Thursday, March 27, 2014

Look Back Every Once In A While

College graduation, 2006. Why yes, I have a baby—
this is how it's done at BYU, hehe.
Yesterday I went to my alma mater, Brigham Young University, to speak to a class that was about the publishing industry. I was asked by the lovely TA to present on Traditional versus Indie Publishing, since I've now had the chance to learn about both.

Now, even though I live pretty close to BYU, I honestly haven't been on campus in years. And certainly not since I've become a published author. As I parked in visitor parking (not the forever far away student parking like I'd done for so many years), stepped out of my car, and began the familiar walk to my old boss's office, that whole nostalgia thing came over me.

But more than that, this shocking sense of accomplishment. As I thought about the young 20-something I was when I went to that university, all the dreams she had…I realized that I was walking on campus today as the person I could only dream I'd become when I was a student.

I came extra early so I could visit with my old boss at Multicultural Student Services, Lynette Simmons, who gave me my first experiences as a writer, editor, and designer for Eagle's Eye, the Multicultural alumni magazine that has since disappeared. It was so great to talk with her, to be able to tell her all those things I learned while working for her were extremely useful (especially in going Indie).

I grabbed something to eat before the evening class, feeling strange in the food court with my very high heels, surrounded by students in much more comfortable footwear. There were so many times while I was in school that I sat in that same place, studying and eating before work. But it felt so weird to look over my notes before class, thinking that I'd be the one to teach that night.

It was so fun. The class was great, and my co-presenter, Courtney Alameda, was fabulous. The whole thing just went so well that even the snow and rain I had to walk through after didn't seem so bad (I was very glad I'd brought my umbrella just in case!).

As I sat in my car after, a little cold and barefoot since my shoes were soaked, I took a moment to be grateful. Sometimes I get so caught up in what I haven't gotten yet, in where I haven't been, that I forget I was once a student with a dream that felt impossible. Yesterday I got to hold up four books with my name on them, and I realized how much of a Big Deal that would have been to me when I was sitting in those seats.

Not gonna lie—it felt amazing. And you have to hold on to those moments in all this crazy we call the publishing industry.

16 comments:

  1. This post gave me all kinds of warm fuzzies. :-)

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  2. yay to the warm fuzzies. You deserve every success, friend! Can I call you friend? I'm going to :)

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  3. This brought tears to my eyes. And graduating with a baby in your arms is a huge accomplishment all together.

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  4. I am in LOVE with Transparent! I absolutely cannot wait to read Blindsided, as well as the rest of your books! You are one of my top favorite authors!
    Oh, how I wish I was in the class you taught! I'm also not far from BYU. You are a huge example to me. It's my goal to become an author. I hope one day I can get an autograph. [:

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    1. Thank you, Sara! I actually have a signing coming up pretty soon—April 16th at the Pleasant Grove Library, 6:30PM. Hopefully you'll be able to come:)

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    2. How exciting! I cant wait!
      http://herbalparenting.blogspot.com/

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  5. Courtney used to live in my ward (her parents are here). I had no idea she was an author - I'm a lame neighbor. I have some nieces at BYU now and it still seems strange to me to think of them on campus where I used to eat, sleep, study, and fall asleep again. I'm glad it went well!

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  6. I don't know if you watched the Oscars or not, but this is where I thought Matthew Mcconaughey's acceptance speech was off. He said his hero is him, 10 years from now. That way he's always striving, always aiming to be better than he is today. It's a mark he'll never achieve.

    I do see the value in that, to a certain extent. We do need to push ourselves to do better than we are today. However, I think it's important to be proud of how far we've come and to feel a sense of accomplishment. So well done on you for looking back and realising Student Natalie would be in awe of what Adult Natalie has accomplished.

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    1. I did not watch the Oscars. Shocking, I know;)

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  7. I realize that this was completely NOT the point of this post, but just the thought of having a baby in college is enough to give me an anxiety attack (and I got married and had a baby on the young side [23/28]).

    And even though I'm not at the point of holding a book with my name on the cover, yet, everything you said here resonated with me. When that happens, no matter whatever other struggles I have with publishing, I always want to remember that I accomplished what the teenage/20-something me dreamed about.

    Glad you got to have that moment, Natalie!

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    1. Heh, yeah Carrie Jo I was 22! I actually finished my last class (a half semester class) 3 days before I gave birth, haha. So it actually worked out perfectly:)

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  8. I love this post! What a cool day I'm sure the students were inspired. Awesome that you went to visit Lynette too!

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  9. Lovely post, Natalie! More warm fuzzies here! =)

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  10. So glad you had a validation moment like this! You definitely deserve it. Also, I had no idea you were so young!

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