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Vlogbrothers has always brought me joy. The only time it stresses me out is when I feel like other work is interfering with my ability to do it well, or to feel connected to it.

It is definitely true that we have more responsibilities now than we used to. It's also true that I /feel/ more responsibilities than I used to. Like, there is an obligation that comes along with having an audience, and also one that comes along with being a respected member of a community. It means that I'm going to be less forgiving of myself if I make mistakes, which means that I'm going to be more careful, which means I'm going to be less spontaneous and carefree. But I wouldn't do this if it wasn't bringing me joy.

I just want to be really clear about that!

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Good morning, John. Thanks for a very good video. It reminded me to schedule a haircut.

I can always tell, when it starts to invade my ear canal. Why are you going in there??

I've been going through the first round of responses to the Nerdfighteria census, which is still open and will be open for a little while longer. People are taking about 15 minutes to finish it; it tells me that, so I know it. And if you wanna fill it out, just pause the video and go do it now. It's very helpful to us, and I love reading the responses. It's given me a lot of ideas about my punishment, which is coming up, so thank you to everybody who submitted those. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm gonna do now. It's gonna be unpleasant!

But I've also, of course, been reading people's longer text responses about, like, what we're doing, and maybe what you'd like us to do differently.

One person wanted there to be Pizzamas merch without John's weird face on it, and look, I understand that perspective. That makes perfect sense. Sorry! I agree it's a weird face... but there we are!

But a much more common theme than that: people want to not be a burden on us. Like, it seems like people are afraid that you are a burden, and we are stressed out, and that you wanna help give us some time off.

But that leads to a pretty consistent theme: there's also a lot of people who are saying, "Man, I liked it better when you were more free-form, and more silly, and less serious and stressed. And a lotta times that comes without the word stressed, that it's like, "You guys are so serious now."

It's easy to take that feedback and think like, "Well no, we do lots of silly videos still, and I don't really know where you're coming from with that." But actually if I think about it in the frame of that first response that was really common, it does make some sense. Because I don't know that it's about what the topic of the video is necessarily, I think that it might be more about like us looking stressed out. 

But I don't think that you want us to be in our twenties again; I don't think that you want us out on the street putting peeps inside of weird punk rockers, though maybe, I don't know. It's not going to happen.

I think that the thought might be: chill out a little bit. Enjoy it! I want to see you enjoy the thing and that makes a lot of sense to me. That actually really rings true to me. If we're stressed out, it's going to come through, no matter what the stress is about. Like it could just be about the number of obligations we have taken on in the last ten years that includes family and life stuff and it includes work and project stuff. It also includes the fact that 2018 internet is sort of a less care free vibe than 2008 internet was.

Also I feel the responsibility of using the platform correctly more. Also I'm just generally more worried about the future of humanity now than I was ten years ago. I don't know if that's cause I'm older or if it's cause of other changes that have occur ed. But regardless of the source of the stress, you can feel it coming through, I would imagine. Cause it's there! We're not going to hide it.

John, as you said in your last video, I love every individual thing I'm doing, and as people who listen to Dear Hank and John will find out next week, John and I agreed with Kurt Vonnegut when he said "Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance." 

I don't mind doing maintenance, I just like building more. But I will say that Vlogbrothers to me has never felt like maintenance. This has never felt like "Oh I gotta keep the thing alive." It's just a creative outlet to do something interesting and have a little bit of freedom and have complete control over the process and not let that fall away. 

The obligation I feel on this channel isn't ever frustrating, it's just freeing. And just like it seems like Nerdfighteria, you would like me to be less stressed, I would also like to be less stressed! And while there are somethings that I can't change and somethings that I don't want to change, I think are some ways for me to be a little more free.

I'm honestly not the kind of guy who thinks that achievement is the point of life. I see a lot of people like that and I just don't understand it. I think the point of life is joy and beyond that helping other people find joy so let's do that. More joy in 2019, ok? Ok.

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.