This birthday surprised everyone else but me. I had been 39 long enough to know it was coming; its significance was obvious. And let me tell you, 39 was a big one: the first year in our house on the Cape, my first year without a steady paycheck, the first year I was able to put all of myself into Salt Cellar Shop.
I have to admit, I spent the beginning of year 39 secretly scared to death, with a big helping of guilt mixed in for good measure. I had never not worked. Like most people, I spent many sleepless nights worrying about my job the next day. I felt needed, and that kept me going. I always had a focus, goals. But it was also in year 39 that I realized they weren’t my goals, my focus.
When I was about 13, I got my first job at Eastern Lines, a surf shop in New Jersey. My dad’s friend owned the shop; not the hardest job to get or do (mostly thanks to my dad), but I’ve worked retail ever since. Christmas, holidays, weekends: I put all of myself into wherever I was at the time, and by year 38, was left feeling pretty empty and very lost.
But life is different now. Simple, beautiful, open.
It's the in-between years that are the hardest; when you know who you are but just aren’t in the place to be that person yet. I had always felt that tug of ‘something isn’t right here’ on my shirtsleeve as I rushed through life. But it’s here that I finally feel like I can slow down. It’s here, with Thomas, that my hopes and goals for Salt Cellar Shop can grow. It's here I can say that I'm 40 and pretty damn happy.