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A rare glimpse of The Natalie Who Was In Sweden.

A rare glimpse of The Natalie Who Was In Sweden.

A book about oneself is an awkward thing to share. It really has to mean something, to contribute a needed additive to the world, or else it is just an embarrassing vanity project. The only way this threshold can be sufficiently met by the book I wrote is if my brain processed, filtered and interpreted my experiences in the right way. I am nervous about this. I really, really, really hate vanity projects. I don’t want to have created one. Now, with just two days until everyone can read it, I guess I’m about to find out if I did.

For two years after leaving Sweden, I never talked about what happened there. In my mind, felt there was a story there, but I didn’t know what it meant or how to tell it. For the following three years I wrote bits down and shared them with my closest friends. Here’s a thing about my closest friends: they already know what the inside of my brain looks like, and because they are wonderful people, they approved of everything. They applauded like I was writing the next Fight Club.

Even the next year, when I shared full drafts with trusted readers for feedback, I still chose the nicest, least judgmental people I knew to review my mental outputs. I know. I’m a wimp.

And even now that around 170ish people have gotten early copies of the book, and several have given me the kindest, sweetest, most enthusiastic feedback, I have to admit that most of those readers are still people I know. So, I guess it’s only normal that I still have the jitters about the book release on Thursday. It would be, I would think, hubris to feel otherwise. So what I’m saying, I guess, is…I hope you guys like it.

And if you need me of the next two days, I’ll be busy picking out all the orange Tums from multiple bottles, because everyone knows that’s the only flavor worth eating.

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