June 27, 2017
It has been almost two months since my book tour began, though the fine lines and dark circles around my eyes might lead you to believe its been two years. Calling my book tour a whirlwind would not even begin to do it justice. Unless of course by whirlwind you mean a tornado that has lifted several cars and farm animals into its whirling winds of terror. But like, in a really good way. Sure I’ve been running on zero sleep, ingested ungodly amounts of coffee, and have done so many interviews, podcasts, and radio tours I injured my vocal cords and lost my voice. But it has also been the most rewarding, exciting, emotional experience I’ve ever had.
The night of April 3rd, I couldn’t sleep. Not just because I drank coffee before bed and my wakeup call was 4:30am, but because I was terrified. I had worked so hard to bring my brain baby to life, a process that from inception to execution took about three and half years. In the morning there would be no turning back. My life story, every dark secret, every embarrassing moment, every memory that had the capability of making me ugly cry was about to leave my hands and enter the world. I believe what we put out there- whether it’s through social media, interviews, or profanity littered memoirs- no longer belongs to us, but to the world you have exposed it to you. That’s why I am a painfully private person most of the time. There are things I want to be mine and mine alone. But these stories from my past felt different. They helped shape me into who I am today and sharing them would not only release me from their pain, I hoped they could be used to help others struggling in similar situations. And so I gave my past to the world. I no longer needed to hold on so tightly to it. But letting go is hard. April 4th, 2017 was the scariest day of my life.
And then something really cool happened. You guys embraced it. You gave me your time and visited me at signings. (Almost 600 of you came out to the signing in my home state of New Jersey, whaaaat?!) You shared your stories of struggle and survival. You wrote me the most moving letters and made me beautiful art. You gave me soooooo many donuts! By the end of the tornado filled week, you made me a New York Times Bestselling author. Yet again, you helped make a lifelong dream come true.
Not once did you make me feel embarrassed for being vulnerable or judged for my troubled past. My goal in writing this book was to help people feel less alone, but I had no idea how you would end up helping me. I want you guys to know that I have read every letter and keep all of your artwork in my office. Thank you for every gift. Thank you for every word. It was a life changing experience to meet each and every one of you, hold your hand, and to realize that in our shared struggles, we are connected for life. Your response to the book has been overwhelming and humbling. Thank you for the support! I can’t wait to see you all again for book two!