Coming of Age

It’s been a minute, and by a minute I mean a few years. There are a few reasons for this. For one, being a middle school teacher can sometimes be terrifying in and of itself. It’s even more terrifying  when you are putting yourself out there the way that I do with my writing. There are some things kids don’t need to know about their teachers.

The other reason is because I’ve been distracted with the process of writing my book, editing it, trying to snag an agent (I did!) and then convincing a publishing company that they should publish it. (That happened too!)

The middle grade book I wrote has been described as Judy Blume meets The Sandlot. It’s about a girl whose biggest desire is to undergo a miracle transformation over the summer before middle school. She wants a  transformation that magically erases her secret past in hopes of gaining a fresh start.

It’s a common theme in my life. “Uh…. I think I need a redo.”

As the summer progresses she is unexpectedly adopted by a band of boys and through their budding friendship she starts to open up about the burden she carries. By the end of the summer it seems she has had a miracle transformation. It just looks nothing like the one she had envisioned. What she learns in the end is that the only thing that needed to transform all along was the way she saw herself.  

Again… another common theme of my life.

Throughout the process of crafting this book, I ended up having a similar transformation myself. And through this transformation I found I was having a hard time shifting this new theme in my life into the theme of this blog. Even the title of it made me cringe every time I saw it.  

If you sift through the beginning archives of this blog you’ll find a woman who was going through her second postpartum season and dealing with the subsequent identity crisis that comes with life change. During this time, I was struggling and on a journey to find the healthiest me.  At the time I automatically thought health equated to losing baby weight.

I was wrong.

Through my musings over the years I discovered a few things…

1. I like myself the way that I am.

2. Mental health leads to physical health.

3. It’s through your vulnerability that you find your strength.

I wasn’t really looking for attention when I started this blog. I was just a stay at home mom simply looking for a creative outlet. Nobody was really supposed to read it, and I was surprised when it kind of blew up.

Over time as my thinking started to shift I felt the need to give myself a new outlet, so I quit writing on my blog and started writing a book instead. To my surprise I found success in that too.

Now, I’m officially an author, and with that comes the terrifying concept of becoming a public figure. I’ve had to write about myself in the 3rd person, get my makeup done (which by the way was surprisingly terrifying) and take author looking photos for upcoming press releases…

And to no one’s surprise I have been awkward about the whole thing.

Because of this new found attention, I have been tempted to delete all of the dredges from this dusty old blog of mine.

I have an agent, an editor and a marketing team that are looking to sell my book. And through that is the pressure to create an image. 

I’ve been struggling with this whole concept… image. I’ve spent weeks looking at this author questionnaire that I received upon signing the book deal. It asked me a variety of questions about marketing myself that I have no idea how to answer, and it has left me wondering how do I want to go about this? Who do I want to be as an author?

And then it hit me. I’ll just be me. Because that’s how I got here… by writing with honesty and by sharing my truth.

I have ultimately decided to keep this little space of mine. (As embarrassing as it might be.) Not really for you, but for me… so I can see where I’ve been because it is the catalyst for where I’m going.

Just like the girl in my story, I’m learning to embrace my past and all of it’s awkward glory. In doing so I’m learning to embrace my own unique journey and the person these experiences have helped me become.

So, it appears here I am again- embarking on yet another coming of age.