The anticipation is finally over. The book has been released. The four months between when I sent the final draft to the publisher and received the first copy of the finished product dragged on and flew by at the same time. Sure enough, the one day I actually was not obsessing over when it would arrive, it did. I was hopeful that by thinking about it constantly I could speed up the process much like those who repress an elevator key multiple times believe that it will make the elevator arrive more quickly. It arrived when it was supposed to and not as a result of any mind games I was trying to exact on the process.
Everything in due time. This is the continual lesson in my life. Patience is a key player in this very important life lesson. For so long I was anxious to get the book in my hands, the anticipation was intense. I like things to be finished. When I was in school I would do my projects or papers immediately. Finished is ranked up pretty high on my list of favorite words or event, however I have gained a deeper understanding that few things in life are ever really truly finished.
Life is a journey and when something feels complete it rarely ever is. The book is published and finished in the sense that it is ready for distribution. Once the book left my computer I could not make any changes. I had to pretend it disappeared or I could have spent another four years making changes. My wife is a photographer and a true artist at heart. She has been my creative mentor throughout this process. She enlightened me to the fact that those who engage in a creative process always feel like nothing is truly finished. This is a new one for me and I appreciated her wisdom on this front.
There were many nights when, just as I was about to drift off to sleep, I would think of something that I should have included. I would wonder if I expressed everything I wanted too. I pondered whether or not things should have been omitted. I suspect there are many who can relate to experiencing moments of mental gymnastics late at night about work, family or events in life. I eventually had to trust that what ended up on the pages was exactly what was supposed to be on the pages.
I sell real estate for a living. In this line of work when the closing happens, the deal is completed and finished. I am a happy camper. There is closure and I am a fan of closure. The book is completed but I do not feel closure. When the first prints arrived at my front door I did not open the box right away. My family thought I had lost my mind. I had been waiting for so long for this day and yet I was hesitant to open the box. Opening the box did not bring the feeling of closure that I expected. I eventually did and began the next phase of the journey I engineered on the day that I decided that my story needed to be told.
When I sat holding the book in my hand for the first time I had a felt like it had a life of its own. The many who have reached out and shared their stories with me are proof of this. As much as I would like to just check off the publish book box on my list of things I have done, I can’t. The publishing of the book was just the beginning of another unwritten chapter.
People keep asking me if I am excited and I do not know how to answer them. I knew going in this was going to be something that would that would push me far beyond my personal comfort zone. The best answer that I can give is that I am excited and nervous at the same time. I am far more comfortable when I am occupying the space behind front and center. This is why it feels odd knowing that someone other than my editors and myself are reading something that I wrote, specifically my very personal account of coming out later in life.
I most excited knowing that the very presence these different emotions indicates that I am growing. I am just as grateful for my moments of questioning myself or the book as I am for the moments of feeling like I accomplished a goal. All of these moments are important and are the beating heart of this adventure. I suspect that the cycle of anticipation has only reset and will never be completed, unlike the paperback. What comes next is anyone’s guess.