One great thing about writing a book is the dedication page. I’m serious. Google “funny book dedications” and you’ll find that writers are so amused by their dedication pages and what they’re allowed to print there. Trust me.
I believe I thought about my book’s dedication for exactly one day before I made up my mind. The thought started as a joke, but then cemented itself to my brain. My book is dedicated to me. I know, right? What can I say? I’m awesome.
Let me explain. In my span of 6+ years working in an office environment as an admin assistant, my name, “Megan”, has been repeatedly confused with the name “Diane” by innocent customers who honestly think my name is Diane. It goes something like this:
Me: Hello, this is Megan.
Them: Hi, Diane.
Six years. Two separate companies too, it’s not just one pool of customers. I’m called other names too, such as: Dinah, Dan, Nina, and Niyah, but Diane is the most common. It’s become quite the joke between an old coworker and I. In fact, they can’t get her name right either. Her pseudonym is Amy. Her real name is Janien.
Amy and Diane have become their own entities over the course of time. They are to blame for any office hijinks that may or may not have not occurred when my friend and I worked together…
Meg, Why Are You Telling Me This?
I’m glad you asked. You see, Messy Bun Mantras is meant to read like a conversation between friends. It’s me sharing how I dealt with post-partum depression; it’s the book I wish I was able to read when I first learned I had anxiety; it’s a collection of things God revealed to me during those years. Lastly, it’s everything I can think of to say to someone else who might be in the same boat.
The book is broken down into sections based on topic, or mantra. I use positive “I Am” statements as affirmations. The first mantra is “I Am Enough.” In this section I talk through some of my anxiety regarding alternative life choices. Things like, what if I had chosen a different college or different degree? What if I had moved to a different state? What if I had chosen to go to graduate school? What if I hadn’t met Jake or gotten married? All these little decisions ultimately compound and contribute to our lives in big ways. What if any one of them had been different? Where would I be? Who would I be?
I Am Enough
I struggled with the anxiety of trying to be everything I’m not. My present life was held up by the thoughts of everything I could have been. Life has so many possibilities and it’s bittersweet that we only get one life on this earth.
I could let this anxiety about my identity and my choices consume me, or I can let go. I can loosen my white-knuckled grip on those wisps of impossible realities and release them. I can stop mourning the things that could have been and embrace everything that is, all that I am, and step into my present identity.
Diane is the personification of those alternative lives that I could have lived. So the book isn’t really dedicated to me, it’s dedicated to her…the “could haves” and the “should’ve beens.” It’s dedicated to all the possible roads not taken.
May she be content and at peace with her life choices. May anxiety not get the better of her and may she roam free.
And may I have the strength to let her go.