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Avid Bookshop is almost here

My bookstore is this close to opening. It’s surreal and amazing and exhausting—is it really possible that something I’ve been dreaming of for years is days, even hours, away from making its quiet debut in the world?

Deciding to go into business for oneself is complicated and difficult by any measure, but for someone with chronic illness, there’s a host of issues to consider. What if I have a migraine flare-up and can’t make it to work? Who, if anyone, will be available to cover for me? Which customers, if any, will judge me foolish for having opened a new business while clearly suffering from a serious (though, thankfully, not terminal) illness? What do I do on the days when I am working at 50% capacity, well enough to get the basics of the job done but not well enough to be a top-notch bookseller?

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When I started this journey, I had a partner at the helm with me. Due to her personal circumstances, she reluctantly and sadly left the business a couple of years back. When she changed her mind about her role at Avid Bookshop, I was thrown for a loop. Any business owner who thought she had a partner but then was solo would have taken some time to think about the future of the company, but for me there was a complicating factor: my migraine. A. is a close friend and understands how my illness affects me, how one hour I can be just fine and the next I am forgetting the task at hand even as I’m going to do it. A. knew that I’d occasionally miss work with little or no warning, and she was ready to pick up the slack.

But could I really do this alone?

There are a few things I discovered about this adventure:

1. Though the business is my own, there’s no possible way I could’ve pulled this off without the emotional, financial, and moral support I’ve been given consistently for years. I’m not alone after all.

2. There is nothing like a meaningful, inspiring, lifelong dream to get you off your butt and into a healthy migraine care routine!

3. It’s okay to need a day off. People who love you and love what you’re doing in the community don’t expect perfection; those who deserve most of your respect are the ones who respect you as well. Yes, do your best, but don’t beat yourself up if you need to take a breather or need to close up shop early some days due to your illness.

I’m so grateful to everyone who’s helped.

And now I’m going to bed, achy, tired feet and all.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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