Our lives get touched by others and the world all the time. But this post is about when something or someone touches us in a particularly significant way. And thereby helps us on our path to our purpose, or becoming more fully ourselves.
It’s also the story of such a special moment happening to me when I was 11 years old… And of a circle closing (or re-opening?) over 30 years later. I hope it may inspire your own journey!
A gift from a famous person
When I was in primary school, well-known Swiss youth writer Federica de Cesco came to visit our school in Volketswil, Switzerland, and gave a talk.
She is a truly inspiring woman, who wrote her first book when she was only 15 years old. It got published to great success. And she has since gone on to write over 70 more books, for both young people and adults. She’s turned 80 (in 2018), and is still writing.
I cannot remember exactly, but I think I must have gathered all my courage and gone to speak to her after her talk – probably about the stories that I was writing myself. Because for Christmas after her visit, she sent me one of her books – Manolo.
It had a really lovely dedication on its first page, written in a beautiful hand:
“For Monica, who also wants to be a writer.
Wishing you much luck from the bottom of my heart,
Federica de Cesco.”
And underneath was a lovely drawing of a horse.
That book meant the world to me – I have kept it to this day, as you can see from the photos on the side here!
It blew my mind that a successful writer could be moved (and even bothered) to send a signed book to a little girl she’d only met once… I was so chuffed to receive such a gift!
With it, Federica touched my life in a special way: She believed, validated and encouraged my childhood aspiration to be a writer. Maybe she did even more than that: She gave me the aspiration to be a writer, by her role-model. By showing me what was possible.
A writer without a book
Then life happened, with its meanders, its surprises, its pressures, its decisions. And somehow, my childhood story ideas disappeared. And although I have always written extensively – diaries, letters, academic papers, presentations, reports, short stories, novel and screenplay attempts, poems – I never managed to actually finish a book.
Somehow, I couldn’t quite find my subject matter, and so I remained a writer without a book – for three-and-a-half decades after Federica de Cesco’s gift! 🙂
And, if truth be told, I wasn’t really looking for my book anymore.
But then, surprisingly…
My book found me
When I was put in touch with publisher Joanne Henson, who was looking for an author. On a subject matter that I could never have imagined when I was in primary school, nor later on. On a topic that I was now perfectly able to write about, because the three-and-a-half-decades after meeting Federica de Cesco had led me to be a life coach.
From there, all fell into place really quickly: My book almost wrote itself, just poured out of me in two short months, and got published in two more. And a few weeks ago, we celebrated its launch with a party in a Central London bookstore.
Now, my book is not an earth-shattering new novel. Nor a revolutionary biography. Nor a bestselling international self-help book. (Although we’ll see about that last point, as I’ve been mailing it out to readers all over the world, and it’s doing well on Amazon, too. 🙂 )
I am not the celebrated new voice of the literary circuit.
And you know what? That’s ok.
Because I am a voice. My voice. And this is my book. A book that came out of me and my life experience. With stories that are not fictional, but real stories about real people, and their longing, struggling and succeeding in living a life they love.
And I hope that with it, I can in turn touch those who need to hear its messages today, so they can be inspired and take courage from it.
A beautiful closing of a circle, isn’t it?
Being touched, fulfilling one’s path, and touching others. And perhaps it’s not just a closure, but also the beginning of an entirely new journey for me, too – who knows?
Who or what has touched your life?
A very good friend of mine says that we get touched all the time in our life – by friends, family, people we work and come into contact with. By something we read somewhere. By someone’s gesture. By experiences. By the beauty – or the suffering – in the world. By tiny things – or huge ones.
She’s right, of course.
Still, I want to invite you to reflect on your own life, and remember someone or something that has touched you in a particularly significant way:
Perhaps they have helped you get on your path. Or stay on your path. Learn more about yourself and what you are here to do. Maybe their influence clarified your direction in life. And helped you find your voice and become more fully you.
Who or what was it that touched your life, thus helping you along on this most essential part of your human journey into becoming you?
And once you’ve got your answer to this – how does that make you feel?
Over to you now…
Feel like sharing this with me? Do. I’d love to read about your experience, so please leave your comment below!