Thursday, September 11, 2014

Having The Grace To Accept That Which Is Not Meant For You

I believe in my own mind to be somewhat of a simple person.  All I've really ever wanted was a little land, a little change in my pocket, a little circle of people to love, and a little thing called purpose, the last of which has been weighing on my heart for some time now.

As most people do, we robotically wake in the morning, drink our coffee, log eight or more hours at work, go home, eat, and go to sleep.  Day in, day out.  The fashion in which we exist is systematic until 5pm hits on Friday afternoon.  How often do you hear people at work on Wednesdays complain that it isn't Friday yet?  How often are people talking about how tired they are or how slow the work day is going?  The idea that we must work an 8am-5pm job until we are 65 years old has started to give me a little anxiety. 

Don't get me wrong here.  Some people kick ass at their corporate jobs and love it.  My sister happens to sit at a desk behind a computer all day and is a legit corporate maven, badass working mom, and someone who will probably make millions before I make my first 100K, all while loving her job.  I envy people who love their jobs, because I have never felt that.  I've worked many jobs, all having taught me a thing or two, but for which I had no passion.  When I did not agree with how things were done at a specific job, I would think to myself, "I could do it better.  They're dumb".  I'm pretty sure they call that narcissism.  Oops...may want to work on that! Ha!  Nevertheless, working for "the man" bothered me.  I wanted to make my own rules, and if I failed, I would have no one else to blame.

Nutrition is my passion.  Eating what the earth made, not what some chemist made, is something I feel strongly about.  I live in the country now, so we have chickens and grow a lot of our own fruits and vegetables.  Let me tell you, it's pretty damn fulfilling to eat food you've planted, watered, and watched grow month after month.

Jon and I spend quite a bit of time talking about our goals and what we want to do in our short time on this planet.  I want my life and my career to involve my passions.  My passion is not glass claims administration or slinging drinks to drunk people (pretty much the last 10 years of my life).  My passion is food.  I'm obsessed with food.  And wine.  And good vodka.  There is a quote by John Keats which says, "Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know".  The idea of spending your life doing the things you love, whatever they may be, is something I strive to do.

Jon and I were driving through our little town about a month ago. We stopped at a red light and I looked over and saw a "For Rent" sign in a tiny little building in the Victorian downtown area.  I made him stop.  This little building was going to be mine.  I was going to quit my job and open my own nutrition store.  I called the number immediately and left a message.  I called again the next day.  I stalked these people until I got a hold of them a few days later.  We met with the owner the following morning, and signed the lease three days later, on Jon's birthday.  We sat up every night that week discussing ideas, business names, inventory costs, and loans and money needed to make this happen.  We had 350 square feet to do whatever we wanted with.  To me, it felt like 10,000 square feet.     

The building is old, probably over 150 years old.  We knew the place needed some work, and luckily Jon can fix anything.  We negotiated with the landlord to replace the flooring and paint at his cost, and we would do the labor for free.  I had no problem with that.  It would be a labor of love.  Within five minutes of getting the keys we were ripping out the old carpet.  It did not take long to figure out that the minor repairs that we thought were needed were just the tip of the iceberg.  There was black mold underneath the whole floor.  Once the carpet was removed in the bathroom, there was a hole in the floor leading to the outside of the building.  The floor was completely rotted underneath the subpaneling.  I got sick, and so did Jon. 

We had an inspector out who stated that it would cost $6,500 to fix the mold problem in the entire building.  After informing the landlord of this, he basically told us to pound salt.  We had signed a contract, he said.  He had worked in that building for 35 years and there was nothing wrong with the foundation, in his mind.  He would be calling his lawyer and proceeding with further action because we "defaced" his property.   

We are in the midst of a legal battle over what I thought was my dream.  My heart is heavy.  We hold the permits to a business that we cannot open.  I am devastated, but not defeated.  I know that there is a reason that this little store will not be mine, at least not right now, but it sure isn't very clear at the moment.

I am thankful for my parents for their guidance with this whole mess, and to Jon, who assures me that we WILL make this into a reality, one way or another.

I have never been good at letting go of what is not meant for me, whether it be a job or a relationship.  I find myself feeling as though it is a personal failure.  But I am learning to realize that those people and those things that were once in my life are no longer there so that there can be more room for the things and people that were meant to stay for the long haul.  This is just another bump in the road, and a learning experience in this thing we call life.

A few years from now, when I'm sitting in my 1000 square foot nutrition store, I will look back and be thankful for the struggle.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?