We’re not in Kansas anymo-wait. No. We are in Kansas. Wichita, specifically. It’s the last day of leg three of the Furiously Happy Tour and you should come.
(Click to embiggen.)
Next stop? Home! But just for two days. Then? Denver. Come with us.
Check out the rest of the tour here.
I’m in Missouri today for a reading and signing. Come be in Missouri with me?
This is where I normally put in a graphic with a quote from the book but instead I’m sharing this $25 bill, which will only make sense if you’ve read Furiously Happy (which is on its 5th week on the NYT list, thanks to you guys!).
I carry these with me to tuck into copies of my books in airports and bookstores, and when I was in DC last month I went to the US Treasury to ask if they’d make it into actual currency but the secret service was like “You can’t be here, ma’am” and “We’re not going to ask you to leave again” (which was a lie because they totally did.)
Also, you might be asking how I knew they were Secret Service and it’s because they were all wearing black vests with SECRET SERVICE written on them in bold letters, which is not how secrets are supposed to work at all. Just saying.
Next stop? Wichita!
See the whole tour here.
Back on tour again and today I’m in Minneapolis. Are you in Minneapolis? Let’s be in Minneapolis together.
(Graphic comes from the uber-talented Joe Baden.)
Check out the rest of the tour here:
Next stop? St. Louis!
PS. I should have gotten a gold lamé leash for her Lasso of Truth. Dammit.
When I’m on tour I often stop in the airport bookstores during layovers to do rogue signings. I do them when I can and sometimes strangers stop to ask about the book. Sometimes they buy a copy or two. Mostly they don’t. But last week one older woman in particular looked at Furiously Happy and told me that she would never buy it. And I smiled and nodded as I assured her that was fine. “It’s not for everyone,” I said, because it’s not. I thought she’d walk away but instead she said, “I guess you can pander this to all those college kids who have been convinced that depression exists by some pharmacy company that just wants you addicted to drugs.” And then I explained that depression exists for a number of reasons, including chemical imbalances which are very, very real and that if not properly treated it can be fatal, and then she told me that mental illness was just “made up” and then I kicked her right in the lady junk. Or, at least that’s what I did in my mind. In real life I said that I hoped she would never have to learn how wrong she was and then I stared at her until she got uncomfortable enough to leave.
It’s not just ridiculous strangers in airports who feel comfortable publicly doubting an illness they’ve never fought, or sometimes couldn’t acknowledge they were currently fighting. It’s sometimes family members or friends, and sometimes even we manage to convince ourselves that it’s not a real problem – and that mental illness is just a weakness rather than a medical disorder that needs treatment just as much as heart disease or diabetes or those disorders which are more easily measurable or unquestionably visible on the surface.
That night I locked myself in my hotel room and drew this to remind myself of the truth:
“Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not real.”
Because sometimes I need a reminder. Pain is real, whether it’s from depression or anxiety or arthritis or one of the many invisible illnesses that don’t easily show themselves but still exist and have to be treated, and – more importantly – have to be believed in order to be treated. You need to know that your struggle is a real one. You need to know that your fight is real and your survival is something to be proud of. Remember that you are needed. Remember that the things you say can affect those of us who fight. Remember that not all things are visible and provable. Love, faith, pain, anxiety, depression, compassion…these aren’t always quantifiable. They aren’t always measurable. They are often invisible. But they are real.
And so are you.
Stay real. Stay alive. Stay vigilant against assholes who make you question yourself. We already get enough of that from the doubting voices in our heads and the lies depression tells us. Listen to my voice, now. You are real. You are worthwhile. You are so important both in ways you will discover, and in ways you’ll never see. You send out needed ripples of greatness and kindness in unexpected and accidental ways.
You won’t always see wonderful ways in which you shift the world. They may be invisible to you. But I promise you they are real.
Hello, Milwaukee! I’m here and it’s the last stop of the second leg of my tour so let’s do this shit! I’ll be at Boswell Book Company at 6:30pm. Come?
Next stop? Home for Halloween. Then? Minneapolis.
See the whole tour here.
I’m on day…17? of this leg of the tour and it’s been amazing and terrifying and weird in the best possible way. You can watch it all on instagram if you want but today I have a day off to recuperate and so I thought I’d share this. I usually make tiny metal ferris wheels to ward off anxiety but it’s too hard to do on the road because all the little pieces get scattered and lost, so instead I doodle. I do it on planes and in cars and mostly in hotel rooms when I’m hiding away from the world. I finished this one last night and as I looked at it I could see the memories of drinking glasses from the hotels I’d used to make the circles. I could see the mixture of hotel pens and sharpies and whatever I had to make things work. I could see that when I’d make a mistake and cover it up I’d end up with something more complicated and unexpected. Sometimes the flaws made it right. Sometimes the bumps in the road forced me to make decisions I didn’t want to make, but were the right path to take. Sometimes the markers would run low and I had no others, but I found that I could use the almost-empty colors to add depth that wasn’t there before. I’d take ideas for patterns off of rugs and wallpaper and blankets and the small things that we take for granted, but which became my home.
There is beauty in the ordinary. There is depth in the worn. There is perfection in flaws. There is art inside everything. There are worlds inside of us all.