our second home: the beginning

Since I was a little girl, I’ve collected things I find along my path that catch my eye or heart. Rocks in the natural shape of hearts. Interesting shells. The irresistible pine cone. Unreasonably huge, colorful leaves. Driftwood that’s soft as cotton. Trips down the street, through the woods, along the beach and exploring mountains often lead to a pocketful of treasures on the way home. My collection includes rocks my mother has found, often hand painted and given to me, which I display on a shelf or tuck into plants on my balcony, like little good omens for growth.

I’m attracted to things, and how they resonate, reassure and often lead us, tip-toe’ing at first, into grand adventures with people.

Like the day I picked up a special, albeit very normal-looking, nail.

Things felt really good, and also like I was short on oxygen. Kind of like how you feel when you summit a mountain. Or buy your first house. Or fall in love. Everything seems possible. Lights are brighter, your stomach feels miraculously flat and you try to interpret every song on the radio like a direct message from the Good Lord. #rockymountainhigh

I’m over the age of 21, and so I knew I needed to stay grounded, not make any decisions quickly, think it over. As our group exited the back door of the space, I had this urge to turn back and experience the room by myself.  It was only a ‘retail shell’ at that time - no electricity, plumbing, walls or flooring. Yet I felt connected to it, and what could happen there. I needed a moment to breathe there all by myself. And pray.

If I were to move forward, it would be the biggest business investment of my life. And a 10-year commitment. It would involve the the talent and energy of my entire, amazing Team, and hiring to double our current size. Whoa.

There were no lights, so I walked into the semi-darkness lit only by the light sashaying in through the partially open door. The group outside waiting on me, and making conversation during my sudden exit, consisted of Lindsay Mason, our Operations Director, Ross Golman, our commercial broker, and Matt Heisman, the landlord’s broker. 

Lindsay knows me well enough to know I act from the gut, and it’s not always a smooth execution. Ross is laid back, and wouldn’t have cared if I lit a cigarette and read my horoscope aloud. Matt, however, was new to me, and I wondered if he wondered what the heck I was doing, and how long this was gonna take, my little jaunt back into suite B160 of Legacy West.

I tried to relax in the dark and silently prayed. Before I left, I looked down to ensure I wouldn’t trip on the various boards along the floor, and a nail caught my eye. I started to walk away, and felt compelled to spin back around and pick it up. I felt a little guilty - I didn’t own the nail. But I had an even stronger feeling that I should take it with me. So I did, and placed it gently in the console of my car.

It stayed there for almost a year.

(to be continued)

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