Do you ever feel like a part of your life relates to a scene in a movie? When I think about everything that’s going on right now I can’t help but think of that final scene in Fight Club when Tyler and Marla are standing in front of the window watching all the buildings blow up. The Pixies “Where is my Mind” plays in my head a lot these days, and when I picture that scene it’s not Tyler and Marla standing in front of a city landscape, it’s my business partner and I standing in the middle of our store while it empties out in a sort of time-lapse motion. I’m really OK, everything is going to be fine. You met me at a very strange time in my life.
I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now but things are changing so quickly it’s been hard to figure out where to start. I feel like my life hasn’t been this turbulent since we opened the store. When we first started the store I was 25 years old. I’m not even going to get into how young that seems to me now, that’s another story. The stress that comes with creating and opening a business when you have no idea what you are doing was entwined with the smack in the face of my parents separating after having been together for 30+ years. Every single day seemed to have new challenges. No matter how much I wanted to stop and catch a breath, the world around me kept moving and all I could do was hold on. Underneath all the stress, tears and anxiety, there was an exciting energy. We were somehow breathing life into our business, that is now, Downtown Cowgirl. What a beautiful life it turned out to be.
Fast forward almost 13 years later and I find myself in the surreal situation of pulling the plug on this chapter of my life. I’m closing the door on a dream I worked so hard to make a reality. But thirteen years ago I was a different person, weren’t you? I have changed over the years and I have recognized that it is indeed time to move on. It doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It’s actually hard AF and extremely uncomfortable. Our business was once a huge, scary roll of the dice. Somewhere along the line it turned into a security blanket, to which I am very thankful for. But now, not only am I ripping the blanket off, I’m throwing it in the fire. As I watch it burn I can’t help but feeling like I should reach in and save it. I’m burning what has been my identity for the last decade. I’m sitting here breathing the smoke in, wondering who am I now? There is a scary freedom involved in stripping yourself down to nothing.
I remember the last time I felt I had control over what was happening in my life. It was the end of April. I had a new dream and it was intoxicating. I could daydream about this new adventure all day. It was kind of like being in love for the first time all over again. Marcus and I worked on a plan to turn this dream into real life. First step, figure out how to phase myself out of my business while it continues forward. I visualized myself tossing glitter and pixie dust as I slowly and softly stepped out of the picture and Downtown Cowgirl growing to be the old lady of the Avenue. Doesn’t that sound lovely? The Universe is laughing at me.
A few days ago I randomly heard the song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” three times in one day. By the third time I actually started listening. This little sign from the Universe was what inspired me to write this. It was a symbolic snapping of the fingers in my face telling me to wake the fuck up. In the wise words of Mick Jagger, I’m getting what I need. It’s not the pretty little package I wanted it to be wrapped in, but when it’s all said and done I will have the freedom I asked for.
Watching the store wither away is heartbreaking. We have created something that people are sad to see go. I never expected customers to come in and hug me and thank me for what we have created. It is an equally amazing and devastating feeling. Nothing lasts forever. Not even this horrible, uncomfortable, mourning that I’m currently experiencing. When the store has emptied and we lock the door for the last time, I’ll be turning around to face my next adventure. I will warm myself in the fire built out of this security blanket knowing it has given me courage, grit and fuel. This is the beginning of anything I want….