Late last year, I published my first book — a dating book filled with all sorts of personal war stories that you should probably only share with your best friend. But I shared it with whoever is willing to listen. Am I crazy?
This tome was an idea that had been brewing in my head for many years. And although the topic really had nothing to do with the current work I was doing, I felt deeply that the story and the message needed to be told. I could not rest until that baby came out. So I buckled down for three months and wrote. When it came time to release it on Amazon, I thought, “Holy crap.”
The book is sprinkled with my shortcomings, bad habits, poor decisions, and embarrassing moments. (I once found myself cleaning a shirt stained with red wine while telling my date that it looked like ejaculation. Those kind of embarrassing moments.) Occasionally, I would worry what my husband, friends, or parents would think. Yet, I still wanted to write it. Why?
The truth is: I really felt people could benefit from hearing my stories. I wanted other women to know, “Hey, me too. You’re not alone.” But, also, a part of me wanted to give meaning to my past pain. Dating was rough for me. I had fun, but I was a total hot mess, and what I thought about myself at the time wasn’t always the best. I learned. I survived. And I found love — love for myself, mainly (and, of course, my awesome husband).
One of our basic desires as humans is to relate. We want to reach out and feel understood — like we belong. We want give — especially after going through some suffering. We want to share and connect. Even if it’s in the introverted process of writing, the desire to reach out and touch someone is there. The process of sharing is how we create art.
That desire is real. And I believe it needs to be honored in whatever form you feel fit. No struggle we experience is in vain. That time in your life was for a reason, and you can give it tribute by creating something with it. Share your story and your message. Reach out and help someone — and at the same time, heal yourself. Give meaning to your hardships.
We can all use the comfort your message will provide. And at the end of the day, we all want to be able to say, “Oh hey, you too? That makes me feel better.”