Hello Fatty Readers!
It feels like it’s been an entire lifetime since I’ve been here. Way back (three months ago, ish) I wrote a post just documenting some ideas I’d had for various widgets the world needs – totally unrelated to quitting drinking and dieting. I hit publish on that post because I was sick of thinking and talking about the ideas… so I wrote them down. I guess I ascribe to the Liz Gilbert Big Magic philosophy that ideas float around the universe until they find the right person to execute them. So putting them out there felt like releasing them so they wouldn’t buzz around my head anymore. It was a weird, extra-off-topic post, though.
Somewhere wedged in that post was one of my long-time hopes of opening a bookstore/cafe/community space. And, well, on February 3rd that’s exactly what I did. Minus the cafe part. I found a tiny cheap space two blocks from our new house and opened a tiny bookstore.
People have asked me how it happened so fast, and my short answer is that the hard part was making the decision. Then it was just bank statements, spreadsheets and internet research. And then it was basically done. I just needed a space, which the universe kind of hand-delivered to me after I started looking for it.
I also had some savings that I decided I could afford to throw away, if that’s what it came to… and I’m pretty sure that is what it will come to. But, as a child-free 45 year old I sorta realized that I get to spend money to do what I want now. You know, now that I’m a grown up.
The long answer is that I quit drinking nearly three years ago. From there I’ve had the luxury of filling SO MUCH FREE TIME and mental energy with whatever I want. In the beginning that sucked. In the middle (year two) it was confusing because I was filling that newfound time with all my old time-fillers like eating, TV and facebook scanning. Then this past year, year three, something opened up in me.
I got laid off from a job, and that got me digging hard into what makes me ME. I had this sudden urge to channel my creative energy toward creating things, instead of putting together ad technology product roadmaps (my prior day job). I took classes and made things – paintings, rings, skirts, tote bags, blog posts and daily “morning pages” per The Artist’s Way. I dug in and didn’t let up until I felt like I had really dipped a big fat toe in everything I used to love to do. I was open about my creative pursuits with anyone who would listen. I almost didn’t accept the great new job I have now because I was reluctant to give up all my free time. The CEO of the company didn’t think I was as crazy as I thought I sounded – he even offered me a part-time job so I could continue to pursue new things (I had a handful of business ideas, including a clothing line, which I may still do).
Anyway, year three has been extremely exciting.
I basically work every single day (and evenings) now, and I love it. Day job Mon-Fri, bookstore Wed-Fri evenings, and bookstore all day Saturday and Sunday. It’s NUTS. It probably won’t last, and that’s ok. I’ll figure out how to afford a P/T bookseller one of these days (hopefully before I burn out). But for now it’s all fun. Really.
My 2019 “Word of the Year” was Crazy. I’m feeling the crazy now, and I highly recommend it.
One thought on “I opened a bookstore (gulp).”
Wow! This is so amazing and heartwarming. I love it–I teared up with inspiration reading this. I feel like alcohol keeps a veil of impossibility and cynicism on everything and it’s slowly lifting for me–like, “Why try something that takes a lot of time or money. Too big a risk! Better to just stay safe and continue surviving.” Why try? Because trying indicates we’re interested in living and growing, and we’re around to do just that until we are not! Getting started (or making the decision as you said) hasn’t become any easier (I’m still a sloth and comfort-junkie at heart), but things seem possible now. Carpe diem! Enjoy your lovely bookstore as long as it brings you joy!