today was a brain breaker.
i feel okay right now. but i came to realize something today, in writing to the writer.
and it's not okay.
i'm not okay with it.
i don't know how it started. but we were writing notes back and forth.
and somehow i started talking about how leaving ever meant leaving the business.
and i blathered on about all the ways it has bummed me out, and all the ways it has changed the world that used to surround me.
i've written about that enough, but for some reason, i was going into more detail with him. i don't really know why.
but then something happened.
i was at work. today was graduation, so no one was around. they had catered the event. no one buys things where there's a building full of free stuff.
but i was stuck working, so i spent the majority of a day, between customers, piecing together a message to him.
what it came down to, in the end, was this:
i'm not so sure that i want the same thing that i think i wanted.
this is a general statement. obviously, it was true in my marriage. and now, i mean it in a different way.
i was explaining my dream.
the dream i've had since i was nineteen. since nina got me hired on at the coffee shop she worked at. for thirteen years, i've wanted my own cafe.
but in detailing it to the writer, as i was writing the words, i started to wonder if all of my coffee energy has been given to kenna's company.
and that, in three to five years, when i'm financially set to do my own thing, i might be completely burnt out. on a life filled with coffee.
i already feel myself heading in that direction.
i don't know what it was. something about the way i was explaining to him that i don't know where i want to be. i don't know where i want to live. i don't know what it looks like anymore.
i guess that as i've grown up and changed, so has my dream.
i'm going to cut and paste here, because it's easier than paraphrasing the thing...sorry for a lack of context, but i don't want to include his words here.
the business was his dream, not mine.
i was happy to help him, like i said - i loved it until i started to resent it.
because my dream is different. and from year two, he promised that every year he'd be set up in a year to let me have my turn with my dream. and every year, it would be another year. it was another factor in my decision. and he likes to tell people that i left him for a coffee shop. it's insane.
i waited for so long, with total faith that it would happen. but it never did. and in the meantime, a friend of mine left the company i work for to do what i wanted to do. and won best of the city awards every year since. it was heartbreaking, because she was only taking the business approach, she was in it for the money. on the other hand, my heart was in it, and it made me feel that it should've been me. that was four years ago. i've been holding a grudge ever since, because i wanted my turn.
but i know how awful it was to not have my dream, so i wouldn't ask him to give up his and go to a clock-in job so i could have my shot.
i have wanted my own cafe for almost as long as i've been working. since i worked with nina back home. pretty funny... it's all her fault.
the idea of my cafe has taken different shapes over the years, first i wanted it to be a venue where bands could play.
when i was doing angsty spoken word at nineteen, i wanted a place where people could do that, but i'm over that now.
i spent years at this one coffee house, and that place was exactly what i wanted. it was like being in a place where my dream was alive, and realized. but i was young, and it changed.
when i started working with ever, in my mind my cafe became a place that was a combination of things. a record store, a bookstore, consignment stuff, too. a multifaceted approach.
now, it's different. honestly, now i don't know what it is anymore...
the other thing, the MAIN thing, is that i don't know where i want it to be. i feel like my dream died to keep his alive, and now i am coming back to it.
i don't know if it will survive ultimately. i am afraid that by the time i get to it, i will be burnt on it, and won't want it anymore.
i think now that i'd incorporate craft beer into it, because that's what i'm into. at several points along the way, i wanted a coffee bar. i guess i'm back to that again. uppers and downers.
i have a new five year plan now. because when i finally do it, i'm going for it completely. i want to set myself up to be financially independent of it, in case it doesn't work. one of the things about doing this for someone else is that i've seen three stores i opened shut down, because they failed. and when it's my money, i can't lose everything if the unforeseeable happens. and in ever's case, his venture was less a business, but he didn't see it that way, so i have that experience under my belt also.
in any case, this city is pretty saturated. if i decided to stay here, i'm sure that i could make it happen. but this town feels small, and i feel like i'll always be in his shadow if i stay here. i'm committing to living here a year, and then i'll think about what i want to do. i have a feeling i'll be ready to leave in a year.
sometimes i think about living in new york, because i have a lot of fun when i go there, but i don't know if it's for me. it might only be fun to visit, like tahoe, but not to live.
when we got hitched and left home, i said i was never going back. i can only think of a couple reasons to go back on my word and move back. and i don't think they're worth it. it's stale and unchallenging, and it's not a city.
i moved here without ever having visited, i just left and trusted ever. and i do love it here. but if it weren't for him, i think i'd have been on the west coast again. he refused to even try life out west, so we came here. i lived in lake tahoe for a year when i was 21, and hated it. it was beautiful but boring and there was nothing culturally happening there.
but i fell in love with san francisco, only i don't know that i could afford to live there. if i had my way, i think that's where i'd live. it has everything i want, except seasons. but it isn't perpetual summer. anything is better than that.
so i need to travel. see what i see.
when i travel in the fall, i'm going to see my old roommate in tahoe, and my friend in sf. i have loose plans to see my friend in portland who has an organic farm of miniature vegetables with her girlfriend. and sacramento to see another friend.
i've never been to seattle or canada. though, in terms of coffee, i couldn't choose a worse location that seattle. i'm afraid when i go to either place, i won't want to come back. i felt at home on the west coast, despite being bored with the town where i lived. i never got to travel around, and i am finally making time for it now. i need a city, though, and sf/seattle provide that.
i guess that now i just want a place where people can be comfortable. i've been with the company i'm at now for seven years, racking up experience.
and since i came back to writing, now i'm thinking about self publishing my own stuff, as a side project. and if i can find a way to incorporate that with my other dreams, i think i'll be alright.
i hope i still want to do it by the time i'm set up for it. it might only take three years, because we'll sell the house in two and a half, and already have a ton of equity from buying it as a shell and gutting it. it's too bad you didn't get to see it. that house was one of the things in my life that i was most proud of. we kept as much of the original woodwork as we could salvage. and the kitchen i left behind still makes me cry.
thanks for listening/reading all this shit... it's making me think of things in different terms that i do when i just write about it without input and inquisition.
honestly, it's making wonder if i even want what i thought i wanted anymore.
yeah. fuckin a.
it's a bummer.
he even said it was sad.
what if a big part of why i left was to break free from his dream for my own, only to find that i abandoned that, too?
it was the thought and feeling behind it. he never made my dream a priority, and i made his dream my priority for seven years. in the beginning, it was every day. in the end it was once a week. but there was a constant flow of people into the house, so it affected almost every single day for the last year.
i'm not bragging. but everyone knows that he wouldn't be where he is without the help i gave him all those years. i think that the fact that he's carrying on without me and growing exponentially is probably going to bother me more a little down the road.
it's like building a plane by each individual component. and taking something like six years to put it together. it's not that you intended to fly it personally, but you at least thought you'd take a ride in it.
and then, the day it's finished, you realize there was only room for one seat, and you never equated that to you. and you don't have a pilot's license, so you can only admire it from afar. and you'll never get to ride in it, because you gave up your chance to learn to fly so that you could build the machine.
i don't want the glory. but would it fucking kill someone to just say, 'hey, tea. how are you doing? i've missed you. just because things didn't work out, it doesn't mean i can't still be your friend.'
maybe i need to even think about it, one step further. if ever's business was the plane, and he was the pilot, and i was the person who built it, what does that make my dream?
somehow giving up my dream meant that his came true. does that make it the fuel? no. the atmosphere? no.
what does that make my dream?
the writer was right. he said it was bittersweet. without the sweet.
that makes it bitter.
that makes me bitter.
at least i'm also honest.
i think i've got some thinking to do...