Everyone is blurry because time moves so fast...or something.
I am so very tired. And it was strange to be asked that question on the very day that I had decided that I was simply too tired to keep following this path.
Earlier that day, my husband (James) and I had made the decision to sell our business. We had been talking about it on and off all year, more seriously in the last couple of months, pretty seriously in the last month, and yesterday...I was just too tired.
James and I were talking on the phone and it was one more day where I wasn't going to see him because of our conflicting schedules and I was just done.
"I can't do this anymore."
"Can't do what?"
"I don't want the bar anymore. I'm tired. I never see you. I never see our dogs. They need a bath. We need clean laundry. I want to do the dishes. I want you to come home from work, and I want to be here with dinner, and I want us to eat it together. I want to wake up together and have coffee. Like normal people. I want to have friends that I actually see. This isn't a life. I don't even know what this is, but this isn't a life. I hate it. I miss you. I miss you so much!"
"Jessica...I've been waiting for you to say that for years. Let's sell the bar."
And so we're selling this amazing place that I have called home for 6 years. I will cry, for sure. I feel a little bit guilty about selling it. We created this space that feels safe for people to come out and be grown-ups and be social and be themselves, and on a regular basis, people share how grateful they are that they have a place that they can go. That's one of the reasons I've been so reluctant to make this decision. I feel like I'm taking something away from them. I can't guarantee that whoever we sell it to will keep it the same. I hope so, but it will be out of my control. That's a weird thing. I'm kind of uncomfortable about that.
The bar is also a central point where my neighbors who are down on their luck can count on finding a friend. I don't want to lose that connection, so I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to make that work. I told James a while ago that I believe God wants me to be in this neighborhood. I still believe that, but I also believe that I'm supposed to take care of myself. So I have some things to figure out.
Just today I came across author Elizabeth Gilbert's post on Quitting vs. Surrendering. There is definitely a part of me that feels like I'm quitting. That I should try harder, that I owe this neighborhood and our customers more, that I shouldn't give up...
But I'm not giving up. I had so much passion for this bar - my Blue - for so long. I put everything I had into it and the surrounding community. I absolutely still have a great love for it. But I no longer have the passion. The very best thing that I can do now is pass it on - hopefully - to someone with a passion of their own.
I am not quitting. I am surrendering. As Elizabeth Gilbert says, " Surrender is what happens when you have searched to the bottom of your soul and found out this truth — which is that you really can't do this thing anymore....You exhale, and let go."
People have asked me what I will do now. I do have a plan. In 2009, my tiny little Hey Lola jewelry company got national press and I sold a lot. And then we bought the bar, so my tiny little Hey Lola jewelry company took a back seat. A few years ago, I re-opened the Hey Lola store and was seeing success. However, at the end of the day, it was too hard to juggle the bar and the store, so Hey Lola took a back seat. This summer, I had the most successful Riverfront Market ever. But I also took on more hours and responsibilities at the bar, so Hey Lola once again took a back seat.
A very neglected studio space.
So I'm going to stay home. I'm going to do my laundry. I'm going to cook. I'm going to work in my studio, and hang out with my dogs. When my husband gets home from work, I'm going to greet him and then we're going to actually hang out! For the first time ever, I'm going to give my full attention to this blog and my oh so tiny little jewelry company. I'm going to sell things online and in some stores and hopefully make enough money to help support my family. I'm going to walk down to the community garden across the street from my bar, and hang out with all of those people that I don't want to stop connecting with. I'm going to nurture my friendships. And if that plan doesn't work, I'll be ok. I can always make a new plan.
Surrender. Exhale...and let go.
PS - Does anyone remember this Brady Bunch episode? Because this was in my head the whole time I was writing this...and I laughed the whole time.