How I Want My Story to Read

I drove to Portland yesterday to hang with my daughter while her dog had surgery to remove a mass. It was a great day and her dog seems fine. I talked to her about my business plans and tried to get her fired up, but she says she’ll never move back to this town, it’s too small and boring. I told her I understood and that frankly it’s boring for me too. The only things holding me here are my elderly parents.

Then I added, “That’s okay. They won’t live forever. I’ll bring my business to Portland then.” And I will.

While I was at her house my husband called me. He said his attorney received a fax from the opposing attorney saying they don’t want to go to court, and what kind of money are we talking about to settle this. I guess my husband has until Monday to mull that over. I gave him my two cents and reminded him his attorney will get a third, and the tax man will get his too.

I’m filled with disbelief that this ordeal, over a year long, seems to be coming to a close. Although I don’t know how much time elapses between agreeing on a monetary amount and actually seeing the money.

I was at once filled with terror! I will have to start making decisions. My husband will leave this town. I will have to adjust to that. And we must start the divorce.

I’m ashamed that, while I see him clearly, flaws and all, somehow I still like him. I read somewhere recently (a comment on Chump Lady?) that this is muscle memory. It’s part of that button we don’t have to switch off. I’m dismayed by it. I wish I didn’t feel it, but I won’t act on it. All it means is I am still a chump and I will have another phase of suffering when he leaves.

I actually feel sorry for him because he has no idea what he’ll do or where he’ll go. If he hadn’t cheated we’d be on this journey to a new life together. But if we were together, I’d rely too much on him and I’d watch our money slip away AGAIN. I can’t have that.

As I drove to Portland yesterday my “Service Engine Soon” light flashed and then stayed on. I didn’t know what to do. I pulled off at a rest stop and called my husband because his friend is a Chevy expert and has worked on the car for little to no cost. My husband looked up some stuff on Google and called his friend and got back to me, assuring me that the car was safe to continue driving there and back.

When he goes I won’t have someone like that to call. I will have to handle EVERYTHING on my own. I need to learn how. And it’s frightening. I guess I’ll sign back up for AAA. I wish I had learned long ago how to be independent. I feel so frightened, and I am disgusted with myself for feeling that way.

We can try, but we can’t stop time. I knew divorce was in my future (well, part of me knew. The other part thought maybe we’d stay married but apart). I knew he’d leave this town and I’d more than likely never see him again. But even though I knew it, it feels hard to swallow. I knew the case would end some day but it felt like it would be years.

I’ll get through it, but I don’t like it. I really do rely on people (well, husbands) and I have to learn, at 57, how to stand on my own two feet.

I feel committed to my business idea and still very optimistic about it. It will require a lot of creativity on my part and I like that. But I will have to take it slow because I am notorious for having a big idea, then when I actually begin to implement it, I panic and run. I can’t do that.

The first things I need to do are to interview web design companies who can give me a knockout website at a reasonable cost. I’m savvy at running an informational website, but I’ll need some handholding while learning how to handle a website with a complex shopping basket system. But I can learn that.

Then I need to begin to contact the companies I’ve looked into who made a product I want to sell and find out how to buy it wholesale and how to import it to the U.S.A.

At the same time I want to select a few quality items from the Pacific Northwest to sell on the site. It will be unusual because the business will sell stuff from the UK and Europe and the Pacific Northwest. It’ll have the feel of a trading company.

I will call the Small Business Development Center and find out what support they can give me.

It’ll feel so lonely to do this alone. I feel foolish that I’m embarking on my dream by myself. Am I ridiculous?

But no one will even interview me, let alone hire me. And I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur but always been to fearful to do it. I talk a good talk. I talk about stepping up to be the matriarch of my family, but will I? In the past, no, I wouldn’t have, I’d have chickened out. But I am reinventing myself, and I must do what I need to do to survive.

I’ll live here in my parent’s house as long as I can. If I need to, I’ll rent a storage unit, but, I feel that I won’t be able to operate that way for very long. It’ll make it hard to operate efficiently and let’s face it, do I want to drive to a storage unit in January to select items I need to ship and wrap them up and drag them to the post office or Fed Ex?

No. As soon as I think I can do it, I’ll rent a home with a garage and I’ll run the business from there, and I’ll write off part of the rent as a business expense. It won’t be the home I envisioned, because my daughter won’t be with me, but it’ll be nice. It has to suit all my needs, business and otherwise.

I must keep swimming. I must keep going to my counselor. I must learn how to reach out to accountants and business professionals who can help guide me.

I MUST NOT PANIC.

All my life I excelled at the planning stages and all my life I have run and hid when push came to shove. I married someone. I did anything I could to not stand on my own two feet.

I could join the chamber or other business organization so that I can meet other business owners.

I can go to all the free Start Up MeetUp groups. I will be attending one this Tuesday about which business entity to use.

And I will probably need to come here and report what I’m doing because otherwise I’ll run scared, tail between legs.

I am reinventing myself now. It’s not just talk anymore. For the sake of my future and what I can leave for my daughter, I must step up now.

I can see from my parent’s faces that they still don’t believe there will be enough money (or any money) and they don’t want me counting my chickens. I can also see that they are both fearful of my being an entrepreneur. They would both be happier if I were to just get any job. But this is my life, not theirs.

We write our own stories. And I want my story to read, “She married young, and continued to divorce and marry her entire life, never spending any time on her own. Then, after being ruined financially and a painful divorce she started her own business, kept her nose down and learned, and grew the business to what it is today.”

That is how I want my story to read.

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4 responses to “How I Want My Story to Read

  1. Yes, the service engine soon light is just a reminder to get an oil change,etc. The Check Engine light means something is wrong. That’s exciting that they are ready to settle! I hope you get what you deserve. I think that’s pretty exciting to start a business all by yourself! Amazing!

  2. It’s interesting reading your post, you sound as if you are full of confidence at one minute and full of doubt at the next and if you read through it yourself the doubt doesn’t come from you it comes from other people. I think you underestimate your strength and I hope that you do what you feel prompted to do and am sure you will do well because you have the right spirit.

    • FFB, boy you nailed it. I’m on an emotional roller coaster (as usual). I am both confident and scared out of my mind, but I must move forward with action. Thanks very much for your support. It means a lot to me.

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