When I get home, I can’t help but notice the pile of laundry on the sofa and the dishes in the sink. I still have an hour’s worth of paperwork to do and dinner to make. It’s never-ending. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Nothing in between. I can hear my dad’s voice in my head.
“Whatever you do, make memories.”
You know what? Fuck dinner. Fuck laundry too. I know what I want to do.
Heading to the garage, I begin digging through our paint supplies. Gathering brushes, paints, antiques, and anything else I can find.
Just the sight of all the colors brings a small smile to my face.
I settle myself on the living room floor to start painting. As I’m cleaning one of the pieces, I can hear the pitter-patter of Kalynn’s feet.
“What are you doing mommy?” She asks me curiously.
“Just painting,” I tell her.
“Oh. Can I try?” Her expression is curious and her curls perfectly frame her face. I smile at how cute she is.
“Sure,” I say, handing her the smallest brush I have.
When Jose comes in the door 20 minutes later, we are both covered in paint and so is the floor. He looks less than pleased but for a few minutes in time I feel happy. Leaving my brushes on the floor, I start to get up.
“What do you want for dinner?” I ask him expectantly.
“It’s okay,” he says. “I got it.”
Relieved, I settle back on the floor with Kalynn while he makes his way around the kitchen.
Before I know it, painting becomes my nightly relief. I begin painting practically everything. Picture frames. Candlesticks. Furniture. Decor. Doors. Cabinets. Floors. You name it; I have probably painted it.
A dream begins to grow inside me like a tiny seed. It’s invisible to the surface, but life exists below. Obsessed with the up-cycling process, it isn’t long before I’m even skipping my work lunches to go thrifting instead.
The more I paint; the more it’s all I want to do.
If only I could quit my job and just do this.
“That’s crazy,” I told myself. You’re crazy.
What if though? What if it could be a thing? Like all of my treasures? Like little treasures by the sea.
“Treasures. Treasures by the sea.” I say it softly out loud and notice I love the way it sounds.
Don’t be crazy. You can’t just up and quit your job.
A familiar sense of impending doom washes over me. Immediately, I wish I was at the beach.
Maybe the answer will be there, somewhere buried in the sand.
Minutes later, with keys in hand, I tell Jose that I’m leaving. He looks slightly confused but doesn’t bother stopping me. I don’t want him to. I need to be alone.
Shakily, I put my keys in the ignition and then plug Pelican Beach into my GPS. I know I shouldn’t be driving at night with these eyes, but I need to do this.
“You will reach your destination in 13 minutes,” she says.
13 minutes. I can handle that.
When I reach my destination 13 minutes later, the beach is pitch black, but I don’t mind. It suits me fine. By the time my feet are in the sand, for some reason, I’m sobbing and can barely stand. Everything in me, is telling me that I am on the wrong path.
It isn’t supposed to be like this.
Sinking to the sandy floor, I give in to my emotions and let myself feel them. The waves crash down around me, and I find it oddly comforting.
I let the tiny grains of sand trickle through my hands and I watch them beneath the moonlight as the uncertainty plagues me. I don’t know how long I stayed, but by the time I leave, I already know the answer. It came to me, at the beach, while I sat beneath the stars.
The next day, I break the news to Jose.
“I want to quit my job and open up a shop.”
“A shop of what?”
I keep my stupid joke to myself just this once and I answer him truthfully.
“All my upcycled and repurposed designs. You know, furniture, decor, and art.” I wait expectantly for his stamp of approval knowing damn well this is the craziest idea I’ve ever had in my life.
He stares at me blankly and I don’t blame him. This is almost the definition of crazy.
“How would that go, exactly?” He asks me.
“I have no idea,” I answer honestly. “But have I steered us wrong yet?”
His eyes meet mine, but he says nothing. I’m practically infamous for my impulsive decisions. We both know this. Lucky for us, they usually work in my favor. When he still says nothing, I fill in the silence.
"The problem with risk is, you never know if it’s worth it. The other problem with it is, you never know what you’ll miss if you don’t give in to it.”
His shoulders fall a bit. I can tell he is about to say something but I interrupt him before he gets a chance to.
“Look, I can’t escape this vision. It visits me in my dreams and haunts me when I’m awake. Maybe it will completely fail, but I’ll regret it forever if I don’t at least try.”
Seeing I’m serious, he starts to give in. “And if it doesn’t make any money you’ll quit?”
"Of course," I fib.