I am writing a book. Most of you know this by now.
It’s like: Hearing My Heart For The First Time.
As I go through this arduous process, I find that I am remembering things I thought I had forgotten, that I am being swallowed up by the teeth and jaws and gums of Time. I am more sensitive than usual and more aware. Nothing is going unnoticed because I am in writer-mode and dare I miss a detail? I am awake and alive in a way not even yoga can bring me.
Writing a memoir is some serious shit.
Not because it’s actually serious, although most of us (me me me) take ourselves too seriously, but because you go back and peel the layers away until you are back in the room your father died in, until you are back in your dorm room in 1993. It’s some serious shit to time travel like that.
It’s some serious shit to look at every little thing in your life and be honest about it.
Like: I can’t type. I peck. I peek and peck.
I wish I learned how to type in school but who knows where I was during that particular lesson. I can’t type. I have never ridden a horse. I can’t sew and my mom used to sew for a living. I count on my fingers. I obsess. Less than I used to, but I obsess.
Who wants to go back and look at things like: I was totally vacant during my years at NYU, (which cost an obscene amount of money) because I was too busy writing down how many rice cakes I ate, how many raisins, how many pickles. Who wants to go back and look at the shadows they left on sidewalks in New York City?
Well, when writing a book, one must. One must get very honest with oneself.
It’s some serious shit this getting honest business.
This book is like giving birth. It’s cooking inside me. It is stirring up all my emotions and changing my chemistry and possibly my weight and hunger levels.
It is reminding me who I am and who I am is a writer, dammit!
Getting honest is a choice, and hey, if you don’t feel compelled to live that way, then don’t. Easy peasy.
But if you are going to be honest with yourself, and the world, then really really be honest.
Why? Not because I am so important. Or you are so important. We all are. Yea yea.
Rather because it is inspiring to be living in your truth. And it is inspiring to be around someone who is living in their truth.
I don’t know about you, but I always want to be inspired. I always want to be challenged. I always want to be better than I was yesterday and I do that by being honest and by hanging out with like-minded people, people who build me up.
So as I write my book I get more and more honest.
Things I am willing to be honest about: I want to write and inspire more. I want to teach yoga less. I am disorganized. I am addicted to Facebook. I love Journey and I tend to idealize the past.
Things I am not willing to be honest about: I am scared to have a baby. People say you will know when the time is right and I just look at them square in the jaw. I don’t feel willing yet to give up my freedom. My sleep. My doing whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. Will I ever? What if I don’t? Eeek!
Things I don’t know if I ever am willing to be honest about: ___________________.
See what I mean? I can’t even write them.
You will have to buy my book for the full disclosure. Meanwhile, keep getting real with yourself. You don’t have to blog your secrets to the world. They are your secrets.
I’m writing a memoir, this is what I chose to do. And with that choice comes some really dark days of the soul where you just want to shut it all off and eat a bag of chips and watch the Olympics.
But I feel this is my calling. I have gotten enough emails and tweets to know that there is something to be found deep within the words of what I am writing and I would like to humor myself in thinking it is like some buried treasure. Some pirates have hidden it for so long and I have finally discovered it with all it’s bright green rubies and gold.
With all its little discoveries.
The treasure is the truth.
And the truth is I am just a girl discovering who she is in the world. More so each day.
Who she is not is: A good typer, someone who irons, someone who rides horses or balances checkbooks, someone who is good at math.
Who she is: someone who loves a great meal and a bottle of wine, someone who likes to nap for more than 1 hour, someone who likes other people to feel good, someone who is kind but sometimes forgetful, a writer.
There is more. There is always more. But we have to start somewhere when we are telling the truth of who we are.
Telling the truth is some serious shit.
When we were writing our book, I’d be ballin’ uncontrollably because it was so healing and cathartic, inspirational. I’d cry out of many emotions, liberation, pain, sadness, fear, anger, wow.
oxox I want to read it!
That is some seriously refreshing shit, right there, girl.
Because it res
resonates with me, me, me!
You resonate with me JVK xox love you
Holding up the mirror is so hard isn’t it? Your words made me remember my shit, but it’s okay. Flashback to the 70’s and literally holding up this huge heart-shaped mirror in my mother’s beauty shop. Looking at myself from all angles and wondering who this 10 year old girl is and who I will become? Fast forward, 2012, here I am in the mirror again. Who am I? What did I become? Every day of my life has brought me to where I am. The mirror always makes me ask questions, but not in the physical sense. It seems to always reflect my heart and what I’m feeling. Some days whole, some days broken, some days I can’t even look, not even a peek.
Remembering the good things are important too, but often so hard to recall. Why? The Japanese have a saying something like Wabi Sabi? It means honoring and cherishing things that are broken and flawed, So let’s Wabi Sabi ourselves like little cracked teacups…useful and with purpose, beautiful even though splintered. I would like to nominate you as Wabi Sabi Queen for a day, but then you must pass the crown on. You are thought provoking, inspiring, heartfelt, and painfully authentic. See all the little hairline cracks as you write your book, all the little chips, all the little worn out edges, but know that your cup is absolutely beautiful and with purpose. Fill it up and drink somethin’ red!!! Cheers!!! xoxo
Just wait until you have to edit it. It’s amazing how healing it is and how much you can distance yourself from past pain upon reading it for the hundreth time! Keep on pecking the truth and I look forward to reading it when it’s ready to be birthed:)
You’ll be a great mom. Their diapers are full of some serious shit, potty train early!
You are so right. Telling the truth is some serious shit. You do this so often then my conclusion is you are the shit! Its only logical. I realize a physical reaction in myself when I begin to tell the truth in my writing. I get excited and my heart beats faster. All of a sudden words are pouring out at a rate that is excellerated and I may not even be on the same topic anymore. I learned in college creative writing classes when it gets uncomfortable thats when your doing it right. Thats when its real. So continue to be truthful, continue to be the shit. We are all here for you my love.
I find you funny, seriously:-)
Makes me think of a beautiful poem Sylvia Plath wrote at age 18:
Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.
Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
to eat the mayfly.
I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to
I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and
I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my
and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood”
to my people
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.
My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
walks of life.
My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.
LOVE this one Jen!! Was particularly fitting with the morning I was just having… working through confessions with my life coach. My eyes are all red from crying & I look like I got punched in the face. Feeling guilt about how busy & how distracted I was during my dog Ula’s life.
And even worse, not always being present, even when she was really ill before she passed away. Crying crying… all morning. But it is the truth… there were times that I wished she would just go, times when I wanted more to go hang out with the dude I was dating than to be with her, times when I didn’t want to wake up during the night with her as she circled the room…. I confess, it is the truth. Hoping the truth will help me to relieve some of this regret?
Ah jeez… here I go, crying again!
Soooo looking forward to meeting you. You are an AMAZING writer. Love your tone, simplicity, truth — and how easy you are to relate to. Don’t think you’re supposed to end a sentence that way; but oh well, my truth is that I don’t always care to follow the rules :)) XO sister!
LOVE this one Jen!! Was particularly fitting with the morning I was just having… working through confessions with my life coach. My eyes are red from crying & I look like I got punched in the face. Feeling guilt about how busy & how distracted I was during my dog Ula’s life.
And even worse, not always being present, even when she was really ill before she passed away. Crying crying… all morning. But it is the truth… there were times that I wished she would just go, times when I wanted more to go hang out with the dude I was dating than to be with her, times when I didn’t want to wake up during the night with her as she circled the room…. I’m hoping that confessing the truth will help to relieve some of this regret that I have?
Ah jeez… here I go, crying again!
Soooo looking forward to meeting you at your retreat in Ojai. You are an AMAZING writer. Love your tone, simplicity, truth — and how easy you are to relate to. Don’t think you’re supposed to end a sentence that way; but oh well, my truth is that I don’t always care to follow the rules 🙂
You just made me laugh out loud.