countdown central: the boston experience, a monkey on my back and wondering where i’ll go next

“Be obscure clearly.” ~E.B. White

Lately, it’s felt like “countdown central” in my head.

First, I’ve been counting down the days till the apartment lease is up in Boston.

Actually, by the time you read this, I’ll be leaving town in less than 24 hours… (The plan was to take off next week, but due to some circumstances, gotta move out earlier than expected.)

One roommate has already moved out earlier this summer, so the gradual undoing of our living space (affectionately called “the frat house”) in Boston’s old Southie neighborhood has felt like a long time coming.

But where to next?

Well, I’m pit-stopping back in Rhode Island for a while, two or three months perhaps, in order to get the book launched and some other projects off and running. I’m taking off from Boston for a while, and for a few reasons:

  • I loathe 12-month leases and don’t want to imprison myself to one location with another one for a while
  • I love Boston, but need a change of scenery
  • Now 3 years since graduating college, it feels like “that time” when you start making moves more independently from what everyone else is doing around you.

But beyond the apartment countdown…

…I’ve had that book thing to think about, too! Writing Lead Without Followers has been far more stressful and arduous than I figured it would be.

After all, I’ve been thinking about writing this book for 3 years, and working my ass off to build an expansive digital platform to establish myself as being “worthy” of a literary agent and book contract with a traditional publishing house.

Not surprisingly, the decision to self-publish and handle every facet of publication has felt like an incredible weight.

There’s a monkey on my back, and I’m ready to shoot the bastard.

(No monkeys were harmed during the typing of that miniature, blog-confined outburst.) Just the other day, I somehow pulled a muscle in my upper back/neck area — a weird little injury that I attribute to an abundance of tenseness and anxiety built up in my shoulders and neck. Is a masseuse tax deductible?!

Why stress at all?

Well, it comes from the difficult balance of self-imposed deadlines and pushing the book to its long-awaited publication, while remaining patient to ensure that the book will really be finished by the time it’s published.

Outside of pushing the envelope, I have some real deadlines now — i.e. speaking at American University this October, where Lead Without Followers will be required reading(!) for an undergraduate Political Science course — that obligate me to ensure that the book is published by October 1st, 2011 at the very latest.

My original goal of September 1 is now more likely the week of September 19-23, 2011. :)

Stresses aside, I’ve really enjoyed writing the book.

I’m excited and ready for the best possible book to be done, polished, printed and to reach your hands. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been working hard. And I can’t wait for this message to be shared with the world.

Of course, that’ll be a great accomplishment — before worrying about how you’ll respond to it, yourselves!

Between leaving Boston and the book’s release, that reminds me…

I’m going on a book tour across the country, but I’ll need you (yes, you reading, there!) to help me pull that off.

Instead of driving, which figures to not be very economical, I’ll be flying to a list of destinations — where, exactly, will 100% depend on your volunteering.

I’ll need your help to organize a formal or informal meet-up, a speaking gig, a beer summit, a dance party, or in-person high-five session. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, if you promise to put in the time and organize an event, I’ll promise to get there.

First, some must-hit destinations:

With that in mind, I might buy JetBlue’s BluePass that operates out of Long Beach, CA, and use the SoCal airport as a hub for some serious Midwest / West / West Coast travel from October through the end of November.

What do you think of that idea? Any advice from experienced travelers out there?

…Oh yeah, and after that?

I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing next! But I do want to move somewhere different, if only for a few months — down south or out west, for example. Over the last few weeks and in preparation for this, I have been:

  • downsizing all of my possessions,
  • donating most of my already-pathetically-small wardrobe to charity, and
  • selling off other junk that I don’t need

This short move to Rhode Island figured to be a smart pitstop in order to get some projects off the ground:

With 18in18 launched, I need to get the book finished and released, and continue to work on my Reclaim Leadership course with Molly Mahar — the launch of which we both recently decided to push back a bit.

I’m hoping (praying) that these will help sustain my finances and allow me to travel more, learn more, explore more, teach more, and write more. It feels like it’s time to get on the move, and I hope I can count on your help to make all of this happen.

Your advice, help, and inspiration are always welcome.

Lord knows, I’m gonna need it.

And I ain’t shy about admitting that.

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