Last Thursday I had the good fortune to do my first Author Talk in my hometown of Chicago at Women & Children First, an independent bookstore that has historically prided itself in supporting women’s voices for over 30 years. Much of my story takes place in different locations within the Chicago area and it’s where most of my siblings and family still reside. It was such an awesome feeling being surrounded with the love and support of family and friends.
Choosing to write and publish my story was not an easy one. In addition to the time and money it was going to take, I had reservations about how other family members might feel about me talking about our shared lives together. I was worried and “waited for the other shoe to fall.” My fears at times were stronger than my desire to write.
Thankfully, fear did not win. And what I never anticipated was that choosing to be vulnerable would open doors not only for myself but for my siblings. Our shared conversations tell me that they see the value of revisiting their personal stories for the healing it might hold for them.
The occasion allowed me to touch base with how becoming an author at age 62 has inspired the younger members of our family. Their presence and encouragement allowed me to assure them that dreams can come true. And that they should never give up believing in the desires that resonate within their hearts.
In the words of Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss.” It has unseen rewards.