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You Got This

I needed a new perspective. I bought my ticket to attend Kacie Rose's book signing. I didn't know what I expected since I'd never been to an event like this before, but I was hopeful.

I was ready to socialize after three weeks of managing grief. I had visited my close friends in Chicago for the day to catch up and get lunch. The conversation was so good that I was running late for the event and ended up being 45 minutes late. At least I made the QA.

She sat on stage with a butterfly hanging behind her. Her honesty and grace was refreshing. She answered everyone's question with sincerity and confidence. Tears ran down my eyes as I saw her explain her solo trip and living abroad.

One girl in front of me stood up and asked, "Do you have an opinion between getting a visa in Italy verse going to school in Germany," She explained that she was in the middle of a life change. She had lived abroad before and enjoyed her dating life there. She was recently laid off and was debating selling her house and starting over. Kacie responded, but all I could think about was the question.

I quickly realized there were several women in this room I related to. Once the line started to form for the book signing, I ran over to her. I explained some of my story and offered to help her find a job in Europe if that's what she wanted. She said she was offered a hybrid job that offered lower pay. I encouraged her not to settle for anything less than what she wanted.

Then another girl overheard us talking and came over. She graduated with a medical degree because of the pressure of family and wanted to change degrees. She lived in Poland for years and was preparing to move to Spain to be with her Spanish partner.

Both were at a crossroads. We were all at a crossroads.

We decided to read the book together and meet in two weeks over wine to discuss it. The hour passed by quickly and it was almost my time with Kacie.

I walked up to her and practiced the paragraph I'd said in my head multiple times while driving up.

"Hi Kacie, I'm an author, too. I lived abroad in Lithuania with my partner and we recently separated. It's been heartbreaking. I don't know what to do with my life. You're so authentic and brave and I admire that a lot about you. I brought you Lithuanian mushroom cookies as a thank you for giving me courage to live that life. I would eat them while watching your content."

She looked at me as tears rolled down my eyes. "We don't have to take a photo. Do you want a hug."

I replied, "It's okay, I'm just an emotional person."

She looked at me and knew I was lying.

We took the photo and she hugged me. "It's going to be okay," she said.

I opened my book and it said, "You got this."

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