I love movies, but don't really follow the life and times of movie stars. Music is not really my thing.I do watch a few select TV shows, but can't say that I have any interest in meeting the cast. Don't even get me started on politicians...
But meeting my favorite author, now that turns me into one of those crazy, obsessed "biggest fan" type people.
One of my favorite authors (Non-fiction. For fiction that would be Jane Austin hands down, I read Pride and Prejudice every year, no joke) is Shauna Niequist, and she recently released her newest book Bittersweet. Since she is based out of Chicago, I had the opportunity to go see her at one of her book release events this last week. My friend Jen is the one who introduced me to Shauna's writing, so we made a girls night out of it and traveled together.
Now I knew there would be a chance to get my book signed, so the entire car ride over I practiced what I would say to Shauna Niequist once I met her. It was pretty ridiculous I admit. My biggest fear was that I would come across as the nutty, star-struck fan that I am, so I was trying to think of how I could be "cool" and say something meaningful without coming across as insane. Oh the speeches I constructed in my head.
The event was a lot of fun and I basked in the quality time with such a close friend while also sharing the joy of hearing Shauna speak and getting a glimpse into her life that cannot quite be felt through the pages of a book. At the end we hurried to be one of the first in line for the book signing....the big moment. And then we were face to face with Shauna, this author that absolutely inspires me and challenges me with her beautifully crafted writing, her fierce love for her family and friends, and her deep, rich relationship with God.
It went something like this: I handed her my book, told her what name to put in it including the spelling, asked if she takes pictures with fans which she graciously agreed to, got to put my arm around her for a picture (oh yes, I basically hugged Shauna Niequist. Very cool.), said thank you, and all of a sudden Jen and and I were in the parking lot walking to my car. Wow.
I cannot even describe my disappointment as I buckled up and drove away. In my great concern for coming across as obsessed, I missed out on the chance to express my gratitude and admiration to someone whom I believe is truly deserving of it. I wanted to tell her how thankful I am for every sentence she wrote that was exactly what I was feeling. I wanted to tell her how many times I have chosen to slow down and appreciate a moment in time because her words reminded me of all the good things I am blessed with and how important it is to soak in every minute of it. I wanted to tell her about the other beautiful women in my life who have been touched by her books and have taken steps to change things in their lives because her wisdom and honesty challenged them.
But, I said nothing. Now of course I recognize that there was not time to gush all of this to her, and I am sure she hears very similar things from other fans everyday, but I really would have liked to add my voice to the chorus.
So, I guess I learned something new about myself that night, and if I could do it again I would not let my fear of making a fool out of myself leave me instead full of regret that I did not take the opportunity to make a fool out of myself and be the huge fan that I am. Like Shauna's books have taught me, savor each moment and take every opportunity you have to touch the lives of those around you. Don't be afraid to be the biggest fan.