The Rock kicked off the New Year by sharing this quote:
“One day or day one.”
Over the holidays, I re-read Daring Greatly. The timing seemed appropriate, given I’m launching a book that’s filled with stories about some of the toughest moments in my life and to say I’m feeling vulnerable is an understatement. That said, I didn’t want it to be a series of sad stories, but rather a narrative about how loss is the price of admission to a life well-lived.
I don’t know if that’s how the book will translate for people. But, as I work through the final publishing kinks, I’d be lying if I didn’t say this book hits dozens of my insecurities. As someone new to this book writing world, I know it will have plenty of mistakes. This despite several rounds of editing. Bigger than that, this book walks some sensitive boundaries with people I love.
I spent a lot of time reflecting on how much to share and frankly what to share. So much of loss involves the people I was surrounded by – but their story isn’t my story to tell.
When my parents died, I wasn’t the only one who lost mom and dad or suffered a great loss. When my adoption failed, I lost a child but another woman chose motherhood and a son gained his biological mother. My perspective on a friendship is just half the story – as is the story of my marriage. I’m sure some day my son will seriously question my narrative about becoming a mother. It is hard to share the impact someone’s faith had on your life when they are no longer here to hear it.
My insecurities about aging, weight gain and imposter syndrome are easier to manage because these conversations I have with myself versus relationships I have with others. Sharing those insecurities, while at times funny, is not always fun.
In the end, Now What is a series of stories about losses both big and small. It is painfully honest while also recognizing boundaries about what’s mine to share and what’s worth sharing. At times, it felt a bit like walking a tightrope. But in the end, the stories are my truth. Nothing more, nothing less.
Why do it? It isn’t like I had a book contract or this is making our mortgage payment. There’s plenty of grief experts out there and this isn’t a topic people are dying to read about (no pun intended). To be honest, I’ve stopped and started the story of losing my mom dozens of times over the past 25-years and something always held me back until now. I don’t know what or why or even why now was different. Only that I couldn’t stop writing and I figure if I have that much to say about the subject, maybe someone will benefit from reading it. For now, that’s reason enough.
The parallels between my writing and running journey are eerily similar. I keep doing it because I’ve found I’d rather show up and finish last or write words that nobody reads, then never do it at all. For me, success equates to opening up my notebook or lacing my shoes. I know by doing that, something comes next. A book. A medal. The realization that I showed up for myself. There is power in that.
I share this because I have a feeling there’s probably something in the back of your mind that you’ve been canoodling. Something that doesn’t have to happen but you find yourself wondering, why not? I can’t say I’m successful if we’re defining success as book sales and running stats. I can’t say it is fun. I can’t say I’ve even checked it off the list because I’m finding there’s always another book to write or race to run. It is like eating Tortilla chips, once I start I cannot stop.
What I can say is, if not now, when? When I think about my 2023 word of alignment, I find I’d rather have 1,000 Day Ones that never equate to extrinsic success, then get to the end of the road with a pile of one days in front of me and no time to pursue them.
Something to ponder while I continue to work through my self-publishing kinks and get ready to share more about my book with you in the coming months.
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