Sifting through the truth

I’m in the middle of writing two books right now, both about stories.

In one I showcase the successes of a few of my favorite clients through the years, what brought them to coaching with me and where they landed as a result. The other divulges personal, sometimes brutally personal, secrets from my dating life, what tripped me up and what I learned about myself.

I’m not sure if I’m telling the truth in either.

Or really, what is the truth?

I think I am honest about my feelings. I think I have a decent memory of the past, but that doesn’t mean that my recollection is true from another person’s perspective.

Does everyone have to agree with my memory?

Do I need a disclaimer like what people put on their Twitter profiles? “Opinions are my own, and not a reflection of my company or anyone else.”

It’s kind of important to know the answers before I can move forward. Safely saved on my Mac right now, these book drafts are basically journal entries. I’d hate for them to stay that way.

If you read my first book, I’m scared & doing it anyway, you probably noticed how I tippy-toed. Many readers wanted to hear more about my ex-husband, AJ. I seemed to take care of him, some said. I did. I felt I had to.

That right there is probably what’s underneath all of this: my desire to keep everyone happy.

Hopefully my clients will be happy about their stories, because hopefully they are happy about their careers and lives after our work together. I can check with them, of course, to make sure.

With the other book though, I have no plans to seek permission from former boyfriends. I will share my experiences, in which they played a starring role for a period of time. If the book is a hit, if they read it, if they recognize themselves…they may disagree with what’s said and at least in a few cases will not be happy with how they are represented.

Is that my problem?

The better question is why am I making it my problem?

Oh, pick me! [my hand stretched high in the air] I know that answer!

There is a younger person inside of me who learned early on to work hard to be liked, at all costs, and who gets worried now that my adult world will come crashing down if people don’t like me.

I’m reminded of my friend Ernesto Gluecksmann who advised years ago that you have arrived once you get your first hater. (He also said Haters Gonna Hate, Huggers Gonna Hug, which made me very happy.) Having haters means you’re saying something that people are interested in enough to have strong opinions. You’re having a real conversation.

Maybe that’s what these books will be…using my perspective on the past to talk about what’s really happening in the present.  

I think I can live with that.

(I hope you like the stories, too.)

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