I am at a place in my life, teetering at the edge, where I am just finding my voice, and am at the very early stages of feeling comfortable in my own skin. Defining me and who I really want to be. And you know what? It’s not really what others say about you. It is about what you think of yourself. I think I have finally grasped that. Took a half a century but better late than never, right?

I have a hard time trusting people enough, to really make the friendship effort at this stage in the game. And yet even though I have tons of friends, and several really good ones, I never really felt as if I fit in to any one place perfectly. Today, I just read a great line from a book I am about to share with you guys (below) where the writer said; She refused to make the hard choices, to fight the waves”. Wow! How profound is that?? I related to that sentence so much that it brought tears to my eyes. I never belonged anywhere because I never wanted to fight the waves. I have ridden most of them in to shore. Not that my life has been a picnic but when it comes to making the harder choice, well, lets just say that, THAT line took my breath away!

I was at a shower recently with a bunch of church friends and someone who I would consider more a friend than an acquaintance genuinely hugged me “hello” and told me that they were happy to see me. After a bit of catching up and other small talk, I confided in her that I really felt that I was “faking it”  and “not just here, but really at any of these church things.” And…. Without missing a beat, she leaned over and whispered, “Diane, we are all faking it!” At that moment, I think I loved her more than I had the moment before!

friends talking at table

And I know what she meant, not that we are faking what we believe and that our faith is not real, but that the veil is pulled down a bit further at parties like these. We share just enough. We only know parts of each other. The other half is covered for only the very few to see. The smiles are real, well they are NOT, not real, if you know what I mean. But I want more. I think we all do. And, I always feel glad I made the effort to go, and yet a little empty when leaving. And yet the little affirmation about faking it, about perhaps I’m not the only one that feels that way was like a little unexpected party favor that I got to take home that day.

I just finished reading My Other Ex by Jessica Smock & Stephanie Prenger and I have to tell you that I know what my Christmas gifts for my friends are going to be this year! I am in love with this book! I originally purchased it because a great friend and fellow writer, Leah Vidal was a contributing author. So I knew that I would not be disappointed. But I literally, could not put this book down! It capsulized my friend’s statement; “Diane we are all faking it!” Each story makes you nod and cry and connect and feel as if we are not alone And in someway, I could relate to each and every story and friendship. The twist here… is these stories are of  great friendships, best friend friendships that went awry.

friends two little girls with braids

Some as far back as childhood, some from college, some from business, or through kids or other chance meetings.  All compiled in a format that reminds me a little of the Chicken Soup for the Soul style, and yet the stories here aren’t contrived nor always healing with a happy ending. It is real and heart wrenching and makes you cry and laugh and like I said, nod, a lot!

I have taken away something from every story. No faking it here. No sugar-coating the facts. Just honesty pure and simple and sometimes painful to read. In my lifetime I have had some great friendships. Some that I have shared about here in this blog. But there have also been a few that fell through the cracks, for reasons of their own. Ones I never thought about writing about. So that makes this book even more interesting.

 

It is the first book in a long time, that I haven’t just skimmed over to get to the next page when it got a little tedious. There is no tediousness here. The women sharing are all obviously top-notch writers, hand-picked from the authors and you know from their other projects (see their website) http://www.herstoriesproject.com      that each story was chosen with the utmost care. This one is a no brainer. Ya gotta read it…. If you are a woman and you ever let go of a friendship that still haunts you a little today, this book will help you realize that we all have a lot of the same feelings. kind of like the way I felt… when my friend said to me… “We are all faking it a little Diane!” We really aren’t alone. This book just put it in print!

Note to the authors*  (Would love to buy the audio of each woman sharing their own story!)

my other ex book cover

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13 thoughts on “My Other Ex by Jessica Smock & Stephanie Sprenger A book review among other thoughts

  1. Lovely post. I guess most of us do sail with the tide which isn’t safe sailing in the end as waves will still rock the boat anyway – and if and when we reach the coast we believe the ‘faking it’ to be real. Only our hearts know this. You’ve inspired me to write something – about a girl woman. Thanks.

    1. Arya,
      I can’t wait to read it!!!!
      I love the way you write!
      You said it perfectly. Most of us do sail with the tide. I am not sure why that effected me so intensely but, not fighting the waves really has made me realize what I need to do!
      Thanks for your wonderful perspective.
      I will be waiting for your next post!
      xoxo

  2. Di, I just love coming here, never knowing what you will write about next. And, I know all about the ‘faking it’ syndrome, lol. There are many of us who choose to hold back in question of trusting, or pretend things that are not to meet societal expectations. I have personally weeded out quite a few relationships through the years that weren’t serving me any growth or happiness. It’s like housecleaning, it has to be done to feel good about our environment. As for the book review, thank you so much, you knowwwwwwww I’m on it! My kind of reading. 🙂 ❤

    1. Debbie,
      Why do you have to be so far away? Funny this subject is about friends and the three women that just responded here first, are my first choice of people I’d love to have in my actual life. Even though we all are pretty busy, it just means a lot to genuinely LIKE you guys so much and feel it returned!!!! I KNOW you are gonna love that book! I want to look up the first one that the authors did too! I bet we all could have submitted a story or two! 😉
      xoxo

  3. There is that old adage — act your way into a feeling.

    I want to feel included, inclusive and like I belong…. so I act like I do — and discover i do! 🙂

    Love this post dear Di — and thank you for the book recommendation. I shall be adding it to my night-table!

    1. Louise,
      I love it! Act your way into a feeling! Epic!
      Though that might be dangerous for me lol. My feelings are or have been pretty sensitive lately. 🙂
      Wish you were closer. Would love to see you speak!
      xxoxo

  4. I am so glad I read this. I was thinking about these issues, and my own personal experiences, I was trying to sort it all out and was going to write about that. The analogy that I had been thinking about had to do with selling a house.

    Blessings,
    Theresa

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