Meet Guest Author, Constantine M. Dhonau…

SPOILER ALERT: HE DIES AT THE END (and so will you).
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So it goes when writing something autobiographical—perhaps there’s still hope for the philosopher’s stone but I’m not holding my breath. More on this later.
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For now, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Constantine. Have a seat. Enjoy some tea (I’ll have a cup of Spring Dragon if you happen to keep stock, one squirt of honey, please). I’m a young buck in the writing world. Turning 30 this year. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, my Saturn Return came on strong and I am L O V I N G it.
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I picked up writing as a hobby, sparked by one of those connections that’s as kindred as it is ephemeral. A girl. It was only a month or two but I will never forget and always remember the blue light casting cool motifs of shadows down haphazard stacks of composition books as we rambled on her bedroom carpet. That hobby became an obsession. That obsession became a compulsion. That compulsion became the impetus for me to re-examine how I engage with the world. That re-examining became clarity in hindsight of why I started journaling and why I kept them open-format for all to read and write in.
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Fast-forward a couple decades and I found myself sailing through the deeply detailed and previously-charted waters of my past to put together my first book and memoir.
The first two decades of my life are set entirely in Florida. St. Petersburg to be exact. They were my formative years molded by my single mother and aunt, camping trips with Boy Scouts, fronting a ska/punk band, getting my heartbroken by my first love when she cheated on me on Valentine’s Day, avoiding college, acquiescing to college, reuniting with my father in Greece, studying abroad in Spain, attending one of the weirdest colleges in the country, and finally embarking on my soul-searching excursion into the mountains of Colorado.
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Colorado brought me (and continues to bring me) a great sense of peace, accomplishment, and many lessons in love. I volunteered with AmeriCorps. I backpacked for 52 days with Outward Bound in Colorado, Wyoming, and Alaska. I returned home to my mother’s with my tail between my legs. I got my feet under me to march back up to those mountains. I achieved a dream of becoming a badass wilderness therapy guide leading troubled teens and young adults through the darkest parts of themselves to be able to enjoy the light of the Utah desert sun and rising moon over Colorado peaks.
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Self-compassion is a driving force in my life. I first discovered it in college while doing research for my senior thesis (thank you Kristen Neff). The idea of having a relationship with myself, that I could work on it, improve it, love myself…that shook me to the core. I started paying attention to the dialogue that’s constantly churning inside me. And what an ideal opportunity! More than 10 years of my life just happens to be written in a mishmash of journals, each with its own unique binding and theme in an intersection of my existence on this earth.
Through such detailed introspection I gained more and more wisdom about myself. Through that connection, I found more connection with others. I found a gift of guidance and I began giving it to those who were open to receiving it. The wilderness brought a level of healing I didn’t think possible. Such open expanses—ironically—provided the most primal container of gratitude I’d ever experienced. As these lessons in love and courage became more deeply-ingrained in me, I found myself better able to communicate these insights to those around me. I got the chance to walk alongside people in absolute crisis who wound-up in the middle of nowhere, carrying everything they own on their backs from camp to camp, involuntarily starting their own journeys in self-love. This gave me more tools to help people, to “change the world, one world at a time,” as I began to say mantrically.
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Many young people today are flooded with the problems of the world and bear the weight on our backs to be the one to change it all. I realized in my travels that I have an entire world inside of me, separate from everything around me, yet intrinsically intertwined. Everyone has their own world. We wish to share it, to be seen, heard, understood. Long ago, I began sharing mine; the deepest, darkest parts of myself scrawled across manic pages for all to read, if they wanted. In part, I wanted to be seen, too. In part, I wanted others not to feel so alone.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, we each carry an untouchable beauty inside of us. That beauty is complete in both darkness and discovery. We may not fully understand why we do what we do, but the more we learn of it, the less surprising it is. When we choose to share our whole selves, the world becomes a much less scary place.
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SO…I wrote a memoir. It’s 10 years of my life. Good and bad. It’s mâchéd together from the aforementioned journals, mostly poetry, outlined with autobiographical context. If you’ve had a human experience, perhaps you’ll find something relatable and rejuvenating in it. Thanks for taking the time to read. May you find surrender in your travels.
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Website/Blog – LinkedIn

GoodReads – Reedsy

Apple Books

Smashwords

Amazon:

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24 thoughts on “Meet Guest Author, Constantine M. Dhonau…

  1. Hi, Constantine. Sorry, no Spring Dragon tea. (I don’t know if it’s available here in the UK). Would green tea be acceptable?
    I love your post. The wild places of the Earth seem to be where people find answers to their questions about themselves and life. Perhaps that’s because we aren’t supposed to live in massive cities.

    Liked by 1 person

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