Saturday, March 1, 2014

Talking to my Dad and Letting Go of a Dream.

So I was talking to my Dad the other day,
which some might find kinda weird since he passed away almost 20 years ago.
But I think some people do that. Talk to someone in their head.
I mean he started the conversation....or maybe it was my sub-conscious.
But, well. Anyway!
I was thinking about a little place that I drive by every morning.
It used to be an office space for a heating/cooling company but then it was for rent one day.
My sister called me and told me that she had seen a sign on the window.
She knew that I always had this fantasy of having a little shop in this area.

The place is located in the back of a building that houses a coffee/sandwich shop on the front end.
The space for rent has a picture window with an awning and another one on the other side at the back of the shop which people would walk past when they went into the coffee shop by the back entrance.
It's small but perfect.
So I had called just to satisfy my curiosity and found that rent was month to month for $500.
Not expensive but still out of my reach while living paycheck to paycheck.
So it is now rented and they are selling electronic cigarettes out of it..........
(I'm wondering how many cigarettes you would have to sell to make rent.)

My shop idea is something that I've toyed with doing for many years.

I'm full of IDEAS. 
I remember posting about wanting to have an alpaca farm. HERE
Doesn't that sound like Heaven too?
and the time that I had the booth at the antiques/collectibles mall HERE
and how I filled the vet clinic with my paintings and prints HERE
where I've only sold 3 pieces so far
and I am still very much in the red on that one.
What is wrong with me? Jeez, I annoy myself.

So RIGHT NOW I'm am working on my Kanga book and doing little bits and pieces on my BLUE book
and then yesterday as I was driving to work, thinking about the SHOP IDEA again.

I heard my Dad's voice in my head telling me to
"Knock it off! Stop going off in another direction AGAIN and stay on course!".
I thought to myself  that yeah, that's what he WOULD say.
That and to keep my focus and energy on track. 
Not to get side-tracked...
and to clean my damn house!
Of course thinking about that, I could feel myself getting irritated
and my neck muscles stiffening up thinking how he'd say -
"Get rid off all that stuff that you are hanging onto! If you haven't used it yet, get rid of it or sell it."
That would be my Dad, no sugar coating it.
We had a bumpy relationship.
When I was little, he was mostly a stranger that worked all the time and 
then after my Mom was awful.
He got rid of everything
including my pets.
I can't even type the words about my dog
or I will start to sob...
so, I loved him but also HATED him.
A lot.
But years later after I was grown and out on my own
and he mellowed with age,
we became very close.
It got to the point where he said that I was honestly his best friend.
and I would call him about EVERYTHING.
Suddenly we clicked and got along.
If I was struggling with a decision, I would call him and he'd always say -
"Let me think about it."
He would think my idea through and we would talk about it.
We still disagreed on things, but it was nice to have someone who really listened and thought about it.
He had no regard for my Art and was always more concerned with whether my house was spotless or not.
But even though I had a boyfriend and lots of friends and he had my step-mom, 
we would still depend on one another to talk about our feelings and fears.
Yep. were very good friends
He was retired and had a little part-time job to keep busy but he would come to my house and putter around
but he always made me pay for every little thing.
That was just the way he was. 
He didn't believe in hand-outs. He had grown up during the Depression
If he picked up something for my house, he'd give me the receipt and ask for the money and count out the change.
That was my Dad.

At the time, I only had 2 dogs and everyday while I was at work he'd stop over and let them out at lunch time.
He would say "Don't you worry about those dogs!"
Many times he'd leave me a note."You need to scrub out that sink" or "I like your new rug".

One of the reasons that I originally got my house (besides the low dollar amount and great neighborhood factor),
was the fact that I could walk my dogs easily to his house.
I'd go over and he'd come out and we would sit on the patio and watch the dogs run in his big backyard.
He had a little dog who would run after the tennis ball until she was exhausted.
Dad liked to throw it up on the roof of his ranch home and his dog would run sideways, back and forth
and wait for it to roll down and drop to the ground.
Dad would LAUGH and say that "She could do that all day!"
Yep, after all these years.
I can still hear his voice...
and know what his opinion would be on everything.
He'd be brutally honest with his opinions.
In fact I'm currently ignoring his comments in my head about my cats.
He never liked cats.
He let me have one when I was young and then changed his mind and got rid of her.
She was a very good little cat, never doing anything wrong except for the fact that she was a cat.
I won't dwell on that.
Or I will be very mad at him again....
and I've worked hard to let go of that anger.
But now, you kinda see why I am like I am.

But just quickly here -
The shop idea. Brick and Mortar versus Etsy.
The idea is of a little place to go to where you flip the open sign.

A place where I could sell fresh cut flowers from my garden and little bags of organic catnip.

A place where an old rescued dog sleeps behind the counter

and an ancient cat lays on a shelf.

Yep, that fantasy of holding Saturday afternoon "Story Hours" where my niece Maggie would sit in the middle of a circle of little kids sitting on brightly colored painted chairs and read.
Reading beautifully illustrated books that held wonderful stories in their pages. 

Maybe have a TUESDAY night, serving beverages, appetizers while creating.
It would be a night for adults to come and make stuff and chat.

It would be a place with BIG windows that would hold magical displays
and a fun painted door -

There used to be a shop that I passed on my way home every night.
It was located on a corner, that had traffic lights.  I would pray for a red light so that I could sit and stare.
I wanted a shop like that.
But while the IDEA is perfect in my mind,  I realize the odds of success are VERY low.
I have to remember that time is fleeting and I can't do it all.
I must narrow it all down to what I want the most
and do that.
or I will have a million things going
but never get anything accomplished.
There is just not enough hours in the day.
And...I have to remember to just ENJOY.
Enjoy life and not to feel so frantic.
I'm remembering something else my Dad said to me.
He worked A LOT when I was little,
I mean, he would go to work in the morning and come home for lunch with my mom and then leave and be back for dinner.
And after dinner, he would leave again and work some more.
He was working hard to make a good life for him and my mom, that's what I was told.
So one day years later, while having one of our talks he told me -
"If I had known that your mother was going to become ill and die...I would have worked less and spent more time with her."
Yep, Life is what happens while you are busy making plans.
So, I'm going to let go of the SHOP dream

and get rid off the stuff that I've accumulated, the things that are taking up space in the basement.
Wire racks, a pegboard display case and odds and ends meant for my shop idea.

Yep, I'm cleaning house.
Dad would be Happy.


barbandemily said...

Aww! I'm sorry that you're letting go of your shop dream! I've let go of some dreams in my time, and I know that it hurts. However, you sound like you're in a good place with it, and clearing out can be very freeing!

Also, it's good that you are the kind of person who can dream - some people aren't in a place where they can dream, and that's sad.

I'm encouraged by the fact that you and your dad managed to have a friendship after a difficult relationship. I'm in that place now, trying to work on a better kind of relationship with my mom.

My final thought is a quote about dreams: "A dream is not a destination, but a companion on your journey."


Vicki said...

Amazing post Cynthia. I share something similar.
For so long, I dreamed of owning a cafe/book shop.
Not a place with hard backed chairs and meagre tables, too many cramped in to enjoy any peace.
But, walls lined with shelves of books - to buy and to read, whilst having quality coffee (and cake) in comfort.
Generous, cosy chairs and booths along the wall.
Warm, welcoming decor.
A place where one could be equally happy enjoying the company of friends or the company of oneself, with a good book.
A place to dream and while away a few minutes or an hour or two.

Won't happen now - not unless I win Lotto :)

It's nice to have good memories of the (mostly) wonderful relationship you had with your dear father. You are lucky to have that.
Thank you for sharing a memory, and your dream, with us.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with having dreams, we would go crazy without them I think. But You should concentrate and do one thing at a time.

By doing some here and some there, like with Your books about Blue and Kanga, You'll never finish any of them and You will have so much time to find something wrong with them that You'll continue working on them every now and again that You'll die before You're happy with them :-)

I know how it is to follow a dream and the thing is that we usually tend to forget the other bills that will come, not only so the dream pay the rent :-)Vet bills aren't fun and then there's the food thing :-)

So why not finish that book about Kanga, then the book about Blue and after that You can work them off one after another. That will most likely not happen if You don't concentrate on one dream at a time :-)

Have a great day!

Jenny said...

Good advice to another dreamer trying to face reality that if its not happened by now, its not likely to ever ! I blame those few successful people who go on about following your dreams, if they can do it we all can. Actually no, we can't, however much we try.

Cynthia Myers said...

Thanks for commenting!
Yes, it's time to let go of that dream...and besides I think many times the "fantasy" of the dream never quite lives up to the "reality".
Besides, I have so many other things I want to do.
To be very honest, working through a difficult relationship is not my strong suit. I am someone that would rather walk away than deal with it. But since it was my Dad, I felt I had to work hard on repairing the hurt. I've often thought that our relationship was like a dog and an abusive owner, where the dog keep comes back even though it keeps getting kicked. (not that my Dad was ever physical, it was all emotional) but in the end it was worth the fight.
Relationships are not easy. People have some many issues and layers.
It's probably why I prefer animals.

Cynthia Myers said...

I can totally picture your cafe/book shop. A warm welcoming place. :)
Too bad we have such limited time on this earth that we are not able to do every single thing we dream.
But hey! at least we are fortunate to be able to go after a dream. Some people are not so lucky.
Thanks for commenting!

Cynthia Myers said...

Thanks SO much for your comment!
I know that YOU know what it is to follow a dream.
You are so right about many things.
Yes, vet bills are high and since my pets mean everything to me, I must always keep them in mind.
And yes! LOL! I need to FOCUS!
MY house is the same way. Several rooms started but nothing finished! I will work solely on my Kanga book (since the written part is done) and then move on.
I will also start tackling the house in the same way....
because I don't want to die and have nothing completed!
Thank you my friend!

Cynthia Myers said...

I agree with you.
We are constantly bombarded with fabulous stories of very successful people and it makes us feel lacking.
I've come to realize that I will never have everything I dream about.
For one thing, I just am tired.
Tired of working hard and tired of thinking about the next BIG IDEA. Not everyone can be Oprah or Martha Stewart. But we can be happy with what makes us happy.
For me it's my pets, my home, the freedom to do as I please and answer to no one (except at my job)...
Yep, it's time to clean out what is weighing me down so I can do what I want to be doing.
But... I still have the dream of my Blue book(s) becoming bestsellers and buying a horse ranch! Hahahahaahaha!
Thanks for commenting!

An Urban Cottage said...

This post read like a movie script. It's a girl's coming-of-age story. Great character development; father who works too much to provide for this family. I hated him when he gave his daughter's pets away when his wife died. And I especially love the part about doing errands for his daughter and charging her for them. And now the daughter, who collects the pets that other fathers give away, comes to terms with her unrealized dreams and forgives her father.

I'm not sure it's a feel-good story but it's definitely worthy of an Oscar.

Cynthia Myers said...

Jeez Steve,
This comment makes me want to cry.
Thank you.
Just when I needed it.
The encouragement to keep trying to write.
Really, thank you for this.

tammy j said...

i've read this twice.
i sat here bawling.
then laughing through tears.
you always make me laugh at one point or another.

i have dreamed to of a little shoppe. not shop. but shoppe.
i wanted to call mine the
"the bean pot."
i would serve bowls of beans and homemade cornbread.
in the summer simple delicious salads.
there would be gorgeous art on the brick walls. mismatched furniture and dishes. cloth napkins made from material swatches with pink scissored edges.
all kinds of local artists would come and perform. poetry. music.
and of course there would be my dog to welcome everybody who entered.
never give up this dream.
yes. clean the house. get rid of the excess crap.
but never give up your dream!
i love and hate your dad too.
but what an excellent ending.
you are nothing short of wonderful.

Cynthia Myers said...

I love the idea of your BEAN shoppe.
It sounds perfect.
No, I must let this particular dream go because I have some many others.
I need to finish the Kanga childrens book. And then put together the Blue book, which is something I have in my head as a story/illustrated/photo book.
And then I have my childrens book I want to do about my little dogs and what they do while I'm gone during the day.
and...someday, the novel about my Maddie, the dog that figuratively saved my life a couple of times. AND... I want to learn to ride a horse...and maybe own one someday.
And I need to work on my house, repairing and de-cluttering and maybe someday move to something that could be built.....
So, you see I have some many dreams that I need to let some go or I will never get the BIG ones accomplished.
Thanks so much for your sweet comment but truly I'm not wonderful, I'm just a dreamer.

tammy j said...


Cynthia Myers said...


regreta said...

so yer dad paid ya a visit, eh? and told you to clean up the mess, and you listened!!! (ps, talking to the dead is not weird, I do it all the time, some of us are lucky like that) so my question to you is... what are ya gonna do with the free space?? perhaps the space will lead you to a new dream/goal, so good for you! Cant you recycle some of the display stuff and integrate it into your home, redecorate, you love that shit, c'mon....

my secret shoppe would be a bookstore/record store like that movie high fidelity, where the shop keepers are high i.q. jerks, and be able to tell people they have bad taste to their faces!!!! bu ah ah ah ah!!!!

Cynthia Myers said...

I haven't seen "High Fidelity"!
I will rent it and see what you are talking about.
The space freed up will hopefully stay empty, the better to breathe!
I'm hoping to maybe...have a yard sale. Ugh! I hate the thought but maybe I would make some cash, I can always use some of that!
I only talk with my Dad, never my Mom. Long story there, maybe I will share on another day. But it was a pact that we made.
Thanks for commenting!