people will ask why I don’t share their equally valid fundraiser and then I’d suddenly turn from a writer to a very annoying PR person who only tweets fundraisers.  No one wants that.  And two: I will never write about something because someone else is trying to shame me into it. I have plenty of my own shame and guilt over here myself, thankyouverymuch, so I don’t need you dropping yours on me. Not only is it shitty, but it also makes me question everyone else writing about whatever that current event of the week actually thinks, and that’s not fair to anyone. Are they just writing what they think people want to hear? Are they pandering because it’s fucking easy as hell to say “I’M NOT FOR MURDERING GAY PEOPLE” and “CANCER IS NOT WHAT I LIKE”. Not only that, but if you aren’t saying something thought-worthy then you are adding to the roar that is the world and while it’s a wonderful thing to have the nation rise up as a whole against bullshit, it sometimes has the unintended action of  making it that much harder for people who DO have brilliant and amazing things to say to be heard. People have a limited attention span and if they spend their lunch hour picking through posts that say nothing new or personal because they are written solely out of fear of missing out on the topic du jour are going to miss the chance to read the people out there who have something unique and intriguing and personal and brilliant to say. Those posts that make you say, “YES. FUCKING EXACTLY. THIS IS WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY BUT I COULDNT FIND THE WORDS FOR IT.” They are the posts that make you say, “Oh. Oh, shit. I get it. I get it now and I didn’t before and now everything has changed.” The posts that are so beautifully written that you immediately link to them on the Facebook disagreement you were having with your great aunt Agnes and she reads it and says, “Hmm. Well I never thought about it that way. I guess I’ll have to think about it.”

Those brilliant posts exist. I hope I’ve written a few. Probably not nearly as many as I’d like but I’m limited in my areas of expertise. I get humor because that’s how I survive. I get family because I’ve been blessed to have a dysfunctionally functional group of people who challenge me and make me laugh. I get mental illness because I survive it. I fight it as a regular demon and I haven’t a choice but to become a savvy warrior because that’s how you live. We don’t always get to choose our causes. Sometimes our causes choose us.

There is another thing I write about on the regular and that is kindness. Because we can’t live without it. Because it keeps us afloat. Because it keeps us worthy of survival as a species. Because it helps me forgive people who demand that I use my voice for their words because if I don’t it means I’m unworthy or low or their enemy. Because it helps me remember that that kind of anger comes from pain or fear or desperation that no one should have to feel. And because that same kindness is what I depend on and hope for from them when they read this.

This is my house. You are welcome here. You are wanted. You are allowed to leave links of posts or articles you think this community would say “Oh, I needed that” to. You are welcome to talk and visit and make friends and to realize that each of us is flawed and human and (in the grand scheme of things) knows nothing. Because I’ve come to know that the only thing I really know is we could all do with a little more kindness. Both in giving and getting.

Be kind to one another. And more importantly, be kind to yourself.  You deserve it.

PS. This post scares me a little to post because I know a thousand of you will think “Shit.  She’s talking about me” but I can assure you that 127 different people have asked me to share their stuff within just the last 24 hours (not an exaggeration) so I’m really not paying attention to names, and also there is a tremendous difference between suggesting that I write about something and demanding I write about something.  Still,  I feel a bit bitchy, because in a way I realize I’m sort of saying, “Stop demanding that I join you in your brave and valiant crusade, you well-meaning and good people with absolutely wonderful causes which I wholeheartedly agree with you on” and that’s not what I want to say at all, but it’s the closest thing I can say other than this:  I can’t always sing your song with you.  I listen.  I share.  I think.  But if I’m always singing everyone else’s song then there’s no room for mine.  I have a song to sing.  A terrible one about why Jesus is a zombie and the time I found a severed boobie on my lawn.  A song about horrible things and about wonderful things and mostly silly things that make the day a bit brighter for those twisted enough to appreciate it, or those offended enough to be able to use it as a terrible example to others.  A song that sometimes is out of tune and seldom rhymes and is sung loudly in the dark and in whispers when I’m not quite myself.  A song that sometimes overlaps with yours as we find ourselves unexpectedly sharing a chorus we never knew we had in common.  A song that sometimes captures minds and hearts and changes the world in good and bad ways…but most importantly, a song that is uniquely mine.  One that’s given silence to reflect and write, and information to grow, and that changes as I change.  It’s the same song you sing.  But different.  And all of those songs are beautiful…even the discordant ones of our enemies that inspire us to work harder to prove them wrong in hopes that one day they’ll find themselves accidentally humming a strange tune they’ve picked up along the way…a tune of joy and kindness and love and equality and acceptance.  Or at least something by Prince.  That man is a bad-ass.

PPS.  It occurs to me that I talked about those posts and stories and essays and books that make us yell “YES!  THIS EXACTLY” and that those lovely things are the things that it would be nicest to hear over the roar of kleenex advertisements and selfies, so I’m going to share a few of the ones that hit me personally because maybe you need to see them too.  And maybe in the comments you can share your own. A book, a song, a post, a quote that makes you strong or anything that makes the world a better place…anything that you keep coming back to as a reminder that you’re not alone or as an anthem to keep you going when it’s hardest.  Share your song.  Because I want to hear it.  And maybe, one day, we’ll find ourselves singing along together and you will know it’s because I am with you wholeheartedly, and not just because it’s the easiest thing to sing.

Okay, here are a few posts that stick with me:

This one is fairly recent but I used it so often recently when in discussions with people who didn’t understand why what Rachel Dolezal did is not okay and why it has nothing to do with Caitlyn Jenner ~ From Awesomely Luvvie:  About Rachel Dolezal the Undercover Sista and Performing Blackness

Someone sent me this years ago and it stays with me every day.  I even stop people in the middle of my next book to tell them to read this first:  From Christine Miserandino: The Spoon Theory

Which of you sent me this originally?  I don’t know but when I read it I screamed “YES!  YES, THIS!”  Boggle the Owl on surviving depression.  Boggle the Owl on Anxiety.

Okay.  Your turn.  Share.  Give me something you think needs to be heard.  Something that breeds kindness and makes the world a better place.  Sing your song.  We’re listening.

1,072 thoughts on “This is my house.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. There is a Nigerian prince who desperately needs your help to recover his billions of dollars.

  2. Lovely post. It’s hard to remember some times that we all need to sing our own song, thanks for the reminder.

  3. This is beautiful. I hope this doesn’t come across as anything other than the sincerity with which its meant…but my whole blog is my song. After years of an unhappy marriage I was brave enough to leave, and I’ve been rediscovering all kinds of wonderful things as a result. Especially sexuality. And I never imagined there was such an amazing community here to help me on my way. It’s been a beautiful and cathartic thing.

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that this is a community. We should talk to one another about what we are passionate about, and you’ve given us a space to do that. It’s not your responsibility to act as our voice– we have a voice! It’s right here in the comment space.

    In other news….So, remember that time that Tara the Tabby Cat stopped her person (a 6 year old boy) from being attacked by a dog? The SPCA of LA gave her the Hero Dog Award for 2015. http://www.today.com/pets/hero-cat-tara-gets-spcalas-33rd-annual-hero-dog-award-t27826

    What love.

  5. ****“YES. FUCKING EXACTLY. THIS IS WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY BUT I COULDNT FIND THE WORDS FOR IT.” “Oh. Oh, shit. I get it. I get it now and I didn’t before and now everything has changed.”****

    This is the reason one writes, darling. THIS. YEsssssssS. This kind of response!!

    I remember what Oprah said about her school-days. Something like ….I didn’t belong. I was left out. I was unattractive. I was alone……..A teacher walked up to me one day and said, “Honey, you are such a pretty girl. Did you know that?”

    Oprah said that simple sentence, these simple words changed her life.

    Anyhow, this is what I try to do in my school setting & in my world.

    ((((( I SEE YOU. I hear you. I understand you. You Matter. YOU MATTER. ))))

    This is how we should respond to one another.

    Xxx kiss from MN.

  6. “Depression lies.” Those were the two words that brought me to you, believe it or not. And those two words continue to help me.

    Also one of my friends says “this is not my mountain to die on”. Meaning it might be someone else’s “big thing”, more than anything else, but it isn’t hers and doesn’t have to be.

  7. I’ve always thought you strike a beautiful balance on writing personal essays, promotion, and activism. Looking forward to the comments on this one 🙂

  8. Fuck those people. Go,you. (And I have it on good authority that no orange kittens will go legless because not everyone supports all the causes in the whole wide world despite being badgered to do so.) Keep being you. Hooray, you

  9. You tweet, blog, promote what you seem fit. That’s why I love you. Neither of us can carry the hurt of all the world. (though we try to on occasion) It has nothing to do with being a good/bad person and everything to do with having a hard enough time to keep standing already. Love you, stay you.
    Sincerest hugs.

  10. Write what you want to write, when you want to write it. For you. Period. You are not only the Bloggess, but a bad-ass.

    Whatever it is, I’ll read it. To laugh mostly, to cry sometimes. Because I think you’ve understood the quirks in all of us. (Thanks — now while I still feel weird, I know I’m not the only weirdo).

  11. I think what you are saying here is something we can all relate too. Not the popular blog voice part but the finding your own voice means you can still support other people and causes without being their soldier. This is very smart and still loving. Good on ya Jenny!

  12. All I’ll say is more stories about driving your husband crazy, with giant chickens and the like, you know the ones…where I can hardly get to the end because tears are streaming down my face and I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe….those stories! And heck if you find a fundraiser that causes the same reaction…go for it!

  13. I’ve done a lot of laughter through tears reading your posts over the years. I’ve learned a lot about depression and how I might be there for my friend, who is clinically depressed. I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment and found out about some interesting charities, and I truly enjoy the snippets of your life that you choose to share. I just like what you post. Period.

  14. Well said. Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one, and mine is not more or less pretty than yours, it just is what I have. And everyone should be ok with that.

  15. I have been reading your blog for about six months now. I love it. A very good friend introduced your blog to me and I am thankful he did. What stuck with me most…..not being able to sing everyone else’s song because it would leave no room for your own song…..this simple line of text will stay with me. Thank you.

  16. Sing it Sista!

    The quote that gave me the a-ha moment to live by: Stop planning vacations to escape from your life and start planning a life from which you no longer need to escape.

  17. I have nothing to share except to say that I think you’re terrific and you should continue to write only what you want to write, whether it’s about metal chickens or depression or anything else. Other people don’t get to tell you what to write, even if it’s for a good cause. Keep up the good work doing exactly what you’re doing!

  18. My Dad always tells people (both people he knows and random strangers) that they are a good person and they are loved. I can see how maybe some would find it offputting, but I was with him one day at the grocery store when he told the check-out lady she had a kind smile and then said this to her. I watched her pause, think a second, and then smile even bigger. It’s always good for us to say, “Thank you” and open doors for people, and just be kind.

  19. I was going to write a post called “I don’t know” after the thug shot those good people in SC. But I thought it would just add to the noise. I agree with so much of what you wrote. All of what you wrote. We don’t need more screaming. And the world needs a refuge. You are that refuge.

  20. It is YOUR path. You must follow it and not the path others wish for you. Keep writing; I’ll keep listening.

  21. Trying to guild someone into doing something.. Nah.
    Your blog, your rules, your way of life. Your voice. Which I love reading. People who are trying to pressure me into their way of thinking.. not so much.
    So keep it up please <3

  22. Thank you, Jenny. And btw, your song is at the top of my playlist. Please keep singing!

  23. My Al-Anon group calls me the ‘Queen of Boundaries’… sometimes this is a tough world for those of who need others and institutions to have boundaries. I applaud you setting one. Thank you.

  24. I’m sorry people try to make you feel you don’t do enough. In MY book, you do exactly the right things. You make me laugh, you make me cry, and you make me think. Please stick around and keep doing that? Like you tell those who need to hear it, you are loved and needed. 🙂

  25. Well, If I’m being quite honest (and not particularly specific), that thing for me is YOU. When I stumbled across your blog a couple years ago I knew that I had found something that I didn’t even know I was looking for. I absolutely adore every bit of your writing, and am always disappointed when I check your site and there are no new posts! I introduce you and your first book to anyone who will listen or who I think might enjoy it the way I did. The first time I read it I literally laughed so hard that I cried, and then cried because I could feel your pain. Then I did the same thing the second time I read it. And the third. You get the point.

    Either way, you are such a bright spot in my life. You make me smile, you make me think- You make me feel like I’m not such a weirdo. You make me feel celebrated and special instead of judged and isolated. And you have this immense talent of articulating things in a way I could never hope to convey myself. So please, keep singing your song. It’s beautiful, and so many of us love to hear it!

    You’re seriously one of my favorite people on the planet. And that’s saying something, because I have a friend named Rainbow. So… Yeah. Ponder on that one. Wink

    I love your work Jenny Lawson. You’re seriously the shit. Thanks for being you and not apologizing for it. <3

  26. Never feel bad about what you do or don’t write…those who are REALLY your fans will support you regardless. I do something similar with all my friends who work for pampered chef/31/it works/Tupperware/doTerra/etc etc etc…basically any of those stupid pyramid marketing schemes. I don’t buy from anyone, because then I will offend someone. Granted it’s on a vastly smaller scale, but I can totally understand why you just have to say no. Now sometimes, I really want some thing from one of those people, and that’s when I message and ask to get added to a party. That’s like the one time you choose to write about the things that are important to you. Please keep saying yes to the things you need or want to say yes to, and don’t feel bad about saying no.

  27. I have been reading and following you for a while. Funny and Kind are two of the things that always come to mind when I think of you. We all need to set boundaries and you are right for doing that. It does not make you any less kind or funny. It makes you human.

  28. I think you have very kind eyes, and you have made me laugh, LOUDLY, at totally inappropriate times and you make me feel less alone as an anxious, depressed feminist Texan. I think you have a lovely soul. I see a lot of what you’re talking about on Tumblr: If you don’t reblog this, I’m unfollowing you because obviously you are a racist, misogynist Nazi. And now I don’t want to reblog that post because it’s mean and manipulative, and there’s enough of that in the world. Sometimes, i just need kitten gifs and shirtless Jason Momoa rock climbing gifs because I work at a newspaper and I see the bad parts of the world all day every day.

    Sorry for getting a little ranty there. You know what’s awesome? Gifs of Jason Momoa rock climbing while shirtless. Gentleman Jack. Freshly applied hair color. Twirling.

  29. Due to what I’ve read on your blog, I’ve tried to give a compliment daily to a stranger. It seemed hard at first, but with practice, has become as easy and beautiful as making that first cup of coffee in the morning.
    Thank you.

  30. Uhm, I have nothing to share, I just want to say I agree with your stance. You’ve done a great deal of work for me and I think I’ve gotten to a much better place (mentally, professionally and even apartment-wise) thanks to your posts (and comenters) who helped me understood my problems. Because what I’ve read was honest and real.

  31. None of us can do everything. But, if each of us does something, it’ll all get done. Keep doing your-something – you’re good at it, and a lot of us appreciate it.

  32. I come here and read, follow you on social media, and buy your book(s) because I value your honesty. You’re honest about who you are and what you face, whether the majority sees it as positive or negative. I read your things because after all these years I’ve found someone I can relate to and isn’t afraid to talk about their own diseases or ailments. You’ve given me strength to start speaking up about my own demons, to almost embrace them, and not let them have complete control all the time anymore. When I first read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened I was sitting in line for a midnight release of a movie and my laugh echoed through the empty mall I got weird looks and stares, but I didn’t care.

    If I were to come here or be bombarded with retweets of fundraisers, other people’s work, “take action on this RIGHT NOW!’ types of things I’d find it less enjoyable. I can find those things on my own. Goodness, there’s no lack of those types of things elsewhere. I come to you to escape my day for a few minutes. To remember I’m not alone. To be reminded that depression lies. I use your blog and posts to help other people, to give them that hope that they’re not alone, to encourage them to get help as well.

    Jenny, you’re amazing. Maybe you didn’t set out to change the world. Maybe you did. It works and you care and you’re honest and genuine. Shit. I hope I didn’t put a bunch of pressure on you with that. Basically, you’re awesome and thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being brilliant. Thank you for being honest.

  33. I’ve been feeling really frustrated recently with doing little acts of kindness – I feel like I keep giving and giving and not getting anything back, and I know that’s not the point but still! I really appreciate this post though, it makes me feel a bit better about all that’s been going on.

    I don’t know if I can upload a pic here, but I saw this really great giant dino statue recently and looking at the picture always cheers me up: https://instagram.com/p/24rNxjtVUz/?taken-by=aestheticsnafu

    Also zookeepers recreating Jurrasic World has been amusing me greatly: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/18/zookeepers-jurassic-world-chris-pratt_n_7609964.html

  34. Oh for heaven’s sake. Those people. Sheesh. You just write about what matters to you and forget about promoting stuff unless you really, really, want to, because then it’s signal, not noise.
    Here, read this great thing about a group at our university that picks up restaurant waste for compost, turns it into farmed vegetables, and hands the produce out for free. Because what a nice idea they had! http://fhkingstudents.wix.com/fhking#!harvest-handouts/cxro

  35. I just like hearing you. it’s unfair for people to want you to say what they want all the time. if they want it said, then they need to stand up and say it themselves. it’s all very overwhelming and hard to think about. we can’t save everything, or help everyone. we do what we can.

  36. I’ve never understood people who think shaming others into supporting their cause is the way to go. We’re supposed to be inspiring change, not bullying it out of people. What good is a reluctant dollar if the stranger you squeezed it from resents you for it and will avoid you and your cause at all costs in the future because they don’t feel like being made out to be a selfish pig for not caring as much as you think they should?

    Good works do not flourish when you sow them in a bed of negativity. Be kind, be respectful, and be hopeful, and the support will come.

  37. How do I make the biggest heart ever when the internet doesn’t quite understand that you need a monospace font to create ASCII art?

    You inspire me, Jenny Lawson. You give me hope in humanity when humanity tries to kick my hope until it bleeds. Thank you for being exactly who you are. Thank you for saying exactly what you say… in such a beautiful way. <3 (Just imagine that the little heart is about a hundred times bigger.)

  38. This must have been a hard post for you to write because it probably felt confrontational toward people you don’t want to hurt. But I think you stated your case fairly and well, and I think this is important for many to read. From the reader side this is such an intimate medium that it’s hard not to feel an exaggerated connection with you than actually exists and it’s easy for people to overstep their bounds. Perspective is good.

    I don’t have a link to share, but I would suggest watching Going to the Store on YouTube if you need to laugh. My kids and I pull that up every time we need the world to be a little more weird.

  39. I get it, on a much, MUCH smaller scale. I have chronic pain (RSD) which is hell to live with. I have a large family. We homeschool.

    And I get demands from folks to write MORE about those things. Or budgeting. Or to promote x, y, z. And I don’t. Because I write what I write, b/c that’s where I’m at at that moment.

    I can’t be all things to all people, nobody can. Not even you. What we can do, what we MUST do, is to be true to ourselves. If we get caught up in what everyone else wants, we lose sight of us. We get buried under the avalanche of demands, and suffocate. Our own unique lights go out.

    Do what you do, what is authentic to you. That’s what makes you, you. That’s why people, including myself, follow your blog, read your words, and are touched by what you share.

    Because it’s authentically you. Not b/c someone else made a demand.

  40. This is why I enjoy your writing so much. I stumbled upon you from your first book actually. It had me in tears for all the right reasons. Since then, I’ve joined the blogging world myself and while I am a pebble in a vast ocean (that makes you the giant island I sometimes bump up against), I can recognize how hard it must be to be that giant island. Everyone thinks it must be fantastic to be seen and heard by everyone, but sometimes, being a little pebble is enough. I still get to make a ripple.
    Thanks for being brave!
    ~Mommy Catharsis

  41. I cried after I read this post (but in a good way) Most of the time when I read your blog I just laugh. I will make an extra effort to be more kind. You express your thoughts very beautifully. It is a privilege to read your writings Thank you.

  42. Please keep doing what you do best; we love you for it and it has made our lives so much better. I can still laugh at your book and posts even when I am in a really bad way. Also, one of my hubbies favororite sayings is “guilt is for suckers.” I do my best to reject any attempt to “guilt” me by bouncing it back onto the attempted guilt flinger. (sometimes it works…)

  43. I like you more and more with each article. This was so very well stated. This is YOUR website. And I’m so grateful you are YOU because I enjoy reading what you write (and not what others bully you into writing).
    Rock on, Bloggess.

  44. Never worry that a post will upset someone. If they read you they know you and know how you are. No one should be shamed to write about a charity, a movement, a political view, etcetera.
    If you have to explain, then they aren’t your circle.
    I suffer autoimmune much the same as RA. That is what drew me to you and now you are my friend. Thank you for being you.

  45. Helen Keller’s, “Three Days to See,” came into my life by happenstance when I was at one of the lowest points I had ever been.

    I found it online here: http://www.afb.org/info/about-us/helen-keller/letters/on-the-senses/three-days-to-see-as-published-in-atlantic-monthly-january-1933/12345

    And thank you Jenny for, “Pretend You’re Good At It,” and, “Depression Lies.” These have become mantras for me and are invaluable words that help me get through my days.

  46. “I don’t have the strength to write about ISIS and kidnappings and poverty and children starving and bombs and other terrible things because I know I will become fixated and depressed and unable to function. I know my limits and I know that without self-care I will fall into those dark holes of depression where I’m no help to anyone.”
    I’m going through that now, actually. I’ve been caring so much about so many things, and so many terrible things are happening, that I’m completely overwhelmed. I’ve instituted a “no news” week for myself, just to give myself a breather from all of it.

  47. I wholeheartedly support you on this!!! Well said, well meant and, for me, well received!!!!

  48. This woman: https://twitter.com/carlylomas
    She changed my life. Utterly, profoundly, irrevocably, and all other synonyms therein.
    I’m a nurse because of her. I’m an author because of her. I have become a hospice nurse because of her.
    “The sonnet, the song, the book you were going to write, the portrait you were going to paint, the loved one you were going to apologize to, the thesis you were going to spin, the garden you were going to plant:
    Do these things, live fully,
    And know that it is possible to face your death with grace.”

  49. I wrote a post in early May (I have a humorous, I hope, blog) about (some) Rednecks in the south that make our region (specifically my state of Alabama) look like beau-hunk hicks from the sticks. No one had much to say about it then. I posted a link to it again on my Facebook page like an hour ago saying “I wrote a post last month saying “enough with the Rebel flag already!”” And I have been flooded (on my FB page…why, oh why can’t I get comments on my blog?) with people saying everything from “You might as well spit on my great grandfather’s grave!” and “Flags don’t kill people!” and “Oh yeah, I bet you just want to burn the American Flag!”
    So, yeah, I get some of what you’re saying.
    Here’s the post in question: http://psb1969.blogspot.com/2015/05/jacked-up.html

  50. If you want a great thing to read, Anne Rice’s facebook page is a place of beauty and discussion of writing, books, religion, politics, gay rights, art, archaeology, cats, and great TV. She interacts genuinely with her fans and it’s an amazing thing to see. There is space for legitimate conversation but never for hate. Also worth reading is her assistant Becket’s page, who also happens to be a diehard Whovian and former monk. Seriously.

  51. My husband is starting a crowdfunding campaign on June 6th. It’s about fishing. PLEASE don’t publicize it or contribute to it because if it works I will never see him again due to FISHING. I beg you.

  52. You have been such an inspiration to me, thank you.

    ” I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
    Agatha Christie

  53. So well said. There needs to he room for the lighthearted and funny otherwise things get too heavy and the weight can make you care less which the opposite of what everyone is trying to accomplish.

  54. I just had this issue with someone ranting on my facebook page that I was wrong to advocate for kindness instead of screaming until everyone agreed with me. I had to let her go. Boundaries are good, thank you for having them, and thank you for letting us visit your wonderful house.

  55. OMG. How is it you always know exactly how to say things? I agree with you wholeheartedly. There are so many worthy things to talk about or donate to or give your time to and you just can’t do it all. It is absolutely self-care to say ‘no’ sometimes. Maybe a lot of the time, depending.

    You are awesome. And you’re right about needing kindness.

  56. Beautifully written. In particular, I wanted to shout YES at this one: “I know my limits and I know that without self-care I will fall into those dark holes of depression where I’m no help to anyone.” Thank you for sharing.

  57. THIS>>>>”Here’s the deal. I just can’t. I can’t use this blog to tell you that testing makeup on animals is bad or that if we don’t reduce our carbon footprint our children will suffer the consequences. I don’t have the stamina or willpower to denounce every shitty thing in the world that I assume everyone else here already agrees with. I don’t have the strength to write about ISIS and kidnappings and poverty and children starving and bombs and other terrible things because I know I will become fixated and depressed and unable to function. I know my limits and I know that without self-care I will fall into those dark holes of depression where I’m no help to anyone.”
    When does a “discussion to raise awareness” turn into a “bullying diatribe designed to dehumanize and shame people”?
    There is only so much of me to go around and I am already like a vase that’s been broken and glued back together. I can withstand a lot, but the failure, when it inevitably occurs, will be catastrophic.

  58. I come to your site to escape, so frankly I’m glad you posted this. I suffer from chronic illness. I’m reading “support this” and “support that” pages all day long. They are wonderful and certainly have their place in the world, but so do awesome sauce hilarious websites that make you tinkle just a little when you read them 😉 Cheers to you being YOU!

  59. Yes yes yes yessity yessy yes! Sharing and asking (kindly) is one thing. Demands and threats are another. Your space, you get to control it. Fuck those who disagree.

  60. I don’t have much to add, other than thank you. I will also gladly offer hugs.
    Boggle makes me cry every single time I read any of it, and it’s usually a combination of happy and “how do they know me so well?” tears. Spoons are also almost an every day thing.
    Much love.

  61. Jenny, you know what I think you do really well here? You. That’s it. You in a nutshell. (Not to downplay the effort it took for you to get into a nutshell). This is your space, your voice, and you share it with countless strangers. That takes a lot of, well, nuts. I wish I could do it. i’m working on it, but I’m just not there yet.

    The minute your space becomes someone else’s voice, its no longer yours. So bravo to you for speaking out. I wish you didn’t have to say it. I wish other people hadn’t shamed you into believing that you needed to speak for them, at all times. Been a fan for awhile, admittedly not from the beginning, but I don’t recall any time you actively said you were here to be a leader, or to change the world. I don’t know that you’d put all of that on your back. Especially seeing how you are still in a nutshell and all.

    You have one responsibility here (as I see it). To be honest to you. No one else. You may not have promised to be a leader, or to save the entire race of pygmy giraffes in Madagascar, but you have inspired many people, myself included. Putting a label, condition, or responsibility on someone else is not a sign that that person needs to do more. It’s a sign that the person giving the order likely needs to look within, and see why they are pointing fingers.

    You are you. You are Jenny Lawson. You are admirably good at being you, and you need be nothing more. Now let’s get you out of that nutshell…

  62. Exact. As usual you hit the nail on the head. Shamepushing sucks no matter how great the cause. Peace & love to you.

  63. Wishing you deep, deep peace. A friend said that to me when my mom passed away last year and it has stuck with me. It seems like the kindest thing you can say in so many situations. Wishing it for you and me and everyone.

  64. I LOVE what you have written here. You should not be expected to validate everyone who comes screaming at you. That is what bothers me so much about the world we live in. It is LOUD, like you said, and EVERYONE is screaming constantly for affirmation and validation and somehow, it has become “if you don’t agree with me on everything I say and feel and want, then you are against me” and that is just not fair and not true. No one has the energy, ability, or desire to validate literally everyone, even those people and causes we agree with and are willing to support in some ways. Its exhausting. People need to grow the fuck up and learn to stop demanding constant validation from everyone around them. Just my thoughts after reading this amazing post. Thank you for the reminders in here.

  65. Beautifully written! And thanks for reposting the Spoon Theory link – I was telling a friend with newly chronic pain about it as she was making a difficult decision to cut back on her job in order to heal, so now I’ve sent it on to her.

  66. Fantastic post. If people feel so strongly about a cause, they can create their own blog and write about it. You are your own voice and yours alone. If we don’t like what we see, well…there’s a huge internet out there. You owe readers of your site nothing, except maybe the occasional dead animal in a pantsuit.

  67. I remember when I was in college going with my dad to his brother’s house. While there, his brother started making these horrific comments. Who knows if it was towards gay people or about an ethnic group. He’s like equal opportunity asshole. My dad looked at me amused as he could see that I was about ready to explode. At one point, I walked out of his house. Later, Dad asked me why I didn’t let him have it – he was waiting for me to take his brother down. “It’s his house – he gets to say whatever he wants regardless of how much I don’t like it – or want to physically smack across the head when he does say it. Most I can do is walk out – I won’t disrespect his space.” I guess I view blogs the same way. It’s your space – your house. While people can walk by and comment on the color and the grass being too tall or try to sell you Amway (do they still sell amway?), it doesn’t mean you have to respond or buy or anything. And that’s an ok response. Hugs to you! Keep doing your thing – it’s why I come by your house to visit.

  68. I’m sad that others are making you feel like you need t defend yourself but happy to see that you are strong and doing what you believe will do the greatest good! Something happy to share. I am a Kindergarten ESL teacher and work in a high poverty school with abysmal test scores, etc. I LOVE my students and wouldn’t trade the job for all the tea in China. I am always disheartened to see how much they “lose,” in terms of academic progress,over the summer. This year, I had a project funded on Donors Choose and it has allowed me to put together 95 “backpacks” (sling bags) FILLED with printable books. Even better, I was able to provide somewhat tailored books, based on reading levels, so that the kids are taking books that they can actually read! It was an amazing feeling to see their faces light up when they got those backpacks. Just wanted to share this act of kindness (at the risk of seeming like bragging) because it was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I even have enough materials left over to do the same thing for next year. Wahoo!

  69. Well stated, and not offensive in the slightest. For what it’s worth… my .02…..❤️

  70. I just want to say that I’m so happy and proud to belong to this tribe.

  71. The only responsibility you have is to yourself, not to any cause or campaign or Kickstart er program. Your honesty and vulnerability have deeply touched me. Your writing has made me laugh til I cried. You are better than any anti-depressant. You go girl!

  72. Sometimes I think about this, too.

    I don’t have the broad audience that leads to these kinds of requests (or any requests, really), but I do notice when other bloggers on their blogs/twitters/facebooks take up a major holiday or a huge disaster, and devote to it a blogpost or other such thing.

    Other than seeing the same subject come up multiple times in a feed (which actually sucks if you’re trying to get AWAY from it), I didn’t really notice it was all intentional until I came across a blogpost which started with a disclaimer: “People were wondering why I wasn’t talking about [this horrible event that happened in my country], so here is my belated address…”

    And then I suddenly wondered if people came to my blog/twitter/youtube/whatever, expecting another nod to Subjet Du Jour, finding nothing, and thus silently judging me as a non-caring person.

    I still don’t talk about current events that have nothing to do with me. I don’t spread awareness. I don’t do Challenges. I don’t actively celebrate most holidays. I don’t feel the need to personally apologize for every terrorist attack, murder or natural disaster. I don’t “share” manipulative facebook posts.

    I assume that’s not what people come to me for, and I refuse to feel bad about that. I even refuse to feel bad about leaving this long-ass post yakking about MYSELF.

    (Which is kind of amazing considering my debilitating Guilt Complex)

  73. Wow…it feels like I should be taking you more seriously than I do if I’m supposed to make you my personal crusader. I just love reading your stuff because you make me laugh. Really, really a lot!

  74. I think we all know you are awesome but I wanted to throw it out there anyways. Continue on being your awesome self!

  75. I love you. It would be exhausting doing nothing but being angry and sad about everything that’s wrong. You keep doing what you do.
    <3 a fellow bisexual feminist who doesn’t go to pride parades either because I hate crowds and noise

  76. I love you. Not in the stalkerish scary way (probably), but in the your blog posts and books always make me laugh/snot-cry/think, often in the same paragraph (which does tend to get awkward on planes), and I adore you for it!

    Keep doing what you do!

  77. Yes to all of this.

    This is your house, and saying so doesn’t mean you don’t care. Good for you for speaking up!

  78. Brava! I’ve taken this stance on my own FB feed, and have been unfriending and hiding posts from those who do the very same thing you are speaking about. Many times, it’s just the post that gets removed, because the person’s heart is in the right place, but I’m either not interested in the debate, have heard it before, or find it somehow inappropriate for me (nudity and unnecessarily rude language). So my feed is mostly you, and cats. 🙂

    You’ve said it all so much better than I ever could. I hear you. I see you. I honor you. Thank you for being willing to speak up and say what many of us, for so many reasons, cannot.

  79. I love what you write and who you are. You are a brave and fearless person who allows all of us to share your life — warts and all. That to me is incredible. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

  80. Boundaries are good. Setting them for yourself and others is actually hard and an amazing thing when done right. Do not feel bad for drawing a line, setting a boundary for those who have stepped over yours – intentionally or not. Those who did it by accident will go ‘oh shit, sorry – have a cookie!’ and those who did it on purpose will flail, whine, argue…and leave. Good riddance. Keep being you Ma’am – and we will keep respecting your limits if we love you. <3 And most of us do. 🙂

  81. “This is the way the world goes. Small, mean acts affect the next person who in turn amplify that anger or sadness and take it out on others who suffer as well. Then small, kind acts of grace work their magic and pull the world back into balance. Those acts echo into the world. They reverberate long after we are gone. And sometimes? Sometimes they bounce back to us in unexpected ways.” That just made my day. We’re all flawed, scarred creatures – and I’m glad your voice is out here.

    (And yes, Ashley – above – that is a super sweet story. I actually used to work for spcaLA, and know the story well. Definitely a lovely way to remember that we’re not the only ones here who put more goodness out into the world 🙂 )

  82. I actually stopped blogging (it was a paying gig and I was pretty sad to stop) because I was limited by my contract on what I could write about and how I could write. AND, the entire almost-three-years I wrote that blog I got regular comments (usually from my closest friends) telling me I shouldn’t limit my blog posts to “such frivolous stuff” when “there are real problems in the world” and I was wasting a platform I had. sigh Thank you for this post.

  83. I love your cause and your books and your blog. “Let’s Pretend…” changed my life. It helped me realize I needed meds for anxiety/depression. Is that weird?

  84. I think Sarah McLachlan has the “help the poor kitties” covered. So that’s one area you don’t have to worry about.

  85. OMG I can’t believe you didn’t list MY unreasonable request that you write about the plight of left-handed polydactyl gerbils. It’s like you WANT them to suffer!

  86. But isn’t it cool that people view you as powerful & necessary to make their cause/point/fundraiser happen?! I appreciate you as a writer who brings me joy, laughter @ inappropriate times, and a peak at quirky & unusual things in the world. Thank you for being The Bloggess.

  87. Wow, is your psyche healthy today! It took me decades to realize not only CAN I NOT be all things to all people, I DON’T want to be all things to all people. There is so much this world needs that it is great the people care and want to help and get others to join, but there is so much and my resources, even those that don’t require money, are finite. Sometimes the best I can do to help the world is try my best not to become one of the many burdens on the world. Keep myself, happy, healthy and financially responsible. Help my family achieve all of these. Some days, getting out of bed and going through my day day dreaming of getting back at those who have hurt me is the best I can do. But again, at least I did not become the burden others have to rally to help. If all of us were able to do the small gestures, the larger ones might become less needed.

    Hurrah for people rallying others to causes, but they themselves also can’t be a part of all causes.

    More power to you and here is a virtual hug for feeling you had to have this conversation.

  88. Excellent post. Thank you for sharing that with us.
    To quote Dory from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming!”
    You do you, Jenny! We’ll keep coming back, no worries!

  89. Wow. I thought these furry orange things were tribbles, but it turns out they’re legless kittens and now I know JUST EXACTLY WHOSE FAULT THAT IS. You still rock.

  90. Yes, I totally agree! I live in a community of activists (at least the virtual community that I’ve created for myself, if not the physical community). I get the same thing. I reply that I only have so much energy to deal with things that are upsetting. I can’t follow every news story closely enough to make everyone happy. Sometimes I have to take a break from it all and post nothing but cute animal pictures and fart jokes for 48 hours. And it’s ok. Folks that don’t like it aren’t really my friends. They don’t know me and don’t have my best interests at heart. And there too much difficulty in this world to surround myself with people who don’t support me.

  91. You can’t be everything to everybody. I work as a writer too and recognize that there are loads of writers out there who are more knowledgeable about these weighty topics and do a far better job than I ever could in writing about them. Nobody goes into the local Italian restaurant and starts yelling at people there that they really ought to write about genocide. There is value, plenty of value, in simply making people laugh, or stop and think, or reflect. And there are so, so many worthy causes and fundraisers…you’ve got what people see as a ‘bully pulpit’ but it isn’t right for people to browbeat you into using it on their behalf and then shaming you. Heck…when I started in the kid-lit field, and proudly presented the first issue of a magazine in which I had articles to a friend, she handed it back in disgust and asked why there wasn’t anything on child poverty in it.

    I vaguely recall a sci-fi story…was it Ray Bradbury? –a short story in which there’s an alien whose face can take on the qualities of any loved one you’re thinking about, or something like that–and when people find out, they surround the alien–all shouting and pleading with it–and it tries desperately to oblige, shape shifting like mad, but then it dies, because it can’t possibly please them all, it gets overwhelmed. Anyway, that image springs to mind upon reading this…well, I hope the rest of your week is kind to you 🙂

  92. I’m a little sad that you feel like you need to apologize for writing about what you want to write about. I’ve pointed so many people in your direction who struggle with depression. The Spoon Theory is BRILLIANT and it makes me happy that you know about it. I don’t think you can even fathom how many lives you’ve touched in the very best possible way.

    You don’t owe us anything. That you come here and write about whatever you do is a huge gift and I’m sorry that people are douchecanoes who don’t understand that this is your platform to write about what you want, when you want.

    Keep doing what you do. I’ll keep reading and I’m sure others will, too. Much love.

  93. Never thought about people demanding you write about certain topics. Just have enjoyed the blogs, tweets and book(s). Hugs and thanks for sharing this. Also, I am glad you are you and that you share you time/talent/insights with us.

  94. Just taking a moment to send you an enormous HUG and sisterly SMOOCH on the cheek – and now I’ll go sing off-key with my kiddo who is NOT killing sheep in Minecraft, but shearing their wool instead because the payoff is way better. Hope H is having a wonderful summer and dancing and singing off-key with you.

  95. YES YES YES!!! I want to throw my arms around you and tell you how awesome this post is and just in general how wonderful you are. YOU really are a gift to the world. Thank you for sharing yourself – even when it’s hard or scary. XO

  96. YES. THIS EXACTLY.

    I’ve always thought that blogging was meant as an outlet for the writer, to express their own thoughts and beliefs… not the reader. And if people happen to agree with them, then great! And if not? Oh well, move on.

  97. This keeps me going:
    Some People by Charles Bukowski
    some people never go crazy.
    me, sometimes I’ll lie down behid the couch
    for 3 or 4 days.
    they’ll find me there.
    it’s Cherub, they’ll say, and
    they pour wine down my throat
    rub my chest
    sprinkle me with oils.
    then, I’ll rise with a roar,
    rant, rage —
    curse them and the universe
    as I send them scattering over the
    lawn.
    I’ll feel much better,
    sit down to toast and eggs,
    hum a little tune,
    suddenly become as loveable as a
    pink
    overfed whale.
    some people never go crazy.
    what truly horrible lives
    they must lead.

  98. It’s weird to me that anyone would shame you for not using YOUR blog for THEIR issue. If it’s that important to them, write your own damn blog. People are cray cray yo

  99. This post definitely strikes a chord. I’m going to keep this statement in my heart: “I can’t always sing your song with you. I listen. I share. I think. But if I’m always singing everyone else’s song then there’s no room for mine. I have a song to sing.”

    To me, that means to care for others, but you also need to care for yourself.

  100. Big hug and smooch on the cheek. I love when you post because it helps m,e step away from all the noise on my Facebook wall, those things that make me think “I must share this so people KNOW!” So many times I get so wound up in these things I get myself into a dark whole of despair…and you and this blog have pulled me out of that hole many a time. Knowing your limits and setting boundaries: a good thing. And KINDNESS. What we need most of all.

  101. I care about people’s rights and I care about the environment and I care about poverty. But the small thing I do best is make people laugh. That’s the best contribution I can make. That’s your best contribution too, Jenny. It counts.

  102. One of the hardest and most freeing things I learned to do I is set my oun boundaries. There are those who insist you live your live for them or be shamed or guilted until you do. Your life is your own to do as you honestly feel is best. Awesome freedom, awesome responsibility! No one else can be you or me and the world is a poorer place when we act to be otherwise…

  103. You know what? There is enough noise and voices singing about ISIS and all the bad things going on in the world. Yes, it’s important but so is the other stuff. The funny, the mundane, the stuff that we think but no one else has the (lady) balls to say. Keep saying that stuff. Your house, your rules, period.
    Thank you for being you.

  104. I feel for the people demanding, they fear their story won’t be heard unless someone else tells it. But that doesn’t mean you should cave, cater or pander. Your story is beautiful and necessary, keep telling it and share others as you see fit. I tell my story, not a lot of people read it, but I’m working on that. Much as I would love a Blogess shoutout, it would only mean something to me if you truly Believed it would be of value to your people.

  105. You and Allie Brosh are who I turn to when I’m dealing with my anxiety/depression. Please never stop writing about the things you write about.

  106. You can write whatever the hell you want! It’s YOUR blog. My MIL once told me I should stop writing about our financial struggles years ago because it wasn’t fun to read and people might not like my blog. And I thought, people READ my blog? HA! I write what’s in my heart. I have exactly 34 followers on my actual blog and a few more when I share on FB. If people want to read what I write, awesome. If not, that’s ok, too. If you start writing what everyone else wants to hear then you’re not writing from your heart and I believe that’s what a blog is for. You just keep doing what you do because you are obviously doing something right!

  107. Hmm, something that needs to be heard, something that breeds kindness. That’s YOU. I was reading your beliefs and just wanted to cry, to hug you, to be your best best best friend because I know everyone tells you this in this wonderful group of people that gather around you, but I feel exactly the same way. Delving into all of the horrible stuff in the world makes me obsess and picture the pain and terror and then I dip and dive into depression. My twitter profile says in part, “people helping people and everyone gets along in my mind.” That’s how I wish it could be. Ugh! You’re so spot on I can’t even. I love your soul.

  108. Okay, this post is you and this is why we love you. Let’s talk about what makes my world a better place: The one thing that consistently puts a smile on my face when I am having a bad day…or any day. One thing that makes me jump up and down at corny flea markets and chuckle so loud people stare at me. One thing I can revisit over and over and it never, ever gets old…METAL CHICKEN!

  109. Oh, my dear friend (who doesn’t even know me), how could you possibly worry that what you’ve just shared was vitchy or out of line? It was spot on. And you are lovely to share not only your jokes and he,or, but also your struggles and deep observations. Thank you for what you do, and please keep doing what authentically and delightfully you. The world desperately needs what you generously offer.

  110. I desperately want to say something witty and clever, but I got nothing, so I’ll just leave that this is going to make a whole lot of writers say YES YES YES THANK YOU YES. I’m sending this to some of them now.

  111. People expect you to be an opinion leader because they see your reach is far greater than theirs. However, this is your platform after all and yes! we people with depression sometimes feel like the whole world is on our shoulders and we’re more sensitive when we hear/read bad news (I could cry all day if I click all the links in my newsfeed that are about mistreating animals).

    For me, your writing gives me hope that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel and there’s a future with me in it in which I do what you do (that is writing and making people happy because of it).

    I have this quote from Dostoyevsky that I love:

    “Where is it I’ve read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he’d only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once. Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!”

  112. I know that it must be incredibly stressful to be saying no to people all of the time. If you can, try to remember that the reason that they are all asking is because you are amazing and you have the power to touch so many people with your awesomeness. And then say your “no” with a smile on your face, knowing that you are a light in the darkness for so many.

  113. I’m going to put a load on your shoulders.
    You inspire the fuck out of me. I want to be like you. I’m already a goofy dork, I’m already full of wicked humor, I’m already damaged, I’m already living with mental illness, but I haven’t had the courage to use my voice.
    You give me that courage. Thank you.

  114. This post is solid gold, standing ovation stuff. Sing your song, sister, sing on!!!
    Much love and respect for you, Jenny. Always.

  115. Those of us who work in animal rescue know that “compassion fatigue” is a real thing.
    That you have to husband your resources because if you wear yourself out you will be no good to anyone.
    That sometimes you have to take a break and refill the well.
    That if you spend all your time dwelling on the ones you can’t save, you won’t be able to save anyone.

    You have every right to set your boundaries where you need to.

  116. “I can’t always sing your song with you.” Those words allowed me to finally exhale. As someone who battles the depression demons daily, I needed to hear those words. I am one of those “overly-sensitive” people who feels so very deeply, and is deeply affected by the feelings of those around me. When you hurt, I hurt. And most of the time I will be the first person to extend my hand out to you to bring you out the deep waters you are drowning in….but, sometimes, the abyss I am drowning in is so deep, that I just can’t. Sometimes, I too have to practice self-care, for my own preservation. That does not mean I am a shitty friend or wife or mother or daughter or co-worker or human being. It just means that I cannot pour out from my cup of kindness if my own cup is empty. Jenny Lawson, I am so incredibly grateful for you. You are one of the only people in this entire world that understands, that truly gets it. We have never met, but, thank you for helping me persevere and be a lifeboat to the people in my life who sometimes need to be saved too.
    And for the record, “Depression Lies” has saved my life, literally, saved my life, many times. Your words have given me light when all I could see or feel was darkness. Thank you.

  117. I love you for all you do and say. But today, I love you most for this post! THANK YOU!

  118. Honesltly, Jenny? I LIKE that you don’t constantly post about fundraisers and awareness raisers and all those kinds of things. Like, I know that you’re against rape and murder and racism and being mean to baby otters. But I don’t want to read you being against them all day every day. If you occasionally want to write about those things then that’s cool! But really…..I come here to read about giant metal chickens and zombies. Keep doing you, lady. Because you’re awesome.

  119. if I’m always singing everyone else’s song then there’s no room for mine.
    YES ! I like it.

    My older sister is a 1970s feminist … I am the baby girl who benefitted, able to go to a college that she was turned away from because it was all-male. I have a quiet attitude of “do what you want and don’t keep others from doing what they want” and enjoy hanging laundry and, well, this is for her: http://standardissuemagazine.com/lifestyle/feel-the-fear-and-tidy-it-anyway/

  120. I read ya loud and clear. Your voice brings insight and inspiration along with laughter and happiness. Do what you can when you can with what you have and never compromise your morals and values… We can’t be amazing 24/7 but we can be true and kind to ourselves and others. In life I take my favorite trainers motto seriously- do your best and forget the rest!

  121. Here’s what I’d like to share with you, and I don’t care if you put it on the blog, never read it, or print it out 1000 times and send it to Wil Wheaton to collate. Whatever. I’ve been going through a really rough time lately. No reason why. Nothing bad is happening. I was just depressed, sad, and felt like I wasn’t coping, felt like I was spiralling slowly downwards into a dark, dark pit. What did I say to myself every day to get through it? Depression lies. I read that here, for the first time many years ago, and many times since, and it has stuck with me like an STD I actually want. It’s infectious, and powerful, and just the best. You save people every day. You don’t need to share links, or spout other people’s stories, you’re just you, telling us funny, quirky lovely stories, being you, and you are (am I allowed to swear?), well, amazing.

  122. You are wonderful and brave for saying all of this, and you have an awesome song to sing! Whenever I need a break from shittiness, I head over here for a laugh. And that’s a real kindness. And I think people are far more likely to be swayed by humour than righteousness. I don’t feel like I ever need more bad news, and I already support causes that are important to me. The world is a loud place, and your powerful voice makes you a target — tune out those naysayers and just keep singing!

  123. That explains why my orange kitty keeps scooting his ass across the carpet. Thanks bitch.

  124. Your writing makes me happier, stronger, and feel less alone. It has been one of the many things to help my 18 year old feel braver and stronger in her own fight with anxiety. Thank you for all the times you’ve made me laugh out loud or nod my head in agreement. You rock

  125. Jon Katz, who is a well known author, among many things, writes on his blog (“Bedlam Farm”) here and there the phrase “My life is not an argument.”. This simple phrase has carried me through many the caution tape of many criticisms by people who may not understand choices I’m making. I’ll add, he writes of being told by people what to write, that his blog is a monologue, not a dialogue. It’s his song. This is your song. You do you, Jenny.

  126. You are a brave, beautiful, writer woman. I appreciate your honest and authentic written word. Keep swimming.

  127. This is your blog. You write for you. If we enjoy it, good on us. If we don’t, we are dumb asses. You are an inspiration in more ways than one.
    I will share our family mantra. My husband adopted and revised an old joke told to him by a friend….it really sums up life in a nutshell:
    Fuck all but 6.
    You need them to carry the casket.
    Unless you are cremated. In which case you only need one with a good arm.
    We shortened it to, “All but 6.”
    You’re welcome 😉
    That is all.
    Carry on.

  128. I agree completely-I have a little blog, a little Facebook page and a very tiny Twitter. Most of the time I stick to my bees, the books I read, my family and things that strike me as funny because that’s what I know and love. I leave the rest of the stuff to others. Well said and thank you!

  129. Jenny, I just think you’re the best. This post is beautiful, and I thank you for making my afternoon. My favorite line: “We don’t always get to choose our causes. Sometimes our causes choose us.” I didn’t know years ago that I would become a fervent supporter of gay rights – but when your son comes out to you, priorities change quickly…..
    Hugs and love to you.

  130. I have a song. It has complicated lyrics and sounds like the most absurd and unbelievable song ever produced. My cat had to be put to sleep on my birthday. She was one cool cat. Totally shitty. I’m also in the middle of moving our family from one city to another where we don’t know a soul. Stressful and lonely. Then add a dash of “whoops” from the vet that lost my cat’s remains. I’m still crying. This all sucks. So where’s the kindness in all this? I rescued a kitten from a shelter that was going to euthanize him because they had no room for all the baby kitties. This has all happened in the last 2 weeks. So go rescue kittens. They make the world suck less and he’s inspired me to fire up my blog again.

  131. the last time i checked this is your blog where u write what is on your mind and we, as readers, can either read it or move on. at least that is how i view blogs…i may not be able to relate to you on all of your topics but you are a pretty darn good writer. i keep reading in the event i learn something about me or the people around me. keep doing you and I will keep reading!

  132. Oh Thank GOD you are not here only to repost everyone else’s requests! Each of us needs to make our voices heard about what matters to us! I come to your site, because I want to smile, and laugh, and sometimes cry a bit, but most of all, not to feel like I’m the only strange weirdo in this world! I can go onto a million other sites when I want to read about how we need to band together to solve “……insert problem of the world du’jour….”.
    Keep speaking to us in your voice. It’s why we’re here and why we love you, and why we keep coming back.

  133. Every time I write something I think is brilliant and get almost no response, and every time I get a huge (for me) response to something I barely thought twice about writing, I realize that I have no idea what’s going to get up in people’s craws, in a good or bad way. It’s amazingly freeing to not have to give a shit about what people think because there’s nothing I can do about it anyway. Writing is the only area of my life that lets me feel that way. In everything else I’m pretty much a basket case. But I’m working on it.

  134. Oh my bloggess, YES! Not much turns me off faster than the “repost this or you hate kittens” posts. Gah! You are my shero, Thank you for your voice and your words and your pain and joy and weirdness. I use the Spoon Theory all the time. I use it so much that I forget that it is not normal jargon and one time I said at a family function that I was out of spoons and my old Aunt said, “you can get them at the Goodwill, 4 for a dollar.” I also use your “depression lies” line. A lot. Like it makes me sad how often I mention it to help people and they didn’t already know. And Allie Brosh’s Adventures in Depression helped me trememdously as well. Keep telling your truth, I am listening.

  135. OK, so this isn’t a post, it’s a class. But I didn’t make it and I’m not affiliated with it. I’m half way through taking it and it’s fucking amazing and is changing my life and I think everyone should listen to it. And if you do a quick google search for “Udemy coupons” you can get it for cheaper than the listed price, because there are always coupons.

    Your comment about shame is what triggered “I should share this!”

    https://www.udemy.com/the-power-of-vulnerability/#/

  136. What speaks to me and says, “Yes! Yes, this!”? Your blog (and you). Your humor, your fight against mental health challenges, your insights into the world and society and its people. I don’t want you to say anything that isn’t yours, and I thank you for standing your ground. And, it’s really none of my business what you choose to write about. I am a guest in your house and I don’t have the right to rearrange your furniture. Thank you, Jenny, for being exactly who you are.

  137. Why on earth should you HAVE to write about anything? do they understand this is YOUR blog and YOUR safe place? you can write about my fundraiser that is going to help zombie kitties find new homes with brains avil nonstop for snacking or not. I come here because you are me, you’re my red dress and i am your 12 you know the things my brain can’t express about but you can. i love you and yet we have never met. If you saw me somewhere you would not know me but yet you get me. thanks for not being a pr stunt, thanks for being you – wife,mother,survivor of lifes shitty stuff and not being afraid to share.

  138. Well said. And it’s one of the main reasons that I comment here but don’t ask you to endorse my adoption website/blog. There are so many couples waiting to adopt…why should you endorse us? And so, I respect your space and leave my internet breadcrumbs in your comments. 🙂
    I met you once and I hope to see you again on your book tour.

  139. I worked a an online store that sold cancer awareness merchandise (I won’t specify which one) and it was a very small, family owned business & they really did give back to the community locally & the cause in general as best they could & still support themselves. We often got requests for specific donations. We helped the ones we could, but it was impossible to give to them all. So hard choices were made, criteria established…must benefit the specific cancer type, verified organization, etc. we had a very polite letter we responded with if we’re not donating. But still, we regularly got nasty replies that we were horrible, no good, rotten people.

    You do your best. You live according to your morals & remember, they don’t know your heart. And most of them obviously don’t care to bother with what it takes to do so.

    Carry on and be confident in yourself. Your husband & daughter know you best & they think you’re awesome. The rest of us don’t really matter in your grand scheme of things.

  140. Couldn’t have said it better myself! (Actually, I never can, which is why I read your stuff instead) I come to this blog to revel in our collective weirdness, to uplift people when they need to be uplifted, and to laugh–and I’m never disappointed. I would be profoundly disappointed if this blog turned into a soapbox for all things that other people may want it to be.

    Rather than post a link to a serious blog about current events, I’m going to post an uplifting ad of women of all sizes working out and being healthy. As someone who struggles with weight, it made me smile (and pushed me to do more squats than I was supposed to do during class). I hope it makes other people smile, too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN7lt0CYwHg

  141. Thank you for being so awesome. Thank you for putting into words what I can’t always say some days, and thank you for making me take a look at my reactions to the news lately, I need to take a step back. Thank you for just being you. You my friend are pretty amazing.

  142. So much love for this. This blog is one of the places I go to escape all the voices telling my why I should be angry or fearful, why it is irresponsible to be happy or seek happiness when is going on in the world. Thank you for your song – it truly makes my world a better place to inhabit.

  143. Thank you, Jenny. Your honesty and wonderful sense of humor always help to put things into perspective for me. I rarely post anything in the comments and I have never felt the need to ask or guilt you into endorsing anything for me, but I can see how others may rally for your support. For me, it is hard to find like-minded people in the world and online. When I do, it is almost like a delicious secret I don’t want to share with others right way. However, I have followed you for years and have gradually told my few friends how wonderful you truly are. And secretly, I have also been reading Brittany Gibbon’s blog for years, so I will share a recent blog she posted that meant alot to me concerning lessons on learning to love yourself. Enjoy! http://brittanyherself.com/2015/06/23/fat-girl-job-clarification/.

  144. It makes me sad, that you needed to write this. You give us so much of your truest, wittiest, soulful self. No more could or should be asked of you. I’m just grateful that you do this. Really, really grateful. Here is a bit of what’s on my mind.

  145. And here’s another breadcrumb due to technical issues in my original comment.
    Oh, an BTW, I don’t just read and comment to leave breadcrumbs. I think you’re AWESOMESAUCE.

  146. My song is from Maya
    “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you make them feel”
    Thank you for always making me feel the insane range of emotions your posts, tweets, etc create.
    Much kindness and love

  147. And if and when you think you need them. As has been said above, you be you, and that’s all you need to be. You being you is pretty damned wonderful, and it makes me happy to see you (even if only figuratively).

  148. Thank you. I feel like you pulled this directly out of my own head and then put it in logical, beautiful words that I could never properly express on my own! I am from SC and amidst all the horrible events of the past week and the “racial” debates currently circulating I find myself choosing not to comment or express an opinion on social media. Not that I don’t have one. But what you’ve written explains my reasons exactly and until now I didn’t even realize it. Thank you for reminding me I don’t have to feel guilty or cold hearted for not expressing my thoughts on these matters. I would much rather be happy looking at all thefuzzy kitties on the internet than be saddened by all the idiots in the world and lower myself by being a part of the problem and adding to the media frenzy. Not my circus, not my monkeys!

  149. This is the single blog I read. I have a limited attention span so I read one blog. This one.

    Why?

    Because this is your place and you say whatever you want. I love it. I read it because you speak your mind. It’s usually funny as hell. Sometimes it’s thought provoking, gut wrenching or heart rending. But it’s yours.

    I don’t want you to speak for other people. They can speak for themselves. I don’t want you to speak for me, I can speak for myself. I want to hear what you have to say.

    You write things that touch people. And you write about giant metal chickens and using them to fucking with your husband and that’s funny. You write about the joy that there is in life, even when life’s being kind of a dick about things again.

    You wrote something once. “Depression is a liar.” I’ve mentioned that before. That line, those 4 words are a huge part of why I am alive today because I was suicidal and I saw that and went “well shit, maybe not today then” and found the help I needed.

    And you followed my dog on twitter.

    If you became a shill for other people’s causes I’d stop reading. Because it wouldn’t be you anymore. I come here for the things YOU have to say. To hear your song.

    Sometimes your song makes me want to reach out and hug you but then I remember that would probably freak you out because STRANGER DANGER. But now I go to the store and look for giant metal giraffes because I kind of want one. I don’t know what I’d do with it but something! I would name it Penelope. But I walk by the local zoo and see the giraffes and think of that post kind of a lot.

    Please keep telling your story and sing your song. Let other people be responsible for theirs. And if they think you’re a bad person for not telling theirs… well they should look up “bad person” in the mirror.

  150. The things you write about are the right things, because they come from YOU! Amazing, inspiring, hysterical, relate-able, honest YOU. You help so many people by making us laugh and cry (either from laughter or from emotion), and by making us feel like we are understood and not quite so alone. I have been reading your writing for years, and while I do agree with most things you say, there has never been a post that made me say, “I’m done with this.” Which is what I would do, by the way. If I didn’t like what you wrote about, I wouldn’t read it in the first place! So many people seem to be looking for a reason to be unhappy, and as someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety since I was in elementary school (not that I realized what it was at that point), I can’t understand why you would WANT to add more conflict and tension to the world.

    Don’t listen to anyone who tells you what you “should” be writing about. Your posts and this community help so many of us, and give us inspiration. I even have a tattoo on my wrist to remind me that “depression lies”, and I will be forever grateful to you for that statement. Thank you, always.

  151. I commend you woman, you are an amazing one. I never thought to ask you to discuss or read into my cause, I guess they are my own and I share them because I want to. I say keep doing what you do, and you know and understand more about what makes you great than I think you realize. Your words keep me smiling, make me laugh, and inform. You are wonderful, and this post truly proves the awesome honesty of you. Thank you for being amazing.

  152. Jenny – you are such a beautiful person, and I love you in a completely-platonic-not-at-all-stalkerish kind of way! Thanks for being a shining star who reminds me that depression lies as I fight the good fight against my major depression which has morphed into bipolar depression.

  153. Keep singing your songs! You have made me laugh and cry and I always keep coming back to your blog for smiles and hope.

  154. Brilliant.

    And I’m going to use “cancer is not what I like” every chance I get.

  155. Spoon theory is one of my absolute favorites – it’s such a great explanation for any invisible problem, be it mental illness or chronic pain or whatever else people struggle with that doesn’t include a wheelchair or something easy to see. People NEED you to do, to say, to be present, but that doesn’t mean you have the energy to actually do all of it. Singing all of these songs takes a lot of spoons. I think sometimes people need to realize that their need doesn’t trump the needs of the person they’re demanding things from (even if they’re demanding in the very nicest of ways).

  156. I really understand what you mean. I see eye to eye with you about pretty much everything you have shared about your standards and beliefs and the causes that are important to you. What I have found is that the more people demand that I share and talk about these issues, the more overwhelmed I feel and eventually I become apathetic to those issues for a time. I deal with excessive guilt and anxiety over things I cannot control and when that guilt and anxiety complete consumes me, depression soon follows and then I cannot care about anything.

    I can only safely acknowledge world issues in my own time, and on my own time. I really believe that discussing them in my home, with my children, is more likely to make a difference in the future than speaking about it on social media to adults who have made up their own minds based on their own life experiences who wont change until they have new life experiences that show them the world in a way they’ve never seen it before.

    I started out as a conservative, Mormon who felt very strongly about not allowing gays to marry or adopt. Now I am an agnostic, feminist who supports gay marriage and adoption, amongst many other human rights issues that I sneered at in my old life, because I had life experiences and made unlikely friendships and relationships, professional and personal, that gave new perspectives.

  157. “If you aren’t saying something thought-worthy then you are adding to the roar that is the world”. Yes, a million times, YES!

  158. Thank heaven you said it. I feel like a dick sometimes for not shouting my views from the rooftops, but seriously, I JUST WANT TO TALK ABOUT BOOKS, OKAY?

  159. Thank you 😊 So, so right on. I love that your writing makes me laugh. It’s what I turn to when I need to get the assholes out of my head. So by just saying NO, you are rescuing me. xo

  160. Thank you for being you, rather than someone else’s parrot. Also, your kindness towards those who lapse in kindness is amazing and inspiring. Remembering that we are all assholes, that there is no them, there is only us, and that sometimes we are not in our best form, makes a lot of the crap in life more understandable, and a bit bearable. Thank you for sharing who you are and helping me find some of the better bits of myself.

    Oh, and if you’ve not seen it, “Validation” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbk980jV7Ao

  161. This. So much this. Also the, something horrible happened in the world today, so you’re an asshat who I’ll unfollow/unfriend/throw elephant poo at, if you mention a TV show or what you ate for lunch. As someone who fights depression and anxiety daily and has an insane amount of stress in my life right now (hello never ending custody battle + shitty ass job) I can’t pay attention to it all. I just physically and emotionally can’t. It’s not that I don’t care about the world, I just don’t have it in me right now to deal. It doesn’t make me a bad person because I talked about a spectacular breakfast I had one day.

    You do you, I’ll do me. It’s all okay. The world is filled with crazy and it’s also filled with amazing things. You just have to look a bit harder for the good. Anyway, keep being you. It’s what has kept me reading after all these years.

    ps. when in need of awesome, I look at baby goat videos. Baby goats on trampolines. Baby goats in PJ’s. Baby goats are lovely.

  162. So this song has helped me through many a rough patch in life. Maybe some of you would like it.

    It’s funny, because it’s from the Steve Martin movie Leap of Faith, which was sort of a middling movie at best but at least had a good message at the end. Not really a comedy, which is unusual for him. Anyway, it’s a movie about a huckster who goes from town to town staging revivals and basically scams people for money. But the music? Oh, man, the soundtrack is just awesome.

    I’m not really a particularly religious person…in fact, about 99% of the time I’m in the agnostic column. But the lyrics to this song speak to me, and the vocal work is just awesome.

    Give it a listen and let the message hit you. I get tears in my eyes when I play it sometimes.

    Change in my Life by John Pagano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lip2K4x2Mhg

  163. UI come here to read because you make me laugh (and because I somehow feel we were separated at birth when I often come to an anecdote that feels like I could have written it on an experience level if not on a writing skill level). The laughter you give me helps me to forget all the shitty things that happen on almost a daily basis. So I want to thank you for all that stress forgetting laughter. There are times that you have made my day and I highly appreciate them.

  164. I don’t have anything to add right now other than:

    Thank you for welcoming me into your house. I still love you.

  165. Reblogged this on Properly Ridiculous and commented:

    I have been a silent observer/fan/reader of Jenny Lawson for quite some time – and this post is absolutely spot on. If you’ve never heard of The Bloggess herself, or read her words – this is the perfect starting point.
    I love it, I love it, I love it.

  166. You cannot speak to everyone but you speak a vast majority of us who need you humor, your truth and your even your dark days. You speak from your heart and no one has the right to tell you what you should believe in or what cause you should promote.
    I sing, in the car, when i’m alone, very loud and very off key. But I sing because I like it and it makes me feel good.

  167. I sometimes visualize myself as my Texan great grandmother’s caste-iron skillet. It has a solid non-stick surface built up over numerous years and three generations. When someone tries to attach their guilt to me, I smile and bless their hearts and let that shit slide right off….not my circus…not my monkey. And HELL YES….KINDNESS RULES! Even if they are dicks. Thank you for all the inspiration and laughter!

  168. Thank you for everything you write. Thank you for the funny things that make me laugh out loud when I’m sitting in a pub reading your book by myself and make people look at me worriedly, and thank you for the times when you can’t come up with anything funny and remind me that I’m not alone in being unable to see any good in the world. Thank you for being brave enough to publicize your struggles, because you helped me to be brave enough to ask for help.

  169. Beautifully said. Like every writer – like every =person= – your voice is your own to use as you choose, and you always choose perfectly. Meanwhile, a friend tweeted about this, and it’s amazing. It could change EVERYone’s world.

    A bunch of teenagers invented a condom that detects STDs and changes color to show what disease it’s found. The difference this could make is huge, and hearing about it made my day.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/condom-detects-stds?utm_term=.imX6p70xO#.jxmQaP5WX

  170. I don’t know if I was the first person to send you Boggle the Owl, but I know I did tweet the anxiety comic to you some time ago. I’m sure I’m not the only one though, because Boggle the Owl is wonderful and fantastic.

    Just like you, and this blog. On days when the anxiety is just too much, I come here for a smile, a laugh, and a reminder that I am not alone. It helps me so much, and I can’t thank you enough for that.

  171. I’m sad on your behalf because it’s not fair of people to expect YOU to support every single thing they do. It’s great that they believe their own causes enough to include someone as wonderful as YOU, but it’s horrible and selfish of them to think you should fall all over yourself to help every single person. It’s not you, it’s them and they’re being asshole-ish. Get out of that corner.

    Keep being you, Jenny. You’re wonderful.

  172. how does one get your email because I occasionally see cat videos and think Jenny would love that. 2. I’m coming to San Antonio this weekend to visit and pack up my mother to bring her back to AL. Will be there for about 2 weeks. You said we were welcome at your house. What day should I come? 3. If you did write about all the misery in the world, you would lose me faster than you can say “Knock, knock…….” because if I wanted that I would watch the news or read the paper. I read your blog to find the quirky, the kind, the generous, the never give up attitude in the world (kinda like why I follow Humans of New York – and if you don’t – you need too. It’s also wonderful and feel goodish.) Please never change. and thank you for all the quirky, kind, generous and never give up you do. Now off to a massage. Hugs, c

  173. You are my strong place. Your blog is the one I look to for my small pocket of good in the world. You are an amazing person with so much wisdom and truth and humor to share with the world. Thank you. From the bottom, all the way to the top of my heart.

  174. I just really loved your chicken story. It made me laugh until I cried. That is all.

  175. Beautifully written and so right. Keep on doing you, and the people that get it will stick around and the ones that don’t…well, I’m sure they’ll find a place that works for them, and we’ll all be okay in the end.

  176. That was beautiful. Last night two teens were given kindness awards at my son’s swim meet. Ben’s Bells, a local nonprofit gives out the awards. Their mission is to spread kindness. So simple and yet so powerful.

  177. I love you. You are amazing. You are not a marketing firm. Boggle the Owl rules.

    You are amazing.
    You are beautiful.
    You are a good person.

  178. Thank you for not beating the drum for every person who asks, no matter how well-meaning. I come here to read you – and it’s so refreshing that you give me you and don’t subject me to somebody else’s mission in life.

  179. “YES. FUCKING EXACTLY. THIS IS WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY BUT I COULDN’T FIND THE WORDS FOR IT.” Which is pretty much what I think every time I read your posts.

    As for sharing something of mine, I’ll share a quote that I keep on my phone to remind me during my most anxious, miserable times that I will be okay: “Fear is a superpower.” It’s a line from a recent Doctor Who episode. It sang to me. It was the first time I ever considered that I could look at my fears and anxieties as gifts, rather than curses.

  180. I’m a lurking follower, but I want to tell you I love your song/blog/house and it is beautiful and means so much to me. Last week, there was a lot going on that was shitty in the world/my life, and your post about your coworker replacements gave me joy. If you never wrote another word (which I hope doesn’t happen, but whatever gives you happiness) you would still have enriched my life immeasurably with giant metal chickens as a perspective check. Also yes Boggle the Owl and those posts, and Spoon theory always.

  181. Said here before, I’m sure, but “YES. FUCKING EXACTLY. THIS IS WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY BUT I COULDNT FIND THE WORDS FOR IT.”

  182. Although Nigerian writer Ben Okri’s essay “While the World Sleeps” was originally written for poets, I believe that it has universal appeal. It gives me goosebumps. Every damn time. An excerpt:

    The antagonists of poetry cannot win. The world seems resistant but carries within it for ever the desire to be transformed into something higher. The world may seem unyielding but, like invisible forces in the air, it merely awaits imagination and will to unloosen the magic within itself. The poet is not a creator but an alchemist. Poets are helplessly on the side of the greatest good, the highest causes, the most just future.

    The world in which the poet lives does not necessarily yield up the poetic. In the hands of the poet, the world is resistant. It is only with the searching and the moulding that the unyielding world becomes transformed in a new medium of song and metaphor. It is not surprising therefore that poets seem to be set against the world. The poet needs to be up at night, when the world sleeps; needs to be up at dawn, before the world wakes; needs to dwell in odd corners, where Tao is said to reside; needs to exist in dark places, where spiders forge their webs in silence; near the gutters, where the underside of our dreams fester. Poets need to live where others don’t care to look, and they need to do this because if they don’t they can’t sing to us of all the secret and public domains of our lives. They need to be multiple witnesses around the central masquerades of reality in order to convey fully the unimaginable dimensions of the deity’s terrible and enchanting dance.

    Poets, be cunning. Learn some of the miracles. Survive. Weave your transformations in your life as well as in your work. Live. Stay alive. Don’t go under, don’t go mad, don’t let them define you, or confine you, or buy your silence. If they do confine you, burst out of their prisons with wilder fatidical songs. Be a counter-antagonist, break their anti-myths. Where the enemies breed destruction, sow seeds of startling light. Keep sowing. Time will reap. Weave your songs by whatever means you can. “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” wrote Nietsche. There is no reason why the poet, if possessed of practical intelligence, cannot survive as well as the politician, or the banker. Don’t become a dying breed. Dare to stick around for the hard and beautiful harvest. We need you even as we antagonise you. Remember: it is from the strength of your antagonists that you derive your greater authority. They make it absolutely necessary for you to be more than yourself. Follow Melville’s precept, which he had nailed to his writing desk: “Be true to the dreams of thy youth.” After your untimely and much lamented death, we would shout about how much we miss the uniqueness of your voice, your demanding presence, your duende. Don’t wait till you’re dead to know that in reality the whole of life is on your side.

    Poet, be like the tortoise: bear the shell of the world and still manage to sing your transforming dithyrambs woven from our blood, our pain, our loves, our history, our joy. The lonely and inescapable truth simply is that this is the only kingdom you will ever have. This is the home of your song.

  183. I have never commented here before, but this post finally prompted me to. First off, I say “Bravo.”
    Here is my touchstone for joy, love, and the pain that goes with it all. My wonderful big sister died of glioblasatoma multiforme a year and a half ago, only six months after diagnosis.
    This is what she posted on her facebook page one week after surgery and diagnosis:
    “Maybe it’s time for full disclosure. I had a malignant brain tumor removed last Friday and it seems to have been the plug that blocked my inner extrovert. These are some deep truths that I would like to share:
    I have a lifetime of the most remarkable friends that anyone has ever had. They have buoyed me through this with humor, sympathy, and patience.
    Life isn’t short, it is as full and as long as the moment. I feel full of hope and joy. We need to stop making time to be mean for any reason. Only connect, only be kind. We can control ourselves, not others, not chance.
    For some reason, I keep on turning towards this bizarre face book platform to process my whirring thoughts. Just know that I am not afraid, and that I am thankful for all that life has offered me. And that whatever comes next comes next. And that I have staples in my head, a wonderful husband, happy dogs, a great family. And if I am keeping you thinking my thoughts, let them be my thoughts of joy.”

  184. Oh, hon. I feel you. I work for a nonprofit–a child abuse prevention organization. We don’t investigate cases. We do education, advocacy, etc. in hopes of preventing it before it gets started. People call me frequently, wanting us to take a stand on a particular case–which we simply cannot do, because we don’t comment on cases. They want us to intervene with judges and investigators, and when I tell them we don’t do that, they sometimes go ballistic. “But, but, YOU’RE CALLED PREVENT CHILD ABUSE!!!” Meaning I should do whatever they think that name means to them. It’s hard to say no.

  185. It’s hard to type while giving you a standing ovation, but I’ve managed. Thanks for saying this so eloquently and beautifully. I get “support this” on a daily basis. I’d rather support myself, my family, and all the other people I love.

    Tim Minchin’s “My House” reminds me we all have our own unique experience and seems appropriate to post here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5ym1EcV_NY

  186. I had a dream last night about a high school classmate of mine. He and his husband are looking to grow their family through open adoption, and I dreamt that I attended a presentation they were doing about why they will make wonderful parents. I knew when I woke up this morning that I needed to do something to help them, so I want to share their plea for a birth mother to share her heart with them.

    So I would like to share their story with your readers, such as a comment can do, and set off into the world a hope that a family can be made. That is a kindness I want out there today.
    https://www.facebook.com/dannyandjason?pnref=story

  187. When I am having a bad day, this always lifts me up and reminds me that we are all in this together.

    Keep being you, Jenny. You are uniquely beautiful, inside and out. 🙂

  188. Your mind is a beautiful place even though it’s strewn with land mines, don’t ever believe differently. You have brought joy into my life with your absurd and wonderful posts. I can’t get enough! Keep talking I can’t get enough!

  189. You just helped me nail down my tattoo. “Sing YOUR song – Just Be”. I think that says it perfectly. I’ll sing my song, you sing yours, and we’ll make beautiful music because we are who we are. I’m not better than you, and you’re not better than me – we’re equals. We’re amazingly the same, but so extraordinarily different and that’s just how it needs to be.
    Thank you for this Jenny. You truly are wonderful.

    PS: A few years ago, when I told my Mother-in-Law that I was reading your book she said “I”d like to borrow that! I’ve heard lots of people recommend it!” For awhile (up until today actually) I thought “I can’t let her borrow it! The author talks about dildos!”, but after my MiL said “Titties” the other week, I think she’ll LOVE your book. I guess my point is that you can never really know someone, and your book is for EVERYONE! Especially Mother-in-Laws that say titties! 😀

    PPS: Have you seen Kinky Boots the Musical? I think you would like it. Your daughter (I can’t remember how to spell her name) might like it too! 🙂 Also – YAY for Matilda. I cannot stop singing the praises of that musical. Kinky Boots too. Anywhoodle – the Just Be part of the tattoo comes from Kinky Boots.

    PPS: You have raised an amazing daughter. We need more amazing people in the world, and you’ve got a good one there!

  190. I think this is perfect. I totally understand what compels people to think, “This person is awesome and does awesome things, so I’ll ask her to support my awesome thing and she’ll totally be down.” However, people forget that 1 request is reasonable but 10,000 requests is overwhelming. You take care of yourself; that’s one thing that will make all of your readers happy (and anyone made unhappy by that can kiss off).

  191. This has been the hardest lesson I ever had to learn. I don’t have the masses to listen to me or hear my song or share or demand of me, however just learning to hear myself above all the negative voices around me has been vastly freeing. I can only hope that people understand this from you as well.

  192. I love you, God bless you, and you just…just…keep writing how YOU
    WRITE! You have a BRILLIANT, STRIDENT voice. I am
    I am a LONGTIME fan. I think you’re amazing, & the only
    Scary thing about your blog is that folks ACTUALLY SAID
    THOSE THINGS TO YOU. The end.
    You are amazing. Please don’t change,
    Meredith Silverman

  193. You write,”…the time I found a severed boobie on my lawn” and provide no link? That’s just mean. 😉

  194. Also, as others have mentioned, “depression lies” is what really helps me. Sometimes I have to chant it in my head over and over, but it does help.

  195. One of the many things I love about you is that I know I came come to your site and smile. Even when you are serious, it feels hopeful and real. You are a bright spot in my day – even when you say you don’t feel very shiny. Please don’t ever change and know that there are a lot us out here who love you.

  196. You’ve said it before and you will say it again- depression lies. That little phrase has gotten me and my daughter through some rough times(and will get us through more- no doubt). Thank you for singing your song. You are amazing.

  197. Excellent post! You shouldn’t even have to say this – this should go without saying. Your blog, your words, your prerogative to do what you want to do…say what you want to say. I find peace, community, hope when I come here and that is what I look forward to when I visit. Thank you for being you!

  198. I’ve shared it before but I’ll share it again. Riley is adorable and became viral when she had a Youtube video about Marketing to girls and about superheroes and the color pink and it was all kinds of adorable and was even remixed and I know it so well I could sing it for you if you asked or even if you didn’t. Anyway… her parents posted a video of her doing that sort of free form talking that tiny kids do. The beginning is about food and her pronunciations and facial expressions are so cute that it can cheer just about anyone up. Her statement at about 1:55 is just so sweet and…. Gah. I love this child. https://youtu.be/gqHRGOuv53Y (Riley on marketing – https://youtu.be/-CU040Hqbas The remix – https://youtu.be/mqrgKwCotqM)

  199. You nailed it and beautifully…keep singing your song and may we all share a chorus someday:)

  200. Thank you, so much, for singing your song. For building this house, and for writing these books. I’m just one person, but your words have helped me through some of my worst days. I have some of your blog posts bookmarked for when I’m not myself and need to be reminded that it’s okay, that I’ll come back, and that I’m still worth caring about.

    Anyway. Now that I’m all weepy, I thought I’d share this. It’s a blog I’ve never heard of, but it made its way to my eyeballs and I thought the shirt was cute, so I bought one. Then I actually read the post, and it seems like the guy who designed it is just trying to do some good and help people who need helping, and I wish I could buy eighty more of these shirts. Plus, kitties.

    http://stufffromthestall.blogspot.com/2015/05/place-cat-here.html

    PS: Spoon Theory is perhaps the single most helpful thing I’ve ever come across when trying to explain daily life inside my head to people who mean well but just don’t get it. I want to print it out and hand it to strangers on the street. Thank you for sharing.

  201. Thank you for sharing this. I have so many emotions about this same thing, always struggling to find the balance and sorting out how I want to show my support and love in so many areas. It’s wonderful to know I’m not the only one. Keep singing your song. It’s an inspiration for us to sing out own <3

  202. Jenny, you are amazing and brave and inspiring and I thank you for the laughs and kind reminders and all you do to impact your world, and ours. This quote was a YES moment for me:

    “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall.

  203. I don’t have a link or anything to share. But I will say that you typing “Sing your song” has caused that Carpenters’ song “Sing a Song” to be stuck in my head…probably for at least the rest of the day, or maybe the whole week. Thanks a lot!

    Also: MY HEART CRIES FOR THE LEGLESS ORANGE KITTENS!

  204. I love this! I think that setting boundaries can be scary sometimes, yet you articulated yours beautifully. I also want to thank you for the story of Beyoncé and picking battles. I was in tears laughing the first time I read it. I immediately tried to read it out loud to my fiancé, but he ended up just reading it himself because I was still laughing way too hard to be coherent. About a week later I found a 2 foot tall version of Beyoncé the chicken at Ross. I named her Lil’ Kim, and we hide her in random places around the house to mess with each other. Thank you for sharing your stories and thoughts.

  205. Thank you, so much, for singing your song. For building this house, and for writing these books. I’m just one person, but your words have helped me through some of my worst days. I have some of your blog posts bookmarked for when I’m not myself and need to be reminded that it’s okay, that I’ll come back, and that I’m still worth caring about.

    Anyway. Now that I’m all weepy, I thought I’d share this. It’s a blog I’ve never heard of, but it made its way to my eyeballs and I thought the shirt was cute, so I bought one. Then I actually read the post, and it seems like the guy who designed it is just trying to do some good and help people who need helping, and I wish I could buy eighty more of these shirts. Plus, kitties.

    http://stufffromthestall.blogspot.com/2015/05/place-cat-here.html

    PS: Spoon Theory is perhaps the single most helpful thing I’ve ever come across when trying to explain daily life inside my head to people who mean well but just don’t get it. I want to print it out and hand it to strangers on the street. Thank you for sharing.

  206. PPPS: I love this quote “We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” ~Oscar Wilde

    Also – “You can’t take the sky from me” from Firefly, and “I have loved the stars to fondly to be fearful of the night” ~Sarah Williams (often mis-labeled as being from Galileo.)

  207. Brilliant. You can’t please everyone, and you can’t support every cause, openly. And that’s okay. You are but a person, trying to do the best you can. You’re also not alone. Taylor Swift stood up for the small artists in her industry, but now people want to her to revolutionize, well, everything. There is no winning, so don’t beat yourself up. People will always hate something and with the internet, it’s easy to share that. Personally, I fully support hating assholes. Just keep being a fucking awesome person, you beautiful cinnamon roll.

  208. I have this quote from Dean Koontz posted in all my offices, framed on my bedroom wall, and stuck to the dash of my car: “Each smallest act of kindness, reverberates across great distances and spans of time –affecting lives unknown to the one who’s generous spirit, was the source of this good echo. Because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage, years later, and far away.”

  209. Brilliant. You can’t please everyone, and you can’t support every cause, openly. And that’s okay. You are but a person, trying to do the best you can. You’re also not alone. Taylor Swift stood up for the small artists in her industry, but now people want to her to revolutionize, well, everything. There is no winning, so don’t beat yourself up. People will always hate something and with the internet, it’s easy to share that. Personally, I fully support hating assholes. Just keep being a fucking awesome person, you beautiful cinnamon roll.

  210. WOW! I have no stories to share or causes to claim. I rarely read long articles or long posts. But you hit the nail on the head. I try not to make statements descrying this or that practice, people, thought, or event. I try to be level. If I am presented with something horrible, or something I disagree with, I step back, know where I stand, and try to live by my example. I know this is a weird comment, but my political, religious, racial, gender, stance is my business. I vote with my feet and at the polls, but I don’t shout from rooftops that everyone needs to agree with me.

    Now I feel silly.

  211. Part of living a public life – and yes, publishing anything is a public life, even if you get to do it in your underwear – is setting boundaries. And this you have done. You were doing it all along, and now you are publicly sharing your boundaries. Kudos. And keep on rocking on!

  212. I went to a Catholic college and we were required to take two religion courses. I ended up taking religions of the world and something I learned in that class about Buddhist philosophy has stuck with me ever since. One of the cores of Buddhist teaching is that all of life is suffering, which at first thought sounds like a pretty shitty deal and probably not true because I’ve had really happy moments in my life, but my professor went on to explain that the cause of the suffering in life is attachment. Attachment to an idea, a feeling, a person… in one example it was literally and figuratively a limb. When we want or lose the tangible or intangible items that we are attached to, we suffer. It struck a chord with me because of a loss I was dealing with at the time, and helped me to understand that if I just let go of the attachment, I could stop feeling so shitty about it. Moving forward the idea has helped me live in the moment and helped me to deal with stresses in a more product way.

    Thanks for your post! I enjoy reading them.

  213. I have been wondering where you have been. I figured something was weighing on you and as a white southerner…I totally get it.

    Literally, I have a song lyrics that always sticks with me…and its from South Pacific, which normally when I say that…most people are like wtf.

    “You’ve got to have a dream, because if you don’t have a dream…how you gonna have a dream come true?”

    When the dark clouds spill over me, I usually start singing this.

  214. The only two blogs I read are yours and momastery. She had a post a while back in support of same sex marriage. She talked about kindness and “grace anarchy”. I love your writing and I’m sorry there are people who make you feel shitty.

  215. First off let me thank you for opening the doors of your house and letting us all in. ‘Beyoncé’ may have brought me to you a few years ago but I come back over and over because of YOU and want to read what is coming out of your head – I don’t want to read what other people want you to say and think!!! Let them find their own platform.

    Thank you also for the link to Boggle the Owl on Anxiety it explains my life very clearly.

    Let’s all do a random act of kindness everyday!

  216. Is it possible to love someone you have never met? After this I can wholeheartedly say, yes. You’re the leader of the misfits and the people that often feel as though we don’t have a voice. Today, I was reminded that we do. I was reminded that my voice is unique and beautiful and is worthy of being shared with the world. I love you. We all love you. Thank you for loving us back.

  217. You found a severed boobie on your lawn?! Wow. Did I miss a post on that? At any rate, thank-you for writing this. The best thing I ever learned from therapy is that your (mine, yours, ours) feelings are totally valid. Write/share what speaks to you – nobody has the right to shame or guilt or bully you into posting anything else.

  218. Your’s is the only blog I read, because you speak to me. You are a sister from another mister even though you don’t know me and I doubt we’ll ever meet. And I’m ok with that. Just knowing there’s SOMEONE out there that looks at the world the same way I do….that’s enough for me.

    I have two songs I’m currently singing. I volunteer for an organization that provides service dogs to Veterans with PTSD….free of charge. http://puppyjakefoundation.org/

    I also am trying to make the world a better place through our food system. (Factory farms are bad mmmmmkay?) http://www.gofundme.com/pasturepigproject

  219. What I can give you is this post you just wrote. Wonderfully, beautifully said.

  220. Slow clap. You’re awesome. If I were to add something to the pile of things that help make the world a better place, it would be anything by Dallas Clayton. (www.dallasclayton.com)

  221. BRILLIANT!!! Anyone who demands that someone else be the voice…why aren’t THEY the voice. If they feel that passionately, let them fight! Yell from the rooftops, make the calls, write the letters, carry the signs, donate the money, and make NOISE. If you’re feel strongly about something be the voice yourself, and you’ll gather people along the way with the attraction of your message, not with the demanding others be your voice. Be the reason some company, some politician, some hateful shitty organization has to take an extra drink tonight.

    hugs You do SO much…don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  222. I saw this news article earlier this week and I just couldn’t stop smiling. I already have a bad case of wanderlust and now I simply must visit Taiwan. Flying direct with Hello Kitty. My husband is almost sorta kinda talked into it. http://www.chron.com/business/article/Hello-Kitty-makes-for-serious-business-and-some-6338782.php

    I come to your blog not to specifically talk about the Big Issues, even though those sometimes come up, but to read your take on the world, including those occasional Big Issues. It’s your blog. And that’s why I’m here. <3

  223. The Spoon Theory. That was amazing. Made me cry. Thank you for doing what you do! Thanks for the laughter and the serious-ness sometimes. It’s all worth it.

  224. With great popularity comes great power. You probably should read my book to help you relax. It’s porn but in a fun way cause it all takes place at Disney World, yet doesn’t have any weird character play. Screwing Mickey would just be weird. I have standards. Plus I paired a Disney cocktail and recipe to each of the short stories in the book. I love theming with booze. It’s the total opposite of dealing with soul-stealing, draining, makemefeellikedirt bs. It has 12 “happy endings”. Dark Rides, Erotic Disney Theme Park Adventures. On Amazon. I know you don’t like people randomly sending you stuff so I won’t. But, if you’d like a signed copy, let me know and I will. Not asking for any promoting (it’s done well so far on its own). I just think it would give you a laugh and perhaps make you want to go to WDW and do horrible dirty things in the companion restrooms. Victor, you’re welcome.

  225. What I’m pissed about is that you are not talking about me! I guess I’ll file my list of demands for you in the circular bin.

    I enjoy reading you. I like your perspective and opinions (I’m even assuming I would like them if I disagreed).

    Some blogs and articles make me want to write a rebuttal … just because. I read yours when I can and smile, nod my head, and sometimes blow coffee out of my nose. It’s a good thing. You provide things we can think about, and never in an argumentative manner that would provoke the desire for “and here’s my opinion.” (But that’s just my opinion.)

    I like what you do, the way you do it. Don’t ever change.

    How do you feel about shaving? (http://40somethingbreckgirl.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-blog-no-one-wants-to-read-way.html)

    http://40somethingbreckgirl.blogspot.com/2015/06/why-world-needs-caitlyn-jenner.html

  226. Hmmm. So I’m not going to the fiery pit for not reposting all those “Share if you love Jesus, ignore if you are Satan’s minion” posts? 70 years later I am still shaking off the guilt yoke of being raised Boston Irish Catholic. Bless the gods (or demons), who gifted me the dark humor that is my sanctuary. Shine on with your own spectacular light. You never know whose path you illuminate.

  227. I’m a black woman, with two black sons and a black daughter on the way. And life is scary right now and I’m frustrated and sometimes just want to turn in on myself because nowhere feels safe. And I tell you this, so you know where I’m coming from. I love your blog and I come here when I need to just be OKAY. When I need a few minutes (sometimes it turns into hours) to not feel like life is a crappy deal that will never get better. And occasionally, I end up surprised that you’ve actually weighed in on something, so I make sure to read because I know it must have been pressing on you if you decided to say something. And it makes me feel better that you DON’T post about these things regularly because you consider them to be a “Duh!” posts and “Of course these things are bad!”. The fact that you do gives me a hope. Hope that things won’t always feel this way and won’t always be this scary. So, know that at least one person appreciates things exactly as they are. And here’s something that made me cry and gave me chillls and that I listened to several times in a row because it was so beautiful to me. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/22/when-a-black-man-and-a-white-woman-speak-for-each-other_n_7638530.html?1435003657=&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

  228. Those of us who have followed you forever don’t expect more out of you. We accept what you are able to give, when you reach back out to us, we know you know us… and are aware of us. You’ve helped me through black times, even when you aren’t aware of it

    JUST REMEMBER… you are fantastic just as you are, just as you are able to give us… and your most faithful loving followers love you just as you are, just as you are able to allow us in, just don’t change for the others, and please don’t write crap that you THINK WE NEED because people tell you we need your opinion on it, just give us what we need… you, your humor, your adorable daughter, your goofy husband, beyonce, doctor who and every taxidermied item you find that you love!

  229. You are brilliant. And sparkly. And all the things that make you you and not someone else. We all have to make choices on what we support and speak out on or participate in, and just because you’re a public persona does not mean you should spread yourself thinner than cheap syrup on pancakes. I could do more, but I could also be an emptier shell for doing that. I think the world is better with a fuller you and me in it than one who doesn’t have time to do the fun cool stuff (or just hide under the covers and survive the day) that makes us us because . Do what makes your heart sing and then move along. There’s plenty of other singers out there too.

  230. Oh. Oh, shit. I get it……this is really brilliant and I appreciate you taking the time to spell it out so VERY clearly. All bloggers…or at least me….often think many of these thoughts but you’ve expressed them brilliantly….thank you for that. And my bit of inspiration,hope and kindness is from a current

  231. I’m surprised you have to write this – seems like common sense! Your house. Your rules. Basic manners.

    Love your blog just the way it is – unpredictable, funny, touching.

  232. A quote I try to live by: “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”

  233. This is awesome. You are awesome. I am in the middle of reading “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” because I’m 3 years behind on my reading list (and I have a 3 year old…hmm). Anyway, I have totally laughed out loud at inappropriate times, including at my desk as work while reading your blog and your brilliant posts on CafeMom.

    Let’s see…what’s really struck me this week? John Oliver’s take on the Internet and misogyny, I think, tops everything else I’ve seen or read so far, which I think also speaks to at least some of the hyper-visibility you experience: http://gizmodo.com/john-oliver-explains-why-the-internet-sucks-for-women-1713007517

  234. This was such a good post. It hits very close to home for me. Every year I get pressured and asked and expected to join the fight, for cancer awareness, the cure and you name it, because my mother died of cancer, how could I not? Truth is, I just can’t… not just because I think we are all perfectly aware cancer sucks and kills and destroys, or I also think most of this awareness crap does nothing to find the cure for anything- they gather money to perpetuate themselves, nothing more. I lost my mother to cancer, I’ve lost many I hold dear to cancer and it sucks. It is a deep wound. I think of them often, I don’t think slapping a badge on me saying I made people aware of cancer does anything more than keep the wound raw.
    I prefer to spend my energy living healthy, passing on things I’ve learned, trying not to remind myself of the pain and send my prayers to those in the fight. I also have some deeply held beliefs that my mother brought on a lot of her own pain and did little to stop it. And then slapped people in the face with her suffering to make them feel bad for not knowing her plight. She wielded it as a hammer to brow beat people, as she did with many things in her life. These things were use on me.
    I get made to feel bad or guilty for not helping the fight. More power to anyone who feels this is their life journey to fight cancer publicly in every area of their lives. It is not my journey. I don’t tell people all these feelings, I just politely deny the requests and try not to get angry at the guilt trip. Cancer destroys, I choose to give it no more power in my life than what it has already taken. I do all my proper screenings annually, more than most have to go through, and I try to live a life forgiving and living healthy in what I have control of. I too fight depression, and fibro and constant pain- all linked I am confident of. As for the awareness part, how about people quit wallowing and start eating healthier, get some damned exercise, quit smoking and using carcinogenic products… take some fucking responsibility for ourselves and learn that a lot is in our control. And quit brow beating those of us who just have to put that pain and loss away, or it could consume us and take over our lives, in bad bad ways. Thanks for listening. Keep being you, I love to laugh at your stories and I always see and understand some of that underlying pain. I would always rather laugh and guffaw than give darkness any more attention.

  235. Well, THAT was just splendiferous! But I’m kinda still stuck on the orange kitten thing. I need to know they’re okay.Because the image of their trying to scoot around on converted roller skates is troublesome.

  236. I was so scared this was going to be something bad!!!! You do use your Powers for Good which is why I cling to your blog like a suckerfish on crazy glue. If you filled every blog with a good cause that’s going to make me feel like (more of) an asshole – I would stop reading your blog and there would be this massive hole inside me that only weird awesome humor can fill. I don’t need you to be deep- I need you to be a safe-haven for the Left of Centers.

  237. “I am not your rage monkey” => That’s a great one and I’ll be using it myself! As usual, your post is not just great and food for thought in itself, but also brings out the best comment section of the internet ^_^

  238. I love this post! We would all do well to remember that we have our own song and just be happy when someone joins in at just the right time.

  239. You rock, Jenny Lawson. You are an excellent hostess in your lovely home, and it’s sad to hear that so many ask you for things in your own home, but yet it doesn’t surprise me. There’s a lot of things to support and back, but a person can only do so much. YOU are the one who matters the most, so you do what you need to do.

    Here’s something fun, which I’m sure you’ve seen, but it’s always fun to see David Tennant sing with the Proclaimers, and dang, can that Ood DANCE!

  240. I love you blog. My favorite one is about Beyoncé. I share every chance I get because I appreciate your humor. I need it in my life or like you, could fall into the depths of depression and never come out. This post reminded me of a disagreement I had with a close friend. I had done something shitty, more than once and even though I felt terrible and apologized, she continued to hold it over my head. I finally told her I couldn’t apologize anymore and if she couldn’t forgive me and move on, we couldn’t be friends anymore. I then told her, “I feel shitty enough on a daily basis all by myself. I do NOT need your help.” We cried. Problem solved.

    I get you. Keep writing!

  241. Via the awesomeness of the Yarn Harlot, my Words are Birds right now and they are flying away from me and not leaving much left to say but thank you. I am having an indescribably cruel month / year / foreseeable future and I really needed to read your post and links today.

    Thank you so much, Jenny.

  242. I was all like, “Yeah, you do you, you awesome badass of amazing!” but then I saw “severed boob” and like, OMG WTF BBQ, say whay?!?

  243. I think this post is outstanding. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the demands of readers, but I kind of was. It’s one thing to be passionate about a cause and try to get others to notice it, but intimidation tactics would never even occur to me. That’s part of why Twitter makes me crazy. I look at someone like you or Ellen DeGeneres who is on a mission to do good for others and has a lot of followers. There are so many shouts from fans for attention to important causes – but that much noise and anger would make me lose my mind!

    Personal boundaries are important; everyone should keep them!

  244. Depression lies. I’ve misquoted you, but I know you won’t mind that I’ve said to friends who need to be reminded. “Depression is a fucking liar. Please don’t believe it”.

  245. It isn’t enough to say that this was beautifully written. This is exactly why I read your stuff. You are a beautiful person. You are flawed, you show your insecurities, you are a little whack (ok, maybe more than a little, but that’s a good thing), you are funny, you are talented, you are kind, you are empathetic, you have an amazing view on the world, and you inspire me. Keep being you and I’ll come to visit your house as often as you’ll have me.

  246. I love your song, and I don’t want it to be changed by anyone but you. I love that so many times we are singing in chorus but sometimes you teach me a new verse. And I’m glad you felt empowered enough to say these things that you needed to get out and it doesn’t mean that you don’t want to help people but it can’t be all that you do and there’s no fair way to pick. So Yes! I get you! You are still loved and if you lose readers I’m afraid they weren’t really here for the tribe in the first place.

    Here’s some links… this one is heavy… but i read it this morning and it resonated with me and what I want my daughter to have/ Strength and not guilt and shame. http://while-you-were-sleeping.com/2014/02/04/rape-culture-cover-your-eyes/

    This is captivatingly lovely http://hellogiggles.com/couple-dance-video-subway/

    And this is straight up freaking adorable!! I’d never get anything done https://www.facebook.com/fidalgosphynx/videos/615255438589662/

    And these are things I listen to when the world gets too loud and I need to sooth my brain https://www.youtube.com/user/GentleWhispering https://www.youtube.com/user/MassageASMR

    Love you to wee little pieces Jenny. Your song has helped me sing my own xo

  247. I love you because you are not fake or full of promotion. You are genuinely kind and thoughtful. When I read your posts I can hear your heart and how you want to help others. You’ve helped so many just by giving us reminders that depression lies and that we are needed here and someone loves us. Now you’ve helped me to understand people with illnesses without a face by showing my the spoon theory. I am so greatful every day that I found your blog. Thank you for being brave enough to write your life’s story. We love you.

  248. Thank you for “on Anxiety” – I’ve been trying to will myself over the wall. My therapist keeps telling me to acknowledge the wall. My therapist is right 😉

  249. I’ve been a long time reader and never posted a comment but I’m commenting today. YOU GO GIRL. I am a long time reader because I want to read WHAT YOU WRITE. You are awesome.

  250. I’m glad you pressed “Go” anyway. And so are 344 other people before me!

  251. Jenny, your song is enough. I found you through laughter, and stayed because you GET it. You give voice to my song often. And you literally saved my life one night. I put out on Twitter questioning when it was time to seek hospitalization for depression, and you responded. I felt stupid and guilty and worthless. I thought they’d laugh when I said I wanted to hurt myself. Swiftly and surely, you said GO NOW. And I went. And I’m still here. YOUR SONG IS ENOUGH. Don’t worry about people who think you need to him a few bars of theirs. You’ve a gift to share. Share it your way.

  252. Thank you for saying this, and saying it so well. The expectation that is out there for bloggers to raise their own voices on every single shitty thing happening in the world is an exhausting one. It’s like the old saying – Pick your battles. We each have to choose the battles that are most important to us.

  253. What a well written post. When I’m feeling down I listen to this song from a musical called [Title of Show]. It’s a simple song that reminds me I’m stronger than the vampires that fly around my head.

    http://youtu.be/9DDdM66_nSI

  254. one of a persons greatest strengths is to know their own limitations and when to shut the eff up. This is why I read your blog. Because you are not only a genius but more self-aware than any other writer I know.

    I also know you weren’t fishing for comments like this but I mean it so there.

  255. Be kind to one another. Don’t be a dick. Are you Jesus, and if so, how do you take a bath?

  256. I sometimes feel like I have the opposite problem on my blog – I DO write the “racism sucks” posts and I’m even proud of how I phrased things; but then I throw that up there alongside posts about things like What I Made For Lunch and it’s the posts about lunch that get the most views.

    Whatever. You write what you write and that’s all that matters, just as long as you’re saying it the best way (okay, I have a problem with that too sometimes, but I’m climbing back on the writing horse after a period of Massive Persistent Suck and it’s like relearning a language, so baby steps).

  257. I think wil Wheaton said it best “don’t be a dick” , he would totally understand and agree with what you’re saying here . do as you please & don’t let the assholes get you down!

  258. Bravo. Lovely post. Lovingly and respectfully written. I adore your wacky wonderful songs.

  259. First I have to say that the second paragraph of this post totally reminded me of that scene from The Hobbit where Gandalf is attempting to explain to Galadriel why he brought Bilbo along with them. While others believe that only great power can fight the evil in the world, he has found “that it is the small things, every day deeds from ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.”–not gonna lie, that part almost always makes me teary-eyed, and so did reading your post today. Not sad tears, or happy tears, but the kind that appear when the words of another person connect to something inside of you and help remind you that you’re not alone. I’ve been reading your blog for over 6 years now but this is my first time to write a reply or comment, I guess because I was too self-conscious and convinced that I didn’t really have anything to say that was worth contributing. Or maybe I was just too lazy. Probably both. But now I feel compelled to thank you, thank you for opening up your house and inviting me in, making me feel welcome and wanted all these years. For the simple acts of kindness and love that are every single one of your posts and sentences in your books, regardless of the topic. Keep singing your song (or at least something by Prince, that man def is bad-ass).