“Your joy can fill you only as deeply as your sorrow has carved you.”Kahlil Gibran
Hyperbole and a Half is one of my most favorite things. It’s funny, and poignant, and touching. I am quite certain that Ms. Brosh and I are meant to be best friends and have discussions on life and light poles and not very smart animals. If you have not read any of her work I suggest you stop reading this and go read that. Sincerely. She’s amazing.
The blog was successful and Allie, my future bff, wrote a book. Which, again, if you haven’t read, you should. There was discussion of another book, and then, radio silence. Eventually a blog was posted about depression, and it’s impact. And then more silence. For years.
And I worried about a person I’d never met in all the years that passed. I checked in on the blog every few months to see if there was any word. I stalked the internet, facebook, instagram, twitter, read any articles I could find, and then went back to reread all of my favorite blog posts, the book, and the same articles.
Then suddenly a blip appeared on my facebook a bout Hyperbole and a Half being back. That a new book was being released.That my future bestest friend was okay.
If you can consider years of major depressive episodes and major personal setbacks and losses okay.
I feel there’s a different tone to her writing now, this book has more depth. I’m not a critic or trained at…well…anything really. So this is not a “professional” opinion. Just the blathering of someone who adores the writer, and devoured the book like a weirdo as soon as it came in the mail. I loved it, but not in the same way I loved the first one. The first was silly and fun and left me happy and smiling. Which is a lovely thing.
This one made me snort laugh multiple times, but also made me cry. The end result wasn’t a smiling, happy moment. I finished it and had to just sit and think for a bit. There was much more emotion to the entire experience, and I have a feeling this is much more of the real Allie Brosh. Not that the blog and first book were lies, just not the full picture. Or not a complete picture? Something along those lines.
I enjoy both, though I am genuinely sorry for so much pain and loss. The more complex, more dark appeals to the echo of loss and pain I’ve experienced since she last wrote. And there is also the part of me that wishes it hadn’t happened, that everything would go back to how it was. Which, honestly, makes me think that’s just proof that the original work was good enough to still resonate so strongly.
I lost my father, my seat in a professional school I’d worked my entire adult life to get into, ended a dysfunctional relationship (a good decision that was not without emotional baggage), and moved back home to try to figure out my next steps in life right about the time Hyperbole and a Half went dark. And it took a long while for me to pick up the pieces emotionally. Most of them at any rate. I am not that same person. I don’t even really know who I am anymore, but I’m not the same person who originally fell in love with Brosh’s work. This new version of myself very much relates to and mourns for the loss and pain both hinted at and plainly displayed. There’s something visceral and jagged about grief that deep, and it’s written about in a way that doesn’t shy away from the confusion and complication of relationships and family and love and loss.
I very sporadically write on my tiny little blog. But, this is something that likely started, in part, due to my deep and abiding love of Hyperbole and a Half. And while this is a small blog with zero consistency on my part, I love writing at the random times I manage to do so. And I hope that Allie finds some level of peace in her writing. I hope that she’s aware on some level (and not creeped out) that so many people have worried and thought of her often in the past 7ish years. I’m so glad she’s here. I hope she can stay.