As I’m writing this, it’s the night before the shop launches our used book section, and I’m relaxed for the first time in ages. This is strange.

At the end of 2014, I quit my job as a comic shop manager. The plan was to go freelance. That quickly changed as my heart missed the particular patter of the weekly grind. And also, I’m not good at writing or hustling. So.

2015 began with a new mission statement: start a business. Build a comic shop. Together with my wife, we came up with a plan. It was a really great plan, so I immediately got scared and compromised. When we launched that version of the shop in May of that year after months of long, restless days. The first day was a good day. There were quite a few after that too… but it wasn’t what I wanted. It wasn’t what we’d pictured. In the fall of that year, things started to strain. In the beginning of 2016, things began to break. As voices raised, I finally realized what Danica had known all along, had been pushing for since day one when I got scared: this wasn’t what we wanted. This wasn’t where we wanted to be.

Flash forward to today. In the late spring, it was decided to split Variant Edition as it was, with Danica and I taking the comics elsewhere in the city. It came at a cost, and the dust is still settling on that front. So far, it’s been very amicable, with everyone taking responsibility for their resources offered, earned and used – costs, profits and all. Danica and I took our depleted energy and resources with us and began a fresh start. We worked hard for months as obstacles were thrown in our way, and… somehow… we’re now here. A few months in, at the precipice of something new. It looks a lot like our original vision… and it feels amazing.

For the first time in a long time, I actually feel like there is solid ground under my feet. For the first time in a long time, Danica and I are in control of where we’re going, and how fast we’re going there. What happens next is on us, and while others might affect our velocity, they can’t affect our direction. This is key.

Tonight, I’m feeling relaxed for the first time in a long time. It feels strange, but it also feels right. The compromising is at an end. Our path is clear and our hearts are full.

Now. To see if I can sleep.

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