Sunday, July 16, 2017

Your Crossroads. Your Choice by EJ Apicello - Book Tour



Non Fiction / Self-Help
Date Published: June 2017 
Publisher: Page Publishing

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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.

Excerpt
Quasi Logic Behind Totally Illogical Thoughts
I challenge anyone to argue with the following oh so utterly
simplistic, almost ridiculously too easy to be real, truth. Here it is,
people, be ready for your mind to be blown! Every choice has an opposite
choice. And these choices come at a crossroads. A crossroads you
are in control of. So go ahead, try and come up with a reason to
argue that what I speak isn’t the absolute truth. I’ll wait. Come back
when you realize you can’t think of a single one. Please don’t get
me wrong, it’s not that I enjoy being right; I just know it’s hard to
argue with such an insanely logical and straightforward truth. You
see my readers, my new friends, it will hurt less if you accept this to
be so. Everything in our world has two opposing choices, and these
choices sit at our own personal crossroads, forcing us to embrace
either the right or the wrong, the easy or the hard, the light or the
dark. Throughout this book, you will see how I am working through
this arduous journey with you by my side, priding myself on being
a woman of logic and facts, but let’s be clear: I also believe in Santa,
the Tooth Fairy, and unicorns!
What can I say, it gives me intense pleasure to know that while
you read this book you are going to be kept on the edge of your seat!
There will be sexy steamy bits, utterly hopeless bits, raw emotional
bits, hilariously funny bits, and pathetic whiny bits. But I promise,
if you stick with me, at the end of it all, there will be mostly strong,
empowered, utterly-confident bits. But who knows, right? 

This is honestly an introduction to my journey of self-discovery not directed
simply at you but at me as well. Welcome aboard my crazy train, I
hope you enjoy the ride!
Please recognize that as you stumble through my jumbled musings
and scattered thoughts that where I sit typing this, even on the
last of the last of the last rewrites, I am starting at the same place in
my journey as you are right at this very moment. The beginning, and
I’m not sure what will happen at the end. This thought makes me
both nervous and excited. Is my life going to stay the same, or will it
take a completely different path, one that is still unbeknownst even
to me? What a novel idea (wink, wink) that you will be right there to
experience my holy shit moments as I experience them.
“Talking” to you like this is going to force me to have thoughts,
feelings, and emotions that I haven’t allowed myself to experience
before. This will be like breaking through the fourth wall just like
they did during the movie Deadpool, which, by the way, is the best
movie I have ever seen. It was like the movie was talking to my soul! I
digress, though, and I must get back to focusing on the introduction,
for this is my welcome to you, as if you were right here with me urging
me on, especially when I feel like I can’t go any further.
I will admit this: I am being slightly selfish, I’m using you for
some personal gain. Why would I admit this upfront? Well, because
I think it’s important to be honest with myself and you, my new
confidants, so that we have a clear understanding of what is to come.
Be honest with yourselves too, you picked up this book for a reason.
There is something you are hoping to gain from reading through my
journey, sharing my experiences, and being able to reflect on them
as if they were your own. Which is exactly what I would like you to
do by the way. Put yourself into my shoes through my words. I purposely
kept this book very generic, partially because I am trying to
fly under the radar until I am so famous it doesn’t matter anymore,
and partially because I want you to use this book as a sounding board
for your own emotions, thoughts, and feelings. And please remember
that is a good thing; it is one of the two biggest reasons that I wrote
all of this nonsense down and worked so hard to get it into your
hands, your consciousness, your world.

I am going to introduce you to the many faces that I wear, or
should I say wore, throughout most of my life. You will also be here
to discover the parts of the new me that I am in the process of piecing
together. With that being said, it is imperative this early in our budding
relationship, that I share with you the vast clarity I have found
while writing this novel and you see the clarity of your choice while
reading it. It took me up until the moment the first letter was placed
on the page, over thirty-six years, to realize that in spite of the very
logical, black-and-white way of processing things that I so absolutely
rely on, it is time I accepted that I too am layered in shades of gray,
just like everyone else. 


OK, Maybe Only Two Shades of Gray
I have always had two opposing...shades, for lack of a better
term...inside of me and I thought that my attempt at trying to balance
them was working. And by balancing, I mean smothering one
side so that the other was the only one seen by the world. I didn’t
realize the amount of work, stress, anxiety, and effort that I was
wasting on stuffing down everything that actually was, for better or
worse, part of my true self. I chose early on to place the pleasure and
happiness of everyone else above my own, and it was killing me.
Sit and think about this for a moment. I spent my life putting
others happiness over mine. Go ahead, you can put the book down,
I’ll wait for you to come back when you realize how ridiculous that
was. Put yourself into your past and go through the decisions you
have made, the experiences you have had at each of your own crossroads.
Did you put your happiness or the happiness of others first
when you made your decisions? If your happiness was secondary,
why? What reason did you sell yourself that sounded like it made
sense at the time? You will notice several underlying themes throughout
my story and keeping your happiness as the priority above all
else is one of the most important. The weight of the entire world
on your shoulders is crushing and thinking you can carry it alone
is ridiculously unrealistic. As one person, we cannot be expected to
fix everything and even more importantly we cannot be expected to

follow every rule, to always be perfect. It is not possible, and if that
is your number one goal in life, well then you are basically living a
lesson in futility. Case in point, me. I spent my life being concerned
with not bucking the system, trying not to push the envelope because
although it is something that I seem to be naturally attuned to do
despite how hard I tried to fight it, going against the flow takes confidence
in your own opinions. I lacked this confidence, which is why
I repressed that urge to push the envelope even though I always had
that innate desire to walk the line.
In retrospect, it would have been much easier to use all of my
energy to will myself to become a wallflower or doormat letting people
walk all over me, allowing everyone else to decide what makes me
happy rather than letting myself decide. The problem was, however
hard I tried to be a wallflower, to only be the color beige, I found
that it was incredibly boring! I still had my own opinions and knew
what I wanted, but it all boiled down to a lack of confidence. I had
no confidence in myself and therefore believed that my opinions and
choices were automatically wrong. It took me until now, and I still
falter, but I am starting to realize that each and every one of us is traveling
this path together towards the same unknown. There is not one
single person on this earth who knows what is going to happen in
the future, or who knows every right decision that is to be made, yet
I was wasting my time worrying that the person should be me. There
is not one person on this earth who is perfect and has all the answers,
yet I spent the better portion of my first thirty years believing that I
had to be that person. If a mistake was made or something was too
unknown for me to prepare for, it was unacceptable. 

Living this way was exhausting and self-destructive, and the process of writing my
journey down, sharing it with you, is my salvation. A tool I am using
to step out of my comfort zone and become the person that I want to
be, the person that will make me happy.
You see, in each situation or stage in my life, in order to keep
the people around me happy, I morphed into whoever I needed to be
to make them their happiest. For my mom, I was the daughter who
stayed home and watched TV with her instead of having a social life
because that was the version of myself that made her happy. 

This was despite the fact that throughout my childhood I experienced some
pretty heinous things like when I broke my arm as a young child. I
was five years old and fell off the jungle gym at a neighbor’s house.
Despite my screams of pain and tears, my mom didn’t quite believe
I had done any permanent damage. To test this theory, she put my
favorite candy, plain M&M’s, in my good hand and told me that if I
wanted to have some I would have to get them with my broken arm.
Of course I could not complete this task, which is when my mom
knew that I was not faking this injury and took me to the doctor. I
came home about five hours later with a cast on my broken forearm.
I knew that growing up my mom had an issue with her weight
so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I recently found a card from
her that said “Good luck – I know you can lose those forty pounds!”
Let me inform everyone who is wondering why this might be wrong,
I was only thirteen when I received said card and not overweight.
For my best friend, it was being her yes girl, always allowing her to
be right no matter how awful her decisions were. When shit went
south as it always did, the yes girl had to turn into the clean-up
girl. Why did I chameleon myself for all of these different people?
Because that was the versions of me that ensured their happiness and
I wholeheartedly thought that if I could make them happy, then I
would somehow find my happiness. Later in life, and basically until
my current present, for my ex-husband, the version of myself I have
had to keep up at all times has been being somewhat of a doormat,
somewhat of his mother, agreeing with his views on family, children,
and who we are as individuals and partners and parents because that
is what ensured his happiness. His vision is to die in the house we had
bought together basically nailing down the next and final chapter of
our lives, which is indeed, death. FYI, from this point forward, I will
be referring to my ex-husband as M1. Why you ask? Well, I have two
people in my life, one representing my darkness and one representing
my light who ironically share the same name. 

To keep things clear but still ambiguous, I am calling the one who represents my darkness,
my ex-husband, M1 and my new light M2.

 

Who Invited the Martyr?
Put the “How To” on quick and easy torture curses back on the
shelf, because I feel that you should let me continue my explanation
of the journey I am on before you begin to place judgement. Believe
me when I say that I very much know that M1 has some (I guess)
positive qualities, but as you will learn throughout this story, we are
all products of our past. I fear, that however M1 claims to want to
stop the cycle of darkness from his past and filter the things his parents
did, it seems he is unable to. It is not surprising that I gravitated
toward a safe, routine, normal guy like him to continue to fulfill the
expectations of my family. It was a desperate attempt on my part to
keep up the useless effort I was expending to gain their acceptance
and through that, I expected, my happiness.
Alas, as much as it would help the explanation of my journey,
I do not have the right to tell you anyone’s story but my own. I will
give you a little taste of a mile in his shoes however, and leave you
with another almost painfully obvious statement regarding his journey:
The choices made at each of his crossroads, good or bad, right or
wrong, caused him to be who he is. As it just so happens, as my journey
and evolution continue, I am seeing that I can no longer view him
through the tinted lenses I relied on to cloud my vision when I gave
him my ultimate representative (don’t worry, explanation to follow).
It never occurred to me that the endless insane cycle of arguments we
had surrounding my behaviors were simply precursors to the earthquake
that would permanently alter the landscape of my life and our
marriage.


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, 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.


Contact Links

Twitter: @ejapicello
Instagram: @ejapicello

Purchase Links



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