Last week, I hopped on Facebook and was met with a memory of an interview my lovely cousin, Jane, conducted with me five years ago now! It was a delightful thing to revisit in that I was just then starting to formulate my plans for Postscript, and to be on the other side of that dream looking back at what my former self was imagining is kind of wild. Those questions we ask ourselves -- "where do you want to be in five years?" -- can feel so nebulous to answer. But it surprised me to see, as I reread the interview, that I completely and totally knew. After feeling a gnawing uncertainty for so many years in grad school about pursuing academic life and a heavy question mark about what the alternatives were, I had finally arrived at a clear picture of what I wanted to do. Man, that kind of certainty is so dreamy when it happens, isn't it? And because building a business out of nothing only promises insanely delayed gratification for your hard work (if gratification comes at all), and because the present-tense me can stumble and feel defeated and begin to doubt, it does my heart some good to look back on myself, five years younger, and see how clear I was on what was ahead. If you're interested in learning a little more about my backstory and how Postscript came to be, you can read the whole interview here. (Side note: said cousin Jane very recently moved to Paris, so I suspect that a considerable fraction of any current doubt about my business is probably a consequence of how very immobile brick and mortar are.)
Anyway, thinking about all this has me asking myself anew where I want to be in five more years, and I envy the kind of certainty I had before. I'm proud of what I've built, and it is truly a joy to go to work. I mean, I get to make myself espresso and be surrounded by beautiful books and objects. I have space to create. I adore my customers. I feel over-the-moon lucky that I've gotten to do any of this. But I can let you in on a hard-won secret: opening a stationery shop in a town of 2,500 people is not a surefire way to earn a living. I know! It has come as a surprise to me, too! Ha ha ha.
So if the past five years have been dedicated to bringing this business into the world, the next five will be about making it a healthy and sustainable endeavor. I am still working on the Poetry by Post project, which will re-launch at the end of this year, and I hope that takes on a life of its own. I am dreaming up some super special custom desk and stationery offerings that I want to exist in the world. Now that I have a functional website, I'll be able to invest more effort into this platform, too. But while I could see, with clarity, Postscript as a setting, I confess I can't see with the same kind of clarity Postscript as a successful business, humming along without keeping me in a perpetual state of worry. I hope it'll get there. I'm working on it. Time will tell, I suppose. Five years has a way of doing that.
I'm curious: where do YOU want to be in five years? And do you have any requests or ideas about what you'd like to see Postscript offer or provide? I'd love to know!