Where Have I Been All My Life? is the quintessential read for recovering good girls everywhere. It is a compelling memoir recounting Cheryl Rice’s journey from grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness, to wholeness and true love.
Imagine losing your mother, who also happens to be your best friend, and being plunged into unprecedented sorrow. Imagine that in seeking solace you begin therapy only to find yourself falling desperately in love with your therapist. And then imagine a series of comical yet powerful happenings that spring forth and challenge your deeply held notions about love, longing and the meaning of home. Cheryl’s raw and poignant story will touch and inspire anyone who has been raised to be a pleaser: to rely on others for her sense of self-worth, and anyone who has used longing as a substitute for real love.
“Rice’s memoir, Where Have I Been All My Life? is an engaging, nourishing must-read for any woman who wants to love and accept herself more fully.”
— Marci Shimoff,
#1 NY Times bestselling author of Love for No Reason and Happy for No Reason
“In this smart and unafraid memoir, Rice brings us a modern, grown-up coming-of-age story that traverses the unexpected death of her beloved mother as a catalyst for the journey to self-love and wholeness. Where Have I Been All My Life? is an honest and inspiring look at the purposeful abandonment of striving for and maintaining the “perfect life” at all costs, and the often terrifying act of embracing an authentic, albeit imperfect, self. This book is full of heart and humor, poignant snapshots of struggles with grief and longing; this book is a triumph and a tribute to love in all its manifestations.”
— Sara Rauch,
Editor of Cactus Heart
“Told with grace and clarity, Where Have I Been All My Life? is an emotionally naked, beautifully moving, and ultimately uplifting memoir. Rice poetically depicts the all-encompassing darkness of grief and the bottomless love between a mother and daughter. You will relate to—and be stirred by Rice’s journey to forgive the past, speak the truth, and find new heights of self-worth.”
— Selena Rezvani,
award-winning columnist for The Washington Post and author of Pushback: How Smart Women Ask—And Stand Up—For What They Want
“Any woman raised on a diet of people-pleasing, and fairy-tale-believing will adore Rice’s memoir, Where Have I Been All My Life?”
— Caroline Adams Miller,
Author of Creating Your Best Life, My Name is Caroline, and Positively Caroline
“A very powerful, moving journey of a woman who eloquently bears her soul with extraordinary candor both as a child, mother, wife, and a successful career woman in a way that is truly inspirational.”
— Judith von Seldeneck,
Chairman and CEO Diversified Search
“If you’ve known for a long time that you need to open the door on the past in order to find your hopeful future, this book is for you. With tenderness, candor and unflinching honesty, Rice shows us how to examine our lives at those key moments when being in the dark is the only way to safely find our way home again. A perfect companion during times of transition, loss or self-discovery, Where Have I Been All My Life? offers a narrative of curiosity and courage that will inspire any woman at a crossroads, trying to make sense of her wild and precious life.”
— Jen Lemen,
co-founder of hopefulworld.org
“Rice’s memoir, Where Have I Been All My Life? is a beautifully written and courageous story told with grace, humor and grit. Anyone interested in living a life of authenticity and self-compassion will greatly benefit from reading this compelling book.”
— Mike Robbins,
author of Nothing Changes Until You Do
“Where Have I Been All My Life? vividly describes what is not often disclosed in books about grief—how losing one’s mother can cause a woman to question everything about her life and herself. In the journey that is this book, Rice confronts her longings for the unattainable, her compulsion to take care of everyone else – even her therapist — and inability to fully accept herself. From the very first page, I could relate. I know the longing and the self-loathing Rice writes of all too well. And I suspect many other women do too. With humor and grace, and through the process of crafting this poignant and humane book, Rice accepts loss, recognizes the impossibility of long-held fantasies, and is able to finally take in real love.
— Deborah A. Lott,
Author of In Session: the Bond between Women and Their Therapists & Don’t Go Crazy Without Me (a memoir)
“Rice’s book captures the essence of looking outside for affirmation, for approval, for acceptance. Her journey is a familiar one for women. Until we love ourselves, there is never enough. It’s an inside job, and her story will help other women tell their stories as well.”
— Marsha Clark,
Founder, Marsha Clark & Associates
“Cheryl Rice is a fantastic writer. I was completely engaged from page one. I love her work and you will too.”
— Nancy Slonim Aronie
Author, Writing From the Heart: Tapping the Power of Your Inner Voice
“Where Have I Been All My Life? is a powerfully compelling memoir. Any woman who aspires to be a leader in her own life will value this heartfelt book.”
— Sally Stetson,
Principal, Salveson Stetson Group
“In her moving memoir, Where Have I Been All My Life?, Rice offers a tender and generous voice to the personal struggles for worthiness; an issue that most professional women grapple with but few dare discuss.”
— Jennifer A. Chambers, MD MBA FACP
Chief Medical Officer Capital Blue Cross
“Where Have I Been All My Life? is a powerful memoir that is meaningful to anyone who has experienced the deep loss of a loved one. We are comforted and inspired by the author’s journey from grief to inner strength, love and wholeness.”
— Michele W. Daly
Executive Director, Women’s Resource Center
Where Have I Been All My Life? is a source of hope and courage for anyone willing to honestly look inside him or herself to discover a more fulfilling life. Rice bares it all to give us a model of what it takes to acknowledge the psychological complexes driving our behavior and forgive the parents who unknowingly planted them there.
— Michael Nagle
Owner, Michael Nagle Consulting Group
Cheryl’s compelling memoir recounts her journey from grief to wholeness.
Cheryl’s compelling memoir recounts her journey from grief to wholeness.
Much more than a book about loss
“I wish this book had been available when I was actively grieving the death of a loved one a few years ago. I read many memoirs about loss during that time, desperate for connection – and while some resonated with me, none touched me like this one. Reading Rice’s story was like speaking with a friend – she shares her experiences in such a warm and generous way that at times I found myself speaking back to her words on the page.
But this book is about much more than loss – it’s also about all the things we may find when we’re brave and vulnerable and authentic. As I read I cheered Rice on, I wept with her, and I laughed out loud many, many times. I am so grateful this book exists.”
A Blazingly Courageous Exploration
“Rice’s book is a blazingly courageous exploration of the art of being human. The vulnerability and generosity of heart with which she invites us into her journey is breathtaking. Westerners can tend to dilute and minimize the depth of grief that occurs when death arrives and suddenly we are left trying to figure out how to exist without a loved one’s presence on the planet. My connection to my own mother left me reeling from the enormity of the paradigm shift. It was like having to learn to walk again. Walking side by side with Rice as she navigates this terrain and ferociously learns to take a stand for herself enabled me to honor my own process and appreciation for the connection to the primordial Mother. May we continue to learn to love and mother ourselves with an appreciation and celebration of our imperfect perfection. I would love to see my niece come to love herself in this way without spending decades trying to figure it out. This memoir is a must read for women of all ages. I’m in deep gratitude for Rice’s courage to bare her soul so others may benefit.”
“I just finished Cheryl’s book….wow…..I can’t seem to get the words straight in my head. It is that rich and that thought provoking ….the easy read carries you through personal twists and turns with each chapter to the point that you are mad that your time on the stairmaster is up. I am stunned that she can look at what she went through with such depth and clarity….and such humor….and bravery to share all that she shared. I just can’t imagine (although I tried to imagine as I lived parallel with her through the book.) It is amazing how many of us get to this point in life and have no clue as to what is going on. Cheryl shows us HOW MUCH is going on and leaves me wanting to figure my life out with the same depth, honesty, and humor. There’s hope.”
“Cheryl Rice shares her journey, trying to figure out how to be in the world after her mother’s death. Rice is an elegant, witty writer, endearing as she shares her confusion, panic, and sense of inadequacy. She narrates, with compelling elegance, what it means to strip your psyche down and meet yourself as a unique being, not as the person your parents want – or need – you to be. Readers – daughters AND mothers – enjoy Where Have I Been All My Life! It is deeply satisfying.”
Something We All Can Relate To
“I’m so thankful that Cheryl Rice took this journey. As it turns out, her journey toward love and wholeness is something we all can relate to and learn from. Without Cheryl’s push to persevere, I’m not sure I could have paved the way on my own.”
“I just finished this book and feel such a loss – I wanted it to go on forever! It was that good. The author’s raw honesty and wit made this book deliciously readable and relatable. I think every woman will identify with some portions of it. Ms. Rice’s candor and the brave baring of her soul wowed me and reading about her journey helped me to better understand myself. The author allowed us to witness her darkest secrets and vulnerabilities – which makes it easier to face our own. Sort of gave me permission – she led the way… I hope this book lands in the hands of anyone who is struggling with grief, feelings of not being worthy or good enough, weight issues, being a people pleaser, loneliness or anyone who is going through the motions and not fully living. It was encouraging to travel with Cheryl on her journey as she came through the darker times to a place of acceptance, love and personal growth.
What a joy to have experienced this book!”
“One of my favorite things a good book will do for me is guide me, open me, and make me more just through the author’s own story. That’s exactly what this book did for me. I loved it and highly recommend it to any woman wanting to become more aware on her journey.”
A True Gift!
“In this beautifully written memoir Rice allows us an inside view into her journey of self discovery. It reads like a friend sitting across the table; comfortable, easy to read, triggering a range of emotions. It contains lessons about connection to others, relationships, love and loss. Rice gives us a true gift – in her search to discover Where Have I Been All My Life?, she empowers her readers to look inward and discover their own paths.”
A Journey That Tweaks and Touches Every Emotion
“A journey that tweaks and touches every emotion … sometimes with humor, sometimes with sorrow; always, however, with personal insight and integrity. Thanks for capturing feelings that many are either afraid to admit or articulate, in such a powerful, yet sensitive way.”
Exposed Journey Worth Reading
“Where Have I Been All My Life? is an amazingly courageous account of personal transformation! This is beautifully written and captured my attention from start to finish with its honesty and humor. Cheryl Rice allows herself to be vulnerable and shares her inner plight following her mother’s passing in her search for peace and love. Inspiring story of bearing all for the sake of moving forward!”
A Moving Gift of Love
“Where Have I Been All My Life will touch your heart, your spirit, your soul, your life! Author, Cheryl Rice writes with such riveting honesty, simplicity, humor and depth that you will find yourself laughing out loud at her wonderful humor, pondering, sighing and feeling deeply for the struggling journey of this beautiful soul whose birth brought untold joy to her family but her own realization of her value and worth not until her re-birth later in life! We are all wounded in different ways and Cheryl’s memoir and journey is a gift of forgiveness and healing that helps all of us grow to new depths and appreciation of the ‘Now.'”
Journey Toward Self-Learning and Authenticity
“Through interwoven stories of her life, Cheryl shares her journey from child- to adulthood, sometimes raw and sometimes funny, but always toward self-learning and authenticity. Initiated by the loss of her best friend and mother, Cheryl challenges her lifelong people pleasing habits to learn new ways of viewing her life and marriage. Her self-analysis has encouraged me to look at my own challenges and frustrations, allowing me to make insightful connections. I recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with loss, body image, or relationships – pretty much includes all women, really!”
A Must-Read for Women Who Long for Authenticity
“Author Cheryl Rice takes us on her real-life journey from ‘good girl,’ paralyzed by feelings of longing and self-doubt to mature self-acceptance and wholeness. At the end of her journey, Rice recognizes the fullness of her life and being, and learns to how to live a new, imperfect, but wonderful life. She says, ‘(Longing) was all I have known. Longing had been my drug of choice. It was time to kick the habit once and for all.’ Where Have I Been All My Life? A Journey Toward Love And Wholeness is a must-read for women who long for authenticity. And for the men who love them.”
200 Pages of Heartwarming, Impactful, Well-Written Prose
“If you are a self-exploratory woman wrestling with your own worthiness, who seeks intuitive understanding from a real woman, this book is for you. Two hundred pages of heartwarming, impactful, well-written prose. Every chapter, whether laughing or crying, forced me to ponder its relative themes; surfacing underlying truths that were being denied, or providing enlightenment to nagging gaps. Cheryl shows us no matter how messy, embarrassing, exasperating, we are all called to personal greatness, by owning and loving our journey. It’s the only way to know ‘where you have been all your life!'”
Cycles of Life-Grief Exposed
By Mary Anne
“This candid memoir by Cheryl Rice sets sail on a voyage through the churning seas that have perpetuated tremendous emotional distress in the author’s life. The author shares her reality–the good, the bad and even the outrageous. She gives us hope that grief is a temporary condition and that cell by cell, the heart miraculously mends.”
An Excellent Writer With Courage To Share Her Most Intimate Feelings
“Author Cheryl Rice, an excellent writer with courage to share her most intimate feelings with honesty, takes the reader through tears and laughter to a new enlightenment. It took courage for me to read her book since I recently lost my 47 year old son who suddenly had a massive heart attack. No, I won’t use the word lost, this is what I learned from Cheryl’s book. My son isn’t lost; he is gone, yet lives and will always be alive in my heart and my mind. This book isn’t only for individuals who have experienced loss. It is a book for anyone who wants to go deep within themselves and take the lessons Cheryl learned to better their life.”
Take This Trip!!
“If you are a living, breathing woman, you have most likely struggled with the universal themes in this beautifully written memoir – loss, grief, worthiness – even falling for a less-than-appropriate love interest. This gem of a book is about what’s possible for all of us – to emerge from a loss or trauma bigger and braver than ever. Read this book and give it to your best friend, sister, colleague – anyone with a desire to live more authentically. You will love it and so will they!”
A Good Read – Helpful To Me On Many Fronts
“I was especially touched by Cheryl’s book. She is wise beyond her years. It certainly took much courage to put herself “out there” and share very intimate feelings, thoughts and experiences about her own journey. The book was a good read, helpful to me on many fronts (e.g., self-exploration, self-worth). It has given me much to think about as a father, husband, son, friend, and person.”