The week leading to my book launch (which was wondrous) and the week after was rough, for lack of a better word. With tear filled eyes I sent a text to a dear friend and the conversation that followed was very raw, very real.
I spent the next several days reflecting on that conversation and this is what I’ve gathered…
Throughout the last twenty-five years, I’ve accumulated all these pieces.
Pieces passed down genetically, from parents and other members of the family, from the places I lived and the people I surrounded myself with, from the schools I attended and the trips that I took, from the things I read in a book, from the things I saw on tv – a piece from each and every thing.
Eventually, all these fragments began to form this picture and this picture began to provide the guidelines of what my life is supposed to look like.
Yet time and time again I have found that my life looks nothing like what it ‘should.’
Not because my aspirations aren’t attainable. Not for a lack of love and support. Not for a lack of determination or anything else. But because, as Michelle Obama so eloquently said, you cannot have it all at the same time because “that shit doesn’t work.”
That perfect picture is actually an impossible illusion.
An illusion I intend to dive deeper into throughout the next few weeks and I’d love if you’d join this journey with me.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “A new world…breathing dreams like air…” I certainly felt like I was breathing my dreams like air this past weekend.
And it was wondrous.
About three years ago I wrote a blog about a woman named Ellie who was tormented by nightmares of her childhood sexual abuse. I ended this particular blog admitting that Ellie was me. A whirlwind of comments and private messages followed. Women I had never met before began opening up about their own trauma. I was immediately moved to continue sharing Ellie’s story. Ellie (although originally stemming from my own suffering) became a name to bear the burdens, the scars and secrets, of ALL women.
This past Sunday I celebrated the first installment of my Ellie’s story trilogy called Unveiling Ellie.
With the help of an amazing friend, Zaibel Torres of ZaiPhotography, a special edition was created. As you flip through the pages of this version of Unveiling Ellie you will see 17 women of different ages, races, shapes and sizes. Each one representing Ellie.
I want women to open this book and see someone that looks like them, someone with the same scars and secrets. I want to provide hope to the hopeless and light in the darkness. I want others to know that they are not alone.
Becoming a publishing author has been a dream of mine since childhood and seeing that dream come true still feels so surreal. Maybe that’s because I created more than just a book. I created a movement. You see, we are all Ellie.
If I’m honest, I tried to cancel this celebration, twice. But my husband said and I quote, “You’re not stopping me from celebrating my wife dammit!” I will always be thankful for those words because it was indeed a ravishing gathering.
So much laughter. So much love. So much joy. So much breakthrough.
Unveiling Ellie is my ode to every woman, everywhere who has ever felt she needed to keep her scars and secrets hidden from sight.
Order your own copy of Unveiling Ellie today.
P.S. Please enjoy this beautiful promo of the second installment Ellie Exposed courtesy of another dear friend of mine AJ Lovelace