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Book Boxes and Bucket Lists

I used to work in a bookshop. To date, it is my favourite, non-career related job. When I walked in, with with my resume in hand, I didn’t think I had a chance of getting a position there. They weren’t advertising, after all. I was just cold-calling because I’d moved to a new city and desperately needed to pay the bills. When the woman at the counter offered to take my resume, I did something I’d never done before. I asked to speak to a manager so I could hand it directly to them. It was a small, laid back town, and my direct approach took the manager by surprise. Still, it worked. I got a job there. There were a lot of things to like about working at a bookshop. First and foremost, the books. I mean, what’s the point of working at a bookshop if you don’t love books? Even though reading on shift was strictly prohibited (I know, disappointing, right?), it was a pleasure to be surrounded by like-minded book lovers all the time. It was fun talking to customers and helping them pick something new to read. I loved walking through the shelves during the quiet times, just running my fingers along the spine and wondering at all the new worlds contained within those books. Even keeping the shelves in strict, alphabetical order had a meditative quality to it. But, for me, the most exciting part of it all was when boxes upon boxes of new stock arrived. Checking in the new stock was one of the less liked aspects of the job for my colleagues. For me? Well, there was nothing quite like the sense of peeling back that sticky tape, taking in a deep whiff of that fresh-book smell, and opening a box full of new adventures.

It’s been over ten years since I have felt that sense of wonder, but I felt it again today.

And this time?

Well, those books are mine.

Seeing the manuscript I have been working so hard on for so long, finally transformed into a paperback novel... Wow. There were so many things running through my mind:

Ah, I need to tweak that front title image.

Oh my gosh, it has my name on it!

Hmm, I need to go with gloss rather than matte. The black doesn’t look right.

It’s looks like a real book.

No, wait… It IS a real book!

I won’t bore you with the full stream of consciousness that hit me when I picked up the surprisingly heavy book for the first time, but I will tell you that I have been dreaming about a day like this for as long as I can remember.

I have never really put much stock into the idea of a bucket list, but there were definitely some things I have always wanted to achieve in my life. The list is small, and relatively simple: fall in love, have a family, perform on a real theatre stage, run through a hedge maze, get my dream career, travel the world… write a book and publish it, so I can put it on my bookshelf.

I am so excited to admit that I have achieved four out of those seven things, writing a book now included. I will achieve another one at the end of this year, when I graduate university for the third time and slide into a new job. Travelling the world… well, that will come in time.

And as for the hedge maze?

Well, if anyone knows a good one, please tell me where it is!

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