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Behind the Scenes: The Skokie Review Interview

At the Old Orchard B&N, with the spirits of all those fabulous authors behind us.

It’s funny how life turns out. One day you’re taking your ACT, the next you are sitting at your first cubicle and then, out of nowhere, you find yourself at a vortex of uncertainty.

Chaos and confusion coupled with liberation and longing all mesh into one super emotion of the unknown.

Nearly two decades since we’ve last seen each other, Anita and I reconnected via Facebook. By that time each of us had already experienced a corporate layoff and faced a

myriad of life choices.  Then, just two years ago, Anita invited me on The Dating GPS journey.

With Mr. Tesnow, our Middleton grade school gym teacher. He had our back then and, even more so, now, as a Male Panelist for our book.

 

Am I ever so grateful she did.

In the past two years, in addition to putting the book together and reaching out for the best minds and hearts on the planet, we’ve also been doing “…this thing called life,” as Prince once said.  We’ve been working, studying, networking, paying bills and somewhere in there, living. This is what people do.

Mike Isaacs, the Skokie Review reporter who believed in the project enough to write the story.

But we also gave things up. Things like hobbies, sleep and exercise. We’ve had no vacations. No time off. Not mentally, emotionally or physically.

We put all our personal needs – as women and as people – aside and put this idea, first. This idea of a book that we hope will rekindle the emotional flame and bring back the appreciation of men.

The Crew

Lots has happened since this journey began and a wonderful osmosis has occurred. Anita, happily married for over a decade – went back to school and earned her certification as a Life Coach & Relationship Coach. Her professional flag is flying high and I could not be more proud of her. As I re-navigated my professional path from corporate executive to Career Coach and College Professor, my personal life – the Achilles heel of this free spirit – fell into place.

With family friend Alex Tolmatsky. Back in the day he came to my Oakview basketball games, where I played against Anita, then a student at Golf Jr. High.

We both learned from the other. We both grew together. We both found ourselves, after two long years – full of all kinds of drama and fiscal uncertainty – on the other side of things. This is what a healthy commitment and a relationship with a common goal achieves: reaching the vision, one page and one idea at a time.

By the time we met in Old Orchard that fateful Friday, we were both simultaneously excited and ready for our very first interview.

Mostly, we were grateful.

Rose Vales Regalado, a woman with a big heart and an incredible life story. Good thing we wrote it down.

Grateful for coming together for making this happen. Grateful to all the modern technology that has made this long-distance process possible. Grateful for our families and friends, who have been beyond patient with our hectic calenders. Grateful to all the wonderful contributors, panelists and supporters of our book. Grateful for all the good energy the Universe has sent us.

Truth is, we’re also tired. No, make that exhausted.

Like most worthwhile endeavors in life, it was a good thing that we we didn’t know how much and how long this would require. And we’re not done, yet.

In one inhale, we still have articles to finish, chapters to edit, biographies to draft, website to update and a good publisher’s home to find for our book’s reveal.

We’re optimistic. But we can’t exhale, yet.

Today, as we both opened the Skokie Review article link, our inner John Hughes 16 year-olds shrieked in excitement to each other, on our cell phones, in front of our individual laptops, in two different states, over 350 miles apart. And for just a moment, we allowed ourselves to exhale, just a bit.

With fellow Viking and Anita's current neighbor, Beth Burger. So many band trips, so little time...

Enjoy these photos from our big day. Thank you, Mom, for being there with us and for cementing the memories forever. Thank you, Beth Burger and Alex Tolmatksy, for taking time out of your busy work days and families, to support us in this incredible moment. Thank you, Mr. Dave Tesnow and Rose Regalado, for not just being there with us at Barnes & Noble, at Old Orchard, but, also, for sharing your stories and passion, both inside our book and with the reporter. Thank you, Mike Isaacs, for listening patiently to our rambles and making sense of them. And thank you, Joel Lerner, for taking our pictures and making us feel like the 80s rock stars we’ll always channel.

 

It’s an overwhelming moment. And it’s a day of pure joy. We’re so happy. We’re so grateful.

We’ve only just begun.

All photos: Elizabeth Cherny

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