I feel like I have too much to write to know how to start. I also know that saying that up front is often the exact route to getting it started.
Today my business deal was agreed upon, for a disgustingly small amount. I am going in on Friday to pick up a few remaining personal items, hand over the keys, and get my payment. And then that’s… it.
Today I awoke to discover that a couple that the sub and I were getting on with really well basically turned into assholes overnight and decided that we were flakes who weren’t serious about this, despite us being very serious about it. There are a lot of hurt feelings on my end about that, because I put myself out there way more with them (rather unwisely, in retrospect) than I usually do, because I have been trying to force myself out of this cage/cocoon and not be so guarded with people. It looks like I just picked the wrong people to do that with. Again. It’s really hard to not start viewing myself as the obvious common denominator here. I am determined to continue believing that people are, for the most part, good, and worth taking a chance on. I am not ready to give that belief up. It’s just that the people who aren’t a part of that “for the most part” group, seem to come up frequently enough for me that it gets harder and harder to believe.
And the hardest to accept: Today I realized that in many ways, my business was fundamentally a 2 year long funeral. I didn’t just do it “in honor of my Dad” like I said. The business itself was my goodbye.
I’ve always believed that as long as someone is still thought of, or as long as the effects of their actions and existence continue on, they are never really gone, even long after they may have died. They still go on through those ripples, long after the pebble has sunk from the surface.
I started my business because I inherited a bunch of his antiques and tried to get rid of them (unsuccessfully) at a garage sale (because nobody pays $200 at a garage sale for anything, even the Holy Grail), and I had one of those “so crazy that it just might work” ideas; instead of trying to just get rid of his antiques, I could actually acquire a few more strategic pieces and open an antique store. And because I’m a “fly by the seat of my pants” type person, I took it from idea to grand opening reality in less than 3 months.
Like many things in my life, in retrospect, I don’t know how I did it. Sometimes it feels like my life is just one long example of the tv trope Achievements in Ignorance. (That’s a link to the trope, if you’re not familiar, and the real life examples at the bottom are freaking INCREDIBLE). I just sort of stumble into excelling at the things I excel at, I don’t plan it, it just sort of happens, and it may sound like a prime example of first world problems but I am sick of it.
And here’s where Saying Goodbye and The Business collide. I stumbled headfirst into The Business, in some ways never even really asking myself why I was doing it. “Why? You might as well ask me why we have elbows. We just do and there’s probably a reason but if I actually analyzed every ‘why’ thought I have, I would never stop and I’d never get anything done, so let’s just keep moving on.” – That was basically my response to the very idea of stopping to wonder. And life just kept happening and once it’s happening you don’t have time to stop and wonder any more because there is a never ending list of things to do that get in the way. I was too busy with The Business to even revisit the concept of why I had started it. Even when I found out it was ending, the focus shifted to the ending, not the beginning.
And then it all came full circle. All separate things: standing inside my shop, looking for one last item of my Dad’s among all the other merchandise, and realizing that I couldn’t find one because they were all sold; watching the same scene from V for Vendetta like 5 times this week “Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself. What was true in that cell is just as true now”; my post “Quote for the day: Dancing and Endings” written only two days ago, writing anonymous poems after my grandpa died nearly 15 years ago and posting them online just so that some part of him could go on existing somewhere; my constant desperate need to leave an imprint of some kind everywhere I go, just to have something be different because of my passage, anything; It all came together.
My business was a two year long funeral, and, being the way our (me and my paternal family) is, it even had the added bells and whistles of paperwork and lawyers and tax filings and payroll. It’s no surprise; we always make one hell of an entrance, so why wouldn’t we exit the same way?
This is me and my Dad’s side of the family making an entrance, for the official record:
I’m not sure how I didn’t realize it sooner. I wanted to sell his things because that’s how I say goodbye: by trying to send those little ripples out into world, to live on, to have life even when we no longer do. That’s why my thought upon seeing all of it sold was “Mission Accomplished”. I’ve been saying goodbye for a long time now.
Perhaps I’ve finally said what needed to be said. Perhaps now is when I stop focusing on the goodbyes. Perhaps it’s time to focus on actually taking the risk that it takes to truly say “Hello”.