Dear Jenny Lawson,
I love you. Until a few months ago I had never heard of you, but now I love you. Platonically speaking, I fall in love with people who entertain me or feed me or even remotely resemble Jesus. You fulfilled two out of three. Let me know when you want to take me to lunch.
A while ago, my youth pastor husband took his youth group to camp for a week and left me at home with our three lovely, noisy, destructive children. I think he felt obligated to come home with a gift for me. Not because he is thoughtful, but because I told him that he was obligated to come home with a gift for me. That’s how I ended up with a picture of a deranged raccoon following me around the house. My loving husband saw this psychotic stuffed creature on the cover of your book and immediately thought of me.
Since I’m always looking to escape my own thoughts, I immediately began to read your book “Furiously Happy”. At first, it made me furious. Then I realized that it was making me jealous. What most people don’t know about me is that I am mentally ill. Mainly OCD, PTSD, depression, and insomnia. Also, probably some type of social anxiety disorder and a backwards version of seasonal affective disorder (I get depressed after too many days without rain). You are also mentally ill but you seem to be having a lot more fun with it than me. This pisses me off. Or at least, it used to. I guess I was furiously jealous. I was definitely not furiously happy. Even though I was mad at you, I kept reading your book because it is so damn funny.
There were a lot of times while reading your book that I thought to myself, “that happened to me.” For example, once when I was eleven, I woke up with both my arms asleep (just like you). Totally freaked out that I would never be able to use my arms again, I walked to my older brother’s room. I wriggled my dead arms for my brother like a beached octopus and said desperately, “Fred, my arms don’t work.”
Fred looked at me blankly and said, “Get out of my room.”
Luckily, I recovered the use of my arms after some intense tingling and have been more thankful for them ever since.
You write about crazy things Jenny Lawson. Some painful. Some hilarious. All abnormal. As I continued reading your book I felt less jealous of you and a lot better about myself. I know that sounds bad, but let me explain: learning about your misery, shame, frustration, depression, arthritis, insomnia, and midnight cat rodeos, made me feel better because I felt less alone in my suffering. You are bringing things that are in the darkness into the light and for that I want to say thank you. You are walking in the light (see 1 John 1:7), which is why I said you resemble Jesus. Many of us Christians haven’t figured out how to walk in the light and for that I apologize. You are kicking-ass at something we are told to do, but are failing at miserably. Old school church ladies continue to remind us that we shouldn’t “hang out our dirty laundry”, but your dirty laundry made you a New York Times Best-Seller. You rock.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a little obsessed with Jesus. He makes me feel better about my life. When I think about Jesus I don’t think about all the marvelous things that he did. I think about all that things that he didn’t do. Jesus never got married. He didn’t have any children. If he had a good job, he abandoned it to hike around the county side with a bunch of other job quitters, mostly illiterate teen-aged fishermen. The people who were drawn to him were the poor, the children, the diseased, those tormented by demons, the prostitutes, the sinners, and the tax collectors. He was so radical that at one point, his own mother and brothers thought he was insane. He eventually died on a cross in shame, between two thieves. What did Jesus accomplish? He built no monuments. Jesus wrote no books. The man was a loser. And it was all on purpose! He knew that the rest of us losers would need someone to look up to.
Now, Jenny, I realize that in comparing you to Jesus I might be putting a little pressure on you to keep being awesome. Rest assured, I don’t expect you to start a world religion filled with rituals that involve whine and crazy-eyed taxidermy. I do fully expect that you will keep being awesome, with or without pressure from fans like me. But even if you totally screw up (as I have), the thing about Jesus is that you can fail miserably and he still loves you. So, whatever you hopelessly fail at for the rest of your life (like sleeping), just know that I am super thankful that you shared some of it, in writing, with me. For that, I love you.
Your totally-crazy-but-not-in-a-creepy-way twitter follower,