Hey, is anybody out there? *taps mic an annoying number of times*
Quick question: is blogging dead now?
Cool. Well then, welcome to my WEBSITE where I publish personal essays about my LIFE right here on the WORLD WIDE WEB on this official WEBSITE that is most definitely not a BLOG.
I’m glad you’ve decided to visit.
I have so much to tell you. So very, very much.
I feel like I’ve been away at a Growing Up Camp and that now I’m back to report on all that I’m learning, and yet it’s really weird because so much of my life is exactly the same as it’s always been. Like, exactly the same to the minute detail in many instances. I still live in the same house. I still work in the same office. I still see clients. I still write (more to come on that front soon, THANK HEAVENS.) I still spend much of my life parenting four small humans who suck my life-force with executioner-like precision, and then I spend large swaths of time trying to recover that life force by doing really valuable self-care-y things like binge watching Netflix shows (“Queer Eye” amirite?) and binge watching HBO shows (“Pose” and “Insecure” amirite?), in addition to binge watching Hulu shows (“Handmaid’s Tale” AMIRITE??? (That show is gonna KILL me one of these days)) and also doing other things besides binge watching shows. Like eating sleeves of Oreo thin mints (or whatever they’re called) and downing Haagen Dasz like I’m on my death bed (which, with as much of that stuff as I guzzle I likely am.)
Oh also, I eat a lot of salsa flavored Sun Chips.
So yeah, in a lot of ways not much has changed for me.
And in other ways, things have changed a LOT. I will briefly talk about some of those things now, by way of introduction to this, The New Phase of Josh Weed’s
Blog Personal Essay Website. (BUT, if you would rather not read all that, go to #4 so you can see FOOTAGE!)
1. Lolly and I did indeed get divorced.
It was a rather anticlimactic affair, if you’re one who loves tabloid drama. She and I drove down to the local “Divorces R Us” depot where a paralegal walked us through a completely unnecessary (practically, but not legally) ream of documentation all about parenting plans and child support and alimony which we signed and have never looked at again because we have basically functioned EXACTLY as we functioned before (except for on our taxes). Guys, this was THE most amicable divorce you could ever imagine. It felt almost like an annoying paperwork hoop that had to be jumped through and nothing more. We did feel some dread as we drove over, but on the way home, the clouds parted (seriously, the clouds actually parted) and as a ray of sunlight shone down upon us. It felt like we were released from a really challenging calling--like we had worked hard and done our best, and now we were free to let it go. We were so surprised at how light and good and freeing we felt that at one point, one of us started laughing, and then both of us started laughing, and then it felt like one of those weird moments in a movie where “they both laugh” is written into the script to break tension, except it was actually real. We both felt giddy. We hugged each other and cried and I said “I’m so surprised this feels so good” and Lolly said “I know. It’s like we get to still be best friends! But now we don’t have all that other garbage to worry about!” And we thanked God and felt emancipated and it was all very beautiful and cheesy and Lifetime-movie-ish. And then we got home and had to take care of four human beings instead of celebrating which was a real buzzkill but also hashtag blessingz!!!
2. I went through adolescence. Finally.
So you know how when you were an adolescent in, say, 6th or 7th grade, you had that first moment where you held someone’s hand at a Valentine’s Dance or in the commons area at lunchtime at school? And it made you all sweaty and nervous and filled with butterflies, and amazing feelings flooded your body, and you were like “whoa. Cool.”? And then you went on to continue experimenting and plotting and testing this newfound superpower your body had sprouted within itself as the years passed, asking people you were attracted to out and going on dates and getting your first kiss and feeling the buzz of electricity when you brushed up against the arm of someone with whom you had chemistry? And it was all normal and sanctioned and people actually HOSTED dances and parties at church AND school for this to happen in, and people were all happy for you when you admitted that you had your first crush, and you blushed awkwardly but also smiled really huge, and it was a really important part of your development?
Well, I didn’t get to do any of that growing up. Instead, what I got was a pamphlet that said the way my body expressed those feelings was something I should talk to a church leader about, and a book who compared the way my body works to bestiality and rape and then literally lamented as tragic the fact that the people who love the way my body loves are no longer stoned to death (for reals, The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer Kimball says that--go look it up) and a whole lot of other messages, implicit and explicit, that I was definitely definitely not supposed to do any of those things everyone else around me was doing or I would be very wicked and unhappy in life and I wouldn’t get into heaven, and the rest of my family would remained sealed together for time and all eternity and they would all have to be deeply sad because instead of a Josh there with them, there would be an empty chair reminding them of the loss they felt because I had been weak; I had given into temptation; I had decided to throw caution to the wind and, uh, do the exact same thing developmentally that literally everyone else at that table did, and everyone else who is human does (with the exception of the ace community). And, in case I wasn’t clear, that thing is: learn how to scream at a dating app.
Just kidding, the thing is: learn how to fall in love.
Anyway, I did the milestones! First kiss! First hand hold! First date! All the firsts! And it was really fun and really terrifying, and I learned a lot. But my mind was REALLY blown when:
3. I fell in love
I fell in love, guys. And it blew me away. SO MANY THINGS about it blew me away. I could write a BOOK about all I learned (note: I am writing a book about all I learned, OF COURSE). But for brevity I will highlight a few
--I learned that loving someone you are oriented toward is WAY more natural and WAY more beautiful than I had ever imagined.
--I learned that everything I had been taught about gay love was DEAD. WRONG.
--I learned that what Lolly and I were trying to do was even more backwards and more fundamentally flawed than I had ever realized, and that it wasn’t good or fair or right for either of us on levels I had no way of comprehending before experiencing, say, my first handhold or kiss.
--I learned, for the first time, the beauty of the gift Lolly had been trying to give me all these years (which I had had no capacity of understanding before this) and how tragic it was that she was speaking a language of love I could never speak, and thus the beautiful romantic love she poured upon me day after day, month after month, year after year went unobserved, unseen, unfelt, unappreciated, unrecognized and, ultimately, unrequited. (Oh, gawd, the heartbreak of it still kills me, especially cuz I love her so much as a human that I really REALLY wanted to learn how to love in that way.)
--I learned so many things about so many things, and it has been a life-changing, life-affirming, beautiful journey, just as love always is. And I’m so glad I have had the chance to experience it, even though a bunch of elderly, white, straight men really really didn’t think I should, and really really think God doesn’t approve of the love I feel for my partner. Which leads me to:
--God absolutely approves of the love I feel with my partner. And this was, perhaps, the most wonderful, surprising, natural, beautiful parts of all I have learned in the last year-and-a-half. God has been woven into every step of the journey I am on, and he not only approves of the way I love, he is that love in the exact same way that the love shared between a heterosexual couple is founded in and comprised of and made up of godstuff. It’s so obvious how God feels about it (in the exact way he feels about any other love) that it isn’t even a question. It’s not like I had to turn to God one day and ask “hey, do you approve of this love you led me into?” His love is self evident. It would be like taking the time to ask “Hey God, do you approve of these breaths I’m taking?” when HE IS OBVIOUSLY THE ONE GIVING ME THE BREATHS.
So, a snippet about my love:
His name is Carlos.
He is gentle and loving and wonderful.
He loves the girls and Lolly in a way that makes me fall more in love with him every day. (And Lolly loves him too. Sometimes it feels like she might love him more than she loves me, which ouch, but OKAY FINE, I get it, he’s adorable.)
We have been together for over a year now, and although Lolly and I have been really methodical about integrating him into our lives--especially for the girls’ sake--I can say that we all think of him as a member of our family.
I will let Lolly tell you her own stories, but to quell any basic curiosity I will just say: she is doing THE DATING and she is having THE EXPERIENCES with the STRAIGHT MALES and it is FUN and an ADVENTURE and she has had a ton of really valuable, interesting
make-out sessions INSIGHTS, and she is doing all sorts of interesting things, which I bet you wish you could just SEE, right? Like, I bet you wish you could just be FLY ON THE WALL of our house as we all interact in this crazy new life we are living, huh?
Well, turns out, you’re in luck!
4. Lolly and I recorded over a year’s worth of footage about our life
So, Lolly and I felt the distinct feeling several times as we began the separation process that we needed to record the events that were happening. I dunno, I guess there’s something about having millions of people take one blog post you wrote and extrapolate volumes of agenda-driven drivel from it that makes a person little bit sensitive about publishing a SECOND blog post that people can do the same thing with.
So, yes, a year-and-a-half ago, we published our divorce post (which you can read here), but posting it made us feel uncomfortable. It made us nervous to think that people might do what they did with our 2012 post--that they might see that post and jump to conclusions that suited them, and then months later see another post that made things look like getting to where we are now was some easy, smooth transition and jump to MORE conclusions for their own purposes when the truth was it was an extremely emotional, personal, individual, complex and difficult process for both of us. We REALLY wanted to capture that complexity. So what we did was simple: we recorded everything in our lives for almost a year, had a producer friend of ours winnow it down to webisodes, then started a Youtube channel where we are now, finally, in a place where we feel comfortable sharing the stark realities of what actually *happened* as we separated. NBD!!
Guys, it’s raw, and ugly, and beautiful, and we cry a lot, and we fight horrible, cringey fights that take my breath away and fill me with shame as I watch them myself, and I have never felt more vulnerable and drop-of-a-roller-coaster terrified of sharing something online as I am with this. But it is about as true an account of the transition out of our marriage as we could possibly manage.
See, that’s the weird part about sharing really vulnerable stuff online. It’s like, if lots of people view it, you’re like GAD ZOOKS NOOO!!! *rocks self to sleep in fetal position* but then, on the other side, if you put something REALLY vulnerable out there and crickets chirp and nobody cares it’s like a kick in the gut on this whole different, agonizing level… HONESTLY IT’S A TOTAL LOSE LOSE SITUATION AND I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THIS BECAME MY LIFE but what I’m saying is that it would mean a great deal to both of us if you could watch these videos as we post them every week and respond to them and share them (if you like them or find them interesting) and subscribe to our Youtube channel so you don’t miss any episodes and basically hold our hand and help us feel like the year-and-a-half of labor we’ve put into trying to tell the REAL story of our divorce and where we are now and how we got here was worth it.
NO PRESSURE THOUGH! (Lol, I’m laughing right now because the above paragraph is probably the most beseeching, pressuring thing I’ve ever written, but honestly please don’t feel obligated. Maybe Youtube isn’t your thing! Maybe watching Josh and Lolly Weed ugly cry in front of cameras is just not your idea of a good time! No shame in any of that! You do you!!)
So, here are the deets:
New episodes go up Wednesdays and Saturdays at noon. Those times are ironclad. They are so ironclad we even have someone ELSE posting them for us just so we don’t forget. HASHTAG WINNING. Oh yeah, and Lolly and I will also be posting vids of our *own* reactions to the episodes. (Cuz I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t want to watch two formerly-married psychotherapists deconstruct recorded play-by-plays of their own fights? No, but really, we’ve recorded one or two of these already and they tend to be pretty funny and silly and educational and basically just super duper classic JOSH AND LOLLY so if you’ve ever enjoyed us on camera together, you might like’m.)
So, anyway, the first webisode is embedded below. Yes, Josh and Lolly Weed are running a Youtube channel together because that is the obvious, intuitive, natural order of things. I mean, it’s becoming a tired trope, really…. marriage——->4 children—-->divorce—-> record everything about the divorce and separation on cameras—--> open therapy private practice together —--> start a youtube channel together about relationships where you talk and laugh and be best friends?
We are SUCH a cliche!
(For those taking notes at home, that sequence of events is *checks itinerary* totally effing crazy. But it works! It really works!)
Anyway, I’ll also be posting more blog posts I MEAN WEBPAGES here as well. And I’ll be embedding our Youtube stuff on the page in the menu above entitled “episodes” in case you couldn’t figure out how a “website” works since this WEBSITE is so new and fresh and involves very new technology that you may not have yet encountered. ALWAYS HERE TO HELP!!!! U R WELCOME!!!)
PS--Here is the first webisode!!