Throughout the entire book launch (which technically is still going on and started back in the middle of last year) I have vacillated between being so overwhelmed with all the things to do, all the feelings of “not good enough”, all the pressure of having this be successful, the pressure of the spotlight, and the massive gratitude of doing this work. Maybe this is what they really mean by “having it all”. ALL the feelings. The fear, the anxiety, doing it anyway and also having love and gratitude and joy.
As many of you know and many of you can relate to, I struggle with black or white thinking. It’s either all or nothing. And that’s how it’s been with feelings too. Given that I am someone who really only started to consider herself “emotionally literate” and then have any “emotional intelligence” in 2011 when I got sober, the last six years have been a learning experience when it comes to feelings. One of those things is being able to hold more than one feeling at a time, sometimes many feelings.
For instance: San Diego. That city has always held a lot of weight for me. It’s where I left my broken heart and more specifically, I knew walking into this book tour it would be hard because my dad wouldn’t be there like he would the last time. A little background, I was born and raised in San Diego, spent the first 36 years of my life there and it’s where my dad died about 16 months ago. I hadn’t been back since his death.
I knew I would need a lot of moral support, so I invited my two sisters and brother who live in the area. I invited all my friends AND THEN, if you’ve read my book, you might remember a story I told about a friend of mine who had broken up with me when I was going through my life-falling-apart year, then we were friends again, then she kind of ghosted me? Well, she randomly messaged me last October and I invited her to meet up with me on that trip. I knew I was walking into a hard conversation with her. More on that story at the end of this month! So, needless to say, this trip was going to be an emotional one.
To be honest, I really wasn’t worried about the book event. When I had it for my first book, a lot of people showed up, and the manager even told me I sold more books than most author events that they do. So, I thought this one was in the bag.
One of my siblings who shall go unnamed, never texted me back when I group texted them about the event. I texted this sibling privately a couple days before, and nothing. I asked one of my other siblings about it, and they said “Oh, that sibling is really busy with their thing, don’t take it personally.” And I’m like, DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY? OUR DAD DIED AND I NEED YOU ALL AND I MIGHT DIE IF THIS PERSON DOESN’T SHOW UP.
As I started my talk, I’m looking around and noticing there were key players that were missing from the audience. Like, the other two siblings that I just had dinner with across the parking lot. They were late. They were missing it.
I also looked around and saw amazing people I used to work with that I hadn’t seen in 15 years. I saw the people who used to babysit me when I was in elementary school. I saw about six girls I went to highschool with. I saw a woman I knew online and hadn’t met in person yet.
It was painful and it was wonderful. What I learned that night is that I can hold all those emotions. I don’t have to say, “Oh, I can’t be disappointed and hurt that so-and-so didn’t show up because look at all I have to be grateful for!” I can’t bypass my feelings.
And neither can you.
Stick around for Friday’s episode where this all comes together and there’s an assignment for you. Also, if you are in my book club, there is a special, exclusive offer arriving in your inbox TODAY, Feb 8th.
Resources from this episode:
You can sign up for updates including the February daily content emails here.