I am thinking about bucket lists. I am sure that there are few in the world who do not know what a bucket list is. For those who may have never heard this term I will explain. A bucket list is a list of things that someone would like to accomplish before their time on this earth expires, or more simply, before they “kick the bucket.” I think that we all have that list of things we would like to achieve in our lives and whether or not it is written down or mentally noted is irrelevant. The items or activities found on a list like this can vary from person to person and is usually relative to how daring and adventurous an individual may be. Personally, sky diving and climbing Mt. Everest is not on my list.
My bucket list is secretly located in the deep recesses of my mind and is a running list that I have made up over the years. I suspect that mine would be considered quite boring to most adrenalin junkies. The items appearing on my list have changed and been edited depending on where I was at in my life. For a very long time buying a car with cash was in my top five. Recently I was able to achieve this. The strange thing is that as I check off one thing, I usually add something else to take its place. I am convinced that I would be tempting fate if I did write anything down. I believe that on the day my last great feat was accomplished that my odds of waking up to see the next sunrise would not be in my favor. I am superstitious that way. For example, I also will not wear my Detroit team jerseys, all sports, on game days unless I am at the venue in person.
My list contains the places I would like to visit and things that I would like to see in my lifetime. It also contains my desire to write and have a book published. This has been in my top five for as long as I can remember. I had one thing in particular that had been rolling around my brain in some form or another my entire life. At one point I thought I would write something fictional, but then was not sure. I just never knew what the topic would be. I write all the time. Almost everything I have written, up until a few years ago, has been for my own eyes and in the form of journals.
As I was going through the coming out process, I began working on my autobiography. There was so much to think about and make sense of at that time and I found many opportunities for healing, comfort and eventually peace as I revisited my story and journey on the road of life. Originally I believed that the story of my entire life would be the subject of the book. I could never figure out where to stop since I was still in the process living my life. What if I wrote the book and then something totally incredible happened after it was published? I could not take that chance.
After realizing that coming out was a once in a lifetime event, I knew. It turns out that my background information was only going to play a small part of what I had to say. I have been working for a few years to try and put to paper what coming out at the age of forty was like. I found that it was an easy topic to write about given that it was what was happening at the time. Because I did not have to rely on my recollection of events that took place long ago, the process was less difficult. A couple of weeks ago, after much encouragement and prodding from my amazing wife, I submitted my manuscript to a publishing company.
If it was not accepted, I knew that there were other ways to go about being published. I also knew that writing this story, whether published or not, was important for me to do. I chose a more challenging route by submitting to a publisher because I wanted to know one way or the other if this was something that people may be interested in reading. I was putting my foot in the water to check the temperature before I jumped in. When they called me a couple of days later to let me know that they were interested I felt such joy and like jumping on the furniture, which I did. Because I could.
I was overwhelmed by the love and support that everyone sent my way when I shared the news of my book deal. What was happening to me was the stuff that really incredible bucket lists are made of and I am so happy to share this with the world. For as happy as I am, I am also completely aware of the amount of work that is in my near future as a result of checking this box off the list. In the next few months I will be spending time proofing, editing, reviewing and rewriting over and over again. I suspect at times that I will be stuck at the computer wondering why I ever did this or worrying about who is going to really care about what I have to say or on especially challenging days possibly even considering ditching the whole thing. From what I understand many writers experience this kind of thinking. Although have never set out to be a writer in the professional sense, I do share in their moments of self-doubt and fear.
For those who have asked what the book is about I can offer a few details. The working title of my book is Switching Teams and includes a glimpse into what coming out looked like, felt like and how this single event triggered changes on many fronts for myself and those closest to me. I was told by the editor at the publishing company and by my own editor that my personality came through as they read. Being a writer was never on my radar. I believe that if one person reads my words and gleans an understanding about themselves, others or the world in general, then sharing my experience will be worth the risk I am taking by opening up my life for the world to see.
This is the definitely the most daring thing that I have done in the past four years. The effort required to complete this task may end up supplying the steel toe encased foot to my proverbial bucket, but I am committed to see this through. As I continue to work on getting this project ready for the world to see, I humbly as that you send some good vibes, prayers or intentions our way, I know we will both need them. Especially for my wife, in fact, send her more.
On a side note, this is my first writing rodeo and an advance was not part of my deal. As such, I will not be retiring from my all hours of the day and night job selling real estate. Oh, by the way, if you or anyone you know, are looking to buy or sell a home in Central Florida, feel free to pass my name along or direct them to my website. I would be happy to help!