Two years ago, I found myself crumpled on the kitchen floor, sobbing into my lap. Little hands reached for me, in comfort and in curiosity, and finally I found my way back to their eyes, and back to their world. My heart was heavy and bleeding - with loss and tragedy and grief compounded over the years. I was more lost than I had ever been, drowning in a pain that far too many of us can relate to.
It would take many more days of crumpled sobbing on kitchen floors and blank stares out of windows before, finally, I found the courage and the wherewhithal to say, "Enough is enough." This was not the "enough" of years prior, when in anger and pain I stuffed the grieving deep, deep down, refusing to feel at all. Nor was it the "enough" of my youth, when every step was carefully measured in an effort to perform and please those around me, to fit myself neatly back into little, labeled boxes. This was a soft, hopeful "enough" rising out of my woundedness, daring me to believe that there was more.
In the weeks and months that followed all that sobbing and staring, I reached for every straw of hope I caught sight of. I reached for more. And, amongst other things, I found writing. I found myself tapping away at the keyboard, for hours on end, spilling out everything my heart had fought for so long to contain. I wrote and wrote and wrote.
Much of that writing I have shared with you here. I have blogged throughout my healing journey, wrestling alongside you, processing life before you. But there have been pieces that, as they came out of me, I knew were special. Pieces that were longer, fuller, deeper. Pieces that needed their own space to be received in.
And so, although I never had the intention of writing a book, a year ago I started compiling and editing and working my way toward publishing my first book. And today, I stand with a finished proof in hand, just a week away from the official release of One Slender Thread.
Finishing this book is a proud moment. It's a sigh of relief and a smile on my face. But it's also a very personal moment. This is my life. This is me. Almost 300 pages of my heart, penned for the world to know and to critique and to experience and to assume.
This is vulnerability at it's rawest - it feels like butterflies in my belly and rapid thumping in my chest. I remind myself of what author and researcher Brene Brown says about vulnerability, "It is having the courage to show up and let ourselves be seen." And I believe in showing up - as the real me, imperfect and in-process and all.
But it is still scary to show up. And I would be doing a disservice to all the other brave storytellings who have gone before me if I claimed anything otherwise. Showing up is hard. It means exposing ourselves to the ignorance and arrogance of others. It means opening ourselves up, both to joy and disappointment, to connection and judgement. Showing up means, today we may succeed, but then again, we may not. It means endless room for error and a constant reckoning of our humanity. Showing up is daring greatly.
I did my best to show up, fully and authentically, in ever page of One Slender Thread. Which is why today I am trembling as I write: You can purchase the book here.
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