The Next Chapter

10ish months ago I sat at Stable 12 and wrote a “eulogy” of sorts about my dad on a scrap of paper I found in my purse. Then got up in front of about 100 people, took a chug of a PBR pounder, and spoke about my dad.

9ish months ago, I had an I-don’t-give-a-f#ck moment and wrote my first blog post about my fibromyalgia.

I’ve never considered myself to be charismatic, funny, open, or a public speaker or writer of any kind. I’ve always considered myself to be painfully shy, extremely awkward, guarded, sensitive, and, did I mention awkward?

To my total surprise, my writing has been well received. Beyond my wildest dreams. I expected about 7 people to read my first post (since that’s how many people asked about my fibromyalgia at that time) and then I’d forget about my blog and let it collect dust. I’m really not good at sticking with things. At all. Like, not being consistent is the only thing I’m consistent at.

In the past 9 months, I’ve written over 20 blog posts, and have been writing for Thought Catalog, Fibromyalgia Resources, and most recently So She Slays, among other random websites that have shared my work. I’ve also had over 50,000 views across all platforms, which is definitely over my original prediction of 7.

I’ve always felt a little lost, and a lot without purpose. I always have been pretty happy with my life (despite some of the shitty, tough times), but always felt like I wasn’t totally good enough. That something was always missing.

Writing has helped me in so many ways. It’s been my therapy for dealing with the f#cked up stuff life has been throwing at me. It’s helped me feel like I have a purpose. That if I can connect with just one person, and help them with something they are struggling with, then I’m doing something right. It’s helped me find confidence. Mentally, emotionally, and even physically. It’s helped me give so many less f#cks about the things that don’t matter, and more about the things that do. Guys, it helped me find my voice.

With all that being said. I keep feeling like there is more. It’s something in my head and my heart that I’ve been trying to ignore, but, it keeps coming back.

I’m writing a book.

No title yet, but, the general theme is “What the f#ck, your dad just died.” (“Losing your dad for dummies” is copyrighted, so, there goes that idea. 🙄)

This is terrifying. More so than the extremely vulnerable blog posts and stuff I’ve been writing. A book is full blown commitment. Gathering my current thoughts and going even deeper.

So, why am I telling people now? I’ve done a lot of reading about this, and a lot of what I read says to share early. Let people know what I’m dong so I can’t back out (again, something I’m great at). Share now to build my tribe, to enlist people to help me do this. To support me, critique me (gently, please. Back to the sensitive thing.). To encourage me when I feel like this was a dumb idea and I’m in way over my head. To vote on font, layouts and graphics. To just be there. Pop champagne and pour a drink. Let me vent, and help me celebrate the victories.

I know this isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to be full of ups and downs, but something that I’m feeling pulled to do.

Thanks to everyone who has been there from the beginning. It’s been a wild ride, and I have a feeling it will continue to be.

-J

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