I am practicing my patience, some days with gritted teeth and total white knuckles, but I am actively practicing it trying to relax in the hammock (I explain below I promise). The patience I need as Ever Upward gets into the hands of those who need it, is seen by the eyes that need to read it and is felt by the hearts that need the connection of it. This sometimes painstaking patience is lit up by the messages and reviews Ever Upward is slowly receiving.
Ever Upward is a book of my story. My story through the losses of infertility. My story into the acceptance and ownership of a childfree life. These words had to be on the cover because I trust the infertility community to help me get the full story out to the rest of the world. But they were also words we thought about leaving off the cover because Ever Upward is so much more than an infertility story that ends in owning a childfree life.
It is our story.
It is a book about life. A crazy epic story about overcoming the hard stuff and finding and fighting our way to being okay; to being better than OK.
I want this book to be the permission we need to talk about our stories,the permission to embrace them, the permission to fight for our recovery and our version of the happy ending, and most definitely, the permission to own it all.
I hope people fighting their way through the darkness of infertility treatments find comfort in my words.
I hope people trying to figure out what happens next when it didn't turn out how they hoped find their way in my words.
And, I hope anyone struggling with the darkness of life finds the light they need in my words.
What I was not prepared for was the messages and reviews from mothers, mothers of all kinds; mothers to living children, mothers to angel children, mothers to living and angel children.
And, yet it feels like home.
A home we all belong to.
Because, somewhere along the journey of surviving and thriving this life and especially in the making of our family, we have all lost and suffered somehow, somewhere.
Because it is not a club of just mothers. It is a club of anyone who has struggled, lost and survived.
So, a club we are all members of.
Because, when does life ever really turn out how we had planned or hoped?
And, yet we can do this work.
We can choose to be OK.
We can choose to be better than okay.
We can find our ever upward.
This surprising acceptance, this warm motherly embrace, has left me finding even more ever upward in this journey. This wholehearted embrace by the very group of women that I may forever long to fit into has allowed me to let this all be just little bit more this week.
*Or as my therapist helped me with my metaphor in letting this be...I think I am actually sitting in the hammock.
Let me explain.
The endless work of the last year or so are the fishing poles I have cast out into the crystal clear turquoise water. I must stick those poles into the warm white sand of the beach and walk away. They are cast to the big fish that could easily change my life and show the world Ever Upward with one tiny chance they give me. They are cast to every single person who needs to give themselves permission to find their own ever upward. They are cast out to you. And, I must stop putting my toes and hands in that beautiful water and allow it to become that crystal clear calm glass so you can be drawn to the amazing light that is this work. So, I am actively working on walking away, grabbing my sangria (served in a carved out pineapple of course) and sitting in that comfy hammock to soak up the embracing magic of the sun and of my own light.
This is how the perfectly imperfect person I am is going to muster up the strength to let this be, trust the work I have done, trust the universe and get the hell out of the way.
Sitting in the hammock, soaking up the sun, breathing in the salty air, sipping my sangria and truly allowing myself to really receive that warm embrace from the club I'll never belong to.