Two years ago, as Sexy + Soul-full was going to press, I started looking for potential endorsers. Writing to total strangers, especially people I admire but whom I don’t know, was a huge stretch for me. Asking them to read my book and write an endorsement was a gigantic stretch. Basically, I’m a total introvert (which, I guess, is why marketing and self-promotion feel so foreign to me). 

One of the people on my most-admired list was author, artist, and illustrator, Lisa Congdon. We had never met and I figured she’d say no. To my surprise, however, she not only said ‘yes,’ but she later featured me on her blog (as part of her “People I Admire” series—whaaat?) and on her Instagram feed. That incredible generosity was then followed by an invitation to write an essay for her then unnamed book project which is now titled, A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives.

Last week, my advance copy arrived! 

My essay, entitled: “Girl, You Don’t Know Nothing,” is situated among interviews with women like Cheryl Strayed and Dara Torres, profiles of luminaries such as Vera Wang and Julia Child, and essays by Shauna James Ahern and Heather B. Armstrong, among others. Yeah, I feel like country-come-to-town, y’all.

Anyway, Lisa paired my essay with a beautiful illustration and then, to top it all off, she invited me to her book signing at Powell’s in Portland, Oregon, on October 16th!

A Glorious Freedom is already getting rave reviews. Heres’ what I can add: Reading about what so many women have achieved when they were “older” feels both inspiring and a little intimidating. Jennifer Hayden, for example, started publishing graphic novels in her 50s after surviving breast cancer. Stephanie Young started a career in medicine at 53. Most days, I feel like getting dinner on the table is a great accomplishment.

These days, I live a very unstructured, uncomplicated life. My lifestyle is very different from who I was when I was invited to submit my essay but, on the other hand, much more in tune with a sense of “glorious freedom.” I don’t feel as if I’m living an “extraordinary life” so much as I’m living with extraordinary engagement and incredible joy. I can think of no better way to face aging than that.

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