book update

I haven’t posted an update about my book in a while, and I have been very aware of that. I think about it everyday. I had this terrifying realization that strangers will be reading what I write and they could say things like, “wow, how did such a shitty writer get published?”

Of course I’ve known the entire time that strangers will be reading my book. That’s sort of the thing with books… But my book deals with some really sensitive, vulnerable stuff. It’s all so personal and my heart is all over every page. And what if people I really like read it and then they decide that I suck as a person because my writing sucks? What if my writing sucks?

These are the sorts of thoughts I’ve been having. And so I’ve sort of been avoiding talking about my book. And it’s great because I just got engaged, so I can talk about that for a while when people ask what I’m up to.

Tonight my publisher emailed me and said wonderful things about my writing. That’s why I’m writing this blog post. She used the word “poignant” to describe my writing! If one person thinks my writing is worthy of that sort of compliment, I’ll take it. Also, I’m not writing this book for the people who think it’s shitty. I mean, I am. I’m writing it for everyone. But really, I’m writing it for the people who have felt how I have felt, or know someone who has.

I’m writing this book for the people who want to connect but don’t know how. I’m writing it, in so many ways, for myself. I’m writing it for the 20-year-old Sim who was suicidal and sad and traumatized. I’m giving myself permission to take a little microphone and say what I want to say about my experience so far in the little bubble that is my life. I’m going to try to remember all this throughout this process because I’m sure I will be shocked with the fear more than a few more times.

I’ve got a big year ahead of me. This year I am planning a wedding, teaching full time for the first time, becoming a homeowner, and writing a book. Also, if I play my cards right, we’ll be welcoming another cat into our little family.

Throughout this journey, I’m going to do my best to stay vigilant in my recovery – sobriety and mental health wise. Meeting attendance, therapy, meditation, exercise, journaling, and community are going to remain my anchors. I’m going to buckle up tight and enjoy the ride. When lots of wheels are turning and things are happening quickly, I love it. I also recognize that I am prone to depression spells. I don’t want to live in fear, but I do want to stay aware.

Thanks to everyone who is on this journey with me!

we’re engaged! 

I made a comic strip maybe a year ago about how I couldn’t wait to get engaged, and we just needed  to wait enough time so that people wouldn’t think we were completely out of our minds. So far, it appears that no one thinks we are out of our minds. Out of our minds in love, perhaps. What a wonderful feeling.

I never imagined I would get married. I never really imagined myself past the age of 21. Or 15. It changed as I got older and the suicide attempts got more serious, but were still unsuccessful. I planned my funeral. I had a small notebook with “in case I die” written on the front. It had all of my last wishes. Including the flowers I wanted placed at my funeral, the songs that were going to be played (songs that I thought for sure wold make people cry, just in case they weren’t all that sad that I was gone), and how I wanted to be buried (in a fungal suit, duh).

When I decided not to kill myself, I started planning my wedding. When I met Jonny, I threw away those plans and started planning our wedding. I started day dreaming about our life together, instead of my dream life with an imaginary man. This is better than a dream life, because it acknowledges the hard stuff, too. It makes that stuff just as beautiful. It adds dimension to our lives. It keeps us honest, it keeps us working.

It’s easy to be cynical about marriage. It’s easy to see marriage as a hoax. Just as poisonous for young girls as Valentine’s Day. I want to say that I am immune to all of that, but in the last 36 hours I think I’ve said, “I’m going to be princess” at least 10 times. Maybe more, if I’m being honest. I’m going to give myself permission to play and giggle and look like a princess.

We are so excited for our wedding. We can’t wait to have everyone we love surrounding us and supporting our love and our commitment to each other. I am very much looking forward to our dance party. And I’m going to look like a princess. And we’re all going to eat a lot of pizza. And that is wonderful, and it’s okay to be absolutely thrilled about that day.
What we’re most excited about is the connection that we can’t see, but can feel. Our engagement is hot off the press, and I’m sure I’ll write more about it as it becomes another normal part of our lives. This engagement has given me something I can touch, and look at, and show people.

A dear friend and I were at a group meditation quite some time ago. She was sitting on the opposite side of the room. There were about 15 people between us. And while we meditated I felt our friendship get closer in a way I can’t explain. I felt totally connected to her for that hour. Perhaps this is something I put in my own head, but it was still very real. After meditation, we talked about the closeness we felt while we were meditating, and we have been much closer ever since.

That spiritual connection of being on the same wave length as someone I love is what I have felt for Jonny with such intensity I want to reach out and touch it. Being engaged has given me something physical that I can wear on my hand and show other people so that they can see what I have felt in my heart since the day I met a shy Canadian with a mop of tangled, black hair and a look in his eyes I recognized but had never seen before.