I got up this morning at 5 am to workout. As I dressed in the gray morning light, it reminded me of the years that I would force myself to get up at 5 am and drag myself to my computer to bang out bits and pieces of my memoir for the 2 hours I had before commuting into work. It was the quietest that my Brooklyn neighborhood was all day. It felt like I was the only person awake in the world. It was lonely, but it felt right.
I struggled to put my feelings into words. I wanted to be honest with myself about who I was, how I felt and who I was trying to be. I did my best not to flinch about my ugly feelings, to stare deeply into my own mortality, fragility and also to dive in deeper past the negativity, to the beautiful hidden places where joy lived.
I spent my lunch hours tucked out of sight in unused cubicles in the back of the open trading desk where I worked - editing, crying, laughing. My evenings would bring me back to the same spot at the little desk in my bedroom, eating pretzels sipping tea and trying to get all of my memories out, writing with the fervor of a dying woman who didn't want her life to get lost to time.
I wrote to make the pain more comprehensible, I wrote for old Katie because her story deserved to be told, and I wrote for the the stranger living somewhere in the world who might need a story like this, when they are feeling particularly hopeless. I wanted to tell them that the impossible happens all the time, we just don't talk about it. It's ok to be scared, it's ok to laugh, it's ok to cry - I usually do those three things in tandem. Even though I was writing this at my little desk by myself in Williamsburg - I wanted for the stranger to know, that they aren't alone. I've been there too.
I tried to make this book possible by myself, I sent it out to 75 agents across the country, I received their rejections, their emails and letters that told me that I wasn't a good enough writer that the story wasn't compelling enough, that no one would ever buy this book, I should hire a ghost writer. I took it to heart and I swallowed the rejection alone.
Then, I found Inkshares, and suddenly other writers were telling me that this book was something they thought was worth reading. From there, I found all of you, and I heard you saying "We believe in you. We'll make this happen - we can do it together." And just like that, I wasn't alone any more. How to Get Run Over by a Truck stopped being just my story - it became all of ours.
I know that it is an imperfect piece of art, but it is a reflection of me and all of the pieces I tried to fit back together. I love you for opening up your hearts to this story, to this book, and to me. There is no other way I could imagine bringing this book into the world today. Thank you for standing with me. To me, you are perfection.