I have never been good at closing doors. When I do actually remember to close them, nine times out of ten I’ll probably leave the key right there in the keyhole, which makes mornings that much more fun for not-morning person me. I’ve lost more time than I would like to admit playing the “where the #@$%^%*& are my keys?!” game in the morning, only to open the door and see them hanging blissfully where I left them.
Sadly, for me, this same dysfunctional trait transfers over to figurative doors as well as real ones. At the moment, I’ve got a monstrous, industrial, need-assistance-to-close type door to close.
No, I’m not getting a divorce. No, I am not giving up a child for adoption. No, I’m not giving up drugs, alcohol, or any other addiction.
I’m closing the door to my business.
It feels more like this door is slowing eking closed, while I await the big solid SLAM to come. The slow eking started late last year, as I began stepping away from my business last winter and started a new job in NYC. Now, I am just waiting out my lease which ends in July.
It’s been complicated to answer why I decided that it was time to close this door. When friends, former clients, and family found out, I found their response, “But why? Weren’t things going so well? Your work is beautiful!” painfully telling. Yes, things were going well … in a way. I was getting a lot of media attention. Inquiries were coming in more frequently. I had former clients reaching out and placing repeat orders. BUT … and this is a big but … my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.
I was tired. Physically, emotionally and financially spent. I missed human interaction on a daily basis. I missed the feeling of worth that comes from collecting a paycheck. I was tired of having to defend my pricing with so many price-conscious potential clients. I was tired of telling clients that I would not copy other cake designs they found online. I’m sure I could have made a lot more money that way, but I don’t think I could live with myself if I was a copycat cake maker. And as much as I loved designing and creating, I didn’t love cranking out “basic” cakes and cupcakes just so I could bring in money to pay my bills. Maybe my moral fiber was too strong and inappropriate to be a financially sound, “successful” entrepreneur.
Honestly, it’s been insanely difficult to not internalize this phase as a giant failure. Maybe that’s my asian side showing. I didn’t get 110%. I wasn’t #1. I didn’t “win”. My business didn’t SUCCEED.
I know that is not productive thought. I know that the ridiculous, “when one door closes, another one opens” phrase is apt here. It has been said to me more than a few times recently.
Even knowing all that, I feel like I’ve just closed a door and jumped out a window. Without a parachute. And I am not a bird. Or a flying squirrel. I think you get the picture.
I am slowly starting to accept that the universe presents us with certain opportunities and certain challenges at specific points in our lives to teach us meaningful lessons. Of course, it wouldn’t be a fitting chapter of my life unless I was going through not one, but THREE major stressful transitions at the same time: 1) Closing up Shop. 2) New job – so new that I’m the first person to ever be in it. 3) Selling our house in the Jersey suburbs and planning a move to Brooklyn.
I’m beginning to find my wings.
Now if I could only remember where I put my keys …. 😉