You wouldn’t know it from the looks on our faces but this is what joy and relief look like. The book, 20 Something to Life is now complete. It has been sent in to be printed. I just seriously can’t believe I am here in this current moment. I cannot really explain how this book came to be without comparing it to being pregnant. I have never been pregnant myself but I’ve heard enough stories to successfully compare it to the process of how this book was created.

Last year I applied for a study abroad trip to study at the University of Cambridge. Originally, my primary reason for studying in England was to listen to the accents all day long and to take in the sites. It was not until a week in the program that I realized how blessed I was to have this opportunity (Conception - Although the woman doesn’t know she is pregnant, just like my ideas, there is a baby growing inside). Not many people can say they did what I did, not many people will ever be able to say that. The culture there was just so intoxicating it made it all the more harder to adjust back to coming back. In the first months back I actually did become a little desolate. (I guess you could call this the morning sickness) However, it made me look around at my current setting and forced me to think: What about Oregon do I love.

I started to wonder, I’ve spent three years at the UO and what has it all amounted to? I remember that I used to get so jealous of my twin brother for attending the University of Southern California. He was making all these great connections with the children of celebrities and I was in Eugene. (More morning sickness) 

For some reason, the book, Roadtrip Nation popped up in all this. My Career teacher from 10th grade has first introduced me to the documentary but I didn’t read the book until I graduated from high school. Sidenote: no matter where you are in life, you MUST read this book. Anyway, the book made me realize that I do not need to meet famous people to be inspired. After all, before famous people were famous they were regular! (Morning sickness is steadily decreasing day by day)

My then, 3.5 years at the UO has not been achieved on my own. I definitely had A LOT of help getting to where I was. That’s where I started. Who were the people who helped me get to where I was? Then, what are those people doing right now?  How did they get to where they are right now? It slowly then morphed into a backwards timeline. With all these questions in mind it became all I thought about. It consumed me (Pregnancy glow). How did I become so blessed to have all these people in my life?!

BOOM! Find out the reason from the sources themselves! I then sent out emails to everyone who I could ever think of. Ranging from my educational adviser to the woman who helped me get accepted to the U of O. Then, it dawned on me, why stop there? Why not include ALL of the people who have inspired me in some way or another.  This list included my friend who just started her own jewelry line to professors I just met that day. If you allow yourself, everyone can inspire you.

It was through one of my interviewees that I found out this project of mine met the qualifications of a class I was going to take. (False contractions)

Roll forward about a few weeks - cuz I actually put off this project for a while. (This constitutes for the part of the pregnancy where it’s not really exciting, it’s just what it is)

(Finding out if it’s a girl or boy - it’s like, do I want to know or should I keep it a secret. Is the doc. going to find something wrong with the baby while they are determining the sex? ) I was a little apprehensive at first to tell my plans to my professor because I thought she would for some reason rip it to pieces and say she hated it. Luckily she did not and said that I can do whatever made me feel comfortable with it. (Everything is healthy)

(Are you taking your prenatal pill? Everyone hates take pills but it’s good for you) This is where Will Kanellos came aboard. I had been harboring this project for so long I did not want to share it. I thought no one else could love it, and execute it as well as I did. However, thanks to Doctor Deb Morrison, I came to realize that I cannot do this on my own. In order to let out greatness, you need to let great people in. Thank you Will for not proving Deb wrong. I don’t think I could have picked a better person to work with :)

(Telling friends and family the sex and the name of the baby) After we had worked on the project a little more we then told the class what our plans for all these interviews were. I don’t know if Will felt the same but I was definitely nervous (It’s like you tell your mom that you’re naming a the baby Jamie and wondering if she’s gonna say that name is too ambiguous or if she is going to accept it for its uniqueness) Luckily, it was more of the latter for Will and me. Catherine, our GTF accepted it but gave us more direction - she could probably tell that we had no REAL direction for this other than writing interviews into a book. Good thing her spidey senses were working that day.

(Feeling the kick for the first time) Once we had this advice and input, we really got to work. It was exciting to have something actually moving. (That’s not a pregnancy pun, I just could not find a better word). We decided for the sake of time and purpose that we would lessen the interviewees down to only college kids who are doing something with their lives. I would give you more information about this but I don’t want to divulge too much about the execution and somewhat new direction we decided on.

(Real Contractions) The book was slowly coming together. Writing pieces were put in a designs were working ever so seamlessly. Although, the fact that I knew it was coming down to the deadline made it even more uncomfortable.

(Contractions are 5 minutes apart) Let me tell you, grammatical errors are no joke. (As much as you want to push, you can’t. The OBGYN keeps on telling you to hold on and hold it in). Every time we though we were ready to send it out, there was always some sort of error in the fine print.

(Dialated) After all the nitty gritty corrections, we took one more look over it.

(Push) Everything is done and it is now ready to send off to the press!

Here is a little sneak peek of what is to come…

Partial book cover

(Although what I am about to say sounds like I am talking about babies, I’m not).

I can’t wait ‘til I can hold it in my arms. I pray that while it is getting printed out that nothing bad happens to it and no one on the printing side messes it up.