I can’t believe I chose this.
My book, New Again: Healing Through Perspective launches Sunday and I am crying from the inside out as I write this. Who the hell am I? I used to be so private and safe. Yes, SAFE. Did you know I only tried out for sports in which I knew I could make the starting roster? That I only ran for student council because people told me they’d vote for me. That I only took the leap into entrepreneurship with the safe bet of my husband’s ability to work overtime and the string of clients I had lined up before I quit my salary?
I’ve always been willing to do the hard work, but I’ve never been one to take risks. Until now. I still can’t believe I’m doing this.
Being uncomfortable is part of growth.
I know this to be true from the depths of my soul, but this is still new for me. I am still life practicing with the rest of you!
Because of my wake-up call in the form of cancer, I was finally able to see very clearly what areas of my life I needed to grow into and what areas I needed to cut off to live more fully with whatever time I had left. As I navigated this, it seemed that in every important part of my life there wasn’t just growing to be done, but cutting as well.
With my writing, I liked to be behind the scenes: writing tv scripts, PR pitches, blog posts, email campaigns, website content, and advertisements. While I still love that I get to use my gift as part of my professional life, I wasn’t doing anything really important with it. The most important thing I had done with my writing was to write letters to my kids since they were born. I was horrible at taking a lot of pictures or keeping a baby book, but I wrote to them about our day, what was going on in our lives, why some things turned out to be the way they did, and bits of advice I’d hope they’d read someday when they needed it most.
When I was told I had inoperable brain cancer, it felt like a death sentence. But then I was given a second chance in the form of a second opinion where I was given an opportunity to have an operation that would change my life yet again. I was in a fog about all the medical stuff going on in my life, so I gave that over to God and I wrote to my kids. But that was actaully the hardest thing I’d ever done. I wrote to them on the night of my first surgery in case I didn’t make it or I came out of it a different person.
When I woke up from brain surgery with no major deficits, I was euporic. Another chance. But I couldn’t write to my kids anymore for a long time. Opening up their journal to see my last entery would be too painful and I was still processing my treamtmens, healing, and the horrible anxiety that turned out to be PTSD. How could I write anything that made sense? So I turned to social media. My zero friend list (I only used social media for busienss) became hundreds. I went from private to public and just started sharing. I felt this nudge from God to be raw and real and it connected with people much to my surprise. I now have friends all over the world becaue I was brave behind my computer screen.
Then my mom came to me with a 60+ page document of all my social media posts that revolved around my cancer story. She told me she wanted to turn it into a book so that my kids could know that if their mom can overcome hard things, so can they.
I hated the idea.
I felt like this “book” would be their piece of me after my inevitable death. I imagined them reading these posts that weren’t even meant for them written at a time when I could barely keep my sanity. I asked her to delete it and she pretened to listen.
I knew she’d hold onto those posts her whole life so I decided to write my story, my way.
Turning my story into a real book would mean that I couldn’t play it safe anymore with social media posts that I could edit or delete later. I would have to tell my story imperfectly because there’s really no perfect way to tell it. But perhaps the hardest part about writing this book was that it had already been rejected mainstream.
I had to cut “success” out of the equation and just write from the heart because I knew someone out there needed a heart-to-heart like thier life depends on it.
Thus the book, New Again.
The book is dedicated to my kids because they are my inspiration to fight – but really – this book is for me, four years ago when I needed to know the things I wrote in this book. When I needed to know that it’s okay. That I wasn’t alone. That healing is messy. That someone else made it out. Maybe there’s someone right now, trying to aimlessly heal their hurt like I was four years ago.
Maybe this book was written just for you.