The week after my book launch I had arranged to meet some people at Tigers Milk, Century City for the collection of their newly purchased books. I had not put much thought into it, except that I wanted to make it convenient for buyers to have a central point of collection.
I was excited though as it was my first time actually meeting some of the people interested to purchase my book. I was overwhelmed at the launch when attendees purchased for family and friends. It was a way to continue the narrative that “Our past does not have to depict our future”. I informed the management of Tigers Milk that I would need an outside table as people were coming to collect books – end of story. I assumed it would be a quick meet, take delivery of the book and a swift goodbye. It didn’t happen like that. Instead, it was a meet and a greet and a chat ….a lingering chat. I loved it.
The people that collected my book actually wanted to talk about my story, share their own stories and collectively we had an amazing time. I answered questions, we laughed, we got emotional, but overall – we were all human, together. There was no judgement. It was a circle of care. The morning included meeting wonderful people, some who have become friends and encouragers. The highlight of the morning though was meeting my high school friend that I mention in my book. We shared so many special moments reminiscing about the past and talking about our future – which on all fronts was looking good.
We had realised that we had overcome many obstacles and that whilst we had painful memories of the past, it would in no way cripple us for the future. We had agreed that our past was to be used as a reminder of how strong us womxn actually are. And so that is how “Meet & Greet” started. It was born out of a concept of sharing our collective stories. It was born out of humanity and compassion.
It was born out of a need to create a safe space and it was born out of my soul, because after all – I am My Shack