Open Up!

I think I need to be a more open person. I’ve always tended toward keeping my thoughts and problems and worries to myself. I mean, sure, I have a blog, but when do I ever write about my innermost fears and feelings? All of this is very ironic since I’m a strong advocate of openness in software and government and other things. I’m just not very open about my own life.

Three Degrees of Josh: How much I trust people determines what treatment they get. I made the cheesy graphic all by myself!

I think the “Who the heck are you?” section has grown a little bit recently. But the main change is that the yellow circle has grown considerably at the expense of the green circle. Some of the bogus reasons I give yellow-circlers when I’m down:

  • “I was tired”
  • “I just felt really irritable all day.”

Some of the real reasons that I rarely discuss are:

  • plain old depression with no apparent cause
  • “doubt traps” in which I obsess over reconciling some particular church doctrine with some seemingly-irreconcilable observation1
  • panic attacks (much less common these days, thankfully, but still occasionally rearing their ugly, irrational head)
  • loneliness
  • lack of pizza [ha ha, it’s a joke]

I almost never talk about Mom’s suicide, or about my shorter-than-usual mission experience. It’s all rather silly, given the amazing family and friends I have who would be thrilled to support me should I ever give them the chance. Surely this also deprives others struggling in similar ways (especially the pizza-deprived, who need as much support as they can get) from the realization that they’re not alone in their frustrations.

I wonder how I can open up and stop acting like I have to hide my past and my present, at the expense of my future.

  1. In spite of my firm belief in the following theorem: there exist no two contradictory propositions that cannot be wholly reconciled by a previously-unconsidered third proposition. []

5 thoughts on “Open Up!

  1. Rachel

    Thanks for sharing Josh! I’m the same way – it’s difficult to put yourself out there for the world to see what’s really going on in life. Good luck with the quest to be more open. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Merry

    So, I have a couple of comments. First of all, I think that both the “real reasons” you have, and the desire to cover up those real reasons, are very common. I experience some of them regularly. And I rarely tell people about them. Secondly, despite my own tendency to hide these parts of myself, I feel like they are opportunities to learn and grow, spiritually, emotionally, and socially. One of the best FHE lessons that I’ve had in a while was a discussion prompted by the “doubt trap” of a friend of mine. I think that we have to have the goal of turning these stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

    The really important thing though is that, aside from my “logical” things I had to say about your post, I think you’re a great person, and I’m glad to hear some of the inner thoughts and feelings of this great person I know! I wouldn’t be following this blog if I wasn’t.

    Reply
  3. Bruce

    Thanks for posting, Josh. It takes guts (and humility) to spill your guts. All of those green circle reasons just mean you’re human—a human who is learning and growing and struggling, just like all of us other humans. I think you’re a really cool person—even more now.

    Reply
  4. Diane Francis

    Josh, you’re the best. I’m glad we’re friends. And I’m glad you would include me in the inner-most circle of openness and friendship. And I miss poetry club which is really truly actually “we are huge fans of Josh club”.
    😀

    Reply
  5. Alanna

    Josh,
    My friend, you constantly amaze me in very good ways, and I too can echo your feelings on some points. Reading your thoughts here helps me to better understand who you are. Perhaps this is a better forum than spilling your guts at any person willing to listen, as I tend to do. Those that read it, such as myself, truly want to hear more of what you have to say, expound on, explain. And, for the record, I echo Diane 100% However beyond being a fan of you, you gave me opportunity and forum to learn to love poetry much much more. You know that I’m always wiling to listen, but I like listening this way too. You are incredible beyond words. And so many of us have irrational aspects to us, both past and present. That you explain some of yours reminds me how many of my friends who I feel the most kinship with have struggled in similar ways to me…. (Go ahead and shred the prior sentence… it needs it. ) 🙂

    Always and Always,
    Alanna

    Reply

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