Have you ever spent years imagining something happening, fantasizing about all the details, only to finally confront the moment itself and discover it feels nothing like you thought it would? For those intimate in my life who'd like to know what this moment looked like, or how well these 5,000 copies fit in my apartment, or what it feels like to finally publish your own book, read on.
I spent most of the morning getting ready for the books arrival. With an attitude three parts exuberant and two parts militant, with a dash of dread, I woke up early and immediately started cleaning and reorganizing to make space for the delivery.
The delivery men showed up in a giant truck, and they were two of the most cheerful guys I've ever met. You know the ones: people who are just psyched on life no matter what, the true happy-go-luckies. They just loved the ritualistic challenge of maneuvering the pallets off the truck with a massive hydraulic lift, and working together like a well oiled machine to wheel them down the narrow paths & hallways of my apartment complex, right to my door... commenting all the while on the fair weather, how blissfully hot it was, and how the hard work was great exercise!
I watched them unload the first pallet in a state of awe. By the second pallet, my senses kicked in and I helped them unload. They finished up and we said our thank-yous and goodbyes, and all at once I was left alone. WITH ALL MY BOOKS.
I did a fair bit of staring, and to be honest I didn't rush to open any boxes or feel triumphantly emotional. I continued to clean and sort, as I struggled to mentally absorb their arrival and the huge shift in my reality they hail. I mean, I have been working on Issue One: Fall for so long -- and now it's done and printed. To my surprise, all kinds of fears surfaced and I didn't want to open a box. Not only did I not want to be disappointed by immediately finding a typo, or some kind of printing defect; but I also felt something else -- a weight of responsibility and commitment, not just to keep producing the books (which I love doing!), but also to manage the business of distributing them. It's a huge job.
The beautiful thing about this -- uh oh, here come the tears now -- is that this "weight" (5,500 lbs. of printed matter is what it says on the shipping manifest), is grounding for me in so many ways; and provides me with a locus to funnel my diversity of talents into. Getting married to a project like this provides me with the gift of a tangible commitment to share who I am and what I know with the world, to keep learning, to spark discussion and creativity and an examination of the way we nourish ourselves, and hopefully to become a valid resource along the way -- not just for others, but for myself and Mylo in every sense of the word ... Best of all, I now have a tax-deductible excuse to follow my own advice and practice my own self-love!
Honestly, I'm going to keep making these crazy comic/recipe books and silly web videos in my free time, and formulating new recipes, and studying nutrition and science and natural healing regardless, because that's part of who I am and who I've been for the last 16 years, so at a certain point it seems counterproductive to NOT commit to that in a real way and make a grand entrance. And you know what? It is a little scary to start a business and publish a book and launch a website and say, "Hello world, this is me!" But at a certain point you have to rise above the fears and jump in and join the dance.
So I finally opened the box. And you know what? I immediately found a typo AND a small printer defect on the first copy I touched. But despite my dread, I found these things charming because they were so much to be expected, and the loveliness of the book's smooth glossy cover and vibrant eye candy pages that I have been waiting years to thumb through, trumped all.