For all that my life is, in many ways, charmed, I struggle with disappointments too. Here are a few plaguing me today:
1. Horrid news. Starbucks is coming to town. I have been using the fact that the nearest Starbucks is a 50-minute drive as proof of how remote and untouched by commercial enterprise my world is. But as can be expected, the monster of sophisticated civilization continues to sprawl and take over the universe. . . like mold infesting a perfect loaf of sweet bread. It begins with a few small dots of green, which you think you can ignore (you just rip that part off and still enjoy a bite, semi-guilty because you are trying to ignore the inevitable truth that what was once fresh and perfect is now on the downslide). Then before you know it, the entire loaf is hairy, scary and unpalatable.
Actually, our Starbucks, due to open by Christmas, is going to be in Ellijay, a twenty-minute drive (where my health club and Walmart is). But three more stores are scheduled to open in the area. I can only assume one will be in the heart of Blue Ridge where tourism is booming. I worry now about my favorite haunt, LL Beanery, a quaint, privately owned coffee shop. Funny, it took months to get over the habit of visiting Starbucks – I associated pleasure to the store because we went there to “get away” from work – a short break from teaching to get a steaming cup of coffee while we diffused. Now, having broken the “habit”, I don’t miss Starbucks at all. In fact, I associate bustle, an overtaxed lifestyle, and a clichéd, contrived atmosphere to this (and most) franchises.
And the other Starbucks? Where will they land? Who knows. I doubt one will be in my beloved town of McCaysville where I want to open a coffee shop. But it is only a matter of time until the Starbucks mold takes over and eeks it’s way to my little town too. So much for my dream of opening an elite coffee shop sans all-powerful competition. Ah well, I will have to focus more on the innovative art gallery side of the enterprise.
2. My building for said enterprise is going, going, gone. As I mentioned previously, I fell in love with a building at the other end of the Blue Ridge Train in McCaysville and was determined to purchase it. But someone had made an offer already –although they were having financing troubles and hadn’t left a deposit. We left our name in case things didn’t work out, but never got a call. Yesterday, we see a van clearing out what was left of the stock. Mark jumped out of the car to ask what was going on, and they said the building did sell and the closing is today. Drat. They still have our number “just in case”. I was bummed, because I’ve thought about that building and our next venture so much it really does feel like I’ve lost something personal.
When I asked Mark what was going on, he said, “They are keeping the building for us.”
I said, “What does that mean?”
He explained that we are in no position to begin a new business yet – we aren’t ready (which is true) because we are still in transition and working on the house, and therefore someone else has bought our building to “keep it” for us. Apparently, his theory is that these unknown people will open a business, find out it is really harder than it looks and run into financial trouble (or be so successful they will want to expand and move elsewhere) in a year, just when we will be ready to take over the building. We will then buy it and do what we do so well.
You see, that is how we got our first FLEX building. The first time we saw it, we were not in a position to buy. We lusted for our own building, but someone else, far more established than us, bought it. Sad sigh. But then, a year later, that person went bankrupt and the bank took over the mortgage. They were so intent on getting the loss off their books that they sold it to us for less than we would have had to pay the year prior. It was the right time. For us. For the building. For fate.
Mark says “It was meant to be.”
That’s his primary life theory. If something is meant to be, things work out easily. If not, you must trust that it wasn’t your destiny, and you should be thankful things didn’t work out. You don’t know of the trouble and/or hardship you probably avoided because you didn’t force an opportunity whose time was not at hand. Something better will come along – something more right – when it is meant to.
I used to laugh at his life theory, but more often than not, I’ve discovered he’s right. Faith. It comes easier to some of us than others. Remembering that, now I will drive by that building everyday, grateful someone is “keeping” it for me until I am ready. But, you can be damn sure I’ll never spend a dime in that enterprise, just to be sure I don’t tip the scales of fate against me. I still want the bugger.
3. I found Silkie chick number two under my daughter’s bed. She was totally icked out that she slept in the room two nights with a headless chick under her. We have put screen around the cage now so no more tragedies will occur. I haven’t kissed my cat for a week. Damn cat.
4. Kathy, my reading student, is still missing in action. Damn Kathy (just kidding). I am letting this go for the time being, because I am going to Boston next week to teach my dance seminar and I’d hate to find her only to say “I’m too busy to care today.” I have plans to hunt her down and act like the truant officer when I get back, forcing more words, paragraphs and life lessons down her throat. I don’t give up easily once I’ve set my mind on something, and I think she is someone who needs a determined friend to help her help herself. I worry about her though, and why she hasn’t called. I can’t presume to understand her life or what it must be like. I can only commit myself to trying to make a difference. She is my medium for world contribution at this time, and I trust we will get back to work when her son is back in school. But every time we take a break, I am dissapointed. I can’t say I don’t appreciate the extra time for myself- but, at the end of the day, it is how you spend your time that counts, not how much of your to-do list you complete, and working with Kathy makes me feel good on many levels.
5. All other disappointments are typical of people my age. Loved ones dying. Wrinkles gaining momentum. A writing room that needs two coats of paint when I was hoping one would suffice. Homework stress and novel challenges. Missing certain friends.
I guess, all things considered, I shouldn’t complain.