Our company is Karens brainchild. She came up with this idea to create beautiful things for our community that would fit everyone but were especially made for the LGBT crowd. For our people. I was hesitant to dive into this project with her though, because it seemed complicated to start another relationship with her. I adore being her fiancee, love being her best friend, but becoming her businesspartner too?
In the end, my curiosity and believe in this dream that we shared were too strong. I jumped into it. Into this pool of ideas she had gathered without me. Into her creative process. Into her existing routine of being a full-time self-employed illustrator. Naive and rosy cheeked. It's been all kinds of wonderful and a very big struggle wrapped into one.
This is our life these days. A 10 feet long table filled with our mess. Our products!
There are moments when we can't stand each other. Moments of being way too critical with each other, because we both want the best for our company and our way is obviously the one to take. Moments of irritation, when you wish the other would just do what you had in mind. Moments of sadness, because we hurt each other with our stubbornness, and assumed the other could take it. Moments of disappointment, when a fair didn't bring new inspirational stories, but drained us emotionally and financially. I won't lie, it's tough. It's really very very tough to build a credible business. A community.
But then there are those flashes of delight, when you shout out the exact same idea and you can almost see the sparks flying between the two of you. Afternoons when you stroll outside and brainstorm about your future while you watch the boats float by. People that share their story with you and it hits home, because it's exactly the reason why you started The Happiness Troupe. Mornings when you open your eyes and instantly share new ideas with each another. Sunny days when you cycle to the beach and work from there for a couple hours. Toes in the sand, head in the clouds. Ice-cream every day, rosy-cheeked and sun-burned. Content. Excited. Looking at each and both thinking "We're doing this! We're actually doing this!".
Our happy place. It's such a privilege when we meet new people, but also draining sometimes.
This summer and our first two months of The Happiness Troupe have had the highest highs and low lows. Our personal and our business is now forever intertwined, and it scares us but we love it. It's the best kind of scary, like jumping into a pool from the highest diving board. We're balancing it out. Building new routines together, in the middle of a great big mess of shared dreams. In the middle of a renovation to make room for even more dreams. Together.
I'm on my bike, and she's cycling right in front of me, leading the way. The wind is blowing in her hair and we're shouting directions at each other. Let's take a detour, get our favourite ice-cream cones at that great place. We're in this together.
I wake up and she's there beside me. Sun shines through the slats, on my face. I look at the back of her head, see the blanket move with her deep slow breaths. I jot down some thoughts on my phone, turn off my alarm to let her sleep a little longer. We're in this together.
I'm at our kitchen table late at night and I'm crying because nothing's turning out like I expected. There she is across from me. Listening so intently, looking at me with those gorgeous blue eyes. She is my anchor, I am her kite. We're in this together.
She is the best. And she's mine.