My days consisted of waking up by 4 am to pack my home, attending my part time gig then heading to my store to prepare for the store for opening which was supposed to happen the second week of July. I say supposed, because there was still so much work to do with no end in sight. Everything took way longer than expected adding to the fact that the longer things remained a space and NOT a store, I was losing money and that was NOT the way I envisioned opening my business.
Looking back, the amount of support I had BEFORE even opening my doors was a indicator of how things would be in my store even a year later. Friends and family stopped by on the regular to feed me, grab a broom, give decorating suggestions (sometimes grand) or even to just say hi. All which was greatly appreciated. I knew early on that my family and friends supported me even though they had no idea how much doubt and fear that was going on in my head.
It took days to remember to bring newspaper to finally cover the windows. On the day I finally remembered, my college friend, Nakia stopped by to check me out.
I met Nakia in about 1997 at Kent State. Like many of my friends, who have grown to become great friends, our initial meeting was uhhhh…..on the verge of violence. But, somewhere along the way, our similar deranged, sarcastic personalities bonded us. In college, Nakia, along with a few others were amongst my take it or leave it, no nonsense folks. As adults, no matter how success any of us THINK we seem to be, this group tends to keep us grounded and are a reminder of what we were in some dark moments, that I, personally would not mind forgetting.
Although the days of sitting in the dorms plotting are long gone, when we get together, its like we picked up were things left off. Over the years, we have grown together through marriages, children, divorce, death and other life changing moments. I maintain that many of my BEST and worthwhile friendships developed during my college years. These sick group of folks are like family…..highly dysfunctional, but family nonetheless.
Speaking of seemingly dark moments, the way things looked at the time, this store business fiasco was one of them….
“Need any help?”
I know she was hoping I would say no, like I usually do.
I handed her the newspaper and tape, while I continued digging nails from the wooden platform. (Which I was sitting on AGAIN, with my chin in my hand, before she came).
No one but Nakia can turn a mundane, simple task such as covering a window into a one women comedy show. Nakia stands about 5’4, maybe- the perfect size for my window, making that a perfect job for her – and also a stage.
Before I knew it, this chile preceded to create a scene in the window to walking and passing traffic at the busy intersection where my store sits. Those at the light were a captive audience and she surely gave them quick red light entertainment.
By the time the window was actually covered, we were in tears. The usual with my college friend.
This was one night I left this space with a smile, knowing that there would be more times of side splitting laughter to come in my store.
…fast forward almost a year later, the laughter continues. So far, so good.