Control // Reflections Post-Novel Release // Part 1
I cannot believe it's been almost three months since I released Where Hope Lies.
I think it's safe to say that my social media followers are getting sick of my updates about my book and media coverage. I said I wouldn't do that and here I am doing just that. Oops. It'll wind down soon, I promise.
In all seriousness though, I am beyond grateful that I've had such an incredible fan base and support system who lifted me up throughout the entire journey when I released this bit of my heart on International Women's Day (3/8/17).
While it hasn't even been three months since WHL release, I am thankful for the wonderful life lessons I have already learned along the way.
These are lessons that I didn't even anticipate or visualize when I set out on this journey at the beginning of this year. Regardless, I am grateful, and I am humbled, I am blessed, and I can honestly say beyond a shadow of a doubt, I have never been this happy in my entire life.
But as I've said in my plethora of interviews, if I don't share my lessons learned, the lessons that I've learned through my pain, my heartache, and my struggles...then what's the point of going through them? My mantra is transparency. First lesson in this reflection period: control. Hah.
Dear Hope, You cannot control everything.
Yeah, this is nothing new. I've been trying to control things since I was five years old and this lesson has been plowed into my brain time and time again.
Pema Chödrön writes, “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know." I think this can pertain to my issue of trying to control everything as a type A freak.
Example: I can't control the fact that even though I've had three editors look through my novel, a proofreader at Amazon, I've read it until I'm blue in the face AND can recite it line by line, there were still typos.
Harsh Reality: It's on bookstore shelves; it's been sold around the world, it's been reviewed (both positively and negatively). So I can't really do much about the above, can I? Another harsh reality: People are going to love the book or hate the book, and I can't control that.
People are going to love or hate me, and I can't control that either.
More goddamn harsh realities: I can't control the fact that when I'm in a live interview, the interviewer will ask me questions that I didn't get to prep for. I can't always control when a stutter or an "uhm. uhm." is emitted from my mouth during a podcast or radio recording. I can't control the fact that all of my answers to these deep, intimate, transparent questions aren't the most polished responses that Princess (she's a princess now, right?) Kate Middleton may give her royal audience. I'm not perfect-- my projects and accomplishments cannot be either.
One of my biggest battles with control has been travel. Traveling all over the country for work and the book has made me go head to head with my fear of flying and feeling trapped on a plane. Which is ironic, because I have flown at least once a month the last 2 1/2 years and yet here we are, snorting chamomile tea like it's my job when I get on a plane. Well, guess what? The last two months of work trips have finally quelled that fear and anxiety. I've realized: I cannot control the outcome on a plane. I cannot control delays. I can't control if I don't feel well. I cannot control if there's a baby in row 22B that just stunk up the plane.
You just can't control everything, and I can't either.
So just breathe and snort chamomile tea with me too, okay?