I can assure you, the two days we spent in California were an epoch in my life, an Is-This-Even-Real-Or-Am-I-Hallucinating couple of days.
There was a moment in the middle of my reading at the release party when I hit the line “…because you matter” and I remember lifting up my eyes and seeing a roomful of you, all of you, looking straight back at me, so beautiful and present, and I nearly burst into tears at the sight of you.
So much of what I do is on the other side of a computer, just me pecking away here at my sticky laptop in the middle of my pink 90s kitchen while Evelynn naps and the older tinies are at school. And, so to see you – really see your faces, look into your eyes – as I read those words aloud? They meant something new all over again.
You matter. You matter. You matter to me.
Brian and I got on a plane on Thursday morning and by the afternoon, I was on Sunset in Hollywood, eating Chinese food and getting my hair done, trying to figure out if that really was Def Jam’s Russell Simmons who nearly hit me with his mini-cooper.
Welcome to California!
Laura and Nish kept laughing me and telling me to stop welling up with tears – it’s a happy day! – but I couldn’t help it. I had one big day-long moment, not the least of which was the fun of having Brian there for all of it. This was our first time away without a single baby in our care in over seven years, and so this was his first time to really be there for this weird part of my life. Of all the moments of the two days – and there were plenty – the best part of it all was that we got to do it together. (Even if he did have a creepy moustache for Mo-vember on his face. Not that I’m bitter.) The tinies had a lovely time with their Granny & Papa for those nights, too, so that was a big relief.
Saying “thank you” feels horribly inadequate for the gift of those two days, but I need to say it anyway: thank you.
Thank you to my dearest friends, Laura and JJ, for such a beautiful party to celebrate the release of Jesus Feminist. True friends are rare, I know this, the kind of friends who are with you in every season of your life. Laura, Nish, and JJ make celebrating their friends look like a spiritual gift. I could have gone home happy after just our afternoon together getting our hair done, eating Chinese food, and hanging out. Thanks to my beloved Kristen Howerton as well for participating in the reading of the book, along with Brian, Nish, and me.
I was pretty sure that it would be just me and Brian and a few of the girls, sitting around drinking champagne and toasting an empty room. I was actually genuinely surprised to see so many people! I didn’t think I knew many people in California – but instead, it was a packed room, shoulder to shoulder. I was flabbergasted.
Thank you to each of you who came to the events for telling me your stories and for letting me hug you awkwardly.
Thank you to every single person who braved the rain in Hollywood just to say hi to a Canadian blogger they didn’t really know at all and get a signature in my little yellow book.
Thank you to the Junia Project for all of their hard work for the Friday event. It was beautiful and life-giving. We loved hanging out with Kate and Gail Wallace and the rest of the team. They’re good people who are bringing a lot of the conversations about egalitarianism to the people outside of academia. We loved them. I even got to hug Diana Trautwein! I think my favourite part of the night was during the Q&A when Brian got up on stage to help answer a few questions. Maybe we could be a double-act from now on…..
Thanks to everyone who stuck around (for too long) just to have a chat and a chance to meet face-to-face. It was a privilege and a gift to spend even those few moments with each of you.
After the party, we joined the rest of Hollywood at In-and-Out burger. I could not believe that it was so packed, people lined up out the door at 11:30 on a Thursday night! But we got our burgers and shakes and stuffed our faces, talked over our favourite parts of the night, and had a few laughs.
You know, being a blogger and a writer is weird sometimes. Sometimes it’s infuriating, isolating, and frustrating.
But every once in a while, a dream comes true. And it’s worth paying attention to those moments, too.