Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ Your Crossroads. Your Choice by EJ Apicello

Sticks & Stones Can Break Your Bones but Words Can Damn Near Kill Me

If someone asked me what I would rather have happen – a solid punch to the gut or a glimpse into the mind of someone who was judging me, I would gladly accept the punch to the gut. Physical pain can be handled and forgotten but the emotional pain that comes from hearing negative words, even from a stranger, is devastating and long lasting. The bruise to your psyche you experience from some well positioned hate words will last well beyond any physical bruise you receive. Did you ever notice, that our brains have a funny way of cycling these negative words on a never ending hamster wheel within our minds, often keeping them just below the surface until you least expect it. Words have the ability to cut a person, deeply. The hardest thing about these cuts is that they are invisible to the naked eye, because cuts made by words do not show  to the outside world, they settle somewhere else. They settle on your confidence, make their home on your happiness and eat away at your ability to believe in yourself.

All of those hamster wheels of negativity are spinning at warp speed in my mind right now. This is my very first blog post. Ever. Which means I am currently thinking of a thousand reasons why I may fail at this new venture. What I am beginning to realize however, is that among all the negative “what ifs” there is one positive “I can” that I am latching onto with all of my might. Life’s a bumpy, chaotic road that none of us have a map to. When you think about it, we are all in this together trying to stumble through with our best foot forwards most of the time but at the end of the day, no one, not even the most powerful person on this chunk of space rock, has any idea what the future holds! Really puts your problems into perspective doesn’t it my friends? I am trying to grow personally and professionally everyday, to surround myself with people who believe in the same positive message that I am trying to pass on – that you and you alone have control over the choices you make at each of the crossroads you come to in life. You can choose to move forwards and pursue your happiness, or stay static choosing the happiness of others over your own. Sounds like a pretty common sense message doesn’t it? You see, I believe that the things that happen to us are not what make us special, they do not define who we are. Instead, it is the choices we make at each of our crossroads and how we choose to handle what life throws at us that defines who we are. Everyone has gone through something terrible in their lives and trying to compare your awful to theirs is a defeating exercise that will only result in hurt egos and feelings. We need to come together and realize that we are all stumbling through this playbook called life as blindly as our neighbors and could probably use a little help along the way.

My life has been dedicated to believing that I had to have the answer to everything, know how every scenario was going to play out. I spent my life putting others happiness before my own to the point that I created an image of myself that I put on display to everyone while simultaneously burying my real true self. This was so self destructive that I was causing a critical piece of who I was to slowly die and I didn’t even realize it. I chose things at the crossroads of my life that made the people around me, my family and friends, happy. Why you ask? Perhaps you should turn that question around on yourself my friends. Have you ever put someone else’s happiness before your own? If so, why? What was the reason for putting your choices on the back burner and allowing someone else to decide your path down that crossroads? Take a moment and comment below. Tell me your story, share the decisions you have made at your crossroads. Who knows, maybe you will see a new direction, a new road, that you never knew existed that just might be the path you were meant to walk on.

Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc. (April 28, 2017)
Genre: Self Help
ISBN-10: 1635689023
ISBN-13: 978-1635689020
Buy: Amazon, IndieBound, The Book Depository

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.

Welcome to EJ’s real, crazy, emotional, probably too honest journey. She is an everyday girl in this everyday world trying to keep her head above water. Within the pages of this book you will learn about the things that have broken EJ down and the steps she is taking to build back up. You will see, that this story is written in a unique, general, conversational voice, which was her choice. She wants you to be able to picture yourself in her shoes, relate her 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 EJ’s life taking a crazy right turn and dumping her at the lowest possible point before she could see the strength within herself. We are not defined by what we do, we are defined by the choices we make. EJ decided when she put pen to paper that she wanted her choices to start defining her as strong, confident, secure and above all else, happy. So, who am EJ? How about who she was – a self-loathing shell who put everyone else’s happiness before her own. Herein lies a story about finding that happiness and all of the ups and downs along the way. See who EJ was and who she is trying to become and maybe, somewhere in there, you will find out a little about yourself too.

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Excerpt ~

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 bud-ding 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.

Tour Schedule

Monday, July 3

Guest Blogging at Dear Reader Love Author

Wednesday, July 5

Interview at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Thursday, July 6

Book Featured at I’m Shelf-ish

Friday, July 7

Interview at The Writer’s Life

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Monday, July 10

Book Featured at Book Cover Junkie

Tuesday, July 11

Interview at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Book Featured at Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!

Wednesday, July 12

Book Featured at Write and Take Flight

Thursday, July 13

Book Featured at My Book Launch

Friday, July 14

Book Featured at What Is That Book About

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Monday, July 17

Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Tuesday, July 18

Interview at Book Bloggin’ Princess

Wednesday, July 19

Book Featured at Nuttin’ But Books

Thursday, July 20

Interview at The Literary Nook

Friday, July 21

Interview at T’s Stuff

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Monday, July 24

Interview at Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, July 25

Book Review at My Life. One Story at a Time.

Wednesday, July 26

Book Featured at A Title Wave

Thursday, July 27

Interview at SheWrites

Friday, July 28

Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

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