Twenty-Six

Part 1

I have eight more days of enjoying the mid-point between my teens and my thirties. Some in their senior years have described feeling like they’re still young people in old bodies and I could never reconcile how that could work in one’s mind, but I’m starting to understand. I’m approaching 26, but still feel 21 inside, as if the id and ego were set in stone in 2013 – more experienced and with more responsibilities now but fundamentally the same.

So, I’m mostly indifferent about turning 26 this year. I’m much more anxious about the sixth anniversary of the company, which approaches in April. When I started the business in April 2012, I expected that it would either fail within a year or hit $300k revenue by year 5. At the end of year 5, it’s somewhere in the middle, which is OK. The latter target is still at least a year away, but the possibility of the former is no longer a concern.

This year, my goal is $125k revenue. Realistically, I think it is 20% outside of my current projections, but I’m going to try really hard to hit that goal this year. My final revenue number for 2017 was $78,496.62, and as detailed in my last post, $26k of that was a 4th quarter anomaly.

Revenue Numbers Year-to-Date 2017 vs. 2018:
January 1 to February 14, 2017: $1,369.31
January 1 to February 14, 2018: $3,850.03
Gain: +280%

I’d say everything is on track at the moment, but March and April are going to be the most critical months of this year. My short-term goals for February and March are to reduce my personal debt below $5,000 and to maintain healthy inventory stocks through April. With 5-week manufacturing turn-around times, I know that the key this year will be judging when to re-order inventory more than anything else. I was really lucky to not run out of inventory last year and that timing was purely intuitive, so I have to make sure that I get it right this year also or else I will miss sales and that would decrease my chances of hitting that year-end revenue goal.

Part 2

I celebrated my third anniversary with my girlfriend about two weeks ago. It’s a bloody miracle I’m still in this relationship, considering that the amount of shit I’ve put her through could dam the Mississippi River in three places. I’ve failed my way to the breaking point multiple times, but for someone who regularly listens to Ludacris’ “Move Bitch (Get Out The Way)” during her morning commute, she has had a remarkable amount of patience with me.

Still, I’ve sometimes woken up or ended my day wondering if I have wasted her time throughout the journey of this relationship. I fortunately haven’t wondered this in quite a while, but when I heard Daniel Radcliffe narrating “The Present” a short story from Simon Rich’s book, “The Last Girlfriend on Earth” I really felt that it could have been an alternate ending for the last three years.

The Present – Simon Rich, narrated by actor Daniel Radcliffe 

“I don’t understand,” Professor Xander Caplan said while his girlfriend sobbed into her pillow,  “I thought you liked tulips?”

“I do,” she said, “it’s just, you get them for me every year, it’s starting to get a little impersonal, I mean, this time you didn’t even include a card.”

Xander winced. Her reasoning was sound.

“I apologize,” he said, “I obviously made an error in judgment.”

He tried to take her hand but she pulled it out of reach.

“Do y…, do you rememeber what I did for your birthday?” she said. “I got you that new Bunsen burner you wanted, I, I  knit you  a pair of wool socks so your feet wouldn’t get cold in the lab. You never make that kind of effort for me. All you do is think about yourself.”

Xander sighed. “Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?”

Emily blinked back some tears. “I don’t know, I mean, it’s not like you can just go back in time and get me a different present…”

Xander’s expression brightened. “Wait there,” he said, “I’ll be right back…”

Listen to the rest of this story here at This American Life (Meet Cute – 9 February 2018)

(Note: The link above contains a short intro before the story that lasts about 1 minute)

Bloom – The Paper Kites

Not wanting to end this post with the story of Xander Caplan, I’ve decided to end it with the first song my girlfriend and I ever listened to together. It’s highly likely that it’s actually not the first song, but whatever songs we listened to before this one were unimportant and I have long since forgotten them.

I’d never heard the song before listening to it in the car while we were heading to my parents’ house in November 2014. In fact, prior to checking it out of the Glendale Public Library a week prior, I had never heard any other songs from the album or of the band itself. But that afternoon, this song clicked with me. We were still three months away from a relationship and barely in the beginnings of close friendship, but this song became increasingly relevant over those three months and is still as fresh to me now three years later.

In the morning when I wake

And the sun is coming through,

Oh, you fill my lungs with sweetness

And you fill my head with you

Shall I write it in a letter?

Shall I try to get it down?

Oh, you fill my head with pieces

of a song I can’t get out…

Listen to The Paper Kites’ Bloom here on Youtube or here on Spotify