Thursday, June 4, 2015

17/52 :: the kathleen kelly dream.

Pssst: Since I wrote this post a few days ago, I've entered The Bookshelf to win a $100,000 grant from Chase. If you're so inclined, would you consider voting for us? We need 250 votes to move on the next round, and you can vote here. Thank you for your continued support of me and my dream. 


I've wanted to be Kathleen Kelly since before it was cool -- since I was about 15 years old, as a matter of fact. I watched her on-screen in her cardigans and Keds, and I thought: Hey! That's an achievable goal. I can do that. 

And you know what? I can. I didn't really think it was going to happen, but here I am, almost 15 years later, running a bookstore and wearing the occasional cardigan. Dreams do come true. They're just harder than anyone tells you they'll be.  

We started doing birthday parties at the store. We've only hosted two so far, but they're fun and chaotic, and never do I feel more like Kathleen than when I'm turning on the store lights and prepping for story time with the You've Got Mail soundtrack playing in the background. I actually enjoy working Saturdays -- and the occasional birthday party -- because that's when this job most feels like the movies. Kids are running around; customers come in who I know by name; we're busy, busy, busy. It's dream-like, no doubt about it. 

Tuesdays through Fridays tell a slightly different tale. Those days include countless meetings, long hours checking email (so many emails), updating social media, running to the bank and to the post office. My weekdays never seem to end, until suddenly, they do, and I'm never quite sure what I accomplished until I look back at my daily to-do lists.

I think, sometimes, I forget this was a dream of mine. I forget how lucky I am, how incredibly fun this all is. I forget, because it's hard. But I guess I want to remember -- in case one day it all comes to an end -- how much I've enjoyed this adventure.

One day, I'll be able to tell me children I owned a bookstore. Maybe they'll get the chance to work there during the summers, to be a part of the business themselves. Or maybe we'll be long gone from Thomasville, and the bookstore we'll be a part of our past. It doesn't matter, really. I'll be able to tell them I lived my dream, and I'll have evidence. It will prove, I hope, that they can live out their dreams, too.

So yes, there are bills and employees to train, and long, hard, chaotic days. But there are also Saturdays, when the You've Got Mail soundtrack reminds me: This is all just incredibly cool.


M. Eileen said...

What a wonderful adventure! Voted! :)

Feisty Harriet said...

I love this post so much!! Vote submitted!