I used to dread Saturdays. It was the end of my work week and I always felt physically and mentally exhausted in a very specific way, a way I think most people associate with wanting to get the fuck out of the office on a Friday, but that I associated specifically with having to clean before I could leave and enjoy my weekend. It wasn't that I hated cleaning. I don't. It's just that I wanted to do it on my own schedule when I wasn't already exhausted. Sharing my workspace and never having my own personal treatment room made that impossible. Now I'm not sure if it's just my body adjusting to only working ONE job instead of working at my old job all day and then working getting the new shop ready all night, but it's been two weeks since I've had anything even remotely resembling a day off and I'm... not really that tired. Don't get me wrong, I've fallen asleep watching TV on the couch five nights in a row, but that's somehow a different kind of tired.
I've worked more hours in the last two months than I have ever worked in my whole life and none of it felt like work.* I haven't felt that Saturday afternoon weariness at all. I don't want to speak for my two (FUCKING AWESOME) partners, but I'd imagine they feel the same way. This is the best kind of exhausted, the kind of exhausted I've only ever felt when I'm doing self-work. Building our own shop has been almost as excruciating as therapy and definitely just as rewarding (and I haven't paid myself a penny yet). Much like waxing, personal growth is never painless. More of a good hurt.
I love everything about the new shop. I love the way it smells like fresh paint and wood dust from the contractor cutting the floors. I love that there's barely an inch of it I haven't personally touched with paint.** I love how clean and bright and open it feels. I can do jumping jacks in the hallway it's so wide! I love our pretty sparkly logo and getting to see my words and my heart on all the signs. I love how my workspace turned out and that Anna calls it my Ketchup and Mustard room. I love watching the stainless steel front desk already getting scratched. I want to make out with our Square register I love it so.
I especially love my partners. I probably would have quit my job years ago, but they were the one thing I couldn't bear to leave behind. Now every time I smell Kari's perfume, I'm grateful for how she manages to class up everything she touches. I have to put my hand over my heart every time Anna's laugh floats down the hall. I love how well we work together. How we support each other. How we LISTEN. How we can so easily meet in the middle. I love them SO MUCH.
Our shop feels like HOME.
I know I haven't been writing and I know I have a lot to catch up on. This is always what happens though. Too much life goes by without me writing about it and I feel like I can't post until I go back and catch up chronologically. So this time I decided to say fuck it and just skip ahead.
It's only April, but it's already been a banner year: On February 4th, I asked Sean to marry me in front of most of our friends, his whole family (who flew in from all over the country to be there for the surprise!) and 10,000 strangers, we got interviewed on the local news, we went to Mexico for a week with the kids and my parents, then we got married as soon as we could when we got back. A little over a month later, I turned 41, quit my job and the day after that, Nether Lands Wax opened its doors. It's been quite a ride.
A decade ago I would lay in bed at night after everyone had fallen asleep and fantasize about changing my life, leaving my husband, finding a partner I was actually in love with, doing work I felt was important. Unfortunately, wishing didn't get me very far, it only translated into action for the main character of whatever romance novel I happened to be writing at the time.
If I've learned anything about life so far, it's BE YOUR OWN PROTAGONIST. It's taken me some years, some work, some tragedy, and a LOT of therapy, but this is what my life looks like when I write my own story.*** It's pretty fucking spectacular.
*Except for this one. fucking. cabinet. door. It won't hang right because the hinge snapped off and they don't make that specific hinge anymore and none of the new ones fit correctly. That cabinet is a fucking JOB.
** Except for the ceilings, which we planned to paint and for which we had gorgeous sparkly plans that the City of Vancouver deemed unworthy of code requirements. (You can't paint ceiling tiles because it changes the weight distribution of the frame structure.)
*** Yes, I am privileged as fuck. I know not everyone gets to write their own story. But I also see it as my moral obligation to use my privilege to help others. Remember how the Internet - you guys, my readers - saved my life? (Seriously, click here to read about it because it changed me forever in a very profound way). Nether Lands Wax is how I intend to pay that forward. I'm building an empire, you guys, opening our doors in East Vancouver was only the first step. I'm not doing this to get rich. No fucking way. Sean and I have agreed that aside from more time off with the kids, we have everything we need. But at the same time, we live in a terrifying political economy where money is power. I'm doing this because when women take over the means of production, we get to have influence over political change. I will keep working hard so that other women will get to write their own stories the way I have or I will die trying. Empowered women empower women. This is my life's purpose.