Jan 072013
 

 

When Chase was in kindergarten, he wrote a really beautiful poem. He brought it home to me and I loved it and insisted he show his teacher. He resisted, but final agreed. He came home crying the next day and when I asked him what the fuss was about, he told me that he won a writing contest. I said wow, that’s awful. He said I know. Tragically, his prize was the opportunity to read his poem to the whole school at an evening assembly. Oh, I said. I see. He’s not the spotlight type, Chase. We used to have to exit birthday parties immediately upon sight of a piñata. Too much pressure. His first soccer game, I had to hold his hand throughout the entire game…on the field . . . while holding a nine month Tish in the other arm. Throughout the entire game, Chase dragged me back and forth across the field, screaming FASTER FASTER MOMMY! We’re never going to WIN!!!

You’re right, Chase. We are never going to win. That is true, I said. Craig, former professional soccer player and Chase’s coach that day was so proud.

So when Chase told me about the assembly,  I wondered why folks always decide that because people are decent at writing words, they must be decent at speaking them. Seems like two separate things. As a matter of fact, most writers start writing because they’re a little reclusive. A little piñata averse. A little hidey, maybe.

The night of the big assembly Chase cried all day. I told him that once we got to the school, he’d see his friends and relax. I lied. He did not relax. He wouldn’t walk up to the stage without me holding his hand and following him. Fine, I told myself. No biggie. Once he holds the mic, he’ll hit his stride. Wrong again, mama.

I situated Chase in front of the mic, smiled, and handed his poem to him. He immediately burst out crying again –  directly into the mic this time. Every time I tried to encourage him, he cried harder. The crowd did its best to look supportive, but you know, they were staring. It wasn’t their fault, that’s really the crowd’s job. So since I’m a good mom, I took the microphone and the poem and tried to read it for Chase. But here was the other problem:  In ridiculous, awful and important situations like these, I tend to involuntarily do what’s MOST inappropriate. Like I’m supposed to be helping my son, but all I can think about is….what if I grab this mic right now and scream VAGINA AND PENIS!! into it?

It’s like when you’re on a balcony and you think : What if I just jump? What if I do? Oh my God, I might! Why isn’t there anyone here to stop me??? TOO. MUCH. FREEDOM AND POWER!!  I am not wise or self- controlled enough for this precarious situation!! I’m NOT READY!

That’s what I’m thinking. On every balcony.

In church, too. It looks like I’m praying but I’m mostly wondering: what is the absolute most profane, awful thing I could scream into this sacred silence? Then I think of the thing. It’s always really, really bad. It’s always an awful thing. I immediately feel horribly guilty because I don’t know much about God, but I’m fairly certain he can see into folks brains, especially at church. So I try my very, very hardest to UNTHINK that awful thing. But then it becomes like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man scene in Ghost Busters. I CAN’T unthink a thing. And this situation is so ridiculous that I always, always start laughing.  It’s that awful laugh…that  funeral laugh. That: Oh my god I canNOT be laughing right now laugh. My husband is glaring at me because I’m embarrassing the family again, and that is TOTALLY hysterical, of course. So now my shoulders are lurching up and down and tears are coming out of my eyes and I eventually have to excuse myself because there is no other way out.

This is what happened to me on stage.

Chase was hysterically crying and I was hysterically laughing. It was nerves. But it looked like I was laughing AT Chase. And the whole school audience was slack – jawed. Including Craig, whom I saw lower his video camera, dissociating with us officially. I finally pulled myself together enough to squeak out a couple lines from the poem. Then I grabbed Chase by the hand and pulled him off stage as quickly as I could without appearing to be both emotionally AND physically abusive. We both cried our way back to our seats. When we flopped back down, I noticed that Craig looked stunned. He stared straight ahead. He was speechless. He looked like he was trying to pretend to belong to the family on his other side.

Chase and I both wiped tears from our eyes. I looked down at Chase and he looked back up at me. He smiled through his tears and said, “Wow! We did GREAT, mom. That was awesome.”

“Um. Yes, yes we did, baby. Yes we did. We were the best.”

All of this is to say . . . I’m a little nervous about my book tour.

 

Happy Monday.

Love,

G

 



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  236 Responses to “I’m Scared of Pinatas, Too.”

  1. love you, G

  2. G, don’t be worried about the book tour-you will be speaking to people that are so excited to see you! We are rooting you on. We are 50,000 + of your friends and we are behind you 100%! Can’t wait to see you! Please come to Williamsburg or Richmond!

  3. How can one person be able to have people crying one day from laughter and another day from soul wreching prose? You can just be as nervous as you need to be because we, Monkees, don’t care what comes out of your mouth. Unconditional love, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE … you’ve got it! I am praying that I will get to be at one of your tour stops.

  4. One of my yoga teachers suggested that what we think, the universe hears and tries to fulfill; or something like that. So during meditation, throw your hopes and dreams out to the universal waves. But what if we have the tendency to let our mind wander and it creates something horrible? I do this and would like to think that there are others that do the same. Her response was to quickly say “Cancel, cancel negativity” and that should erase the thought. Pretty hokey, but anytime I think about those horrible things on television happening to my children; CANCEL, CANCEL NEGATIVITY! So far, so good. Best wishes and be well!

  5. OMG Im too pregnant to be laughing this hard! Oh thanks for sharing, and hey at least you’ve got great stories that you can share and make people laugh on the the spot :) I have also been victim to self inflicted horrifyingly emabarrassing moments that later make the best stories

  6. I loved this! I thought i was the only one who had those inappropriate church and balcony thoughts…such a relief! Please say your book tour includes Atlanta!!

  7. Ok, so I’ve never told anyone this but, when I am driving my vehicle and I am stopped at a red light and some pedestrians walk by, I get this crazy thought that with one simple movement of my foot, the truck could go crashing into them. It is so bizarre and after sitting with the strangeness of it at many a red light, I have realized that the power dynamic feels imbalanced to me — I mean a huge moving metal box against a warm fleshy body…weird! — and that I need to trust myself to wield power in the most loving way. So now I imagine an impenetrable wall in front of my truck as the wee little people pass by and I also imagine that I am walking in their shoes. It works! :)

    Also, G, I don’t have a book recommendation for public speaking, but when I have to drive on CUH-RAZY L.A. area freeways, I do this thing where I channel the most badass woman driver I have ever ridden in a car with, Cynthia. I will be gunning it down the on-ramp saying to myself “Channel your inner Cynthia, channel your inner Cynthia….. Dude! Come on, let a sista in! Damn right, yo punk ass let me in, huh?” Oops, then I ask forgiveness for calling my fellow human a punk ass and thank Cynthia for helping me survive the freeway driving. :) So, find your favorite badass woman speaker and channel your inner Her. We are all part of each other after all, so might as well call on the strength that is there for us! Love you!

  8. That was really really funny. Not sure if that’s inappropriate. Maybe not meant to be funny? But I’m crying from laughing so hard.

  9. Note to self: do not read Glennon’s post while sitting at my desk in my quiet office! Now, I’m the one with lurching shoulders and tears streaming down my face from laughing SO HARD!!! I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one that thinks the most random, inappropriate thoughts at the the wrong times! Thanks for the laugh! <3

  10. Nothing to be nervous about…you can scream penis or vagina into the mic on your book tour and anyone who “knows” you will die laughing! I hope to catch the tour. I hope you do something very Glennon-ish. We are coming for you. Just you. Not the fancy, I’m-on-a-book-tour-so-I-have-to-behave version. The real version. Just jump. The monkees will catch you!!!! xoxo

  11. No worries, Glennon. At every stop on your tour, you have your introducer ask for 4 Monkee volunteers: two to hold your hands, one to hold the book open (since your hands will be full of ours!) while standing right in front of you and blocking your view of the audience and vice versa, and the 4th to point at the words as you read them in case you lose your place. All you need to do is follow the bouncing Monkee finger, so to speak. The finger-pointing Monkee will also be responsible to reading out loud with you if you get too quiet to hear. (Even if it’s a shy Monkee, reading aloud together is way easier than reading out loud by yourself.) What do you think you keep us around for, anyway?
    Loved this one even though it was painful to read ’cause I so understand!
    Love,
    Phyllis

  12. I would be petrified- but you are brave, you can do hard things, I have complete faith in you, and no matter what happens it will be the perfect it was meant to be. I think you are about to embark on a magical monkee adventure. Can’t wait to see you out there! Can’t wait to hear where you’ll be! and read the backstage stories!

    love you,
    Sarah

  13. ROFL… I love the way you tell stories! I could not stop laughing!!

  14. Well, I’m also guilty of the “church thinking.” Its almost as if I dare myself to think it…on a separate note – hurray for the book tour! be proud! You’ve earned it and reached so many of us with your honest writing. xo

  15. Glennon, honey, I would be happy to come with you on your book tour, hold your hand, and speak into the microphone for you. I’m a total fame whore who craves the spotlight. This is a serious offer.

    • Yes! Yes! YES! The only thing that could make the signing more fun would be cocktales (and, y’know, cocktails). Please come as Glennon’s hype girl!

  16. You will be incredible on your book tour.

    Please come to Ottawa, Canada one day. We Canadians are looking forward to your book too!

  17. Best.Monday.Read.Ever! Such a great way to start my week as I was weepy about sending kiddos back to school… it’s my senior’s last semester. sigh.

    Public speaking is one of those things that gets easier the more you do it. Like sex. Hope that helps. Also, your crowd will be full of Monkees hoping you’ll say the wrong thing so that we can laugh with you too! We can do the hard things!!

  18. You make my heart super happy. Anxiously awaiting book tour deets.

  19. So on this book tour, we monks should approach and yell “vagina and penis!” just to break the tension? :)
    We creatively call the laughing in church you mention the “church giggles”. The kind where the more you try to stifle them the worse they get until you almost do an all out snort. I get them often and am convinced they are genetic.

  20. Inappropriate laughter is the very best kind. It always makes me feel free somehow in the most inappropriate way. And, my children prey on this weakness/strength during church — every. single. time. I think it’s what they love best about me…I’m not sure how I feel about that.

    If a fit of inappropriate laughter should start while on tour, seems like you’ll have many who will join right in!! XO

  21. You’ll be amazing!

  22. Of course you’re nervous! It’s your dream and it’s coming true and it’s scary and unknown. But, at least you have the courage to go live your dream!!! It’s going to be crazy fun, crazy scary & crazy cool. It’s going to be AWESOME!

    You’ll have great days and not-so-good days during the tour and we’ll be here to celebrate the good and have loving laughs about the bad.

    :) Love to you.

  23. A church I used to attend had light fixtures that looked just like penises, and I couldn’t, stop thinking abut that every Sunday. Nothing like a penis fixture fixation to take away any feelings of holiness.

  24. It was an emotional Monday morning and I needed laughter so badly this morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  25. Oh, me too!!! I am so glad that I am no longer alone in my guilt about inappropriate thoughts. I can’t even speak at the PTA meetings without getting all blotchy and red from nerves and I’m always afraid I’m going to forget my own kids names when we introduce ourselves at those meetings. Can’t wait for your book tour and don’t worry everyone just wants to hang out with you and chat, laugh, and scream inappropriate things:) Hope you’re coming to Portland, Oregon!!! xoxo

  26. When you do your book tour, you’re not really going to do it all normal and stuff, are you? I mean, the idea of you standing in front of a podium with the audience sitting in lines of folding chairs all in rows in the middle of a Barnes and Noble, kind of bums me out. I just figured it’d be more like story time at the library: all of us on a rug trying not to wiggle too much in a big huddled, circle-ish configuration. Except for, you know, fewer story time listeners picking their noses, lifting skirts up over their head, and belting out during a pause in the story that their mommy makes stinky farts.

    Also, I think the last Jennifer had a good idea! Maybe you could just have a couple of Monkees at every location stand up and do a poem first. We’ll burst out in the sweats, giggles, and tears first and then you’ll look oh, so cool, calm, composed, and professional in comparison. Or at the very least everyone we will be all perspiration baptized together.

    Be well,
    Margaret
    Minneapolis

    • And I have no idea what I meant by “last” Jennifer. I thought I was commenting right after her, but by the time it took me to hunt and peck out four lines a whole bunch of comments posted, so maybe it was supposed to be a combo of last commentator and Jennifer? Not that it matters. Happy Monday!

    • We’ll all sit in a circle and each get up and say, “Hi, my name is Lisa. And I am a monkee. I have been a monkee for 7 days. I was a monkee for a whole year, and then I slipped up and flipped the bird to some guy who cut me off in traffic last week, but I am trying really hard not to be a jerk again now and it’s been 7 days.” (“Hi, Lisa.”) And then any monkee who feels so inclined can shout, “Penis!” immediately following her introduction and burst into otherwise inexplicable laughter. It’ll be a hoot. I love this place.

    • Oh Margaret … you hit the nail on the head. Please, please G … don’t make this a normal book tour. I think I would be devastated to approach you at a table and find you “author formal” like every other author. Please … just be like one of us, the way we find you online.

      Don’t really have any suggestions as to how to make that happen “in real life” but some Monkee will!

      xoxo,
      jacy

      • jacy. i’ve done one book signing. and here’s the thing: i couldnt get the pen to work. AT ALL. It was a damn TURNY pen instead of a CLICKY pen. What the hell? How am I supposed to work a TURNY pen when Im SWEATING BULLETS (hands SOAKING, HELLLLLO??) AND Im LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY by myself behind a TABLE and trying desperately to look like I’m NOT laughing? All of that is A LOT of things at once.

        I actually am considering getting hypnotized. I can’t think of any other way to calm down. I mean I’m already medicated. It should be interesting. There’s really one one thing I can promise, and that is that I have NO PRAYER at “Author formal.” None. Nada.

        Love G

    • Margaret,
      I just sent your comment to the COW publicist. Love.

      • It took me a minute to realize that COW is the acronym for Carry On, Warrior…LOL…I was wondering who was publicizing cows in the name of Glennon – it’s monkees, not cows ;)

  27. Glennon – I LOVE THIS! Also it is frightening to me how much your Chase reminds me of my Chase. He is also the non spotlight type and we have had very similar situations!

    You will do great on your tour!
    Julia

  28. Glennon,
    Here is my only advice for public speaking – do you wear glasses? I do, and whenever I have had to speak in church in front of people, I take them off so I can’t really see any of the people’s faces. It helps – a little.
    I will be at the book tour with bells on!!! Or maybe I will leave the bells at home…
    MUAH!
    XoXo Susie M.

  29. G – of course you feel nervous! But I guarantee that you will show up at your 1st tour stop – and once it gets started and you start talking to all your fans – it will feel like coming home… promise.

  30. i’d give you advice but the first time i was on stage reading for a crowd, i lifted my dress up and recited my lines while flashing my entire elementary school and my very proud parents. they were excited that i could recite my lines above a whisper.

    i haven’t changed much, one of my first customers from a consulting gig gave me a megaphone as a present because he said i gave great advice and he loved my work, but i needed to speak up.

    baby steps for us shy kids. i don’t flash my undergarments anymore thank goodness. wouldn’t go over well in the stuffy conference rooms i speak in now.

    you’re going to be great, g :) can’t wait for the book tour! i’m sure there will be plenty of monkees willing to hold your hand if you need it.

  31. I laughed so hard I snorted! That’s awesome…

  32. Once upon a time I was an English teacher. One day a boy did a demonstration in front of the class on Galileo’s “falling bodies” experiment, using balls. (I know this sounds like science, but we were doing a unit on the Renaissance to prepare to read a Shakespeare play). I wanted to praise this shy boy to high heaven and hold him up as an example since he was the first to give his oral report. So in my most mature and grateful voice, I praise this quiet boy with these well-chosen words: “Didn’t Jon do a fabulous job with his presentation? His report was wonderful and I was proud of the way he dropped his balls in front of the class.”
    There was shocked silence. I turned red but tried to keep talking–about anything really. About anything besides balls and boys and dropping. But then I just lost it. I dropped my head on my desk and died with embarrassment and giggles while the kids all laughed themselves silly. Yes, being in public is definitely a hazard for me.

    Glennon, I read an autobiography about exactly what you’re going through. The author of Reviving Ophelia talks about the stress of a quiet, introverted writer trying to go on a book tour. The book is called Seeking Peace by Mary Pipher. But I don’t think she offers solutions so much as just explaining how hard it is. So read it only if you just want to commiserate, but not if you need to be pumped up.

    • This made me laugh out loud! Thanks for sharing. I love to laugh!
      XoXo Susie M.

    • Crying at my desk laughing over this!!! Cry-laughing is not appropriate at work!! And now I’m trying not to re-read it because it makes me burst out laughing again, but I really want to re-read it because it is so hilarious!!!!

      • Thank you Susie and Catherine for commenting! I’m glad I didn’t just share my very most embarrassing moment and have it fall flat in cyberspace.

  33. OMG, I thought I was the only one who had those crazy thought trains! Both on balconies and in church! It’s so bizarre.

    • Me too! I am SO relieved to know I am not alone with the wacky thoughts that come during quiet/powerful/seemingly inappropriate moments! Lol!

  34. O my word! That was awesome. Thanks for sharing… Every time I have to speak in front of people I get a blotchy neck. I can feel it getting blotchy, too, which only makes it worse because then the blotches grow. While I’m thinking about the blotches, I forget to breathe, so I end up hyperventilating. It’s terribly embarrassing, which makes my blotches spread up into my face and I look like I’ve fallen into poison ivy. Actually, this blotchy neck thing doesn’t just happen when I am self conscious. It also happens when I drink alcohol or am feeling amorous. Picture that! Or, maybe don’t.

    • Oh, Anne I have the blotchy neck, face, chest thing too. Seriously, my skin gives away all pretense of composure. I have to train parent volunteers for our Art Lit program at school and even though I’ve been doing it for years, it still happens. Also, my voice gets shaky and I sound like I’m about to cry. I’m not sure why people keep coming or why anyone thought this was a good job for me;) Rock on my blotchy sister;)

      • I have the same problem. I once had to give a speech with a terrible allergies. I had taken some Benedryl for the allergies and later realized my face didn’t get all blotchy, my throat didn’t close up or get shaky. The next time I had a speech I decided to test it to see if it was the antihistamine that helped. It did! And it’s worked for everyone that I told about it! (I think it has to do with the blood vessels constricting so your face doesn’t flush. I’m not sure why it helps with the shaky voice—maybe the relaxation property of the Benedryl?) Or maybe I am just truly allergic to public speaking! Anyways…if you are in general good health it may be worth a try (just 1 pill…or you’ll fall asleep before the speech!)

  35. Love this, I am not a great public speaker but getting better with time…here’s what works for me. First prayer and second…go up there, smile, and admit it. I am not a trained speaker but I am very passionate about what I am going to talk to you about today. Then do it. It worked for me every time I spoke to groups from 10 to over 300 on breast cancer. You can do this….now where are you doing it? Cause I want to come too please.

  36. Imagine this: Very small church, about 25 people in the pews. My brother, 12 years old, literally leans over and farts. Very loud. During a very serious sermon. Everyone tried to act like it didn’t happen, even the pastor was obviously trying to just carry on with the service. People started to do the “hold it in ’till it blows out laughter.” Everyone, even 93 year old Myrtle who was sitting behind us, broke out into a laugh I have never forgotten. Then, after a few minutes, people wiped tears, sighed, and tried to move on. The pastor composed himself and said, “Now, that gives a new meaning to that pew your sitting in!” This was more than 20 years ago, but when I go back to my childhood home, I sneak over to that small church (door still always unlocked) and sit in that same pew. Many memories come to my mind, but the memory of that day always gets me. Can still hear the laughter. Makes me cry, makes me happy. When we asked my brother why he did that, he said that he just felt like it, it was too quiet, and he had to fart. Whatever happens when you get in front of that mic will be great Glennon! Hope to see you in Minnesota!!!

  37. No worries! We will be there at every stop holding your hand. Remember, we can do hard things!

  38. You are brave enough for a book tour. I guarantee at every speaking engagement there will be a monkee. She will be willing to jump up there with you and create a distraction at a moments notice. Sister on !

  39. Can’t wait to hear more about your book tour! I’ve only recently found you, but my sense is that Monkees are pretty kind, forgiving, and safe people, which seems like a pretty good audience to have! :)

  40. I’m sure that whatever pops out of your mouth we’ll all have the same sentiment:

    “Wow! We did GREAT, G. That was awesome.”

  41. Oh yeah and one more thing. I am the WORST public speaker on the planet and you want to know the crazy part? My dad’s job was a consultant to companies giving seminars ON PUBLIC SPEAKING. I mean, I just have to laugh looking back on it now but it must have been frustrating for him as I was unteachable. Just a big ol’ bucket of “umms” and “likes” :)

  42. Years ago, when I was really busy on a project with my college theater group, I received a call from my mother-in-law with some information for my husband. By the time he got home from work that day, I’d forgotten all about it. All that week, I kept telling him, “There’s something I need to tell you, but I can’t remember what it is.” That weekend, in front of the whole cast of the play, the information popped back into my head and I blurted out, “OOOOO! I remember what I needed to tell you!” and immediately wished I would take it back. They all looked at me expectantly. “Um, I’ll tell you later,” I mumbled, but it was no good; after all that time, he was dying to know what I had to tell him. I finally had to tell him,”Your mom’s cousin died.” The incongruity of the whole situation struck me, and I started laughing uncontrollably. Talk about inappropriate! OMG! The look of shock and horror on their faces! (Fortunately, I don’t even think my husband had even met the elderly cousin in question, but that’s beside the point.)

  43. All you need to think is all those people in the audience willbe rooting for you and that the audience will just be friends who just don’t know. chances are it will get easier each time and once you get started you just might not want to leave! Come to Vanouver and I will be in that audience

  44. Love it! I was blessed with a child who has never known embarrassment. He was the 4 year old soccer player with his fingers up on his forehead like horns, pawing the ground and charging the other team like a bull. I am so very proud of him and in awe of his self-confidence, because I would love just a little of that.

    I can’t tell you how many times I refused to enter writing contests in school because the “reward” was some sort of public recognition. It was so hard to let people associate the personal things in my writing with the person I am. I was terrified of the judgment. I also have a very physical reaction to being in the spotlight. My face turns bright red, my throat closes up and I get the maniacal giggles. But, as I went through college and public speaking classes were forced upon me, I realized that everyone was afraid of that judgement. I also realized that the classmates whose opinions I cared about were rooting for me and those that were waiting for me screw up…well, could screw off. Eventually, I got to the point where it didn’t bother me to get up in front of the class. (Although, I did turn down doing the valedictorian speech for the college graduation. I was just smart enough not to be that stupid. No one wants to listen to that speech. We all just wanted our diplomas and to get out!)

    Just realize that the people coming out to see you are your fans and they are rooting for you. They don’t want to see perfection, they want to see someone they can relate to. Oh and most importantly, I found that one Benedryl before a speech really helps the physical reaction (no more “beet cheeks” or crazy lady laugh). Plus, it makes you so relaxed you sleep well and don’t spend the whole night rehashing your “imaginary mistakes”. You will be great! And if worse comes to worse and you aren’t…think of all the writing opportunities! That will be good for at least 2-3 hilarious blogs! Relax. It’s a win-win!

  45. Phoenix! You MUST be coming to Phoenix! Holly and I can’t wait to meet you…

    After further reflection, maybe you should forgo the quaint book shop meetup and we could just hold the book tour at “Fascinations.” (Google it if you don’t have one of these stores in your area). Then anything inappropriate that was said, wouldn’t be at all inappropriate! Ha!

    • Heather! Not sure this “good” Catholic girl can make the final steps into Fascinations! I still giggle when we drive by, not sure what would happen if I actually entered through the doors….

      How about quaint bookstore and SPA TIME! Anything goes at the spa!

  46. I get that thing with balconies all.the.time. I try to explain that I’m not afraid of heights as much as I just wonder what would happen if I leapt. And not in a death-wishy way, either. You nailed it, it’s the freedom. I am way too impulsive for that much freedom up high!!!!! Man, I cannot wait for the book tour, CANNOT wait. When will the line up of dates/places be available?

  47. G- just like Chase ALL your MONKS will think you “did great!” And that’s what really matters.

  48. I didn’t laugh a lot at this because I kept thinking “I know, right??” or “You feel that way, too?”

    You help me feel ‘normal’…Thank you!!

  49. Oh. My. God. I love you ALL SO much! And, Glennon, I think I speak for all your readers when I say that if you were to get up there and laugh hysterically or shout “penis” and “vagina” as loud as you could or ride a bicycle all around the place, it would only make us love you more. Carry on, warrior!

    • I definitely see “Penis! Vagina!” outbursts in the very near future. Whether they come from Glennon or one of us goofballs remains to be seen. ;-)

  50. Okay, wait just a second. Can we back up to the part where Craig was once a professional soccer player?? I have been a religious reader nearly since Momastery’s beginning and somehow I missed this.
    So let me get this straight. He plays soccer, he models, he can COOK, he is able to successfully sell soft silverware (or, you know, whatever)….is there anything he can’t do?

    • oooooooh sweet meagan.

      yes, there are things. but we’re working on them. read the book, sister.:)

      love.

      • Oh, I so WANT to read the book! So so much! I bought it for myself for my birthday back in October…and am now enduring the agonizing 6 MONTHS between then and the time when it is actually released. Torture,

        Also – I apologize for my previous comment. I regretted it almost immediately after leaving it. I feel like it was probably inappropriately insensitive given what you’ve endured the last few months, since The News. And as someone in the midst of her own Neverending News Nightmare, I should have known better.

        Love to you.

    • You should see the man go one-on-one with a rubber band against flying insects. Amazeballs.

  51. OMG, Glennon! You make me shoot milk out my nose! Thanks for the laugh, girl!

  52. Love this! I don’t know if men are like this, but I think 90 percent of my conversations with my friends sound like this. We talk about being complete and utter failures at whatever it is we do — I’m not sure if we did it earlier in life, but we do it now. And it is grace.

  53. so stinkin funny. Do you know how many people will scream vagina and penis on your tour? It will sound like a turrets conference! :)

  54. Oh my…I recognize all of these scary feelings, having been the one asked to read the poem as a youngster and as the mom of someone doing the same. What I would say to you as the book tour begins: we love you. We love that you regularly take the huge risk of writing from your heart and are authentic in trying to reveal your struggles and faith in the midst of it. Our love for you comes not from the public persona, but for the person we’ve come to know through your words and through your commitment to making good things happen in the world. Because of that, I can wholeheartedly say: be yourself and the rest will take care of itself.

  55. We should all get shirts that say, “Penis! Vagina!” And wear them to the book tour :)

  56. Thanks for the gift of laughter that comes from a truly spontaneous place! It’s a rare thing to burst into laughter because you can so relate from the core of yourself, and connect with others so completely! So many times we laugh “hoping” it will help us balance out the difficulties/pain we feel. That can be hard work sometimes! I love you Glennon and every single monk who has responded to this post for making me burst into laughter this morning! Such an unexpected gift!
    P.S. I always have to stop myself for wanting to pull random people by the hair!!

  57. Best possible post for a Monday morning!! I get it. And I love that Chase got you. Children are grace. My quote for the day: “most writers start writing because they’re a little reclusive. A little piñata averse. A little hidey, maybe.”

    When you’re on your book tour, just remember that (I bet) most of the people coming to buy your book are more like you than you could imagine. Try winking.

  58. Aw, your little guy. So cute.

    For you, I highly recommend finding a Toastmasters group, or two. It’s a public speaking and leadership club with an easy, structured program for learning to speak. The people are super supportive and will let you fail, right there in front of them, where it doesn’t matter at all because it is maybe 15 people in a church basement. It’s one of the best things I have ever done for myself. It helped me so much, both in public speaking and in other situations, like talking to the judge in small claims after my dog got attacked. The cost is low, too – usually around $50 every six months. Check the website for a meeting near you. DO IT.

  59. I’ll never forget how my mom laughed (a LOT) when i was going into surgery as a kid, i was so hurt and confused- but later in life, I figured out she too reacts with laughter when she is most stressed. you aren’t alone. and your kids will still love you.

  60. I’ve heard you speak and you’ll do great. And if you have those crazy inappropriate thoughts – shout them out – no one will get it like your monkees will!

  61. I am so excited for your book tour. And I will love you all the more if you scream obscenities just to get them out of the way at the beginning. And if you laugh hysterically and inexplicably, I would love that, too, and most likely join in.

    Speaking of book tours, can you share the information about where you will actually BE?

    And also speaking of book tours, I just read that Martha Beck is going to be at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Massachusetts in August to talk about her book in between yoga sessions during a weekend long retreat – this seems like a really good way for “hidey” authors to promote their books, because they can take a few deep breaths in between the talking and then have a sleep-over with like-minded folks – what a Win-Win…any stops at yoga retreats on your schedule?

    I think about your book tour (easy for me, I am not you) as many stops for coffee with people who have wanted to have a cup of coffee and talk about books and other things with you for a long time. No need for speeches, love. Just meet us for coffee – yay! :)

  62. Can you do meet and greet before you have to read? Then you can talk to people you know instead of strangers.

  63. Does it help to think that you’re not facing a bunch of strangers in an audience, but a group of Monkees who already know you can’t cook and you watch too much reality tv and we LOVE you anyways?

    Also, please say you’re coming to Canada. There’s not too much snow up here, I promise.

  64. Why have we never discussed our fears about standing on a balcony and thinking with absolute certainty that you are going to lose control of your body and throw yourself to the ground? I had this overwhelming feeling at Rocky Mountain National Park. That time it was accompanied with thoughts about rabid elk. Which I’m pretty sure don’t exist.

    I also have this similar problem with laughing. Ask just about any of our cousins about the incident at Aunt Rose’s Thanksgiving dinner last year. She recited at beautiful prayer. To so my appreciation, I inappropriately laughed through the entire thing. Not just a chuckle. A full blown, my stomach hurts, laugh.

    Love and miss you!
    Kathleen

    • Kathleen is my COUSIN, you guys!!! Kat- can you post your amazing organization please? thank you so much.

      Serious dinner prayers with lots of people around the table? Fuggedaboutit.

    • Maybe the thoughts of throwing ourselves off of high places and a tendency toward inappropriate laughing are triggered in the same parts of our brains. I was asked to leave more than one Bar Mitzvah in my youth and almost lost a friend when I laughed through her entire Catholic wedding. The lighting was casting two shadows behind the Jesus on the cross; I know it was supposed to represent the holy trinity, but all I could think about was how it looked like “Jesus and The Pips”. And I always say that I’m not afraid of heights, I’m afraid of MYSELF! Glad to know I’m not alone in my little crazies.

  65. What a good laugh this morning! I completely agree…I prefer to keep my writing just as it is, in written form. No public speaking necessary. Don’t worry. You will be great!

  66. Well, if I just walk in and scream “PENIS AND VAGINA!” that might help, right? I mean, I think I want to do that anyway and I’ll just pray it’s somewhere with you and not, say, in the class I’m instructing today. :-/

  67. So funny! On a Monday morning, it’s nice to hear that I’m not alone with these crazy hilarious thoughts! :0)

  68. Oh Glennon! How I love your posts… I too, am an uncontrollable laugher at the most inopportune times. Like when people are yelling at me or in the middle of parent/teacher conferences. At least it’s laughter, right? And that is why I love you. Thousands LOVE you.. Because you admit what most are afraid to. And when you are on that book tour and die laughing, all of us monkees will KNOW exactly what you are saying. We HEAR you. And your words and shoulder lurching laughter are music to our ears, sister.

  69. First, how do I find out where and when your tour will be? Also, I need tickets. I will pay for them but I am super nervous they will be all sold out and I will be devastated…:) And, I ALWAYS think about jumping off balconys or crazier yet, what if I just PUSH someone off? Or drive my car into oncoming traffic, or jump into the river during the winter when we are only taking a walk?…again, love not being alone with these nutso thoughts.

    • I’m so glad you said “push someone off” first, cause, uhhh, me too.

      • ME TOO! I was JUST thinking about the “push someone off” phenomena! yes!!

        Book tour info to come..and i am fairly sure there is no ticket buying…you just show up. Right? This is my first rodeo.

        • Please bring the rodeo to South Carolina. I will hold your hand and someone’s baby at the same time so that you have a familiar scene. ;-)

      • Brooke and Rebeccah and Glennon,
        I am thanking God, right this very second, for the fact that I am not the only one who thinks those exact same thoughts when I am on a balcony. I am NOT alone!!! Love Love Love you Monkees!
        XoXo Susie M.

    • Hilarious!

      I absolutely CANNOT do balconies. At.All. Or overlooks, or cliffs, or…you get the picture. I worry about the jumping AND the pushing! It’s awful. And, Brooke, I worry about all those other things, too. What if I walked up to that lady and slapped her? What if I threw stuff off an overpass? What if I threw a temper tantrum in Panera? I am NOT. RIGHT. But so glad to not be alone, either! :)

      Also, there’s not a member of my entire family who will sit with me in church. I, too, think of the worst possible things to shout. I also laugh hysterically when I’m supposed to be quiet. I’ve all but stopped going because I think the time is a bit wasted since I morph into my most base self and end up breaking a sweat from the constant struggle to hold it in the road.

      Three cheers for crazy monkees!

    • I’ve never thought of pushing someone off a balcony, you sickos. (But I probably will from now on.)

      When I’m on a balcony, I usually think, “Aahhhh, this is more like it.” And I wish I was wearing a sparkling tiara and waving to tens of thousands of loyal subjects who have waited for hours and hours, hoping to catch a glimpse of me.

  70. WHAT on earth does that speak to? When I was really young and sitting in church, in the most quiet and holiest moment, I would with such detail, imagine excusing myself to the bathroom only to reemerge bursting through the doors completely naked and screaming down the aisle and back out again. I could picture the look of horror on every person’s face. Fantasy for years and trying to mentally snuff it only heightened the details. What and why? The tiny seeds of inappropriateness that certainly blossomed…ha!

  71. Book tour!!! I need dets! Tell me where to be and when! :-)

  72. I thought I was the only one who got those involuntary and inappropriate thoughts at the worst times…. In fact, I sometimes wondered if there was something wrong with me! Glad to know I’m not alone :)

  73. Have you ever noticed all your favorite authors are just terrible at interviews and public speaking? There is a reason politicians hire writers and why writers are not politicians. I recently did a radio interview in which I started out by saying, “when I got pregnant at my desk job.” It only got worse from there.

    Writers are used two hours of editing and rearranging. There is no time for that in public speech. They are also the type of people who want to scream vagina at the top of their lungs in church. Cheers!

  74. Don’t worry sister. I’ll be there in the front row with a big smile. And lots of woo’ing. And probably lots of heckling too. Luvs

  75. My favorite thing about you Glennon, is that you always say exactly what I am thinking too! So glad to see that I am not the only one. Have fun on your book tour – and if you begin laughing hysterically for no reason I will be sure to join in!

  76. If I am lucky enough to see you on your book tour, I will stand up and scream out all the ugly horrible thoughts that go through my head in church…..that should calm you down

  77. We need deets G! When and where can we find a tour schedule so we can come support our fearless leader?!!?

  78. OMG, I am not the only one with the “balcony thoughts”! Thank you Glennon for making me feel a little more normal!

  79. I love to write too, but I hate speaking in front of people, when I was in high school I nearly fainted just reading a poem in front of my class. It was so embarrassing! You are going to do great let your light shine!!! I really can’t wait to read the book!!

  80. I SO get this. AND you can do it. No matter what you say or do or think inside your head, it will all be ok, because we get you and you get us and we’re all together part of something way bigger than that. God is awake, remember? Sister On, Glennon:)

  81. we will all be there with you, girlfriend, & think of us laughing right along with you!

    xoxox
    cathy

  82. That was “Glennon insight” at its brutiful best! Oh the joy of knowing so many are enjoying the words you so generously share with us in your book… but oh the stress of being “on” to promote them. I don’t envy you that! Like Rebeccah said, try to stay seated and “among us” as much as possible, and maybe it won’t hurt so much! ;-)

  83. OMG. I thought I was the only one who did that on balconies, towers, buildings,etc. you are right! Way too much freedom and power! I also thought maybe I had some weird impulse control mental illness because sometimes when people are talking to me and do the “lean in” and lean close to me I would sometimes think of slapping them. For. No. Reason. You don’t want to know how many funerals and other quiet gatherings I have had to excuse myself from….relief…I am not alone.

  84. Oh my word, that was hysterical! Thanks for making me laugh this morning and for always keeping it real!

  85. Loved this! I am sharing this with my daughter who is also a writer who very much dislikes sharing her work out loud. I also love this piece because we were also discussing the difference between “normal” and crazy thoughts a few days ago. Thanks for covering all the bases with one great post!!

  86. Wow, that must have been a long time ago, because the Chase *I* know steps in front of that microphone and OWNS it when he’s reading in church! “Good parenting will out”, if you don’t mind me borrowing from the Bard…

    • Dwayne!!

      You’re right. If my boy can improve, I can improve too. I will try. Also, I was TOTALLY joking about the church stuff. Totally.

      Oops.

      Love,
      G

      • LOL!

        Sometime you’ll have to talk to Nancy about how she got over her fear of speaking in public. Not something that would work for everyone, but it changed her perspective…

  87. Glennon- Just like you insisted everyone read “Daring Greatly” (which I obediently purchased and have started reading) I want you to read another new book called “The Introvert’s Way” by Sophia Dembling. It will explain SOOOOOO much. I am the only extrovert in a family of three introverts and me. Changed our family dynamics totally.

  88. Love this and your precious Chase’s attitude. Maybe because I was the one laughing during Silent Night on Christmas Eve because for the one second I turned away from my son (who has a significant disability), he reached over and put my candle out with his fingers. Way to go mom. I won’t even mention the laughing at a funeral. Been there done that.

    Looking forward to the book tour!

  89. Well, now that you’ve written that, if we see you start laughing hysterically, we’ll know not to take it personally. Good luck!

  90. Don’t be nervous, dear Glennon.

    All we want is hugs. No spontaneous brilliant you always know the right thing to say speeches. Just hugs.

    Much Love and Can’t Wait!

  91. Just remember, every single person who comes to see you loves you. We all do, you know. I even had kairos tattooed onto my ankle it meant so much to be so understood….

  92. Glad i’m not alone thinking those crazy thoughts!!!!!!!!!

  93. For what its worth G, there is nothing you could possibly do up there that would make us love you any less. So go ahead and shout PENIS, VAGINA! We’ll just shout it with you! :-)

  94. I froze on stage in the middle of the “pick a word out of a hat and speak for two whole minutes on that topic” part of the public-speaking competition at high school when I was 14. In front of 800 people. I still think that was probably the longest 15 seconds of silence in my entire life. It would have made it a whole lot better (even at 14) to have had my Mum up there with me, even if she were laughing. Good on you. (And, PS, as someone who now earns her living partly through public speaking, it gets so much easier. After two years or so :)).

    • Lisa!

      Is there a book, or SOMETHING you can recommend to help me? Something with speaking ideas and secrets? Picturing the audience naked is all ive got and it does NOT help. More laughing.

      Love G

      • I think you should picture that you are sitting down for coffee with one Monkee you’ve always wanted to meet, and she’s asked to hear more.

        You are in the best position for public speaking, because your audience already loves you, AND you’ve taught us how to be kind and forgiving, so there’s room for mistakes!

      • Oh, gosh. I’m trying to think of something more helpful than “speak publicly at least once a week for a year. Then, one day you’ll pause and realize that you no longer want to throw up before every lecture or workshop. And that you’re no longer holding your notes with a death grip in your sweaty little paws. And in fact, you don’t feel you need notes nearly as much, if at all.”

        OK, I just thought of something. I don’t know if you will find this helpful or not, but it really helped me. One day, about a year or two after I started leading stress management workshops and teaching on trauma (that’s what I do) I had this sudden realization that (shockingly, I know) the people listening to me weren’t thinking about me, they were thinking about themselves. They weren’t sitting there evaluating how fluently I was speaking, or mentally judging me for not having a perfect answer to every question (if such a thing exists). They were sitting there listening to me teach and share some of my stories and they were mostly thinking about how they could mine what I was saying for small bits of useful truth they could apply to their own lives and their own pain.

        In other words, I stopped thinking that it was mostly about me and started thinking more about how I could actually meet people where they were at, and then it suddenly got a whole lot less scary.

        This carried over to books readings too. When I gave readings for my first novel and, more recently, my memoir, it felt more vulnerable than leading workshops. It was, I guess. But it actually felt less scary, too. Because I realized I didn’t have to be right. I didn’t have to have all the answers to other people’s problems and pain. I just had to show up and let them see me and share my stories and answer questions as best I could and laugh and listen and let the rest go. Because even with my personal story, it’s amazed me how people have drawn from it what they wanted and needed to hear and how it’s spoken to people in different ways. It’s something I couldn’t control if I tried, and so I’ve (mostly) stopped trying. And now the readings, they are fun. They really are.

        I think you’ll be great, Glennon. Your authenticity and verve and love for others bubbles up in your writing and I suspect it regularly spills forth in person, too. I think you may be surprised at how much you enjoy these readings and the chance to connect more closely with people who’ve been reading you from a distance and saying “me too. Oh, me too.”

        And any offbeat proclaiming of inappropriate things???? Oh well, you’ll either make people laugh or rage. And those who will laugh will be those who practice and love laughter in their lives, and those who choose rage will probably be people who love to rage. So, even then, you’ll be serving others.

        Can’t wait to share this journey with you, all the way from Laos. Do let me know if your book tour brings you here to Luang Prabang. And thank you for sharing yourself with us.

        Love,
        Lisa

  95. Well…. YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!!! Us Monkees will be there with you supporting you and crying and laughing with you :) Pull strength from us as we do from you :) You got this baby!!!! Warrior on!!

  96. Awesome post. Plus enlightening. ‘Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man.’ NOT STATE PUFF. I’ve had this wrong my entire life. Thank you. Although, ‘STATE PUFF’ would have been better. “What’s your current STATE?” … “PUFF, of course! I’m a giant freakin’ marshmallow man!!!” You’ll rock the book tour. Excited for you…

    • OMG Jennifer I’m laughing so hard I’m crying here. Lots of funny things here today but for some reason your State Puff pushed me over the edge :)

    • Stay puffed??? Are you FOR REAL???? It’s not STATE puffed?? I must google this right now…

  97. I am laughing…out loud…at work. I am supposed to be busy doing work stuff but I am laughing at my computer screen, as my boss pretends not to look at me out of the corner of her eye. Love this! And I remember the days of having to run on the soccer field, baby on hip, holding the hand of my soccer “star”, much to my dismay. Glad I am not the only one, G….. And you’ll be fine at your book tour..think of all your practice!

  98. PS: If by chance I get to see you on your tour and am part of the audience, I’ll face backward if it’ll help.

  99. That is the damn truth. I like to write, I love words, I really love talking with people. Talking TO people, though…well, now that is another story entirely. The good news about the book tour is that at least you will sit down and talk a lot too. It’s the “all eyes on me in the center of the ring it’s like a circus” part is what makes me want to tee on myself.

  100. Oh, my word. This was awesome. Laughed and laughed.

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