Today this very vulnerable story was published on Writer Mom. I am ready to be the person I've been growing into. This is going to be fun!
The Price of Wisdom
And how I paid for it
This ebook. This cookbook. This nemesis that hangs around my neck weighing me down at each step. I’ve started and stopped writing it more times than I can remember. Why?
The Why question is my constant companion since menopause. It isn’t the accusatory why but instead a compassionate curiosity. Why am I doing what I do? Why am I where I am? Each day a never-ending stream of “whys”. Rarely do I find a satisfactory answer.
This time, an answer did come to me and it was about value, wisdom, worthiness.
The Final Draft
As I wrote the final draft of the mini “test” cookbook, I could not help but feel ill. I had my proofreaders lined up, I had begun the Amazon publishing process, I downloaded the software to help me publish a book with beautiful photos that I proudly took myself and now I sat with my words, a red pen, and a bucket in case I threw up.
Why is this so hard?
Is this worth $2.99? Am I ripping people off? Is this thing that I made worthy?
Is this “thing” worthy?
I could not even call it by its name.
It began with a sniffle
Adding to my need to puke, I now felt like someone was sitting on my chest. Then the grip on my throat made it even harder to breath. All of this tightness broke the levee to a flood of tears. Followed my memories, followed by feelings, . . . until everything was a jumble.
This wasn’t a test cookbook this was another way for me to fail and support the idea that I am not worthy. It was another opportunity for those around me to mock my efforts or ignore me.
My head began to fill with all the times that I had failed. Every single failure lived out in slow motion. I’m not sure how long I sat holding my throbbing head crying and gasping for air.
It’s not about a cookbook
I took a shower. A long hot shower and cried more, I cried until the water ran cold. Freezing, I wrapped myself in a towel and laid in my bed under an electric blanket. Water therapy followed by being wrapped naked in warmth. As I write about it vs living it, it makes me think of a womb. Protective, warm, watery, salty and safe.
This sequence of showering and swaddling myself in my bed was not new. Since I was a very little girl I’ve been performing this same ritual.
I circle back to my questions of why?
Before I was even born, I was an accident. My mother reminded me of this often. I lived with being unwanted. I learned early on to follow the directions, no matter how horribly wrong, and become invisible. To not matter. To pretend life was different. To fly under the radar.
Occasionally I foolishly tried to prove I wasn’t an accident, quickly I am reminded that being invisible was more tolerable for everyone. Except me.
I’m almost ready to go back and proof the final draft of my cookbook. I’m almost ready to have my words be worthy. I’m almost ready to not be invisible. I’m almost ready to step into being a writer. I almost believe I’m not a mistake.
Almost. I think I may need another shower . . .
As I stand in this truth and see all of these things at my feet: waiting to be honored, respected, healed, forgiven, I realize that this is not about writing a cookbook. It is about writing from a place of curiosity and compassion for all the women who share this experience.
I am the voice, the writer, the guide for those walking the journey with me. I am no longer invisible, instead, I am worthy.
In the end, I think the cookbook is easily worth $2.99 on Amazon but the wisdom of the journey to 2.99 is priceless.