I wanted to share with you guys my second author reading ever. It was at Orr Street Studios in downtown Columbia, MO and it was on February 17, 2015. It was part of their Hearing Voices Seeing Visions event and I remember we had a huge snowstorm right before. I sold a couple of books that night and one guy from the audience came up to me and gave me a hug after. I was so nervous I could barely look at the audience. (I was also a bit emotional as this was right before I moved to Kansas City, MO and I was cleaning out my apartment and all that jazz that comes with saying good-bye to friends.) I read from my debut YA novel, “Oil in the Wok” and my Seventeen short story, “Team Bonding.” This is not the whole reading and you’ll probably need to turn the volume up to hear it, but it’s a taste of what my first baby sounds like.
I guess it starts with me being a people-pleaser by nature. (Is that hyphen supposed to be there?) I have this fear of being forgotten, of always remembering, but not being remembered. Does anyone else suffer through this? For the longest time I put other people’s worth above my own. In some situations I still do that. I always felt like I remembered everyone else’s birthdays, but no one remembered mine. I felt like I would make time to hang out with someone, even put off studying time just because I knew a friend really needed me and needed to hang out, but then that same friend would cancel at the last minute. The feeling I got was comparable to the feeling one gets after being stood up on a date. I was so concentrated on this idea that no one cared as much about me as I did them, I couldn’t see when I had friends who did care, enough to reach out to me and see how I’m doing when they knew I wasn’t doing so great. I will always remember those friends, but as time goes by and circumstances change and life happens, I wonder if people will remember me or will I always be the “back-up” friend when someone’s bestie is not available to hang out.
Sometimes I really don’t like talking to older women because they don’t know when to shut up. They think they are always right and can therefore predict what you are going to say or what happened to you. They give unsolicited advice, interrupting your sentences before seeing the big picture. They think they don’t need to see your big picture because they already have their big picture which somehow already looks like the big picture you were going to paint. They can’t possibly see how your trivial words could ever match up to their words of wisdom.
Well, no wonder no one gets along with their mother-in-law.
(But secretly, every once in a while, an older woman does give me wise advice that I really need to follow so I end up having future conversations with her. I just don’t like being interrupted, ya know? Especially when I’m talking about a personal problem. Just let me finish!)