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  • JillianForsberg

JMB Living Journal: WORTHY

In the mail yesterday, there was a caramel-colored package hand-addressed to me in beautiful cursive. I thought I knew what it was and escaped to my back bedroom to open it.

I was right - it was the JMB Living WORTHY: A Radical Self-Love Journal. And I flipped to the middle, where my face in full color stared back at me. I take up an entire page.

A few months ago, JMB Living contacted me about my poem (really, it began as a caption on an Instagram post), asking if they could include it. I said yes, and squealed a little.

The post was important to me. The inclusion in this amazing publication feels like coming full circle.

A little back story...

I'm not a typical 35 year old.

I've been going gray since I was 16.

I have constellations of blooming freckles, everywhere.

I don't dress in this century's fashions, most of the time. I prefer vintage, heirlooms passed down from my mother and grandmother, and treasures I find thrifting or second-hand.

I'm a symphony. The graying hair of an elder, the freckles of a child, the style of yesteryear. Those things make me ME!

Here's the post, and the poem below:

My hair would be stick straight with no gray.

My clothes would be brand new and just like everyone else’s.

My freckles would be lasered off.

My life would be utterly different if I’d have listened.

Instead, I didn’t. And said fck traditional beauty standards.

Give me my graying wild mane.

Give me closet of decades-old clothing.

Give me my freckles.

I’m me, and I wanna shout til everyone is themselves, too. Embrace your weird. You’re the only flavor of it.

The photo they included of me shows these things. (Photo Cred to PAKC Solutions) My wild, graying hair, my freckles, a pink beaded gown. And the name of the journal is WORTHY. (They did edit out the almost curse word...good for them, they know their audience!)

Why does this resonate with me right now? Because I'm querying this novel of mine, a piece of my heart that I desperately want to share with the world. And as many querying authors know, Waiting becomes a character itself in this narrative. To the non-author, this means I'm trying to find a literary agent to sell my book to a publisher.

"Waiting" is a heavy beast that sits on my shoulders, making me wonder if today will be the day, every day. Will I hear from the agents who have my manuscript today? Will my heart beat wildly when I open my inbox? Will I be presented with silence instead? "Waiting" taps on my forehead, taps on my heart, makes my hands grow sweaty. "Waiting" isn't a pleasant character, but I can't edit them out.

Eventually, I tell myself, I will know. It's a 50/50 shot right now - either the agents with my manuscript ask me for a phone call, or they don't. It's gut wrenching to think about. And really, really exciting.

So being included in this journal called WORTHY - well, it makes me pause. I am worthy! I am worthy of this publication, and worthy of inclusion. I am worthy of full requests for my manuscript. I am worthy of an agent! I am allowed to feel beautiful and talented and call myself an author.

A year ago, getting this piece of mail would have been exhilarating! Yesterday, it was not the news I wanted to hear. So I masked my emotions around it. Then I thought about it, read my poem again, printed on paper in my hands, and thought: WHAT A JOY! I am a contributor for a publication that encourages people to find their inner worth, practice self love, and experience their own unique soul-searching journeys. Perhaps, I realized, this is valuable to me as well. And I began journaling immediately.

I'm in this publication forever. And people will see my graying mane and wild freckles and maybe appreciate the little things about themselves, too. So, my reach has extended. Fingertips to the world of women who need to find worth.

I feel it, too. Worthy of this, happy to be included, and embracing all of the good news that's already landed in my lap and manifesting more to come my way. Life is good, everyone, even with a thing like "Waiting" on my shoulders. I'm happy to be here today.

To purchase your own copy of WORTHY, click HERE. It's an undated, 3-month workbook, and it's affordable and appropriate for everyone! This will send you to a Kickstarter page - click Rewards to see how to order.

To see my original Instagram post, click HERE. (Give me a follow while you're there - you'll get cats, writing, outfits, and more!)

Stay tuned for updates, soon. I hope I have more good news to share this summer!

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