Today is our anniversary. And it’s a happy one, all because of you.
Rewind: Nausea roiled through me a year ago when I read the first emails from well-meaning friends alerting me to the fact that Amazon was shipping pre-orders nearly two weeks ahead of my pub date. Terror swamped my excitement. This dream I had worked so hard to launch was about to be torpedoed by fear.
Then I remembered what a wise woman (the incomparable Lea Belair) once told me: We do our best work when we are excited and afraid. Excitement keeps us moving forward; fear keeps us from doing stupid things along the way – ensuring we don’t go off the rails, ensuring we do our best work. She said this much more eloquently than I just did, but the essence stuck with me. It surfaces at such times, like a compress placed across a fevered forehead.
I reached deep into my psyche, hauled my excitement back to the surface, placed it on the shelf right next to fear. I blogged about my anxiety and reminded myself I was right where I chose to be – despite the palpitations and sleepless nights. I promised myself I would show up, no matter what. So I did.
And so did you.
You showed up at book stores and libraries, at book groups and the farmers market and cafes, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email, you read reviews on line and in the St. Albans Messenger, Seven Days and Vermont Woman, you left reviews on GoodReads and Amazon. You showed up in my inbox with private messages of goodwill – many of you total strangers, now friends for life. You sent cards and letters. You cheered me up and cheered me on. You bore witness.
Everywhere I went, you were there.
Not unlike the year in Stella Rose, this year began with fear, anxiety, and crippling self-doubt, and ended with countless opportunities to show up with courage, passion, and delight. All because of you.
I am grateful beyond measure, beyond words.
I love you.
Happy Anniversary, Stella Rose!
Happy Anniversary to all of us!