Perhaps you never noticed.

In some ways I hope you did.

In other ways, I hope you didn’t.

But I’ve been stuck. Yes, stuck.

It’s certainly not been from lack of effort. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down at my computer these past months, intent on writing something. Anything. And each of those times I’ve come away with nothing. Quite literally, nothing. Not even a sentence much less a Word document that I could save in my folder entitled, “Book.”

And for months this voice inside my head has been whispering that I’m failing. I’m failing to write this memoir that I’m telling everyone I’m writing. I’m failing Sophia because by not writing her story, every day I forget more and more. I’m failing because my mom or Chris is watching the kids so I can sit at the coffee shop down the street and sip my large Americano uninterrupted and I come home with nothing. I’m failing because I’m not making the most of a horrible situation. I’m failing to learn “the lesson.”

But, a single question posed to me this morning was like finding a long-lost key to a lock stuck tight. “Prinna, what are you scared of?”

Some people might be afraid to admit that they have sought out the help of a coach. But I, for whatever reason, am not. I’ve had sports coaches certainly. I’ve had coaches in the form of mentors at work. So why would I not seek out the help of a coach to help me accomplish this goal of writing a book? So I did. And during my meeting with her this morning, she and I dug and dug and finally, my head poked out from the deep hole in which I stood and I held up a key. A key that feels like it unlocks the door I’ve been trying to get in for months now.

“Prinna, what are you scared of?”

To answer that question, I had to come to a realization about myself. I am a list maker.

I make lists galore, some mental and some physical. What’s on the list isn’t so important. What’s important is the feeling that I get, the “rush” or the “fix” you might call it, when I check something off the list, especially the last item. I literally or electronically crumple up my list and throw it into the trash. I feel lighter, successful, productive. You get it. I know there are more of you like me out there.

But how does this play into my coach’s question? “Prinna, what are you scared of?” And what I came away with was that I am scared that when I do write this book, when I hit the Print button and watch as hundreds of pages pour out of my printer, when I finally place that checkbox in front of “Write Book” on my list, that I won’t get that fix. I won’t feel that rush. I won’t feel lighter. I won’t be back to how I was before I had to write this book.

I will be left with my grief.

I will be left with the painful realization that I will hold this grief for the rest of my life. I can never check “grieve” off of my list. And that is truly terrifying to a list maker.

Luckily, coaches have a way of turning something terrifying into something empowering and energizing.

I’ve unlocked the door and now I stand in a dark room. Looking for a flashlight.

More to come…I promise.