Somewhere in the past year the work that I loved so dearly became a job. It was okay - at times it was even downright spectacular - but it was no longer what I really wanted to do. It was what I had to do. It was a should.
I had no real intentions of leaving the job behind until the day I decided that should felt worse than the unknown.
So, 134 days ago I walked through the back door of United Way for the last time. The door clicked shut, locked and from that moment forward I became a person that used to work for United Way. It had been almost 16 years since I had been on the other side of that door - on the other side of SHOULD. I was scared, exhilarated and relieved all at the same time. I got in my car, said my goodbyes to Lee, the parking garage manager, on the way out and then started the drive home. I cried tears of sorrow and joy for a total of two miles before I just didn't feel like crying anymore.
It had been a long time coming.
I've spent as much time running from that place as running to the next. Today I stop running. The SheHive opens its door to the public in just about five hours. It's my new place - the next phase - the next fifteen years. It took me a lifetime to dream it and 134 days to bring the dream to fruition.
How did I get here so quickly?
Aleah asked me this morning if I was excited about the launch party tonight and my honest answer was, "No." I have been moving so fast and my mind is so many steps ahead at this point and time that the launch party already happened in my head. It's nearly a non-issue. So much in the past two weeks has become about the business of the SheHive - class catalogs, contracts, software systems, vendors - that I lost sight of why I wanted to do it in the first place.
My gentle snowflakes, never lose sight of the why. It's all that matters.
I started the SheHive because I want connection. I want community. I want to share my stories and have deep, interesting conversations with women who are brave enough to show up and share their own. I want to be reminded, every day, how much better life feels on the other side of should. I want to feel truly, deeply, alive. I want to be proud of the life I live and to never again wonder, "What if?"
And I want the same for every woman around me.
So, for this moment - and for the rest of the night - I put aside all thoughts of the business... of the past... of the future... of the next minute. It is all about the very moment, the community in front of me and the profound connections that can, and will never, happen again in exactly the same way. I will marvel in this thing that Andrea and I have created with our own two hands and the help of 100 others that share this dream. I will know that we have done all we can to get to where we are and it is good.
Tonight a new door opens and I am will enjoy every. damn. minute of it.