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Reflections a week before my book launch

There is a bubbling in my stomach. I recognise it, it's a feeling I've had before - as a child before a ballet performance, as a student before an important exam, as an adult waiting for results from a job interview.

And like before I try to rationalise it, to make sense of it, to iron it and myself out. The self-talk isn't working and the bubbling has turned to acid reflux. Who knew a cocktail of excitement and nervousness would have such a sour punch to it.

I am struggling to articulate how I feel in the countdown to my book launch. My emotions are messy with blurred edges, things feel out of focus. I don't like messy, I like to compartmentalise. If it were possible, I'd have Muji storage boxes and shelves for my emotions. But I can't and I feel like the plastic bucket of overloaded with crayons you'd find in a nursery classroom. Instead of colours they're be emotions - stress, excitement, nervousness, imposter-syndrome, worry, pride, humility, fear, anxiety, happiness, overwhelmed, glee, worry - yes I am aware I mentioned worry twice.

I have put my heart and soul into this book. The stories within it are of blood, sweat and tears - quite literally. The pages contain my everything. And this feeling is simultaneously liberating and scary as shit.

The scary as shit part is louder than the fun exciting liberating part. This isn't just a book, this is a book of my story, my life, my truth. By sharing it with the world, I am also consciously choosing to be vulnerable. I know it was my choice, I have accepted that, but it doesn't make it less frightening.

And in less than a week's time, my book will be born into this world after years of labour. Its conception was far from easy and carrying to full term almost felt like I was giving myself PTSD. Despite my fears, I know this would all have been worth it because soon other women would be able to find community in my story and feel less alone.

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