Head Title BiDesign

Denise Stoughton | Designer

Gas, Gloss, Gumption (and Grandma)

I’m not going to lie, people: Moving out of my wonderful, westward-facing, waterfront home to live in a “cozy” studio apartment was an adjustment, to be sure. So too was leaving my long-term relationship and one of my dogs. Lordy, this is sounding like a country song, which reminds me - Have you heard the one about, “What do you get when you play a country song backward?” Well, you get your truck back, your man back, your house back, and your dog back!

Gas, Gloss, Gumption (and Grandma) Chair Image

However, what if you don’t want any of it back (except, obviously, the dog)? What if you’d rather get comfortable with being uncomfortable? What if you believe you deserve to be happy?

Sometimes, the first step is to come to terms with what you don't want in order to make room for what you do want. Sometimes, the “don’t-wants” have overpopulated your life to such an extent that you must leave every single thing behind. My advice? Before hitting the open road, make sure there’s enough gas in your tank, lip-gloss in your purse, and grab your sense of humor on the way out!

Gas, Gloss, Gumption (And Grandma) Grandma Helen Image

I put rubber to pavement four months ago, and it turns out, I still have plenty of gas, gloss, and gumption left!

I haven’t pulled over to stop and think about it much, but yesterday I had lunch with a girlfriend at Tulaa Café in the Dayaalu Yoga Center (yes, they have a café, and yes, you must go!). This friend is also in the process of reimagining a new path. The details of her situation are different than mine but, in truth, as humans, we are all in the process of reimagining, investigating, and adjusting to new circumstances, nearly the entire time we’re on Earth.

My friend says, “I’m so impressed, you’re making it happen! So excited for you and can’t wait to see more!”

Like most, I’m slightly uncomfortable anytime I’m complimented or acknowledged (hmmm, better get “comfortable” with that too!), but there was genuine happiness for me in her eyes and seeing that sparked happiness of my own. Yes, it is amazing and yes, I really am awesome!

We spent the next twenty minutes or so
teasing out the big and small steps
that propel us in the direction of our dreams.

For me, it took letting go of any notions about what I thought my life shoulda, coulda, woulda been, letting go of any perceived “loss” as a negative, letting go of the perfectionist in me (it’s okay to make mistakes - duh!). Basically, I stopped judging, editing, and limiting myself. Letting go freed me up to “play”, and, once I started “playing,” everything seemed much easier and fun. I feel liberated to try anything and everything, investigate interesting opportunities, and think way outside the box. Box? What box?!

Gas, Gloss, Gumption (And Grandma) Afraid to Fly image

With so little to lose and nothing holding me back, I feel giddy with excitement. Yes, giddy. I’ve miraculously discovered a wellspring of energy to work the sometimes twelve hour days necessary to launch my business. Ideas are flowing like crazy, creativity abounds, and I’m meeting awesomely kindred spirits along the journey. Interesting jobs and clients are coming my way, and I’m super thankful.

Are “zoomies” a thing in humans? If so, I may have the “zoomies”!

This one hundred mph feeling reminds me of a road trip I took with my grandma, Helen, almost twenty years ago in Florida. We were two petite, wee-nothings driving south on I-95 in my father’s clunky, old Dodge Ram Charger. The air conditioning had probably stopped working in 1985. I rolled down the windows, and she pulled two colorful silk scarves out from her purse to keep our hair in place. We were rocking the dollar-store-shades and having the time of our lives. She turned to me and said, “I feel like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe!”

Gas, Gloss, Gumption (And Grandma) Grandma Honey Image

Thank you, Grandma Stoughton, for simply having been the best role model on Earth. She’s gone now, but it doesn’t take much to imagine her next to me in the passenger seat every day.
Here’s to all of us with the gas, gloss, and gumption to move in the direction of our dreams!

Bainbridge Island Design