A Proper(ly long) Thank You
My apologies this took so long. I assure you it wasn’t due to a lack of appreciation. If anything, the weight of the gratitude is partly what contributed to the delay. How do you thank 451 people? One communal edible arrangement? A year and a half of in-person visits whereby I offer to clean your rain gutters or show your parents how to use AirDrop on their iPhone? My offer to take you to coffee still stands by the way. I just ask that you contact me because I can’t bring myself to pester you again. After nearly a hundred days of spinning a proverbial sign outside your home page saying “look at me, help me, listen to me,” I want to retire my own brand. “New Jake!” Just like “Jake Classic” except he won’t bother you. I felt guilty about even sending this. But I had to say something because you changed my life.
The other reason this took a while is because I was at a silent meditation retreat. It’s true. Immediately following the news that my book was getting published, the potential for fame went right to my head and I needed spiritual guidance. Just kidding. I was long overdue for mindfulness. So fortunately for me, this week gave me time to think about what I was going to say. Unfortunately for you, I’ve been silently mediating for a week, so there’s a chance this becomes 10,000 rambling words on poorly understood Buddhism. But if you hang in there, I promise a thank you is coming. Or skip to the end. Nothing wrong with a shortcut. You’ve earned it.
The retreat was mind expanding and perspective shifting. It challenged what I believe and how I behave. Prior to this, I basically subscribed to the Golden Rule and left it at that. But now I have Metta, Dukkha, Anicca, Anatta, and Upekkha; the potential for a whole new belief system. Which brings us to you.
You have been my belief system. I’ve always been able to believe in others. It’s basically how I make a living. And if you knew how natural it was, you wouldn’t be wrong to say I’m overcharging. My challenge has always been believing in myself. Relax, this isn’t going to get pitiful. It’s just a simple truth. Wherw I have doubts in myself I can reliably strength find in others. It’s what makes me an effective educator. See, we’re already out of the dark caves of pity and frolicking through the fields of boasting. It’s been rather simple to see the gifts and talents in other people; to know with confidence that they are capable of greatness. All most of us need is a little encouragement. And so if you’re reading this, then the chances are very high that I’ve believed in you, or in your son or daughter (a surprising number of moms have ordered my book, which makes me and my own mom very happy. And while we’re at it, let me apologize in advance for the lewd content sprinkled, sometimes spread thick, throughout the book. My mom raised me better than that, I just happen to have a propensity for low-brow comedy). Anyway, the people who I’ve met and believe in covers about 85% of the pre-orders. As for the other 15% I haven’t met, well, you’re a part of my belief system too. At the retreat they frequently mentioned how close listening is to love, how hearing someone is one of the most loving acts a person can commit. So if you bought this book and you don’t know me, that means you listened to someone and loved them enough to believe their words, and anyone who gives up their time and money based on the words of someone they have love for, is easy to believe in. You’re generous beyond self-interest. And so I put the fate of this book in your hands because I believed in you. Which finally brings us to the thank you. Thank you. Yes for helping getting the book published, and also for helping me to believe in myself.
Anatta, boy I hope I’m getting this right, translates to “lack of self.” It’s the idea that we’re not separate. That we’re all a part of the whole. That if you zoom out far enough or increase to a higher magnification, you’ll see that we’re all interconnected. So when my book met the goal it was because I believed in you, and you believed in me, which through a certain lens means I believed in me. For ten dollars that’s a pretty sweet deal. Yes, it’s nice to have others believe in you, but you can’t put all your egos in one basket, because then your worth is determined by others. And that’s just not true. I was able to believe in you, not because I’m Charles Xavier and you’re a gifted mutant, but because as a human being you have worth and value and uniqueness. Your greatness is inherent. It would be like saying I knew a cookie was chocolate chip because it had chocolate chips. No shit, that’s what a chocolate chip cookie is.
As a token of my appreciation I will never stop believing in you. Yes, because it’s necessary to believe in me (selfish), but also because it’s easy (lazy), and also because we’re all in this together so your success is my success (selfish again). Huh, maybe I’m just a selfish and lazy windbag. Well nevertheless, you’ve got me in your corner. Whether you’re at your peak and thriving, or you’re down in the dirt and struggling, know that I am rooting for you. Even if we’re up for the same job as cookie identifier. Not because I owe you, but because you deserve your happiness. And I deserve mine. And we don’t have to put a cap on that shit. You’re a champion, and I’m honored that we’re in this together. Hit me up about that coffee or those rain gutters. And tell your parents to just press the blue target that looks like a slice was taken out. Then they should see any nearby contacts. Thanks for helping my dreams come true.
P.S. Watch Fleabag. It’s arguably perfect. And if you’re going to do that then also listen to SMINO. He’s got a very crisp flow.
Ok, sorry. Here is a direct link to order since the last update was a little confusing. That’s it for the week. I promise.
70% and 10 days to go! Forgive me as this might ramble on as I had no expectation that I would be writing something like this. With ten days left in the campaign, we only need 222 more pre-orders. I say "we" because this is a joint effort. I once heard someone say writing for tv was like being in a band, and writing a book was like being in a one-man band. That has not been my experience. I would not be where I am without the incredible support and collaboration of so many people. A one-man band sounds lonely and I do not feel lonely. With every ounce of who I am, thank you for your company!
I am forever grateful for each and every one of you for contributing your time, energy, and money to this project. It is incredibly gracious and kind, and I will likely spend the rest of my life trying to repay your generosity. And please if you can think of a way, let me know. I’m going to be like Morgan Freeman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; following you around until my debt is cleared. And wondering why you don’t have an English accent.
So here’s the pester. I need 222 pre-orders and only have ten days to do so. However, there are far more than 222 readers on this list, so if each of you knows just one friend or acquaintance who might be inclined to read my book, this lofty goal is totally achievable. I know this is a little Bernie Madoff of me, but the upside is you know what you’re getting, and maybe one day Robert De Niro will play me. Or if you want to order an additional copy, you can do so and get a say in the next tattoo I get. Currently the choices are a donut, a sailboat, a train, or a lemon. So if you want to further impact my life forever, you have that option as well. Just order a copy and reply to this with your vote. Or maybe your Mom would like a copy. It seems to be very popular with moms. I’m so sorry for the last minute plea. I’m sure the last three months have felt like wandering in a Target with me as your son, just pointing out the toys I want you to buy me, while you’ve got more important things to do, like picking out a summer jumper. But I figured at the very least, you’d forgive me, and at the very most, you’d send an enthusiastic reader my way. Below are links to selected audio chapters if that’s your jam. Thank you, and I promise only one or two more of these. Hang there. We’re doing great!
Dear Kind Souls,
I’m writing to say thank you! With your gracious support, we’ve reached 300 pre-orders! I’m grateful that you took the time and money and effort to help me out. All of those are finite so to lend them to this project is an act of generosity not lost on me or soon forgotten. You’re a good person and a hero! There are just over fifty days left in the campaign, and still copies to sell, but thanks to you all, this already feels like an accomplishment. And to those of you who have shared my book, that has been a tremendous help and one redeemable for a cocktail, an ice cream or a bike ride on the beach. And if you haven’t, but those things sound enticing, please give it a share, or tell a friend, or get them a copy, and I’ll be your own personal postmates. Thank you again! Enjoy your weekend and know I’ll be thinking fondly of you.