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. Iâ€™ve started and stopped writing it more times than I can remember. Why?
The Why question is my constant companion since menopause. It isnâ€™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 â€śwhysâ€ť. 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 â€śtestâ€ť 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 â€śthingâ€ť 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 wasnâ€™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. Iâ€™m not sure how long I sat holding my throbbing head crying and gasping for air.
Itâ€™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 Iâ€™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 wasnâ€™t an accident, quickly I am reminded that being invisible was more tolerable for everyone. Except me.
Iâ€™m almost ready to go back and proof the final draft of my cookbook. Iâ€™m almost ready to have my words be worthy. Iâ€™m almost ready to not be invisible. Iâ€™m almost ready to step into being a writer. I almost believe Iâ€™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.