Subway Stories

A week or so ago I got a photo from a woman who I hadn't seen since college (but who I followed like whoa on social media - her life is bonkers beautiful!) it was a picture of a woman on the subway reading my memoir!


My book. In the hands of a stranger. On a New York City subway. I let out an audible gasp of joy! I'm not sure if this is true for every author in New York, or for any author anywhere, but a small part of my dream has always been to see a stranger holding my book on subway. It felt like a huge compliment that they would take me with them as they went about their commute. That my little voice was taking them into my life: they were with me at the hospital at Elmhurst, into the physical therapy room at  Glen Cove, to the family room in the house I grew up in, to that same subway where I covered my tears with think tortoise shell sunglasses.  It was incredible!


I stared at that picture and another thought creeped into my head - holy shit. This stranger knows a lot about me. Like not 3rd date a lot, but like more than my family knew about me until about 2 months ago. She is basically 325 pages of my inner most thoughts.  I purposely took everything that I was feeling for months, and put it on display for someone else to consume on their trip home. It was amazing that anyone would be interested in what I was thinking while I was laid up in the hospital and also made me feel so transparent. 


Since I was a little girl I have put an immense amount of pressure on myself to say and do the right things, to not let friends or my family down, to follow the rules. I wanted for others to feel like I had it together - even if I was falling apart on the inside. 


When I looked at that photo I thought to myself, 'Well sweetheart - whatever you've been trying to project is not a concern anymore! Everyone who's read your book has seen behind the curtain. It isn't just your friends, family, ex-boyfriends, former managers and old crushes who might have read about the times when you were selfish, insecure, totally broken and did I mention a bitch (because lets get real, you were also kind of a bitch) but now total strangers know that about the time you removed your own catheter. You don't have anything left to hide!' I had never felt so liberated, and so vulnerable, at the same time. It felt terrifying, but it also felt really right. 


What I want to say to you sweethearts, is try to be your true self, to tell your story - honestly, openly and without fear. I promise that there so many people who will accept you, delight in you and happily keep reading.

May I also add that this lovely woman's nail polish is on POINT <3 Thanks so much to the lovely Cary Neer for the photo! 

Comments

  1. Katie, Just finished reading your book. I couldn't put it down. I was surrounded by soggy wet kleenex when I wasn't laughing and when my heart wasn't bursting with love for you, for your family, for your friends. Still you have compassion for people and that really touched me. You care. I am going through a partial loss of vision and am devastated as I am a voracious reader and artist. You inspire me to know that we ALL go through things in life, no one escapes, change is inevitable. I love you and thank you. Gale

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    1. Dear Gale,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read the book, and I am over the moon that you enjoyed it!! I am so touched that it made you ride the rollercoaster of emotions (that's how I felt while it was happening, and while I was writing :) I am so sorry for your vision loss. I cannot even imagine how challenging and overwhelming that is. My heart is with you, and I am praying for you. What a beautiful thing to say Gale, I know we haven't met, but I love you too and thank you so much for sharing your story with me!
      Heart,
      Katie

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