This is my stop during the book blitz for Your crossroads. Your choice. by EJ Apicello. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 3 till 9 July. See the tour schedule here.
Your crossroads. Your choice.
By EJ Apicello
Genre: Non-fiction/ Self Help
Release Date: June 2017
Welcome to my diary, my journey, as I tripped and crawled through the darkest time in my life- when I witnessed people that I held incredibly close to me shatter my very existence with their words and actions. The things within this book spine are extremely raw and exceptionally real.
You and I are going to get very close, the details in this book, although oddly general, are incredibly specific. Yes, I realize what I just said and as you read my words you will see what I mean. As you silently gasp and mentally bitch slap me, please be kind because my story is just that – my story. It is not any more or less special than yours. In fact the only difference between our stories are the choices we made at each of the crossroads in our lives.
For most of my life the choices I made were not based on my happiness but on everyone else’s. This book describes what I have experienced in my journey to finding my happiness and hopefully never letting it go. Sadly, it took me thirty six years to find the strength I need to detoxify my life and self view and find someone who is worthy of my awesomeness. Thirty six years to shatter the negative foundation I had built shatter the ultimate representative I created to hide behind and begin the process of building a new foundation. Only this foundation will be built on strength, confidence and above all, happiness.
So take a minute or thirty and sit with my story for a while. You never know what you might find out.
I AM NOT BROKEN
Ok fine, perhaps you are perfect. Then, please, continue to live in your castle built on perfect choices as you read about my imperfections. Just know, and I hate to be the one to do this to you, but I call complete BULLSHIT. You aren’t perfect, no one is. Did you pick up my book because unbeknownst to yourself, in your present moment, you would benefit from learning how to be a little more humble, gain a little more emotional intelligence? Maybe you will, just by reading about my journey. What is the saying, walk a mile in my shoes and all, right?
This idea of an unobtainable perfection is something we have drilled into our very DNA as a selfpreservation technique. If we are always striving for perfection than we don’t have to face our failures and shortcomings because they are not our fault they are just a step towardss becoming perfect. It also instills a permanent sense of failure in each and every one of us from the very beginning of our lives. As long as you are breathing there is opportunity for growth, a chance to challenge yourself and reflect on your past choices so you can make better ones going forward. It is very hard to do, but we must learn to be happy in our present moment before we can look towards the future.
Read this next statement closely and with undivided attention: You can’t be anything other than you and the you in your present moment is just who you are supposed to be. Who are you really envious of? Who has the perfect life you wish you had? Think about the answer and then go take a long look in the mirror. The person looking back at you is all you’ve got and no amount of wishing, hoping or fairy dust will change that. Do not despair, don’t you see how this is a good thing? It means you hold all of the power, you are in control. Decide if your present moment is filled with things that make you happy. If not, wellthen find strength in that realization and begin to take steps to change it.
Just One Little Thing…
Be real with yourself ,promise to give me just that one little thing. I am going to be really open and honest in the pages to come and I hope you can be nothing but the same in return. After all, we are now partners on this journey ,sTake a break from reading this book at times on purpose. I know, right? I am discouraging you from finding immediate gratification by plowing through this book in one sitting. Rather, I encourage you to let both the good and bad parts sit with you for a moment or a few moments and see how they make you feel. How do they make you reflect on the choices you have made in your past?
As you are sitting with your feelings, seeing how my words make you react, ttry and do it without judgement or immediately attempting to fix or change whatever you may be feeling. It will seem almost impossible but it is doable, I promise. Are you starting to recognize that you are simply reacting to your past? Recognize that all this feeling can provide you with is the knowledge and strength you need to make the choice you truly desire at your next crossroads. No matter how uncomfortable it gets, begin to learn what it’s like to be with your whole self without trying to hide any pieces. It’s only you that’s here, no one else knows what you are thinking while reading this and if you are that concerned about big brother, throw a metal colander over your head and call it a day!
If you can begin to accept who you are it makes it easier for others to begin do the same. We may spend our whole lives denying this next statement, but it is an absolute truth. No matter how much we try and fight it, we are all a products of our upbringing and the choices we have made at each of the crossroads in our lives. For me, sharing my story through this book, and hopefully for you reading this book, was a major decision that was made at the crossroads of whether to continue to hurt or to begin to heal. Can you guess what my decision was? Clearly, if I willingly invite you, a stranger who at the moment does not know all of my secrets, into the darkest parts of who I am and what I experienced, then I am choosing to heal. If I had chosen to continue to hurt I would be stuffing my face with another cookie, nagging M1 or wishing I was anywhere, but my current life.
Step One of the Journey
I went through a myriad of reactions as my ultimate representative began to crumble and the real me that I had kept hidden started to force itself to the surface. It was as if my best friend was dying and I had to figure out a way to deal with it. Notice I say reactions because the only words that can accurately describe my thoughts in that moment were verbs – anger, depression, mania (yes, once I realized my world has been made up of choices based on other peoples happiness I went a little cra cra) and finally ,acceptance. Those verbs influenced my feelings and actions which in turnwill influence my choices at the crossroads I will encounter in my future. The most recent choice that I have made completely based on my own happiness, my choice to share this story, is a huge step in my journey to heal. This is only the first of many choices and crossroads I will come to during this healing portion of my life. The difference is, it doesn’t scare me anymore, because now I have a plan, an actual course of action. I am no longer just existing trying to convince myself that this is how it has to be. Although I have had these awesome steps forward, I am only human. On occasion, still trying to fight this changeing and my dream to build my business wBut it’s in those times tI remember just , that one chancewill be
In case you didn’t realize this first chapter is ANALOGOUS to our, meaning yours and my, first date! It’s my chance to show you that I although my words might force you to feel things, it’s only the foreplay in our dance, the first time you are tasting my long, hard tale if you will. I hope I am giving you enough to peak your interest,, I always want my readers to stay satisfied. I do not want to be the acnefaced, sweatypalmed fifteenyearold virgin boy of your memories that blows his load too quickly. No, I want to be the Christian Grey of your fantasies so that you understand how passionately I want you to experience satisfaction and contentment from my words.
My Ultimate Hope
I want the blood, sweat, tears and effort I spent weaving this tapestry of words together for your eager eyes enjoyed however hard or soft, fast or slow, vanilla or kinky as you desire just so long as you promise you walk away satisfied. For real, promise me, right now, no kidding. Repeat after me, “I promise to read this book with my emotional walls down and my thoughts honest, without judgement for myself. And no matter what, even if I think this book is the worst piece of shit writing ever to be called writing, like worse than the thirdGrey book, I will find some way to get pleasure from it. I will make sure that I have been satisfied, I mean I already spent the energy and money to obtain it.”
Be Serious Now!
Alright already! Enough with the undying promises to get pleasure from my book! You are going to make me blush. I know that all the people who read my words and become part of my journey will have infinite amounts of compassion and will support each step. I am already getting and hopefully will continue to get satisfaction from this book. Partly as I sit on my couch in your past, my present, with my threelegged kitty in my lap because no matter how many (amazing! and totally original) jokes I may have peppered throughout this book, it’s still a raw, sad, painful critical step in my journey. I will also get satisfaction in knowing that you might allow yourself to glimpse at your darker, broken pieces without judgement or at least begin to acknowledge that they exist.
Perhaps I will be lucky enough to have you begin to heal and that is the reason this book, my particular story, called out to you. And maybe, just maybe, if the stars align and the heavens decide to smile upon me, I’ll be lucky enough to be the reason that your glimpses at your inner self become long hard stares at who you are. Who knows, those stares could turn into honest selfreflection and the beginning of your own journey to discovering your true self. Well golly gee, if that were to happen it would be the cherry on top of my happy sundae.
What the SHIT?!
I was rereading and editing that last section and a jarring thought occurred to me. Could it be, that a part of my ultimate representative that I so strongly identify with, something I already started to show in my writing, my humor, is nothing more than part of the defense mechanism I chose to perfect and use as the armor I hid behind?! Huh, I literally (and I’m using the term in the correct context this time) came to that realization as I was typing it. Crazy…I’ll be right back…I need to talk to the Harlequin Hitter for a moment, but please, you should proceed with your reading. Although, if you have been waiting for a good place to pause to get a snack, pee or catch up on life (since short of a nuclear attack as soon as you opened up my pages the rest of the world clearly fell away from your attention) now would be a good time. I am listening to my own advice from before and pausing in my writing so that I can sit with this new feeling. Humor is a choice I made, but was it a choice that I used only as a shield to protect the world from my darkness? or is it truly a part of who I am, who I want to continue to be?
You can find Your crossroads. Your choice. on Goodreads
You can buy Your crossroads. Your choice. here:
About the Author:
Welcome to my real, crazy, emotional, probably too honest journey. I am an everyday girl in this everyday world trying to keep my head above water and within the pages of this book you will learn about the things that have broken me down and the steps I am taking to build back up.
You will see, my new friends, that this story is written in a unique, general, conversational voice, which was my choice. I want you to be able to picture yourself in my shoes, relate my trials and tribulations to yours and see that you too can find your happiness. Even if you don’t realize this yet, every single one of us possesses things inside of ourselves that we didn’t know were there.
It took my life taking a crazy right turn and dumping me at the lowest possible point before I could see the strength within myself. We are not defined by what we do, we are defined by the choices we make.
I decided when I put pen to paper that I want my choices to start defining me as strong, confident, secure and above all else, happy. So, who am I? How about I tell you who I was – a self loathing shell of myself who put everyone else’s happiness before my own. Herein lies my story to find that happiness and all of the ups and downs along the way. See who I was and who I am trying to become and maybe, somewhere in there, you will find out a little about yourself too.
You can find and contact EJ Apicello here: