Excerpt from Finding Your Force:
After September 11th happened, I felt this urgency to get my life together. I had turned 30 years old two months prior. When those planes came down I became desperate. I was experiencing this sense of urgency. It was a matter of life and death for me to get it together. I started questioning where I was in my life and who I am. I realized that my life felt insignificant and unimportant. I felt that I wasn’t contributing anything to the world. I believed that my life was of no value.
I started to wonder about things like…what would people say about me after I leave this place? How will I be remembered? I started to get scared. I was questioning everything I had done and not done. What have I contributed to the earth? What will I leave you with besides debt and rumors of promiscuity? “Que tu madre era una locita.” What was I born to do? What is my legacy? Who am I? Where have I been? How would I want you to remember me?
I decided that I would write you a memoir. That would be the legacy left for you a book filled with my life story—written for you. I had no intention on letting anyone read it. I decided that I would document where I was for ten years. I was going to write it from 1991-2001.
Since I had never written a book before I printed a calendar for ten years and started plugging in all the places I lived in, all the people I slept with, all the jobs I’d held. I wanted to give you a true account, an authentic story about where I’ve been. I wanted you to know all my dirt, the many mistakes and bad choices I’ve made. I wanted you to know where I came from. I didn’t want someone else telling you their version of me. I wanted to tell you my story, my truth, so that you could form your own opinion about who your mother is.
One night we were lying in bed together reading. You were wrapped up in a Nancy drew story and I was reading a book on writing titled, Writing from Personal Experience. I was reading on how one goes about writing a book, when the most amazing thing happened. At 9:39pm as I was reading, I came across a line that talked about where one can find inspiration for writing and telling stories. This book was giving me all kinds of messages about material being found in everything in my life. In that exact moment I had an epiphany. I had one of those life altering Oprah AHA moments.
On October 3, 2001, what I read jumped out at me. It was about how even in our own lives there’s a story to be told. In that exact moment I whispered to myself, Oh my GOD!!! I’m a writer!!! I AM A WRITER!!!
I knew that that moment was significant so I made sure to write down the date and time. I looked over to you and said, “Baby, mommy’s a writer!”
You just looked at me with this glow in your eyes like you were looking at your sheroe and said, “I know mommy! I know! You’re gonna write me a book.”
“No honey, you don’t understand – I AM… A WRITER!!!
“I know mommy… we’re gonna be rich and you’re gonna buy me a big house with a McDonalds and a Carvel inside.”
I just laughed. You didn’t get it. For me that moment would mark me. That moment would change the direction of my life forever. My heart was pounding. I finally understood my place in the world. I had spent so much of my time in the desert, without water and without a compass. I was simply flying with nowhere to land. I had no direction. I knew that after that moment I would never be the same. I finally paid attention to the signs. What seemed so crazy to me was that when I started my writer’s journey it turned out that for several years I had been collecting books on writing without even realizing it.
I was born to write. ~
And after that moment I haven’t stopped writing. That moment took place (11) years ago. That’s how long it has taken me to write my first book. Eleven years of growing as a writer, eleven years of getting to know myself, eleven years to have the courage to tell this story that has not been easy. Eleven years to release my past and sit with the pain of all of it…