Monday, June 23, 2008

When is it o.k.?

When is it o.k to throw in the towel?

When is o.k to know you've had enough?

When is o.k. to move on and not feel like a failure?

When is o.k. to move on unsure of the future, but hopeful again?

I ask these questions because today was one of those days I ask myself these questions. One of the days when I end up banging my head against the wall wondering why I'm doing this? Who am I doing this for and why I thought this was a good idea?

I've been contemplating calling it quits, just admitting defeat and moving on with my life. Just admit failure and move forward with what I can while I can.

I've spent nearly three years praying for signs, praying for advice and praying for guidance, has it been there the whole time and I just didn't pay enough attention? Or am I reading too much into things?

When I decided to go after the dream of owning my own business, to work for myself, I did my research, I listened to advice, it takes a good three years before you'll see signs of survival. Well as I close in on three years there is nothing there, signs of future problems and a continuation of the struggles from the last three years. Signs of constant problems, constant issues and constant pain. When is it that it's o.k to give it up? Will I feel like a failure if I do? Will I disappoint those that love me if I just finally concede to these feelings?

And the question I've come up with as of late....What happens to the life I've created? What happens to the people I've met? What happens to the feelings I've discovered? What happens to the life I enjoy? Will it follow me to the next venture? Will the things I've learned help me to pave the future? Will I be happy? Will I just be throwing away a dream? I'm so unsure of myself, so unsure of the future. The minute I get an idea in my head I bash it with passion, I put up road blocks, is this on purpose or are they road blocks I'm finally seeing? What if the road is a dead end?

I'm just not sure where to turn, where to run or where to hide at this point. I know that my family will support me no matter which way I turn, but will they be disappointed? Would they tell me if they were? Would I regret running later on?

Each day is another adventure. I think about the pros and cons of this life everyday, and come to no conclusion when I'm done thinking. Why am I here? What was the purpose of this? I have met people that will affect me for the rest of my life and I would hate to lose them, but where do I draw the line between them and me? Where does my living life for them and living life for me start and end? Where will I go, what will I do? Why didn't this work out? Will it work out?

I wonder, did I give it my all? Am I not yet done here? Is this really where I'm supposed to be? I think about so much and yet nothing at all.....and people wonder why I need medication! ;)

I spent hours tonight praying about what to do next, for some grand sign, like a red phone on my desk that will ring with the next direction, or answers to some of these questions, and yet nothing. Am I missing the signs? Am I missing the memo of what to do next? Or are my unanswered prayers an answer in themselves? Are they not being answered because there aren't answers yet? Should I be holding out and waiting some more?

I don't doubt God's existence. I don't doubt he's looking after me, but is my faith not strong enough? If I was a better christian would I hear the answers? Would I see the magical finger pointing me in the direction I should be going?

I really don't think I've asked this many questions in one blog before, but this is what is happening in my mind today. I spend hours considering my options and when a good one comes along the doubts and other factors come rushing into my head at the same time, and I find myself shutting down, or reaching for alcohol to make the thoughts just go away. I tried that tonight, but knew very early on it was not the escape I need, not the answer I'm looking for. I didn't stop partaking in adult beverages, but I reminded myself that no matter how drunk I got I wouldn't be better in the morning, so I took it easy, I relaxed and lived in the moment and didn't get smashed, I'm not plowed, I'm good. I'm learning. I'm growing.

But is this where I'm supposed to grow? I wish I could remember the day I decided to leave Michigan, to start over again and build a new life. I wish I could remember what was the driving decision to bring me to this point. I know that it was right, that I needed to do this to get over the past, but was this all this was?

I've gone bankrupt for this dream, it's dragged me down so far into physical and mental exhaustion that I'm never sure I'll recover. When do I say I'm done and not feel like I've failed myself, like I'm not just running when the going gets tough.

I look back over the past and realize that it always seems to be the three year mark when I get restless, I get tired, and I get fed up. Is this just me running again? Has it ever been running?

A blog of thrilling right?


  1. I don't doubt God's existence. I don't doubt he's looking after me, but is my faith not strong enough? If I was a better christian would I hear the answers? Would I see the magical finger pointing me in the direction I should be going?

    NO. Your lack of clear answers is not a sign your faith is lacking.

    What I did, when I was deciding to move to cincinnati is pray for doors. I asked God to firmly close doors down paths that I wasn't to go, and he did. I asked him to open doors to guide me the way that I should go. Some of the doors were huge, some were small, but they were all there. I've forced myself through doors that were closed before, and that doesn't mean all is lost. If you make a wrong decision, God will use that to glorify him and bring you closer to him.

    All that being said, sometimes you just have to jump. Sometimes God doesn't tell you want to do because he believes in you and knows that he works in all things for the good of those who love him.

    Finally, from all our conversations about your family, I don't think they will disappointed. If anything, if you leave, they will be sad they don't see you as much, but geography doesn't define love. I won't be disappointed, or think any differently of you. The people that irrationally love you want you to be happy, they want you to live a full and passionate life. If the store is no longer that for you, then maybe that's one of your signs.
    You're putting things into place (insurance license for example) that will allow you to "live" outside the realm of the store, concentrate on building those things with the store, so that if/when you pull the trigger to move on you have something there to catch you.
    I believe in you Pete, and I know that whatever you set your mind to you can do.
    Love you!

  2. I think that while your family may be disappointed that things didn't work out the way you wanted, they won't be disappointed in you.

    I certainly wouldn't be. You took charge of a business, and you have been successful the whole time. Success in a small privately owned business isn't about making a ton of money. It's about staying afloat and living your dream. You're already one in a million for lasting as long as you have.

    As for when it's okay to leave, only you can decide that. If you're still passionate about your store, then hang on for the ride and fight the fight a bit longer.

    If you've already lived out your dream to it's fullest extent, then by all means, pass the torch.

    I haven't made it through your entire archive yet, but just from what I have read so far I can tell you've turned the business around 180 degrees.

    You might not be rolling in cash, but don't let that be the determining factor of your "worth" as a business owner, and certainly not as a person.

    You are not only successful, but you yourself are a success as well!