“Hold the vision, trust the process.”
2017: My Year in Review
The year is coming to its final closing call in only FIVE days and I can’t even believe it. It seems like I was just posting about all the things I was looking forward to for 2017, with my career and now I am looking at 2018!
My calendar is already filling up and I am looking at May. I guess this is what is to be expected with a new book releasing in March! P.S. – I LOVE my Emily Ley simplified calendar. It really is helping me organize my crazy year ahead!
I wanted to take a moment and scale back and not just discuss all of the things that I have done and accomplished this year with some of my best moments – but reflect and thank each and every one of you for your love, support and connection. While there have been big things that have happened for me with my career, it is my own growth has stood out the most.
So, let me begin…
With tears in my eyes (not sure they will ever stop!), my book is going to finally be released and there are not enough words to say that can describe this sense of accomplishment. This Thursday, I will finish recording my book trailer and it will take every ounce of me not cry through the whole thing (same with my hubby!).
Speaking up as a rape survivor is one of the hardest things anyone could ever do. It is downright scary! What will people think? Will they believe me, or will they laugh at me? The hardest part for me was hearing the words of my perpetrator that rang in my ears a lot as I wrote the book. And even more so now that it is coming out in three months.
“You are nobody and mean nothing to this world.”
Those words bled into every part of my mind, body and soul for years after and stayed dormant in my subconscious too. Writing brought it all out. Releasing the book now, is finally taking a stand back and saying, “Yes, I DO matter!” – despite those ugly words.
Looking back at all of the sweat and tears behind the scenes with getting this book into publication over this past year, makes me smile. The people who are behind me, watched every meltdown and dried all my tears. They now know just how messy it was to get it all done. Not to mention my continued presence in the public, speaking and holding a smile through it all. Along with my friends and family, you all stand out to me too – all of my supporters out there- because you have kept me going.
I didn’t know what I was getting into when I began writing a book – new author rookie over here – and even though it is STILL one of the hardest things I have ever done, I wouldn’t trade in any part of the process of getting to this point. However, what I do need to trade in – is the fear of the process now moving forward.
Looking ahead, I want to hide with all I have to do over the next six months to prepare to share my message, but I know now, I can do this! Unlike his evil words, “my message is EVERYTHING to this world.”
#JoyforJoey – is something that has stuck with me this past year and something I hope everyone will take with them after they read my story. This is what he showed me – to feel peace and joy within the most intense pain – and what he continues to show me every day. Even now.
What has Joey’s Joy taught me this year?
For all of my angel mamas and anyone else who is grieving over a loved one – you know very well how the grieving process cycles and is ongoing. It seems to cycle up and down, right and left and in circles all over the place! Grief has no pattern. Four years later and my grief over Joey is still spinning around in many directions – all while helping me to grow in so many new places.
Looking back on this year – grief has redirected me in new directions, showing me some areas of myself that I still needed to see. Last spring, I began to feel frustration – a lot of it – and wasn’t sure if it was the pressure of getting the book edited and done or balancing my career and motherhood that was getting to me. I just didn’t know. Then the anger came.
Angry while writing.
Angry at anything anyone said to me.
Angry at my daughters for absolutely no reason.
Just plain angry.
I started to feel a sense of longing whenever I thought of my Joey and the anger that just bubbled inside. It was almost like I had back tracked all the way to the very beginning of my grief with him.
Then I started to panic. Was I not healing like I hoped? Would my book even help people then? I wasn’t sure, but at that moment, I knew that I needed to JUST BE and let the emotions roll through me.
And…my goodness did they roll. On and on and on. Months went by and the summer came and went. Was it constant? No. There were of course many moments of happiness, laughter and summer fun with my girls. It was more like – confusion. I wasn’t sure why it was there, but one morning everything suddenly made sense and one word was loud and clear from my dream that I had the night before.
I was being reminded to trust and I took a deep breath for what seemed like the very first time in six months and so – I did just that. I trusted what I was feeling inside and knew right then, that was why I had this underlying sense of anger for much of this year. I wasn’t trusting what is yet to come.
I realized that while I was taking a stand back against the man who hurt me and taking a stand against violence with women by sharing my story – I still wasn’t trusting the process. Within my vulnerability of finally telling my story, I believed in my message, but I didn’t trust what would happen. It was almost like I was putting a guard up before the book is even released, ready to defend! I knew it was because a part of me, still held onto the fear of being re-victimized from when I tried to seek help directly after the rape. A part of me was still stuck in that moment in the hospital 24 hours after it happened – facing so many unknowns.
I wasn’t embracing the unknown with this part of my story like I have done with the loss of my son. I paused and thought about my sweet Joey and felt the peace he always shows me and knew I needed to allow this part of my fear in – so I could let go of the control over this. This control was only making me feel like a victim all over again and the sixteen-year-old inside of me was making me well aware of it!
I realized that just like I cannot control the outcome of the birth process – I cannot control the outcome of doing what is right with my memoir and breaking the silence of shame and telling my story. And just like with birth – I need to breathe into it and release!
Without any more control or judgment – I let the process go and with it went that anger! I know that my upcoming book release will go just exactly as it needs to and into the hands of the people who need it the most and better yet – it will happen without anything to be fearful of. Nothing can hurt me, and this part of my story can now be at peace.
As I get ready to face 2018, with my sleeves rolled up, mom-bun in place and so many opportunities for me on the horizon – I am doing it with the word I have chosen. The word that was given to me:
Thank you, my friends, for always reminding me just how much I am loved with your constant support this year – and that there is no need to be afraid.
Peace, Love and JOY for 2018!