In the midst of some blog ‘spring cleaning’ I have FINALLY finished writing this all important post.
You think you are going to have at least two minutes. Ok, realistically, maybe just 75 seconds. But that is PLENTY of time to come up with a witty line… or seven. Right?
On Thursday, I took my dear old self out to my own birthday celebration. Yes, my birthday was two and half weeks ago, yes, I’m still celebrating, and no I do not see this as weird. Why shouldn’t my birthday celebrations last all month, and by the way, February is the shortest month of the year! Anyway, my gift to myself was a ticket to see my favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert speak in NYC.
From the moment I received this announcement, I tried to rally a few friends to come. When expense and geographic restrictions started to kick in, I realized that I needed to go, regardless if I had a great pal sharing the experience with me or not.
After stopping at a new favorite Vietnamese place near Times Square, Boi Noodles, I made my way up to Columbus Circle. Over a half hour early, and there was already a line! I must mention my incredible restraint when this blasé, fur wearing, upper Eastsider, said to a woman who inquired who we were seeing tonight “Oh, that Liza, Lisa Gilbert woman”. *GASP!* The other great moment of self control was when the woman next to me noticed that I was reading Eat, Pray, Love as I waited for the event to begin, and said “Dear, is this your first time reading the book”. Seriously?!? Yes, of course I just paid to see an author of a book I haven’t ever read.
Well, the event was great! Liz Gilbert may be even more humorous in person than on the page. The whole audience was pulled into her storytelling, taken by how she beautifully molds a very open and truthful look at her “marriage with writing”.
The whole night was incredible, but there were especially poignant points worthy of sharing. My favorite moments were listening to Liz speak on our relationship with self, stating that the way to peace is self love, compassion, friendship and tolerance of self. Then she said, beware,”the mind is a terrible neighborhood to walk alone in at night”…I think I’ve said something similar before!
Another brilliant philosophical point was that learning the difference between a crisis and a puzzle is necessary. A crisis is a puzzle with the volume turned up. If you can turn down the drama , you can then say “hmm, well this seems interesting” and work at addressing the problem.
However, my favorite Liz-Gilbert-self-truth pronouncement of all was- you don’t change your life until it’s unavoidable. Real, sincere change is difficult, painful, expensive, and certainly not linear. Change comes with risk and you don’t do it until you know where you are staying is worse. Amen, Liz.
Despite all these wise words (or as I like to think of it: cheap and entertaining therapy), the most significant moment of this birthday gift for me was yet to arrive.
After the moderated conversation and Q&A period, we were able to have our books signed by Liz. Let me just say, I do not have much experience with celebrities, but do think I’d be pretty collected. I had thought up a few lines to say upon meeting Liz.
“Thank your for writing your truth” was my top dog line…and yet, not the best.
“Thank you for being you” (even though its true, it’s disgustingly generic).
Or the best being “You are my birthday gift to myself!”, which could only ever spell c-r-e-e-p-y, and land me in a solid shove to the door.
So, I muttered something like “Oh, thank you so much!” and with shaking hands and my heart flooding with hope , I handed her my business card, but on the back I had written the address to this blog.
Yup, petrified and scared, I did it, refusing to rust out. And now, my favorite author may be reading my words. Oh. My. Goodness.
November 30th, 2011
This moment has meant so much to me, and I’ve neglected to write about it, because I wanted the writing to be perfect.
I know now, it doesn’t need to be. The moment can speak for its self.
I said yes, to myself. And it was the BEST gift!