Double-checking the billing zip code twice before hitting submit, I could feel my hands a little shaky as I double-tapped “pay now”. Feeling myself on the verge of either crying or throwing up. Or both. I paced around our kitchen island. Cupping my warm tea trying to calm my body.
I had just made another major investment in myself, this work, and what feels like my hardest venture yet. And I was scared shitless. I refreshed my email a few times praying that maybe, there was a glitch and I could slowly and quietly back out….just kidding, I’ll actually go ahead and take that money back….
It wasn’t about the money though. That I could actually get rid of (I mean, not happily, but you get what I’m saying…the money wasn’t the issue). It’s what the money represented. Choosing to invest in me instead of a lot of other things; like bills, a vacation we had been dreaming of, a HOUSE (oh yeah, we still need one of those) and just life.
But I did it anyway. I hit “pay” and that was it.
The money was gone. Which oddly seemed like the easy part. Now comes the hard part. Actually doing the work.
I have so many hesitations about this project. So many reasons not to do it.
Especially now, as we’re entering the busiest time of the year with the holidays. Between the kids being home on multiple breaks, not having help, family visiting, us traveling. The next few months are a zoo.
Feels like the perfect time to take on my biggest challenge, said no one ever.
Time is a huge trigger for me and this is not the first this theme has come up from me. I think it stems from when the babies were all little and JP was on the road traveling. I felt so out of control with my schedule/time. Nothing was mine. So when I feel things creeping into my schedule, my space being threatened, my initial reaction is to freak the fuck out, yell at everyone in the house, shouting something along the lines of how no one respects me or values that I have things that are important to me too (which usually ends really well for everyone. (I do not recommend).
This time, I did NOT do that (thank you meditation). Instead, I looked over at my big old paper calender (because yes, I still have a paper calendar) with all the highlighted days marked for family/no school/travel (and I’m not gonna lie, the next two months are very highlighted) and took a deep breath. With one hand on my heart, and one on my belly. I repeated to myself.
There is enough time. You do not need to hold it all. You are supported. You are safe. You can relax. Time flows freely to you.
And in that moment, I believed it. I felt it. I just had to see it differently.
Which now only left me with my biggest fear…..what if I have nothing to say and I can’t do this?
I told my partner on our call today; I don’t really want to do this. But I feel like I have to. And that’s exactly how I feel. It’s not really a choice for me in this moment. I know if I don’t, the regret will eat me alive.
But even still, the next six months or so feel really scary for me. Wildly out of my comfort zone. And I’ll be honest. I’m afraid my words are going to fall flat, not reach anyone. Or worse yet. I won’t finish.
I have an old story I’ve carried with me for far too long that I’m a quitter. Consciously I know it it’s not true. But it lives deep within me. Stemming from the millions of times I’ve had to explain to people, who were never going to understand, why I’m changing careers (again), or moving (again), or changing directions, yet again. I seem to be on a path that’s nonlinear. Bouncing from advertising exec, to chef, yoga teacher, food blogger, to I’m not sure what now…..
There’s a small part of me that’s worried that I’ll move on from this too. To which I’m telling my inner child…that’s ok, too. If this is nothing else than a gift for you, then what an incredible experience it will be.
So in case it wasn’t abundantly clear yet, yes, I’m writing a book. Or at least that’s the plan. I’m investing a lot of time, and energy and resources to finally make this come to life. Even hired someone to help me.
Which scares the shit out of me even writing those words, or sharing with you publicly. To even put those words out there. I’ve received a lot of advice to not share this until I’m further along. For various reasons. But I say fuck advice. If this book is a hit, amazing. Wonderful. And I fail, publicly, with all of you watching along the way. Then great too. Maybe it makes you feel a little freer to share your dreams publicly too. I’m so tired of all of us carrying our real thoughts/fears/dreams so closely to our chests.
I’m not afraid of people watching along the way. Having opinions. Critiquing or judging or supporting along the way. Neither way matters to me anymore.
This is for me. Any reaction the outside world has, is none of my business.
I’ve had the idea for this book for several years. Scribbled in countless journals and at the top of my list of “goals” too many times to count. A little over two years ago I went on a trip to Palm Springs for a conference where I was searching for advice on self-publishing and writing a book. The day after I got home, our city was shut down for COVID and everything changed. I was crushed. Deflated. Thinking it was a sign that maybe this dream wasn’t meant to be.
And at the time, I was right. It wasn’t.
At least not then.
For the past two and a half years, this idea has shifted and changed so much . Nothing about it remains the same, except maybe the title (maybe). What I would have written then feels so different from the pages I’m working on now.
This weekend I’m leaving for a few days to be alone and write in Joshua Tree. I’ve never done anything like this before. Going away. To be completely alone. Just me, a house, and a lot of wide open space. Seeing no one for miles. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever truly been alone like this, ever.
It feels indulgent. Going away to write. Really indulgent. It wasn’t an easy choice. Choosing to be away from my family for multiple days. Leaning heavily on JP. Spending money (again) on something I’m not sure will pay off.
So no pressure. Please lord, let me do more than stare at a blank page.
What’s the saying? It’s the journey, not the destination. Trying to just embrace the journey (but also kind of hoping they got that one wrong and the destination ends up being fucking spectacular).
I’m not sure why I’m sharing this with all of you, when I should be writing. Maybe this word vomit is what I needed though. To just put it out there. Get over the fear. Move through it. Say it publicly. I’m not sure how this is gonna go. How much/little of the process I’ll feel comfortable sharing. But I know I have to put it out there.
I’m not good at keeping things close to my chest.
I need a clean slate right now. Let it all out. No secrets.
And I think in many ways, that’s what we’re all looking for. A way to say, I’m gonna try this thing. I’m not sure how it’s gonna go. I may fail, or it could be amazing. But either way, I don’t want to do it alone.