Today, my private life and many of my deepest secrets—secrets which I have worked so hard to cover up for so long—are being released to the world in a book.
A book written by my own pen…my memoir, Meet Me in Paris.
About the book:
What does a romance novelist do when she loses her own happily ever after? Take a lover and travel to Paris, obviously. Or at least this is what Juliette Sobanet did upon making the bold, heart-wrenching decision to divorce the man she had loved since she was a teenager. This is the story of the passionate love affair that ensued during the most devastating year of Sobanet’s life and how her star-crossed romance in the City of Light led to her undoing. Meet Me in Paris is a raw, powerful take on divorce and the daring choices that followed such a monumental loss from the pen of a writer who’d always believed in happy endings…and who ultimately found the courage to write her own.
Writing the story of my divorce, my affair, and everything I’ve learned and experienced along the way has forced me to face my ultimate fear of telling the truth. I sent emails and made phone calls before the book release to let the most important people in my life know that I have written a true story that they are in, and to tell them the pieces of the story I had previously hidden from them.
I finally, finally told the truth to the people who most deserved to hear it.
One of those people was, of course, my former husband.
In an email to him, I wrote,
There is a lot to my truth—it’s messy and difficult and not what many people will expect, but it’s me. In writing this book, I realized that I have to love myself for all of it—the mistakes, the mess, the depression, and all of the love that I’ve given and received along the way.
When we spoke, instead of the horrified reaction I was expecting, my truth was met with kindness, compassion, and understanding. My truth was met with love.
And I feel like I can breathe now.
I realized I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by hiding the truth. The people I have been blessed to love in this life are much stronger than I realized. They could handle what I had to tell them.
I was the one who couldn’t handle my truth…or at least I believed I couldn’t.
There is astounding power in truth. Yes, it may hurt. Yes, you may bleed because of it. And others might bleed too. There will most certainly be tears.
But it is ultimately the fear of facing the truth, the fear of telling the truth, and the fear of living our truth that is the most harmful to us.
It is our fear that will kill us. Not our truth.
As for all of that hard-to-face truth, I will let my memoir speak for herself, and instead, I will leave you with a poem I wrote recently while listening to the song “Near Light” by Olafur Arnalds. If you like to have music to go with your words, play the tune on Spotify while you read and perhaps, allow yourself to be inspired to tell the truth to those who most matter in your life, or most importantly, to yourself.
Near the Light
Near the light she stood
Where grace had no name
She called out for it nonetheless
But just out of her reach
It sparkled, shined, bled
In her hands
Near the light she wept
Where love had once lived
She called out to him
But he didn’t come
He loved, pierced, killed
Near the light she danced
Where glory used to shine
She called out to her lost inspiration
But beyond her pointed toes
It swirled, twirled, slipped
Through her grasp
Near the light she loved
Where she once gave everything
She called out to all she had lost
Come back, Come back, Come back
But in the darkness
Of her broken heart
Near the light she nearly died
Where she once stood, wept, danced, loved
She had no voice left to call out
But just before her last breath
A whisper kissed her lips
It was truth
In that moment
Grace, glory, inspiration, and love
Breathed peace into her soul
We were here all along, they said
All you had to do
Into the light
Her eyes opened
And she saw
Where there had been none
Full, unending, new
In the light
Of her truth