I found myself alone, in Bali, at the top of the stairs leading down to our private beach. ( It was as dreamy as it sounds) I was on my knees, crying and laughing. Tears streaming down my face, the taste of salt and sunscreen on my tongue. My hands in prayer, up to my head, up to the sky. I’m clapping. I’m laughing. I am crying. All of this, as loud (and just as an intense) as a scene in a movie. To an onlooker I must have appeared to be a Full on Lunatic. (ha ha) This was not a fit of rage. It was not a meltdown. It was not a reaction to unwanted feelings. It was a moment. THE moment I realized I had finally…LET GO. I was finally FREE! It was a moment of celebration. It was the moment that I came to understand that I had taken the first steps to the journey back to myself.
I had a dream. (I realize it’s a MLK reference but it is fitting) I dreamt of a place where people came to be ‘a part of ‘. I dreamt of building a business where the patrons left feeling better than they did when they walked in. The staff worked in harmony and as a cohesive team. A place that gave hope, strength and encouragement to others. A place that simply helped people to feel their best.
To make a very long story short and to spare you the seemingly boring details… Along with a business partner, that dream became a reality and that very manifestation came to be. That special place was called Synergy. For 7+ years the business grew, bigger and bigger. People came, people went. It thrived. It grew. It was nourished by our blood, sweat and tears. The music sang, the doors opened the guests came in and left with a smile. It was a great place in my life, until the moment it wasn’t.
Simply put, the season had come to pass. My over-sense of responsibility to keep it up and thriving became a burden I could no longer hold.
I was then trapped. Correction, I felt trapped and I was tired of stoaking the fire. I grew tired of having a business partner whose decisions affected my families financial security. I was tired of working at it. I was tired of it taking precedence in my life. I was tired of being tired. I was tired of making the sacrifice that I had forced myself make. I was tired of going there. I was tired of the “pull” of it, that took me away from my family, my marriage and myself.
I was done. Nobodies fault. Life happened. But what I realize now is that somewhere inside, I had lost a bit of myself. I lost myself in my very own “over-sense of responsibility”. I lost myself doing for others. Nobody asked me to do it , I did it all by myself. I was doing things that I just was no longer interested in doing. I was doing things and trying to be someone that I didn’t want to be. I was going against my beliefs. ( I was going along to get along) I lost myself carrying the weight of something too heavy for me. I got caught up in my thinking, ” because I could, I should”.
Once I became keenly aware of what I didn’t want, what I did want became more and more clear. I wanted out. I wanted myself back. I wanted my freedom. I wanted to choose me. I wanted to put MYSELF before anybody (or anything) else for the first time in years. I wanted a “divorce” from my partner so I could be free of her. After a lot of hope, patience (well, not that patient) and prayer a buyer presented herself. There was a lot of negotiation, a lot of back and forth and up and down but somehow… It worked out.
It got down to the wire…I was leaving for a family vacation to Bali on June 15th. I turned over ownership on June 1st. And finished seeing clients through June 9th. On my last day of work I packed up my stuff and moved it out. I could taste my freedom that day, it was like a couldn’t go fast enough. To quote a song, “it was bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter.” (sorry, had to) I thought I’d feel a little sadness but I couldn’t find it in me to be sad. I was just doing it, no looking back.
That day in Bali, I was all alone for the first time. Habitually, a thought came to mind, “I wonder how the salon is doing?” And it hit me… I had LET IT GO. I WAS FREE!!! I no longer will have this rope attached to me pulling me. This was the moment that I fell to my knees and began this fit of pure ecstasy! I became that lunatic to any onlooker! ( I still smile from ear to ear when I think about that moment) Wow, what a feeling!
Since that day (and every second in between) I am most grateful to have myself back. I feel alive again. I can breathe. I like me and enjoy being me. Sure, I was still “me” when I was in it, but the weight got to heavy and somehow I couldn’t manage both. (Think, oxygen mask analogy.) The lessons of which I have learned with this experience will stay with me forever. I have learned so much. I understand my strengths. I am keenly aware of the pitfalls that take me back to not caring for myself first. I don’t do that anymore. I don’t regret a thing. It went, just as easy as it came. It was like a moment in time when you are handed the gift of wisdom. The gift of knowing what you are made of, what you are capable of and then, the gift of knowing when to walk away.
I walked away with grace, dignity and so much peace. With a smile on my face and so much love for the experience. Gratitude for the people who came through those doors, to the partner who made me more knowledgable of who I am ( and I am proud to be that woman) and to the countless experiences I have had in business. I will take it all with me. Thank you and so long Synergy, so long.