Jog on, Imposter Syndrome. I'm a #1 Bestselling Author Now.
If I write this post without crying, it will be a miracle.
Today I woke up to the news that my memoir, my paper baby that I birthed just a few days ago, is #1 on the Canadian Non-Fiction bestseller list (and #5 stacked up against all non-fiction sold in Canada, which is pretty big!)
Like, I can’t even wrap my head around it. I’ve been trying to do so for hours, but mostly I just keep smiling, and then crying, and then smiling again, and then—
Ah, there are the tears. See? I knew they’d show up.
It was news I wasn’t expecting. This is a part of my story I had convinced myself would never happen. It happens to other people, not me. Not this girl.
And I was okay with that. I was more than okay with that. I wrote Love Lives Here to give people hope, and to help shift our world towards more acceptance for LGBTQ folks at a time when we desperately need that shift. That’s been my one and only goal all along.
Politically, the world is terrifying. Populism is running amok, fueled by a growing intolerance in our society. Much of that intolerance, I’m convinced, is based on fear: fear of what we don’t know and don’t want to know, what we refuse to look at because it’s easier to fear than to learn. Fear of immigrants. Muslims. Trans people. Others.
But they’re not others, and that’s what this book is about. I can’t speak on immigration or religion, but I can tell you there is nothing to fear and much to celebrate about trans people, gay people, bi people – anyone who lives their truth, really.
We are a house full of “others,” and our story is now out there in chapter form for people to learn from. It’s my hope it helps shift us from “other” to “part of.” That’s what good stories do, after all. They stay with us and they change us. That’s all my family and I have wanted to accomplish. We want to improve lives. We want to save them.
But hey, I’ll take number one on the bestseller list – even if it’s just for a week, a moment, a flash. I’ll take it because it gives me hope. It tells me that, if we try, we can eclipse the hate we’re seeing in our world today. We can outshine attitudes of intolerance and otherness. We can teach people by opening their hearts up. Love heals.
When I was a teenager, I didn’t think I’d live to see adulthood, let alone a published bestseller. And even in adulthood, I’ve grappled with depression so insidious it left me wondering just how long I’d be around to see another day.
Just yesterday, my anxiety was so high that I was begging my brain to just shut off, to let me have a few moments where my body wasn’t flooded with adrenaline and worry, to give me sweet release from the torture going on inside my head.
You are not worthy of any of this success, my brain was telling me. You are a fraud, an imposter. You are not good enough. You are nothing. Trauma makes me doubt myself all the time. That will likely never go away.
No, I fought back. I am worthy of good things. I am enough, just as things are, just as I am. I repeated this over and over until I believed it.
Eventually, my body and mind spent, I had a late afternoon nap and awoke with a calmer mind. Being in a good place made today’s news even sweeter. I’m able to internalize it today, to celebrate it without needing it to validate me as a writer or a human being. (Said celebration came in the form dancing around with my headphones and then ordering a half-sweet vanilla latte - in the size up from what I normally have, of course.)
Today, I took a moment to tell younger me that holding on was the best thing she ever did. And adult me? She’s fierce. I’m proud of her.
Thank you to everyone in Canada and around the world who has purchased and borrowed and shared and talked about Love Lives Here. You made this happen. You made the story of family living through three coming out moments and two transitions something people are talking about and learning from.
And in the process, you also made an impossible dream possible for a once-broken little girl.