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Everyone knows what it’s like to start off on a new adventure. It doesn’t have to be anything grand. You could be moving somewhere, starting a new job, beginning a relationship, or finally taking up that hobby you always said you would.

There’s excitement and uncertainty. Every moment is filled with possibility. It’s not all positive, of course. At the very least, there will be some anxiety. The good usually outweighs the bad, though.

But what happens when you finish the journey?

Every time I watch through The Lord of the Rings, I always wonder what the characters’ lives were like afterwards. After all they’ve gone through, literally saving the world and whatnot, how do you wake up in your home on a Monday morning and say “well, time to go farm the carrots”?

See, a lot of people’s new ventures fizzle out. The job becomes an ongoing routine. Your hobby disappears into obscurity. The relationship fades. You never actually experience that true, victorious finish.

People are great at starting things. They’re not the best at finishing them. I’ve been guilty of this my entire life. But finally, I’ve finished something I’ve been trying to accomplish since I learned how to write.

I have a printed book releasing tomorrow

Sure, it technically released last year in digital form. But That College Book: Everything Nobody Told Us About Life After High School truly launches tomorrow, fully-realized and gloriously printed.

And people ask things like “Are you excited?”

Obviously.

The book has been in the works for 6 years, and the dream of writing one has been around much longer.

But what I think people are really wondering is what is it like?

What is like to finish a book?

Sure, I didn’t destroy the Ring of Power in the fires of Mt. Doom, but for me personally, getting this book out there is a big deal. There’s not just one or two emotions you feel with something like this. You experience all of the emotions.

Sometimes simultaneously.

My days are a kaleidoscope of feelings, which sounds like some lame emo song circa-2007, but it’s true.

This is what I feel with finally finishing this book. The good and the not so good.

Excitement

It’s happening, I think. It’s actually happening.

All the work and the planning and the sacrifice and the struggling is over, and my book is finally releasing to the masses. Anything could happen from here.

Insecurity

But what if nothing happens? What if it actually sucks, and I’m blind to it? What if all my friends are secretly muttering behind my back that I’m not even a good writer, and that my book is going to go nowhere?

Is my posting and sharing about it annoying everyone around me?

Relief

Who cares? It’s done, and I can relax. All my thoughts have been consumed by this project for a half a decade, and finally, I’m free to think about something else. All those doubts of never finishing it are gone. It’s done, and I can move on.

Uncertainty

But where do I move on to? It’s been so long on this that I don’t even know where to begin next. How do I even start from something from scratch? Should I pick up a half finished project from the past? Do I put all my energy into promoting and marketing my book now?

Or do I put more focus into my real job so I can be a financially reasonable adult who could potentially attract the attention of a nice girl to settle down with? I just don’t even know where to begin.

Empowerment

Once I figure that out, though, I’ll be fine. I just finished and released a freaking book. If I can make that happen, I can do anything. Just like with this book, I need to figure out a plan, and execute. I’m stronger and more seasoned than I was before.

The next goal will be even easier.

Fear

But what if I fail at the next thing? Maybe this book was a fluke, the one thing I was able to finish in my life, and it doesn’t even go anywhere. Will I feel alone and unsatisfied for the rest of my life? Is there anything out there that will fill me with a sense of purpose ever again?

Or is life all downhill from here?

Whatever happens, I’m moving forward

I wish I could say that when you accomplish whatever it is you set out to do, everything is perfect and happy and wonderful after that.

It’s not the case. Even if I find success with this book or the next, I’m guessing these emotions will remain. Maybe there will be even more emotions heaped on top.

If there wasn’t struggle in success, then the famous and rich people would be the happiest, most positive people there ever were. Sometimes, I think they’re more miserable than the rest of us.

I’m not entirely sure why that is. Maybe they stop pushing themselves to something bigger. Maybe they lose their dreams and replace them with greed and insecurity.

Or maybe they’re just bored, lonely, and detached.

Whatever lies ahead, I’m sure there are many more adventures to be had. I guess the key is to choose one, go, and see it through. That leaves me with some big decisions to make in the near future.

For now, I’ll close this out with a small excerpt from my book:

“What you do after the victories in life can be even more important than the victory itself.  Unlike movies and books, your life doesn’t end when that big goal is achieved.  It continues to a new chapter.  As long as there’s breath in your lungs, your life is a never-ending story.  A good story always has a conflict.  The main character wants something and something stands in the character’s way of getting it.

What are you chasing after next?” 

That College Book will be available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com, and eventually through a few other retailers tomorrow, March 24. Make sure to check out the website here.