Once upon a time, there was a woman who loved to do things for other people, but who didn't know how to let people do things for her. She was stubborn, this one. Stubborn and independent and, to be honest, a little bossy. As a result, she didn't really understand that not letting the people she loved help her was a little insulting to them -- but they continued to love her anyway, in spite of her silliness.
Our heroine fell on some hard times. As usual, she didn't want to ask for help.
Her friends saw that she was in trouble. Big trouble. Bad trouble.
They didn't wait for her to ask for help, because they knew she wouldn't. They also didn't ask her if she needed help, because they knew she'd say no. Instead, they just banded together and helped. They told her: "We are helping you. If you love us? You will let us do this for you, because we love you and want to do it."
So she did. Because she realized that love? Is a two way street, one where you give and accept. She finally understood that reaching out to someone meant that they could reach back to her.
It was hard. It was uncomfortable at times as she learned to accept help and to ask for it when she needed it. It made her feel a little weird.
But it also let her understand that she is loved.
So all of the lessons and all of the hardships? They were good gifts.
I owe some people tremendous thanks right now. I can never repay any of you for your kindness and generosity with me of late, but I would like to publicly acknowledge you here, in no particular order:
Matt, Vanessa, Neha, Kristen, Dan, Jesse, the Voses, Heather F, Heather S, Shana, Krista, Jenn, Amber, Dot, Regan, Mr (or Ms) Anonymous, Shilo, Ben, Adam, Annie, Jared, Josh, Jamie, Tess and Katie, Fran, Tom and Kelly, my mom and dad, and everyone else who has gone out of his or her way to offer me support, love, a place to stay, a strong back, a tissue, or a shoulder to cry on. I owe you all so much and I love you.
When the book is finished? It's being dedicated to you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.