Many, many years ago, long after the Kardashians ruled the Earth, I was unhappy with where I was in my 30 year old life. And not that I was self-centered or anything, but I was surely most definitely without a doubt the only person who felt this way.
I packed everything into storage and left to explore the world on a grand voyage of epoch proportions. I'm not running, you're running. I'm not lost, you're lost, I screamed defiantly at the Jack-in-the-Box drive thru.
Out on the road, living the glorified life I yearned for, inspired by well-placed Instagram ads and a wanderlusting generational ideology, I started writing my roving thoughts and observations down on my and the Millennial condition. As I traveled around the world, the lessons I learned were at home within:
Emotional Intelligence is good.
Lamenting the past or fretting the future is bad.
Being around people is good.
Modern dating is bad.
Balance and being present in the moment is good.
Bali Belly is bad. Very bad.
Being open, honest, and vulnerable is good.
The EQ gained through this experience and new comfort I felt in sharing personal detail and being emotionally exposed became hugely important as I faced real-life challenges that made my prior life's maladies seem pathetic in retrospect.
After putting together a lot of words, way too many words, I sought out publishing opportunities in New York. Part of me saw an Eat, Pray, Love-type explosion, resulting in a pop culture phenomenon and a resultant movie starring Bradley Cooper. The realistic part of me saw a chance to share not only my story, but really our story. While the locations traveled and internal development is personal and unique, the anxiety and FOMO is societal and generational. In that way, the end result is part travel memoir and part social commentary.
The male Millennial take on that Eat, Pray, Love experience.
Most literary agents didn't see it that way. Since I've returned to the real world, rejection has been my cruel partner, usually of the silent kind. But disappointment and frustration still the same. People liked to try to encourage me with J.K. Rowling's example: "She was rejected from 40 something publishers for Harry Potter before she finally made it, you can still do this!" But the critical side of me would always respond, "Well doesn't that tell you that the system is completely fucked? That 40 something publishers missed a billion dollar industry?"
In the end, I found a small independent publisher who saw my vision through to completion and I'm so happy with the final product you surely already purchased on Amazon and rated 5 Stars.
Maybe I really was that arrogant to think I could carry a memoir as a nobody. Maybe people really didn't want to hear what I had to say. But if I can change just one person's life for the better, have just one person read this story and find commonality and understanding, and maybe laugh a little or grow a little, it will all be worth it. It was for me.