So there’s a chapter in my next book (coming 2021) where I talk about how the most embarrassing moments in our lives are the ones that really bring us all together and I wanted to quote a bunch of tweets that you guys sent me a few years ago when you shared your most mortifying moments but I also wanted to make sure that it was cool to publish so I sent about 100 DM’s to people asking if I could share their story and today when I checked back in almost everyone was like, “Yes, and also it’s kind of awesome that a moment that used to make me cringe so hard is now something I’m so happy to share” and I was like, “YES! THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE CHAPTER.”
And it was all really lovely except for one DM I’d sent to this lady where I’d said, “Hey, remember in 2015 when you told me about how you fell so hard in the mall that your tampon shot out? Can I put that in my next book if I credit you?” and I got a response back from a guy who was like, “WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS HAPPENING” and turns out I’d mistyped the twitter name and sent a DM about accidental tampon-launching to a complete stranger. And it was mortifying for a minute but also a little bit funny and I just want to apologize in advance to the three (and counting) other people I have also misidentified and sent questionable DM’s to about horrifically awkward things that never actually happened to them at all.
Now I’m going to go hide under my desk for awhile. The usual.
This tip box is on the counter of a restaurant we always go to and every time I see it it makes me smile.
Last time we were in there Victor pointed out that the spelling issue isn’t helping but I’d like to think it’s intentional because you read it and suddenly there’s a kitten telling you that “coins piss” and then you subconsciously want to get rid of all of your coins. Plus, when you put your coin down a plastic kitty paw comes out and snatches it and that is worthwhile entertainment. Victor disagrees but mainly because he’s always impatiently honking and waiting in the car while I’m standing there for 20 minutes happily feeding nickels to fake cat legs.
Except last time we went in there the batteries were out so the box kitty was like, “NO THANKS, LADY. YOU JUST KEEP YOUR PEE PENNIES” and so instead I had to just drop all my change in a bucket that didn’t feature cats or urine, and then the cashier was like, “Um…that’s the bowl we keep the soy sauce packets in” and I didn’t want to fish all my piss coins out of the soy sauce so I just left and now I can never go there again.
Every Friday night starts the pictures of friends who are out at parties and dinners and with more friends and strangers. I love to see them dressed up and happy but a tiny bit of myself looks at those pictures and feels like a loser because my anxiety disorder makes me run from crowds and there’s no way I could ever do what they’re doing.
It was worse when they still asked me to come with them and I’d beat myself up all week while telling myself that I should and could totally go and then I’d feel that lurch in my stomach and back out at the last hour. And I’d feel relief and regret in equal measure. Nowadays I’ve said no so often that I don’t usually get asked. Which is a great comfort and also a strangely bitter sadness. Some friends still tell me when they’re having a get-together, or invite me with a kind side-note of “I know you won’t come but remember you’re always welcome”. Some have given up on me ever coming to their parties but never give up on me personally and still make time for me in quiet moments, or house-calls when I can’t leave the house. Some text because they know that my fear of the phone will keep me from answering even when I want to talk. Some come to my room at conferences because they know it’s too hard for me to leave the suffocating but safe quiet even though I desperately want to go to see old and new friends just outside my window. And some are gone. They’ve given up on me and I can’t blame them because being my friend is not easy. It takes work and patience and sometimes people come to the realization that I’m not worth it and they disappear. It’s hard, especially when it’s someone you love. But as they drift away, others come into your life. Others like you. Others that aren’t like you but who appreciate having a friend who asks for so little time or effort. Others who will get on google chat with you so you’ll be less alone while you’re quietly playing solitaire. Others who live on twitter because it’s safer than real life…who will be there with you at 2am when you can’t stop the voices in your head. And that is a wondrous thing.
And then it’s Friday again. And the pictures start coming in of your friends out at clubs and concerts and restaurants, and I sit home and feel a perfect mix of glad and sad that I’m not there. And I play music that reminds me that I’ve chosen this life…or it’s chosen me. And that it’s okay. Better than okay. It’s good. Even when it stings a little. The sting reminds you you’re still alive.
I’m still alive. So are you. Find the life you want and make it yours without apologies. Whether it’s loud or quiet or filled with dancing or books, or a combination of each. And I will be happy for you when those beautiful pictures come into my feed of the amazing places you are. And I will try harder to be happy for me that I’m where I am too.
PS. This is one of the songs that I listen to when I start to feel bad that I’m never going to be comfortable in crowded spaces. It might help you if you’re the same:
So this isn’t as random as the London shot, but I saw this at a local bar tonight. Gotta love the Game of Thrones reference! (Photo is a bit dark, but it’s a sword throne made of sausages).
People looked at me a bit weird when I screamed out “that’s my goat!” pointing at the restroom door… then an old dude walked out. I thought we should all slow clap for him to ease the awkwardness… but they didn’t. I then took my belongings and left.
Last September when Furiously Happy came out I was so terrified that people wouldn’t like it, wouldn’t understand it, or would run away after realizing I’m quite a bit crazier than I ever let on. But you stayed – for the most part – and then even more of you showed up, and now it’s February and Furiously Happy is still on the top 20 NYT list. This is because of you. You share quotes, and pictures of yourself reading it, and tell others that it helped and pass it on to people who you think will need it to understand you or to better understand themselves. Every day I see people online sharing it and it makes such a difference to me and to the people who every day discover that they are so much less alone than they thought.
As a thank you I’d like to give you all a box full of live kittens but I don’t have that many kittens or boxes and also I don’t have your address, so instead today I’m giving out copies of Furiously Happy to people who haven’t been able to afford a copy. If you’re struggling right now and you need a copy just make a wishlist with Furiously Happy on it. Or if you have Furiously Happy but need someone to buy you another book to get you through a rough time then make a wish list with that book on it. A book you loved as a kid. A book to calm you, or revive you, or to read to children.
I’m going to give out 30 copies of my book. If you need one I’m going to tell you how to do it. And every time I do this sort of thing others want to get involved and help so if you want to give books to someone in need you can click on the wish lists in the comments section and send hope and stories and escape to lovely strangers.
Will this work? No idea. But let’s try.
Here are the rules:
If you’re in a rough place and need a book to transport you somewhere else make a BRAND NEW wish list with nothing on it but the book you want. (Exception: If you have a kid who needs a book you can add that too.)
Here’s how you make a wish list: Under “Your Lists” on the right, top side of Amazon select “Create a list”. Choose “Wish list” and name it something like “The book I really need right now” and choose “Public”. Then click “Create list”. Now add a book to your list by going to the book and clicking the “add to list” button on the bottom right. Now here’s the most important thing that everyone forgets to do. You have to assign a shipping address to that specific wish list or it won’t go to you. So click on the wish list and click on “public” and it’ll take you to “List settings”. Click “view details” and where it says “shipping address” add yours. (Your city will be shown to others but not your full address.) Then save changes. Now leave a comment with a link to your wish list. Click here for my sample wish list so you’ll know what one looks like. I have about 20 books listed on it for inspiration if you don’t know exactly what you want. In your comment say which book you want in case someone specifically wants to buy you that book. Feel happy.
Here’s how you buy a book for a stranger. Click on their link. Choose a book. Select their name so it goes to their address. If it doesn’t give you the option of picking their name it means they didn’t add a shipping address so delete what’s in your cart and go to the next person. Send a story to someone in need. Feel happy.
The only rule is that this is just for books. No gift cards or clothes or anything else because it gets out of hand really quickly. Just a simple book to take you away from the world and help you find new ones.
And as always, thank you. Thank you for supporting my words and listening and passing them on to others. I’m hesitantly starting book 3 right now and you’re giving me strength to keep writing even when I doubt myself. I owe you one. Or 30.
UPDATED: Here are screen shots of what you should see while making a wishlist and add a shipping destination because it’s really easy to mess up.
Create a list under “Your lists”.
Make it a wish list, name it and make it public.
After you click “create list” click on the “public” button below:
Click “view details” to add your shipping address to this wish list:
Choose a shipping address and save changes.
Now you’re ready to add something to your list. Pick a book and choose the “add to list” button on bottom right side:
If you have another wish list set as your default then you’ll need to click “move to another list.”
Just click the list you’re going to share here.
Now go to the wish list and copy the link and paste it into the comments. That should work. There might be a better way of doing it but that’s how I do it.
PS. If you click on a wish list that says it’s empty that’s because the book has been bought for them. 🙂 If you leave a comment and don’t see it that’s because my blog puts people into moderation for a bit so I have to approve the comments and sometimes it takes me a minute. It’ll show up.
PPS. In the time it’s taken for me to write all of this a ton of books have been sent out to strangers (I prefer the term “strangelings”) on the internet and I haven’t even started giving away my own portion. Thank you. For asking and for giving.
PPPS. It’s 10:30pm Texas time and when I try to buy people books it gives me an error message during checkout. I’m just going to assume we broke amazon with our awesomeness. If you get error messages too just try again in a bit. Also, a ton of books have been sent out all over the world so you might have to search a lot to find a wish list that hasn’t been filled. Keep looking though if you want to help. New comments are approved every 15 minutes (until I go to sleep, at least) and they’re still coming in.
UPDATED, DAY 2: Technically yesterday was Booksgiving but Amazon crashed for like 4 hours yesterday so I say we keep going today. Besides, it’s a leap year so we get an extra day this month anyway. Might as well use it for good.
Also, are you reading these comments? Because you should be…