I’ve been avoiding writing the next two books in the series. Book Two’s first draft is complete, but I haven’t finished writing the first draft of Book Three yet. I started to commit to editing Book Two, but as I started doing that I started creating marketing materials for social media. My current marketing materials consist of an old picture from the period of time I wrote about in Book Two and a quote from a post. I’m currently sharing memories from when I was in Phoenix in 2018, soon to move onto Northern California (Nevada City, specifically).
The other night I was lying on my bed, going through old posts and creating graphics. Energetically, I might as well have been in Nevada City. Every ounce of my body went back to that magical space. When I looked up and glanced around my room, noticing I was still in fact in Phoenix, my heart sank a bit. I had never wanted to be in two places at the same time so badly in my life. I began to think to myself, “I should get back to working on my books. I’ll get to relive those moments again when I start writing.”
But I didn’t, and I haven’t.
Last night I chatted with a man about my journey and as my emotions began to rise, clarity began to come through. I sat there, unable to fully look at him for fear that if I did, I would break my own heart right in front of his eyes. When I looked off just beyond him, creating an energetic wall around myself, I allowed myself to be vulnerable about my experience without energetically allowing him in.
I shared with him that for years, I shared my story online without anyone ever fully understanding the profound healing experience I was having. I felt like I was transforming my life before everyone’s eyes and no one was really even noticing. Something was different about me but no one understood it, no matter how many times I showed up online to write it or speak it in a different way. No one was hearing me.
In August 2019, Radical Rebirth was finally complete and I was getting feedback from test readers. All the things I felt like I had been screaming into a black hole for years were finally being heard. I was finally being seen and understood, but beyond that, others were seeing how my journey connected to their own lives, as well.
Once it was released to the public, the feedback kept coming in and then what typically followed was— I can’t wait for the next two books!
My life began to feel like a book series. In fact with Book Three, I was constantly on the lookout, “How is Book Three going to end?” Everything I experienced, I first ran through the filter of, “How does that translate to the book?” Everything in my life became a story. Everything was about my book series and in some moments, I forgot to sit back and just be present in Anne the person instead of Anne the writer.
As I sat across from this man last night, I shared with him, “My journey was sacred. I loved it and it’s over. I will never get those three years back. There’s a piece of my life others will only ever know through my books.”
Now you may be thinking, “But Anne, you never really lose those years. They integrate into your being.” Yes, I know. I get that. I’m well aware of the fact that everything I experienced in the past three years is being integrated into who I am today. That’s not the point.
I’m grieving. I knew I would need to grieve, but when I was so thrilled to return to Phoenix and rebuild my life here, I kind of forgot about the grieving process. I realized my journey feels like a death. There is a version of myself I will never return to. There is a version of myself others will never know. It’s like telling stories of a loved one who has passed. You can tell all the stories in the world and yet the person you’re telling those stories to will still never get to experience that person.
It adds a whole new weird layer when that person is you.
My books feel like the memorial or funeral of that deceased person. I don’t know about you, but I always enjoyed memorials and funerals because it was a time to remember the loved one who passed. For a short period of time, you get to pretend they’re not gone. Then the service ends, everyone goes home and you’re just supposed to go on with your life like nothing ever happened. Just like that, you’re supposed to go back to normal.
Part of me experiences resistance around finishing and releasing the next two books because once it’s all said and done, life will just go back to normal. Except nothing I experienced was normal. My life was not normal. My life is not normal. Nothing about who I am today is normal.
It’s easy to read someone else’s story and think, “Great story.” It’s easy to remain removed from someone else’s story, except behind the story is a beating heart. Behind my story is a woman who gave up her entire life in the hopes that what she truly desired was possible.
My story is one of extreme independence and faith in God. I don’t know how to walk the line of desiring to let someone in so they can hold space for the part of me that is grieving while also knowing I am who I am today because I was yelling at God and sobbing on the floor, alone, more times than I can count.
I want to let someone in and yet the next piece of this sacred journey is writing it down. I don’t want to share that with the “wrong” person. I only get to do this once. I only got to live it once and now I only get to write it and publish it once.
Once it’s done, it’s done.
Once I release it out into the world, others will experience it in whatever way they do and life will go back to abnormally normal.