Killing Ghosts has been a hard process. It’s never easy to put yourself out there entirely. It’s scary and hard and I’m constantly worried what people will think. Or worse, that they won’t think about it at all.
If you’re a writer or an artist in any way, you know that you don’t really have much of a choice, right? You have to put it out there anyway. So, today, Killing Ghosts is live.
I hope this book matters to someone. I hope it makes someone feel less alone.
To celebrate, I’m releasing the foreword. This is my heart right now. And as I prepare to dive into a novel next month, I am celebrating the journey that was this collection.
We spend so much time running from ghosts. We wage wars against the intangible stressors that linger in our hearts and rationalize the fleeting moments of panic that we cannot explain. We fight the wrong fights and wrestle with imaginary demons.
As mothers. As women. As humans. We chase the unattainable and accept defeat when we fall short. Somewhere in our souls we know that there is a different way but we cannot see where it might take us. Maybe we aren’t even sure what we’re avoiding.
As I’ve grown into mid-life and marriage and motherhood, my perspective has shifted on almost everything. Such things tend to change people. If we’re being optimistic, it’s confidence. An assertiveness and sense of self that comes with age and experience. If you’re as jaded as I tend to be, it’s a disregard for social protocol and an overall weariness from bearing the weight of societal expectations. In short, I got tired of asking people to validate my fears and failures. I decided to stop running.
Some of it is pandemic fallout. You can’t go through isolation and the utter chaos we’ve collectively shared—in whatever capacity—without some reflection and inner monologue. None of us are the same as we were. Not really. Even in the absence of outside forces, though, it is healthy to reevaluate. It is healthy to face the things that haunt you.
So here I am. Finding the ghosts that I’ve run from (maybe run to, in some cases) and killing them. Or trying to. Everything that makes a person who they are—faith, family, purpose—has been in my scope. It’s hard. It’s really uncomfortable to start asking questions that can turn your world upside down. To deconstruct your motivations and look at why you think and act and love the way you do. We all want to believe that what we know is real.
I believe in truth. I believe that sometimes things are black and white. There are truths that exist simply because they are true and they do not require my approval. I also believe that there are a thousand shades of gray that make the world uncertain and dynamic and confusing and beautiful.
The thing about reevaluating everything you know is that untangling untruths and misconceptions can be incredibly painful. It’s hard to pull at one thread without your entire tapestry falling apart. Here’s a secret: Despite everything we’ve been told, it’s okay to come undone. It’s okay to let yourself feel the weight and stumble under it. To unravel and subsequently weave yourself into something more beautiful from time to time.
Pretending that you aren’t impacted by the world around you isn’t strength—it’s a lie. So if everything feels heavy, you are not alone. This is all idiotically hard. There comes a time when you have to kill your ghosts, but in order to do that you have to face them. You have to look at the ugly parts of yourself and your world. Grieve the ones that need to fall away, or celebrate their departure.
Welcome the truth and the clarity. You don’t have to be haunted forever.