Aaaaaaahhhhh I feel like I’ve passed through the looking glass!
No, no, no I’m not going to talk more about my book. Well actually, I will a little, first of all just to say an immense thank you for all the love I’m receiving right now from all over the world, and also because for me and the people around me, this is a big moment of growth and accomplishment we’re going through together.
Let me explain. Keeping a blog is both the easiest and most complicated thing in the world (ok, not the most complicated, I’m exaggerating a bit, you know me) but the constant feedback we get about what we express can be just as stimulating as it is paralyzing.
As I’ve told you before, to write my book, I had to cut myself off from the blog a little bit, gave my team the tools and let them take over. It wasn’t always easy because I’d gotten used to doing everything on my own. And it was hard for them because they found themselves having to sustain the relationship and trust I had built with my readers, and a certain way of talking about things and life that isn’t always easy to duplicate. Especially because the idea wasn’t to duplicate it, but to add different voices other than my own.
Add to that the fact that we do listen to our readers, and some comments haven’t always been easy to read, neither to me nor to my team who is doing their maximum at all times.
Even so, you can’t ever go back. When you decide to embark on an adventure, as I’ve often told you, the most important thing is to keep moving forward.
You take a deep breath, remember your idea and your dreams, and try to keep going. You tell yourself that once you reach the end, maybe everything will make sense. You make mistakes, you learn to do better, you endure the criticism, even when it comes from people close to you, and try not to ask yourself too many questions because otherwise you’d stop everything and go back to your cozy comfort zone and what you already know.
It’s a messy, it’s stressful and sometimes painful.
Time moves on and new habits, new perspectives make their way into your life. And one day, everything you’d been working for is suddenly there, right before your eyes.
You’ve got a book in front of you.
You’ve learned to excel at what you do (and here I’m talking about my team, even though I did learn to manage a team, I won’t say I excel at it yet, but I’m a lot better than I was before). You’ve got thicker skin.
You’ve made it through hard times together and your sense of team spirit is deeper, richer.
You’re comfortable in your own shoes – the same shoes you had trouble filling just a few months before. You’ve got a blog that’s changed, yes, but it fits you better and that you’re proud of.
This weekend I was reading your comments here, on Instagram, in my email and kind of everywhere, I was also meeting you and listening to you at my first book signing (yaaay!), and they were so sweet, so profound, so honest — some people told me they felt like they’d lost track of me for a while and now they’ve finally found me again. Nothing could be more touching to me, even though I know I was never very far away (I was just on my couch writing my book, basically ;)
Especially because the other day, I was talking to a very dear friend who is suffering a lot right now. She’s having panic attacks, digestive problems – her body is trying to tell her something and it’s not a fun time for her at all. I’ll talk more about panic attacks another time. I used to get them when I was 20.
My friend is going through a period of transition. She’s going from being a young lady to a woman, in both her personal life and professional life. Her friends barely recognize her. Her parents give her a hard time sometimes. Her life is in flux. Her identity is evolving and she’s so attached to who she was before that it’s difficult for her to let go of that young girl identity.
She has to learn to say no in her professional life, even though she got where she is by always saying yes with a big smile. There comes a time when you can’t say yes to anyone and everything anymore.
She will probably lose a few feathers along the way, she’ll leave behind some preconceived ideas, and she may lose a few friends. Some relationships aren’t made to evolve. They’re fixed in time, and that’s a good thing. You have to accept it.
She could choose to stay attached to her childhood, but that’s not what life is. Life is reaching out toward the unknown, learning to negotiate with your fears, and discovering new versions of yourself.
That young girl will always be a part of her. She is that young girl. But she is also this new woman now with a sincere smile and clear view.
Last Friday when we had our meeting, the team and I were chatting and laughing, and I looked around and saw in front of me a group of real adults, super professional, the best of the best.
We haven’t really talked about it yet, but we knew we’d just reached a new level, all together. We might have lost a few of you along the way, but others climbed on the train with us, and we have more to offer now than ever before.
And most of all, we realized we’d made it through the adventure.
So, this message is to give you the heart to keep moving forward, whatever you do. The hardest moment is probably right when you’re closest to reaching your goal. This message is also a big thank you to Emily, Erik, Brie, Neada, Amanda, Elle and Alexandra and to all of our incredible interns.
And a big thank you to you for sticking with us, critiquing us, helping us, supporting us. And for simply being here!
And this message is also for my friend. She’s almost made it. Soon, she’ll understand why she had to go through this narrow door. Everything will make sense and the clouds will dissipate. And I want her to know I’ll be there, on the other side, waiting for her.
Translated by Andrea Perdue