But out of all that the best part of this signing is everyone who showed up. My best-friend from Ottawa flew in to be with me, as well as my sister from Florida. These two were planning to come months in advance and I was excited to see both. Then I got a huge surprise in January.
Let me give you a little back story so you know how much this all means to me. I have two friends who started out as just writing acquaintances. I met them both at a writing seminar in Colorado. I have known one of them for about three years but never got to know her beyond a polite hello and how are you. And the second I have known for about a year, also nothing more than a polite hello but she was very welcoming and boisterous. She was like that with everyone, so I didn’t put much stock into it.
So back in 2017 I sat down with my first friend, she’s from Kansas so I’ll call her that to stave off any confusion. We had a really great conversation, a truly personal one and I offered to be her writing buddy. So, we would skype every week and I would keep her on track with her writing, something she struggled with. But something else happened, all our conversations began to evolve.
They were no longer just about writing but about life. I was starting to get to know Kansas and I began to count her as a friend, not just an acquaintance anymore. I looked forward to our conversations every week and we would spend most of our Sundays talking. I care deeply for Kansas.
Then in 2018 when I returned to the seminar it was a wonderful reunion with Kansas, but I also got to see my second friend, Utah. We had not spoken since the year before so it was a very polite hello relationship. What surprised me though was that she had bought a print copy of one of my books. Completely unexpected but touching.
Utah had asked if I would help her with keeping her on track with her writing. She found out about Kansas and I skyping and she wanted some of my tough love. So I agreed, we chatted every Thursday for a couple hours. For the first few months our conversations were about writing, mostly my calling bullshit on her excuses for lack of words. In the beginning I got the impression that my coaching was all she wanted. I was a little sad about that but I accepted it.
But sometime around the third month something changed. There was a switch and our conversations became more than the writing, we too were becoming friends. I began to count her as someone who was important to me.
Now let’s flash forward a bit, let’s go to January of this year. I’m talking to Utah, having a few laughs, still learning things about each other, and I’m doing my best to get her ready mentally for the pitches she was going to do in February at the seminar. That’s when she told me something that touched my heart so deeply, something that showed me that I wasn’t the only one who cared deeply about our friendship.
You see, her and Kansas were planning to fly in and surprising me in March. They wanted to come to my book signing, wanted to stand by me in this milestone of my writing career! It brought me to tears, I couldn’t believe it.
So not only did my bestie from Ottawa and my sister from Florida come but Utah and Kansas did too! It was nothing short of amazing. They turned an event that could’ve been quite lonesome to moments I will treasure forever!
I’ve spent a large part of my adult life with no friends outside of my husband. It was lonely at times but it was something I became used to. I’ve been burned by people who I thought valued me as much as I did them. I’ve been dropped because many don’t like my honesty and would rather not talk to me. So I got used to being on my own.
Then my bestie showed up and it took me a long time to believe that she really did like me. That she was so much like me that she too valued honesty and loyalty. I love her like a sister.
When Utah and Kansas came into my life I doubted quite often whether I was as important to them as they were to me. They stuck around even though I was sometimes more honest than I should have been. But I was still very careful about telling them what they meant to me. The fear that I put way more stock in our friendship than they did.
So when Utah told me of their plans to show up, my heart soared. I didn’t know what to say. When I met them at the airport I could barely contain myself. I was bursting. When they came through the airport doors any doubt I may have had completely disappeared.
I was as important to them as they were to me. For the first time in my entire life I had people who stood by and accepted me for who I am. The good, the bad, and the ugly parts of me. I don’t have the words that truly convey how I feel. I don’t think those words have been invented yet. So I’m going to say this;
Ottawa, Florida, Utah, and Kansas I love and treasure each of you. Thank you for being a part of my life.