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When you become your own boss, you can’t really entertain the thought of quitting. Sometimes I feel like the words need to be said out loud, just so they can be heard. “I quit.” I almost feel guilty about the idea that I would ever feel like giving up on myself. I’m the best boss I’ve ever had.

I was at the studio last night and I had the first emotional breakdown of my contest prep. I figured that no one would notice if I was missing from the gym floor while I hid in the washroom for 20 minutes. I don’t normally short clients, but I needed to get away. I needed to be as alone as possible. The closer I came to tears, the louder I told myself that I didn’t care. I wanted not to care.

For a good quarter of an hour, I decided that I wasn’t going to worry anymore. Every meeting, every email, every pay check wouldn’t matter. Detachment had become my salvation for the duration of my bathroom break, until AJ tapped on the door.

“Brooke? Are you okay?”

AJ has always been supportive of my confused twenty year old growing pains. When I feel less than cute, he tells me that I’m beautiful. When I feel lost or alone, he gives me perception and encouragement. “You need to have some sense of normalcy,” he would always say. And as much as I hate to admit it, I know that he is right. I’ve wrapped an unhealthy amount of my identity around the business.

AJ opened the door in his usual manner, calm and comforting. “What’s going on?”

There’s absolutely nothing average about AJ. Tall, dark and in better shape than 99% of North Americans. I’m certain most people are intimidated by him until the moment he opens his mouth. The first time we met I mistook his outward confidence to be a self-glorified ego. But, he had a 6 pack of abs with big aspirations. And evidently, my ego was bigger.

“I don’t care about this. I don’t care,” I said, like a spoiled little girl. There’s always a new expense. There’s always a new target. Ugh. Just ugh.

“Let’s leave,” he said.

“What? But we have to work.”

“Let’s go. I’ll get a Corona and you can get a Diet Coke.”

‘What is he talking about?’ I thought to myself.

I should be ashamed of myself. This was lame of me. And he should be disappointed in me and judging me. That’s the narrative, isn’t it? That I didn’t deserve what I had if I couldn’t appreciate it. Of the many strange enigma’s that my life contains, nothing brain teases me more than my very own indecipherable thoughts.

“Well,” I started, “I’m on the clock, so the next hour will cost you $80, by the way.”

“Aw, well that would mean you’re at my service.”

He’s funny too, I guess. Love will get you through anything.

Brooke

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