I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity in my life to meet a celebrity and I am pretty sure if you called Jenny “The Bloggess” Lawson a celebrity to her face, she’d think you were insane. But she is actually more than a celebrity to me, she’s my heroine (not heroin… that’s a drug… but I do have to admit that Jenny IS pretty intoxicating in her own right). And I am pretty sure if you ever told Jenny that she was your heroine, she’d probably laugh in your face. (Not because she’s mean but because I am pretty sure that she doesn’t think she’s anything special). But, honestly, if you had asked me a couple of years ago if I had any personal heroes, I would have had to say no. Since I started reading her blog I can say without a doubt that she absolutely IS my heroine… I find her to be inspirational, humorous, genuine and simply awesome. I don’t think she has any idea how many people she touches with her writing, how many people who have read her blog on any given day that have found something in that blog post that gave them the push they needed to go on with and get through whatever rough thing was happening in their life. I can attest to the fact that it has been the case for me on more than one occasion.
Jenny is on a book tour. Her book is #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. As it should be. And she had a signing in Dallas. Trust me, it would have taken wild horses dragging me away for me to NOT attend tonight’s event.
I’ve wanted to meet Jenny for a couple of years now. The desire to meet her grew stronger when she started blogging about her red dress, which became The Traveling Red Dress project. And then she wrote more about her struggles with anxiety. And about her issues with self-harm. And her readers poured forth their own stories. And even though some of what she was writing about wasn’t humor, people read those posts by the hundreds. And when someone who is usually a humor writer can be real and raw and put things out there that are not cute, funny little stories and people still love them, it’s a beautiful thing.
I’ve been reading Jenny’s book. And I keep reading passages that are about something that I have experienced or felt. You have absolutely no idea how overwhelmingly powerful it is to know that you are not alone. That there is someone else in the world who absolutely would “get” some things about you and your life you’ve never told a soul.
I’m sure this whole book tour has been horrible for her with her anxiety and I am absolutely amazed at how kind and gracious she was in the face of people bringing taxidermied stuff and all kinds of other things (like, say, body parts) that they wanted signed.
I had worried for days that I was going to get my chance to talk to her and burst into (purely joyful) tears. I was shaking pretty violently when I showed her the necklace I’d brought for her. I was expecting her to say “Yeah, I was KIDDING” when I asked her to sign what she signed for me (if I can figure out how to upload the pic, I will include it below).
Aside from getting the meet Jenny, I got to meet Lisa, too. Which was pretty freakin’ awesome. Because I’ve been “talking” to Lisa on Twitter for months now. And let me tell you, the people who sat around me before and during her talk? Completely awesomesauce. A couple of ladies who had come from Arkansas, one from Tulsa… a couple and their daughter who met up with a friend. The daughter was about 15 and reminded me very much of my own daughter. Everyone chatted and no one tried to steal your seat if you got up (even though there were some slightly miffed faces in the throngs of people who had to stand way, way in the back…) and people were chatting and laughing and the energy was amazing.
So, now I have to wind down and go to bed. I cannot even begin to tell you what a fabulous opportunity it was to get to meet Jenny and to have my 10 seconds to talk to her. And she absolutely deserves all the love and support that her readers are pouring out. She had been afraid she’d be sitting alone at the venues on her book tour, I don’t think she had anything to worry about. She’s a NYT Bestselling author, after all. (And I got to meet her!)