Last night I went to a presentation and book signing with an author I greatly admire, Glennon Doyle Melton. She created Momastery and Love Revolutions, and I signed on to be a Monkee years ago before she really hit it big with her book Carry On, Warrior. I started reading her work at a time when I was working on my shame and vulnerability–sort of like a middle-aged puberty/coming of age where I was learning to be an adult, act like an adult. When I say adult, I mean making decisions that were beneficial and kind and responsible for me. I have never been known for my wise decisions or self-care. She came into my life when I was doing the hard work of getting to really know myself, and learning to really like myself.
So when I finally met her, I made her take a picture with me before I said a word to her, because I knew I would cry and I’ll be damned if I look bad in a picture with her. She obliged, because she’s a kind woman and does not travel with a security contingency. And when I began to talk to her, to tell her how she’s impacted my life, to tell her how I feel about her, I did it again. I squealed. Out loud. I can’t even remember the string of words I put together. She did say she would always remember what I told her. I swooned. And squealed again.
It was only after I walked away that I realized I said nothing coherent and she must have thought I was drunk, and that was the likely reason she would never forget me. I told her I participated in her My Messy Beautiful blogging project, but she looked at me quizically. There is no way she would have recognized my verbal gibberish with what I’ve ever written. Not because I write eloquently, but because I can write in complete sentences without squealing.
So Glennon, this is really what I meant to say to you. I’m the crazy Asian woman who said I loved your God, and I wanted to make your God my God; your unconditional love and mercy helped me rediscover religion and allowed me to explore spirituality on a deeper level. I’m the woman who tried to say Thank You for supporting my courage to write and share my True Self to the world. I am able to keep writing and putting myself out there not because the risk has gotten easier through time, but because I remind myself We Do Hard Things.
I wanted to Thank You for the safe places you’ve created in this world that allowed for such a powerful evening of Love in that sanctuary last night. I cried for most of the evening. Not because of the losses and stories that you, and the women and men shared. But because there was so much Courage and Love and Beauty in that room. Thinking about it today still makes me cry. That Love is so powerful.
I am the woman who accosted Sister and your parents, Bubba and Tisha, thanking them for their work, for their love, for all that all of you do. I am the woman who gushed that you’ve all changed the world in such drastic ways. Please tell them I’m sorry I scared them. I’m the woman who is the hugger and the crier and the squealer. I am the woman who was so honored to have had the opportunity to help assemble Zach Attack Mothers’ Day Love Offerings and grab a box to the post office. I am the woman who was humbled by so much strength and kindness in that room. I am also the woman who ate too many of your grapes. Sorry about that too.
So I really just wanted to say Thank You. Thank You for helping me find my Brave, for helping me keep my Brave, for helping me teach my kids Brave. Thank you for teaching me and reminding me that We All Belong to Each Other, so that I can offer kindness and love to the world. Thank you for making the world a better, more loving place. Thank you for creating and holding this space for me, for all of us. Thank you for showing mercy and kindness when I squealed and assaulted you.