So. Here we are. The business is officially over, the sign has been taken down, keys exchanged, payment made. Fin.
I’m surprisingly not in a badly depressive state today. Last night was really rough, but I woke up today feeling optimistic, albeit a bit directionless. There are obviously things on my to do list that have to happen regardless of what path I take from here, and I could start knocking those off the list without making the decisions yet.
But somehow that feels like a cop out from a once in a lifetime (so far) opportunity.
My life has been large reactionary. Even though I am a very pro-active, barrier-breaking type person, where I have found myself throughout the years has been almost entirely the result of circumstances outside of my control.
First, school, a place you are put because, well, almost everyone in the first world is. Then, dropping out, because of mental illness issues that were unaddressed when I was a child, also outside my control. My first job began as a favor to a friend. The job after that was because it was the first of a zillion minimum wage jobs I had applied for to call me in for an interview. After that, a side job that was literally offered to me while I was sitting on a sidewalk smoking a cigarette, chatting with my friends, and then a nanny job that was available and paid the bills.
I quit that job shortly after finding out I was pregnant, and I had always known I had wanted to be a stay at home mom for a few years after having a kid. Once he was born, that was my job, and the only other “job” I worked during those first few years was a brief stint working as a Dominatrix (No, not prostitution, there was no sex, just BDSM, and limited BDSM at that). Even that job opportunity was because I met someone who needed to hire a female Dominant who was already skilled and trained, and it paid extremely well at a time when we needed the money. I grew to hate it and stopped after about 6 months. I continued being a stay at home mom after that, including homeschooling my kiddo for preschool.
Then, my Dad died. 2 years after that were defined by nothing but grief. I cannot say with honesty that I was a stay at home mom during that time. I was a ghost locked away in the garage, hiding from existence. My mom and the hub cared for him during that time, far more than I did, something I will forever be ashamed of.
I started my business because I inherited all this stuff from my Dad and it had to go SOMEWHERE. I discovered in the process that I had a genuine passion for antiques, and I already had a knack for sales, so it seemed that I had found my lifelong career/passion/path.
As I’ve been saying goodbye to my coworkers and repeatedly answering the “What are you planning on doing next?” question, I realized that the plan I was reciting was made based on the original plan to have a business: this stuff has to go somewhere. And I started to wonder, how much of my current plan for the future (reselling online in the interim, and building towards having a storefront again in about a year), is based on continuing on my current course, and how much is based on what I actually want for my life?
I’m not sure yet. But I’m glad that I’m feeling directionless, because for once, it means that I get to choose. I’m not being railroaded this time. I can decide where I go from here. My kiddo is in school, and is old enough that he doesn’t need me to be a stay at home mom completely full time anymore. The financial problems we are currently grappling should be decently covered by whatever method of selling my built up merchandise I choose, even if it was selling it all off online or otherwise and not replacing it, not trying to keep it snowballing toward business level, but letting it taper off instead.
It’s actually completely up to me. Do I want to try to go to college? Do I want to learn how to mix drinks and work as a bartender? Do I want to devote more time to writing, to see what I might be capable of in that arena? Do I want to spend some intense, focused time on my mental health, even though it would be self-led and without health insurance? Do I want to get more involved with my local BDSM community again? Do I want to spend some time focusing on nothing but communing with God and seeking Him? Do I want to become a volunteer firefighter or a candy striper? I have absolutely no idea. But I do know one thing.
I don’t want to simply stumble into my next venture, whatever it might be. I want to consciously make the choice, this one time when life isn’t forcing my hand. I’ve made a way of life out of playing a bad hand well, but for once, I’m not stuck playing any specific hand at all. I can get up and use a slot machine if I feel like it.
That kind of freedom is dizzying, and I feel like I’m almost drunk on it, enamored with the concept of actual self-determined destiny. It’s actually, finally, up to me.