We’re going to step outside of our BOM (Best of Momastery) series today. I need to write to you, in real time.
Hello. It’s me- G. I woke up early this morning and thought – I need to get up immediately and say thank you.
Thank you, thank you, for loving me and loving this community. Thank you for being gentle and honest and excited and invested. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for agreeing and disagreeing with love and respect. Where else on Earth does that happen??? This community – this place where people laugh and cry and think and breathe deeply together is my dream come true. Whatever comes next (and it appears that some things are comin’ next) will happen through and for this community. We are here to stay. I’ll keep writing as long as you keep showing up.
I know that you want to know what’s happened behind the scenes since Momastery went viral. Well, so much has happened that I have spent more than a few days curled up in a dark room with a jar of peanut butter and Housewife reruns. This is true. I am going to tell you right now that I have not handled all of this gracefully. I was scared, very scared in the beginning. It’s been insane, sweet Monkees. I am now receiving hundreds of emails a day, many of which are from media outlets asking me to do this or that or better yet, this and that and also another thing. And additionally, right away, please.
Many of these requests are from companies asking to place “little banners” on our Momastery site in exchange for cash. With great love, I have asked them to step off. Several publishers offered interest in our story but suggested that I’d need to take down some posts in order to publish them in book form. They said people wouldn’t buy the book if they could get the stories for free. I said, sure they will. You don’t understand us. And also, I want people who can’t afford to buy the book to have the essays for free. They are not my essays to take away, anyway. They belong to everyone. They belong to the Monkees who’ve been with me from the beginning and the Monkees who haven’t even found us yet. Monkees? The fancy people said? Huh?
Two production companies from California asked me to do a reality show. A reality show. I asked them if they were interested in airing a reality show about a couple who sits on the couch and watches reality shows and then goes to sleep at nine. Because that’s what they’d get. Yes, in fact, they were interested. Holy God, NO, thank you, I said.
Immediately following the reality show inquiries, I called my doctor and asked her to up my anti-anxiety meds. She said that “sudden, increased, internet exposure” is not a valid reason for a dosage increase. WHAT?? I still can’t believe that. It’s GOTTA be. How do all the famous people get all their drugs then? Charlie Sheen, maybe. Anyway – it all kept coming. Magazines, radio stations, TV shows, seventeen literary agents, and four publishing houses. I decided it was best to respond to nobody. I called Sister every four minutes. She immediately became my Assisterant. Amandager, if you will.
And then she (and Lou) helped me find the most amazing, brilliant, loving, Monkeeish team of agents in NYC. They reached out to me and said every single thing that you’d want a Monkee agent to say. I responded by saying the following: “HELP. I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF A CIRCUS. I NEED A CIRCUS MANAGER. CAN YOU MANAGE A CIRCUS?” And they said, yes, in fact, they could. And they told me to “ask around” to learn about their reputation in the industry. But there was a problem. Ask around whom??? Chase didn’t know them, and neither did the checkout lady at Wegmans, so I was out of people to ask around.
So Sister and I decided to go to NYC to meet them. That was scary, but the only way to know for sure that we could trust these ladies with our precious Momastery.
My first problem with this plan was that I had no clue what to wear. I couldn’t imagine that people wore tie died yoga pants out to lunch in New York City, so I went to Nordstrom. I love Nordstrom like it’s a family member. If you go to Nordstrom, and you stand around for just two minutes looking forlorn, someone will approach you, cock her head slightly and say gently, “You look like you could use some help.” Which is just what happened. I think maybe Nordy’s employees are trained as therapists before they hit the floor. I told my clothes therapist that I was going to NYC(!) for a fancy meeting the very next day(!) and the problem was that I was not fancy. And she said, “No worries, hon. I’ve got this. Just go wait in the dressing room.” She didn’t even make me come with her to look for things! She dressed me in a blazer (a blazer!) and fancy indigo skinny jeans and a silk (silk!) shirt and necklaces and crazy earrings. We hugged after we got the outfit put together. I will always love her.
The only thing about the outfit was that when I get nervous, I rub my legs. And I was sort of extremely nervous throughout our whole four hour lunch with our new friends/ agents. And so halfway through lunch we all noticed that my palms were bright blue. From my new indigo jeans. Which, if you would just pay attention to anything, you would notice have a big tag that says: WASH BEFORE WEARING. My hands were blue for two days. Which is unfortunate since my hands are so small that they already appear to belong to a smurf. So anyway, that was a little embarrassing, but Trena and Sally have read everything about me, so they didn’t seem too surprised by the fact that I happened to have indigo smurf hands that day. And when considering what could have happened, with Sister and I set loose on our own in NYC, smurf hands don’t seem too bad.
Speaking of hands, I want you to know that we are in the right ones, with Sally and Trena. They are Monkees. They are in awe of the community we have built and dwell in. They can’t get enough of us. They know we want this process of creating a book and introducing ourselves to the world to be handled with love, love and more love. They want that, too. I trust them, and so does Sister. I am positive that they will be friends of mine for life. You will LOVE them, Monkees. And now they are handling ALL MONKEE BUSINESS. Magazine people and the like contact them, not me. Which means I can breathe again.
So . . . about the book. It’s going to be more of what you’ve always known from me. It will be a book of essays about parenting, marriage, faith and lack thereof, healing oneself, and mending relationships between people and between groups of people. It’s going to include lots of our BOMs and lots of new material you’ve never seen. More personal stuff. Husband says- IT GETS MORE PERSONAL??? Oh, yes, husband. I don’t even feel like I’ve scratched the surface of this brutiful life.
Our book. It’s going to be a good thing. Think about how the love here has touched you, helped you, encouraged you, and then think about passing that gift on to another mom, a hundred other women, a thousand other men. This is the dream we have. To help people breathe a little deeper and easier and remember that they are not alone, not by a long shot. To pass down something to our kids and say, “Look. There is another way to live in community. This is real, it can happen.”
The best part is that we let all of this magic happen organically. We always let it be what it was. New Monkees, you should know that we’ve never promoted this blog anywhere. We’ve done no marketing, no advertising, and I’ve never made a penny, still haven’t – except to help other mothers. We knew we had a beautiful thing going and we did our thing until the world took notice. We were not ambitious, except in caring for each other and in becoming more whole ourselves. During the past month, hundreds of women have written, asking me how to start a blog, how to grow an audience. I don’t have any magic for you, other than have a goal and start writing. My goal was to build bridges between people by showing up every day and telling the truth. So my advice is this: don’t worry about marketing or gimmicks or self promotion, just write. Everyday, write. Show up for yourself. That’s where the magic is. Your people will find you.
Trena and Sally are looking at a Momastery manuscript and soon they will “shop” it to publishers. After the offer(s?) come in, we will head back to New York and meet the publishers in person so that we can choose the Monkee-ist one. Then I’ll spend the next nine months simultaneously working on the new material for the book and on this blog. I will not leave you, and I’ll keep you updated every step of the way. I am so, so incredibly grateful to have you on my team. You just don’t even know what comfort that brings me.
I do not know what will happen after all of that. My favorite and scariest thing to consider is that there will likely be a book tour, which means that Sister and I will be able to travel around to MEET and HUG each of you. That’s some good stuff. And Yes, I promise to bring Husband so you can hug him, too.
Please, continue to send your love and energy and prayers my way. I need them. Sometimes I get scared, but then I repeat- I am NOT afraid. I was born to do this. And then I’m still scared.
Scared- sacred. Very close.
I love you, Sweet Monkees.
PS. That day, venturing to New York City with my Sister, was one of the best days of my life. But even with the fancy meeting and the wonderful discussions and the realization that a dream is coming true(!) . . . this was my favorite part. Sister and I couldn’t catch a cab so we jumped on a rickshaw, just the two of us, flying through the streets of NYC with so much life inside us and outside us that I thought we might burst into a trillion pieces.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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