I knew the tough times would come, and they have – I feel a need to be honest about it! Things are still moving forwards, the lease on the property I want is now under negotiation between my property adviser and the estate agent, I have people investing in shares, I have an account for Tree House funds, I have a web domain and so on…it’s not that things are going wrong, it’s just that I am plagued by doubts, fears, a profound sense of inadequacy, an equally profound sense of loneliness in having to deal with these practical things, worries about money, worries about stock, worries about what colour to paint the front of the shop… The latter is not actually true, though I would like to be at the stage of worrying about that – colour is much more fun than cashflow forecasts and wondering how much solicitors’ fees will be.
It’s at this point that I am close to walking away from the whole thing. The stress is making life difficult, for me personally and for those friends close enough to me to be affected by this. Perspective and organisation are what I need, according to one such friend; I am good at neither. Well, perspective is easier for me than organisation; I lose and gain perspective, I never seem to get organised. Not a good trait, perhaps, for someone setting up a business! But there are people I can pay to be organised on my behalf, so I really shouldn’t worry so much – I am not really having to do any of the really difficult stuff, but perhaps that’s why I find myself free to worry so much about the whole project!
This evening three lovely people sat in my flat drinking tea and eating chocolate digestives and pooling ideas about what might be achievable in terms of events in the shop, coming up with contacts and other people who might be interested, thinking about how to organise space in the shop, what might need to be done in terms of decorating and DIY, and generally being encouraging and enthusiastic while I was feeling hollow and doubtful inside. They left, leaving me feeling a bit bereft of excellent company and with a sense that the real problems had been left undiscussed. I wallowed in this for a while, before realising that our conversation had been exactly what was needed. This is the vision – what will happen in the shop, and the very practical ideas about how this might be done and who might want to help were much more constructive than worrying about all the legal and financial matters that will, with a bit of effort on my part, be resolved in due course and will then be over and done with. I am lucky to have such friends.
I have to believe this blip will straighten itself out – I will focus on the things I do find inspiring, such as deciding what pictures I might want to put up, thinking about shelving (I *love* shelving), and I might even write a bit of a manifesto for the shop. That would be fun. I like a manifesto. Not a boring party-political one, where you can’t get through the first page without falling asleep, but a rousing one. To the barricades! (Literary ones, of course.)