Q: Why did you decide to write this memoir?
A: This book was birthed during the pandemic. During an event that was universally traumatizing to everyone, I felt compelled to share how life has taught me to view times like these as full of growth and opportunity.
Life’s traumas act as fertilizer. It is from them that we find the wisdom, lessons, and character traits that we need to grow and bloom into our greatness.
I believe that people learn from stories. It is my hope that people will be able to use my life experiences as a roadmap on how to overcome adversity, repurpose it, and use it to propel them through life.
Q: You describe very traumatic experiences in the book--what impact did writing the book have on you?
A: They say not to write about something traumatic until you have “done the work” already.
While writing about these experiences forced me to relive them, it also helped me to further process them. The more I write and talk about them, the greater the distance I have from that painful moment. I stop living in it and progress beyond it.
It’s only when we don’t talk or write about our traumatic experiences that they own us. Once we begin to talk, write, and share our traumatic experiences, we take ownership of them. We get to determine the story that we tell ourselves about them and repurpose them into moments that serve us now.
Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?
A: Someone asked me what the book was about, and I responded in elevator-pitch style form: “It’s about finding gifts in shit.”
I knew I wanted to write a book about finding the growth, opportunities, lessons, character traits, and wisdom, from the traumas, difficulties, and adversities – the “shit” that life throws us.
I soon realized that “shit” was a double entendre for fertilizer – that in fact we need the “shit” in to grow and bloom into our greatness. I’ve always referred to myself as a late bloomer. I had to get through the shit and collect the fertilizer to bloom.
At 54, I’m just now beginning to bloom. I want people to know that it’s never too late to bloom.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from the book?
A: I hope that the readers find a roadmap on how to overcome obstacles, shift their mindset, and take the things that were done to them and repurpose those events into things that serve them now.
I hope that they will realize that they are lovable simply by being without doing anything.
I hope that they will learn to recognize narcissistic behavior, set boundaries, and surround themselves with people who support them.
I hope that they will abandon trying so hard to fit in and instead embrace their uniqueness.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: As a member of the Forbes Human Resources Council, I’m working on articles for Forbes magazine, and busy launching my foundation, Blooming Foundation, which is focused on helping the disadvantaged, empowering women, and lifting up single moms. http://Blooming-Foundation.com
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Blooming can be found on Amazon and is now available in Audiobook format! For more information on me or the book, go to http://carrington-smith.com.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb