Wednesday, March 5, 2014

You People Rock My World

Yesterday I wrote this post about what's happening in Ukraine. I wrote it because Daniel has been telling me for a solid month that I should.

I hesitated writing it partly because I didn't think anybody would be all that interested in hearing what I had to say on the topic. I find it extremely interesting, of course. But I have a very special interest in what's happening between Russia and Ukraine, having lived in both countries and having spent a significant portion of my 20s in that part of the world.

I finally wrote yesterday, deciding that I had a unique voice on the topic that I should preserve on Stranger, even if it wouldn't end up being all that popular or interesting to you.

I think I underestimated your interest level on the topic and your compassion for the people involved in the mess. This is pretty typical. Historically I've been pretty terrible at predicting what kinds of things that I post will be interesting to you. Many times I have posted something that I thought was going to be a huge hit and then nobody really reads it. Other times I have posted something in a rush that I thought nobody would care about but that ended up being pretty popular. Snuggie Texts, for example.

Yesterday you took a great interest in the post on Ukraine and you shared it extensively on Facebook and what the kids are calling the Twitter. And that made me so happy. It made me happy because it's fun to have something that I write get spread around. But also it made me happy to see our Stranger community doing its part to raise awareness on what I think is a really important issue.

And it just made me think, for the one hundred million eleventyeth time how grateful I am to have you people. You Strangers make life fun and funny and interesting and educational and sometimes really really really scary. These past few years, when you all started finding Stranger, have been an incredible experience for me and my interactions with you have shaped me and affected me in ways that I'll probably never fully be able to describe.

But beyond feeling gratitude for the interactions, I want to thank you for doing so much to spread Stranger around. I'm well aware that we wouldn't have this sizable community of screwed-up people (us) if you didn't share this blog with your friends and family and coworkers and chickens. And the fact that you do that warms my icy cold heart.

I've wanted to be a writer for a long time. And I've dreamed since I was a kid that one day a lot of people might read things that I write. And care about them. Laugh about them. Feel something from them.

In the seventh grade I forced my English class every day to listen to the absurd stories I wrote by hand. I stood at the front of the class and read them aloud and emphatically. And nothing brought me more joy than this.

For the majority of childhood I sent letters to cousins and siblings and friends. Letters full of exaggerated and impossible stories about real and fictitious characters. And I loved doing that. And I dreamed and dreamed and dreamed that one day people would want to read those absurd stories and real thoughts. Maybe people I didn't even know.

Well, you guys have helped make that dream come true for me. Because of you, Stranger has seen tens of millions of visits during its short life (and probably most of those visitors left really freaked out or offended because POOP).

And in all your sharing and supporting, you've encouraged me to write so much more. And to learn to be a better writer than I was. And open up in ways I never thought I would or could. And feel all of the feels. I know you're just doing this because you think my hair looks really good today. But gosh darn it. You all deserve a giant gold star for that.

So, just, thank you. Twice up the barrel, once down the side.

~It Just Gets Stranger

25 comments:

  1. This post made me think about the poems you used to right me when I was at USU. I better dig those out and read them again.

    thank you for your blog and all the times you made me laugh or cry or care about something I didn't give much thought to before!

    - Krishelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am very disappointed that as your favorite cousin I didn't receive one of those letters or stories. I guess I will settle for your blog as my own personal letter and story that others happen to have access to. I guess the poems were saved for sisters and Krishelle is a derserving sister so you are forgiven.

      Delete
  2. I think we need to hear those stories from the seventh grade . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ^Agreed. So very, very, agreed.

      Delete
    2. I do too!!!

      Delete
    3. please please please!!!!

      Delete
    4. YES!, I just thought with all of us being "anonymous" (in my case because it is easier) it could be the same person who REALLY REALLY wants to see these and wants to look like they have back up. heck this could be YOU Eli, wanting to share those stories so you are posting from anonymous, to say we wanted it. are you following me? that all being said I promise that I am not one of the other anonymous people I am me and yes I do want to read those :) --Jami ( just to know who I am, altho I could repost giving a fake name each time, but I wouldn't because that would be wrong and I am inherently good :) )

      Delete
  3. I am much older than you - and I can honestly say that your blog inspires me. I do not write as eloquently as you do - but I try to get my thoughts and feelings out as best I can. Thank you for such a wonderful blog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No thank you Eli, when I first heard about the protests in the Ukraine, I was in Mexico trying to defrost because, I'm from Canada and it's a billion below zero here!! Anyway, as I said I was in Mexico trying to feel my toes again, when I turned on the tv in our room and was like wow the world has gone nuts in a week! I called home to ask what was going on and asked after I got home what was going on and nobody seemed to clearly know or understand it. Your explanation was very straight forward and basic, unlike all the media and political crap on TV. You explained it in a nut shell and we spread the word because there are a lot of confused people right now.
    Not to mention you're not a TV news man trying to make a sensation of things nor a politician trying to benefit. You are a person who has been there and have friends there, so your explanation is also a more trusted explanation of what the heck is going on as well. So again thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree I would never have understood what was going on until you told me :) ---Jami again :) ( again is not my last name)

      Delete
  5. Yes, thank you! I look forward to your blog posts, whether they involve chickens or poop or politics. I hope you'll continue writing, and I'm hoping for a book in the future so I can give it as a gift to friends!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just remember what I forgot to tell you: I just wanted to let you know that I played a video of yours from Youtube in my sociology class (Guatemala). My students loved it! Afterwards, another teacher asked me what I was doing in my class that was so fun, cause my students were laughing so much they were heard in the hallway. We were doing a study unit on culture and were discussing culture shock but we ended up having a long discussion about the culture of humour. So, thank you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I just realized that was rather confusing: we are NOT in Guatemala, we are in Canada, the video I played was your story about your trip to Guatemala.

      Delete
    2. Wendi--your comment just made my day!

      Delete
  7. I found you through the snuggy texts, on Pinterest of all places--you probably have no IDEA the places you've been....*one eyebrow up*

    I think your writing is gifted and lovely, and I'm thankful for you. I'm a good decade (or more) older than you, and I grew up loving to write as well, and I marvel every day that we grew up to find that we can write something, in our pajamas, from whatever tiny corner of the world we inhabit, something funny or heartfelt or weird, and have people read it and laugh (or cry) about it ALL OVER THE WORLD, within minutes. Who'd have thought...

    I appreciate your stories, your insight, your, uh...'way with words', and your ability to be both hilarious and deeply thoughtful, at the same time, sometimes in the same post(s). If I need a laugh, you're pretty high on the list of places I come to laugh out loud, at my desk, by myself, with my coffee. Like a guilty pleasure. But way less fattening.

    I feel the Ukraine situation deeply as well, because I come from a family who imigrated from Eastern Europe (Lithuania and Poland mostly), and we have family there still, so I appreciated your post immensely. The pictures were heartbreaking.

    All that to say, thank YOU too. And-- you're welcome.

    g'night John Boy (possibly before your time--but still)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have read many blogs and have only really stuck with this one. I love that you seem to have no agenda and it is so refreshing to log on and be surprised at the variety of topics. I know you have issues with cats, but my cat Sophie and I just love your antics!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No agenda?! What do you call trying to eradicate the world of Queen of Colors paraphernalia?!

      Delete
    2. It's also the only blog I've stuck with. You give us great hair, that is undeniable, you also give us diverse reading. Humor, heartache, borscht recipes, and good healthy shenanigans. Thank you Eli, you're my stranger friend, and I look forward to reading your blog for many more years.

      Delete
  9. This is going to maybe sound crazy, but I have only been reading your blog for the bast year or two and have never read all the back blogs. If you took them and put them in an E-book ( even making a few books year by year) I would buy that (not for much I am a cheap skate) but I would pay $0.99 per year to have it all in order and to be able to read it on my ipad through my kindle app. from what I understand it is fairly easy to self publish through amazon :) Jami yet again ( yet is not my middle name) ( I am probably the only person that finds that funny, but there is something to be said for entertaining yourself)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I smiled a bit at the comments. :-)

      Delete
  10. The news this morning made more sense when they talked about Ukraine. Thanks for helping me to understand and to care.
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  11. Keep doing what you're doing, Eli. You have the audience you have because you deserve it. Thanks for being awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  12. As a lover of the written word and a writer myself, I appreciate the talent and thought processes it takes to put emotion and truth on 'paper'. You are gifted and have taken the time to hone that talent to touch others with your thoughts and feelings. Your efforts are worth it, never doubt that :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. This post resonates so much with me. I have ALWAYS known I was going to be a writer. Since hand writing stories about my beanie babies, I knew this is the path my life would take. I can only hope to have as much success and interest shown in site that you have in yours. Keep up all the great work...you are such an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete