A Little Confidence

I guess it was something of a crisis of confidence. The night before I was in panic mode because the grocery store had sold out of the size of bottles of water that I had planned on serving. When I heard that, I was convinced it was a bad omen and that it meant that nothing was going to go according to plan for all of the next day. I was really scared and was having some trouble holding it together. It got so bad that I took an extra dose of my sleeping pill and went to bed early. That was the only way I could think of to get myself to calm down.

The next morning, I got up and started my day. In the pit of my belly, there was an odd mixture of terror and excitement. One of my best friends drove in from an hour away to help me get ready. Her presence always has a calming effect on me. There is something comforting about communicating with a person who has known me for almost half my life. While she was helping me to get dressed, she reminded me that it didn’t matter how many people were actually present at the book signing. I could still celebrate the accomplishment of getting my book out whether five people came to the event or a thousand. I had never considered that before. Finally, it was time to leave for the venue. The butterflies that were within me were fluttering a bit more quietly…

We were still arranging cookies on the trays when my friend Jeff, who happens to be a photographer got there. Over the past several years I have had some other book signings for my stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul. He takes amazing pictures at every event, for which I am beyond grateful. I took a break from making lines out of the chocolate chip and sugar decadence to hug him when he arrived. “I’m so proud of you!” he said while returning the embrace. That meant the world.

In the course of the next three hours, people came from just about every aspect of my life. Nurses from the hospital. A former case manager that I had not seen in a couple of years. My boss from Lawrence Magazine. A Lawrence City Commissioner. Several people I had advocated with over the years for accessible sidewalks in my neighborhood. My dance partner came with his son, which was incredibly special because I had not seen them in almost a year. My pastor had announced that the event was going on in the announcements at church that morning, so many people from my church came as well. There were even people there who never met me before and wanted to buy a book anyway. That was simply phenomenal.  I didn’t count specifically, but I would guess about 100 people came by, all told.

Perhaps the thing that struck me the most was the vibe that I got from everyone that they wanted to be there. Not only was everyone in the crowd glad that I had finished the book that I had set out to write, but the whole crowd was interested to know the information in it. I planned on doing a reading a passage from the book in the middle of the signing, but there was never enough of a break in the number of people who wanted their books signed to do so. That was a good thing.

When all was said and done, many people came to the event, many books were sold and I had one of the best days that I have had in a long time. Not only did I learn that dreams come true but also that slow and steady progress toward a goal is what makes it a reality.

I would be willing to bet that none of the people who attended my book signing and none of the people who wanted to be there but could not be were focused on my disability even for a minute. Everyone who supported this effort is confident…

We are all More the Same than Different!

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In case you haven’t yet had a chance to get a copy, it is available here…


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