My Starry-eyed Moment with Anna Quindlen

My Starry-eyed Moment with Anna Quindlen

Lauren Chesley Stuff of Life Blog Anna Quindlen

“It’s odd when I think of the arc of my life, from child to young woman to aging adult. First I was who I was. Then I didn’t know who I was. Then I invented someone, and became her. Then I began to like what I’d invented. And finally I was what I was again.”  Anna Quindlen, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

I was the creepy “stalker” today —the star struck 15-year-old. I met and actually spoke complete sentences to Anna Quindlen. The Pulitzer Prize winning Anna Quindlen.

Don’t roll your eyes…I know it wasn’t the Kardashians or even Mary Tyler Moore (I WILL meet her one day).  But to me Anna Quindlen is so much more…she is that author…the one who has published 16 books. The one who is a mother…a wife…the one who intones the words that I often think but can never write so perfectly.

Anna Quindlen Short Guide to a Happy LifeI was lucky enough to be invited to a small luncheon and book signing. It was hosted at a business club (still mostly for men), but today it was a room set for a “ladies lunch.” Indeed it was. In fact, I only counted two men in the room and they looked like they felt awkward. It was a room filled with women like me…like us. Women who read Anna Quindlen’s Newsweek column like a bible of motherhood and womanhood. She was the voice of my 40’s and continues to guide me into this new decade.

Like a stalker, I lingered on her words. I even took notes…feeling very Lois Lane like. (Okay, maybe that’s more like a journalist.)

I loved that she talked about politics (we are on the same page). I loved that she got personal. It was music to my ears as she spoke about the luxury of finally having adult children.

Like a stalker (or maybe a really good student) I seriously even raised my hand and asked a question. I wanted to know about the process of her writing. You know—for inspiration! I was waiting for a “How-To Guide” but her response was so much better. On writing, Anna Quindlen said, “Writing is about confidence…it’s about knowing you have something to say and people should listen.” I love that…having the confidence to know your voice matters. (Aren’t you glad I asked AND took notes on the answer?)

Anna Quindlen Autographed Books for Stuff of Life BlogLike a stalker (this was maybe a little stalker-y), I was first in line for the book signing at the end of lunch. Of course I had my picture taken with her—it may have been several pictures…I admit she may have thought this was weird. But happily she signed three copies of “A Short Guide to a Happy Life.” A personalized, inscribed gift to each of my daughters.

I seriously wanted to just stay at the front of the line and chat about our lives. Even as I moved out of the way I slipped her my “Stuff of Life Blog” business card—maybe she needs some assistance—you never know! (Alright, I slipped her several business cards…she does have friends!) But, of course, even as we are in the presence of greatness, of those we admire, we still must each create our own path, express our own voice. That was at the center of her message.

I will let you know if she gets in touch! Meantime, thank you Anna Quindlen for your words and your wisdom.


Unapologetically You Post-50. Reinvention, Lifestyle, Relationships.

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