How to Get Back Up Again. And Again, and Again.

It’s the holiday season, traditionally my lowest time of the year. I had a snarky thing to write about how I’d been convinced it was my lowest time of the year by someone else, but really what do we really know anymore? But the real truth is that I set the tone for these expectations. “The holidays are my lowest point” I declared, early on in my courtship with my ex.

I was all about creating realistic expectations. I didn’t want there to be any surprises. This is me, I thought I was saying clearly. “this is me, WYSIWYG, take it or leave it.” I felt powerful, forthright, progressive.

Here is what’s also true: I will never live the same day twice. I will never live the same MINUTE twice. What right did I have, do I have, to declare myself and my state of mind before the situation even becomes an issue? I don’t. I simply don’t.

Recently someone asked me “Are you the type of person who_____” and suddenly I realized I don’t know. I’m the Summer type of person. I am funny, I am strong. I am fallible, I am sensitive.  I am this person, this minute and in five minutes I’ll be someone else. This is normal; this is regular, this is happening to us all every day, all day long.

I fall down, every day. A stack of old letters makes me instantly regretful and contrite about my deep distrust of history. I throw away perfectly useful items because when I touch them, they radiate pain.

And, I get up. Every day, several times a day, I get back up. Sometimes I bounce out of bed, joyous at the sight of the coffee machine pre-heated and ready to serve me. Sometimes before the alarm goes off, I am playing on social media, grateful beyond containment in that way that makes you just HAVE TO TELL THE WHOLE INTERNET how lucky you are. (just me? oh.)

Sometimes though, I get up as if I am wading through the sticky, slimy mud of an overgrown lake bed. I rub my hand up and down my face, blinking away nightmares. Sometimes it takes me an hour to fight my way out of the blankets, haunted by dreams that none of this has really happened. But no matter what, I get up. I must get up.

I get up because I am ready to be done with THIS and I want to move to the next minute and see what THAT feels like.  I want my kids to see me strong, smiling, happy. I get up sometimes knowing that I only have to stand on my own for a moment and then I will feel the utterly magnificent sensation of  being propped  up by my incredibly fierce, loving, loyal and brick-wall strong group of friends. I get up sometimes so that I can be a propper instead of a propee. Because I can do that now; I have that in me.

I always did. I always will.

How? A few things work for me.

  •  Gratitude list, especially about things that suck. So contrived, but I’m not kidding; even if I don’t actually feel thankful, when I post (publicly) a grateful spin on something that is hurting me, the power goes out of the pain. I am literally tricking my mind and it works. I don’t care why.
  • This prayer: I love you, I’m sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank you. – I know, right? I’m an atheist. Whatever. This prayer is about my soul, my own memories and the things that I myself am doing to hold myself back. I love you, I tell myself and my memories. I’m sorry, I exclaim. Forgive me, I ask myself. Thank you, I tell myself because I’m already forgiven. I am a good soul and I love myself. Sometimes, I need a reminder.
  • Actual prayer. I KNOW RIGHT. No joke, I’ve done it. “help” non specific, out to the universe. Saying it lets me see where the help is. Spoiler alert: it’s everywhere.
  • Selfies. Yeah. I’m a narcissist, full of insecure ego. Whatever. I post them to remind me where I am, have been, want to go. I post them to let my friends know how I am, that I got up AGAIN HELL YES, and how #divorcerecovery is going.
  • And since I’m taking selfies: fashion. Not normal fashion, you guys. Just the kind of fashion that says “I’m out of my pajamas now and I am good to go to leave the house. BOOM” Also makeup. And hair products. And scarves. I’ve been known to decide to go in to the office just so that I could wear an awesome scarf out in public.
  • Work. It’s not much, but it’s there. I rented an office and I go there every weekday. I rented the office space instead of working from home because I wanted to be accountable and responsible and for it to be necessary for me to leave my house.
  • Vulnerability. I cry all over the internet. I tell people that I need help. I say that I’m hungry, that I need child care, that I am hurting because I just read 18 handwritten letters from my husband. I don’t hide my pain and I don’t hide from it. In that action, I make connections. In connections, I find pillars of support. Fountains of experience and strength that I am humbled to witness.

There’s more. I also eat junk food and play with my kids and make plans that scare me. A hundred ways to love yourself. A hundred tiny reasons to find out what the day will bring.

If you’re out there, if the holidays is your “hard time of the year”, if you’re stuck in bed or a TV coma or even under the bed- contact me, reach out, call someone. Write a note. Know this: five minutes from now you will not be the person that is reading this post. You can do anything you want, five minutes from now. You have worth. You’re valuable. People love you. YOU love you. It’s in there.

Merry Holidays Happy Christmas or Yule or Solstice and all that other stuff. I love you, internet. Thanks for being there.

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Ressurection

It feels like that, this blossoming resurgence of Summer that becomes more solid every day. I am as a non-corporeal form becoming whole again, fading in and out of view, shimmering as I squint at myself in the mirror, a little less every day.

Instagram is full of self portraits, me checking often often to make sure I am still  here. Limbo is almost over. I am here. I live here. This space where I poured my life onto the internet for you all to read and share: it is MY space, my beloved open publishing box. And while memories (and threats) have kept me timid on the sidelines for all these months, my head has filled with words and pictures. I’m ready to let them out. I’m ready to stand in my space, to be solid in my space.

This weekend, I’ll take off in my rental car to a place I’ve never been, to be this person. I leave the jilted lover behind, I leave the inadequate mother behind, I leave the anxious lady huddled under the covers.

I’m taking a backpack, my phone, a tablet and a journal. See you soon, internet.

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This is the End, My Only Friend, the End

Well, we’re getting a divorce, so. I read through the blog for a while in hopes that I might salvage some of it as am archive maybe, but in truth the arc of it all is really more than I can bear to revisit. I may save this space for a while, in case I begin to write again someday, but I think I’ll tuck these entries away in the box I’ve placed in the attic with our wedding album and the mix tapes we made for each other when we were dating.

We tried.

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Hi. I’m Summer. I Connect Beautiful Things With New Families. I am a ReSeller.

The problem with stocking a badass resale store is how can I possibly part with something like this.

I’m a reseller. I’m source beautiful items and I take a big risk that someone else will find them beautiful as well. I want my clients to recognize the value in not having to spend upwards of 20 to 30 hours just on the two days of the weekend hunting around for items, like we do, sometimes hitting big, sometimes losing out, coming home empty-handed and dejected. We do this because we are passionate about every part of this process.

I love that my business is about using what is already in circulation on the planet. I love that my items are saved from a lonely life on a dusty shelf.  I then refurbish, clean, restore and adopt them into homes where new families, sometimes several generations, will love and care for them. I have stores online on Amazon.com, Etsy, and Ebay. I post items locally on craiglist.com and on Facebook in the local yard sale groups.

I love having a specific person in mind when I find something amazing, and conversely I love when I happen upon an item that’s in my request book and I can make someone’s day with a “I FOUND IT!” photo. I love-LOVE-putting the perfect item into the perfect hands. I am PASSIONATE about helping people avoid mass-produced big box store shopping, and I am passionate about saving and repurposing items from bygone eras that might otherwise be put to death at the local Goodwill dumpster or in someone’s fire pit.

Let’s talk about haggling

I know it’s a common practice to haggle at a garage sale. People at garage sales are often folks that are simply unloading their excess things, and often the prices are marked a little high just to leave room for negotiation. Sometimes I ask for a discount, but often I don’t, because I decide in a split second what an item is worth to me. If it’s worth to me what they’re asking, I’ll pay it. If I’m struggling with a decision, I might come back at the end of the day and ask. Often I’ll buy several things at the asking price and then ask for a discount on something I might have been on the fence about.  Today I stood around a hot parking lot for almost an hour trying to decide, at the end of the day and with my last bit of money, whether I would buy an item. In the end, I got the item for half off and several things for free because they were about to drop it all off at Goodwill. But earlier in the day I’d loaded my car from their garage sale, so they felt good about cutting me that deal and I felt OK about taking it.

Resellers are different from your typical neighborhood yard sale. Resellers with etsy stores or ebay stores or booths in the antique mall have overhead, pay commissions and fees, and spend the large majority of their free time on their business. Resellers who use online sales tools to manage their business also must pay taxes on any money that passes through their store. Ebay charges a percentage of the shipping cost as a commission on top of their listing fee and their final value fee, which is outside the PayPal service fee added to any payment processed through paypal.

Resellers:

  • Wake up before dawn on weekend days,
  • Spend entire days getting in and out of the car in extreme temperatures(we don’t decide not to do our job when the weather is 100 degrees or 30 degrees)
  • Put up our own capital in order to stock inventory, clean up, test, and sometimes repair everything they buy
  •  Stage photographs, take photographs, edit the photographs,
  • Research the inventory
  • Put sets together
  • Put sometimes hundreds of miles in a day on their car, costing wear and tear on the car and gas.

Weekends are not family time, they are 12 hour work days. On NON inventory days, resellers write sexy copy for their ads, create product listings in various online formats , communicate with potential buyers, prepare items for shipping, and make several trips a week to the post office (unless they pay for a postage service, another little overhead charge that’s factored into an item price.)

I’m not saying you should never ask for a discount at a resale store or in an antique market. I’m asking that, when you consider the pricing in a vintage store, that you be sensitive about the process that brought this particular piece into your life.

Yeah you may have seen a particular pot or necklace or picture frame at a yard sale two months ago for 1/2 of what it’s listed at in someone’s etsy store, and my response to folks that have that sort of input for me is that they should absolutely shop around for the best deal they can get relative to the effort they’re willing to put in.  I hold no grudges about this.  As I said, I am passionate about my business and my business is helping people find items that perfectly fit their lifestyle.  Anyone whose lifestyle prevents them from shopping with me is welcome to any and all information that I can share about where and how to find their own amazing deals. In the big picture, the idea is to prevent useful items from being sentenced to death in a landfill.

Let’s do that! We can do it together! if you’d like tips, email me. If you’d like to buy some of my items, check my etsy store!  If you’d like to request a specific item, contact me with a photo and a budget. I will do my level best to make it happen for you.

Love, Summer.
I find things.

Edit: I forgot that I’d wanted to list some of my favorite online resellers and reseller blogs:

My friend Jett creates art out of found treasures

She also finds homes for interesting, beautiful things. Her shop is called Twang, and it’s full of lovely amazing stuff.

I read Apron Thrift Girl and her advice has been great. She also often lists lovely items on her blog.

If you have a great suggestion, add it in the comments!

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