The other night at dinner, "Congrats on your book! One day I'd love to hear how you wrote an entire book!" One of my friend's hubbies exclaimed. Another friend's hubby said, "You've got some balls. You're really doing it!" He was referring to how much I put myself out there. Gotta love supportive hubbies.
THE JOURNEY WITHIN THE JOURNEY
They say, writing a book is like a journey. For sure it is, but I kind of see it as like a marathon kind of a journey. But the real journey begins within. All that stuff people say about "mind over matter," well, it is really true. During this journey, the internal journey was the most grueling. There were days, I didn't want to get out of bed let alone write. There were days, I couldn't confront myself or communicate WITH myself. Then there were the Netflix binge days on the couch. And the worst days were the ones filled with self-doubt: What if nobody reads my book? What if nobody buys it?
FROM BROKEN -> BEING
When I began I needed an outlet. I needed a judgment free space where I could just get my thoughts out on paper/computer. I always feared judgment from others. I feared nobody would read my stuff, or nobody would get it, or nobody would care. But once I started writing more, especially within the last several months, like a bird with broken wings, I began at first to timidly fly, and then I came into my own. I realized I didn't need outside validation, even though it felt good to hear from people how my writing had inspired them or see so many friends around me inspired to write their own books.
BLAME -> COMPLAIN -> JUSTIFICATION
In my Happiness Coach Certification program I learned of this paradigm that we humans fall back on. I found myself in this vicious cycle, and I would hear it from others as well. There was so much that I wanted to change about the way in which we communicate, but my blaming this or that, then complaining about it, and finally justifying it was not going to solve anything. I found myself having the same conversations with like-minded and well-meaning humans, but I wanted and needed to move forward.
THE GIRL WHO WANTED TO CHANGE KOREA
I've always loved Korea. I've always felt at home in Korea, like nowhere else in the world. It may sound strange to hear that someone who has no Korean blood feels this way. When I got my Permanent Residency in Korea a few years ago, I was so stoked. Whenever my students and later clients would have a lightbulb moment, I was ecstatic. One of my Korean friends once asked me, "Why do you think you can change Korea?" I answered, "Korea has been so good to me, how could I not do my part?" Turns out, the challenges people face in Korea are actually universal, so even though my book is coming out in Korean first, stay tuned for the English version on Amazon.
THE BOOK I WANTED TO READ
Throughout my 20s and 30s, I read a lot of self-help books written by western authors for a western audience. Having been educated in the west during my high school years and beyond, I understood where they were coming from. However, I didn't see any non-fiction authors who looked like me. It was kind of like when I was out on the global speaking circuit, I didn't see any men or women who looked like me. I wanted advice, I wanted tips, I wanted heck anything, but I couldn't find it in a book, so I wrote one.
THE GREATEST GIFT
It took me more time than I ever would have imagined, but I knew I wanted to give something back to my students in the form of a gift. All my time I had spent learning, growing, teaching WITH my students, all of the times they had encouraged and supported me, all of the times we had laughed, cried, and created change together both inside and outside of the classroom. I always told them, "You can do it, you can do whatever you want to," but I realized that if I didn't finish this book then I wasn't true to myself nor the message I always told my students. Moreover, the greatest gift I could ever give myself or my students and anybody for that matter was my internal validation of myself. Even if nobody ever bought my book, it didn't matter, because the greatest gift was me becoming me.