The Early and Yet Somehow Late Start of Our New Beginning By Spitfire.
Today the strangest thing happened. I had a patient ask me a question. We were talking about Ellen, PCA 2, Tucson, and of course the future of PCA. She looked me in the eye and she asked me, “What are we going to do without Ellen?”
So what you don't know, is that I've been kind of wondering this myself. I have worried about the numbers, about the cash flow, about the patients, about the opening of PCA2 and it's effect on PCA1, about our ability to keep up patient numbers after Ellen first goes down to 2 days and then leaves altogether, about me and myself and I and our abilities to lead the way, about Billy and Zem, about the volunteer schedule, and the Firehouse – I mean theoretically it could spontaneously combust right after we sign papers, about the line of credit and the debt, about the past, about the present, about the future, about yesterday, about Korben and Rebecca and Lou and that guy that didn't work out, about the lighting and how long until we'll have to change it, about my lack of partner both in life and at work, about the other CA clinics I've worked at and the lower overhead they operate under, how much smaller they are, how much more stringy the budgets, about hardwood flooring and my irrepressible desire to buy more white noise makers, my complete lack of ability to make a definitive choice between anti-gravity chairs and recliners – I like getting treated and treating in both depending and both are comfortable but suck sometimes – and whether or not this means the whole thing boils down to my inability to do this job. Yesterday Ellen and I were talking about the schedule Billy and I would have, how many shifts how much we can bring in what that will mean for the bills, etc. So. I flipped out. I somehow got it in my head that I would either buy PCA outright on March 1st paid completely or move … move to some unknown location, with unknown people, no job, no plan, no ideas. So – that didn't bode well for our future of the finance module conversation. Ugh. The terror.
And then there I was today. Repeatedly pushing on Li11 with my pointer finger babbling on about PCA2 and how great it would be to have a place in Mt. Airy and noooo I'm not working there, someone has to stay at PCA and hold down the fort. That's what I said, hold down the fort … and while I said it I felt this thing in my belly that I always feel when I'm standing on the edge and I know I'm going to jump. And she says, “Yeah but isn't Ellen like planning on moving to Tucson? What are we going to do without Ellen?.” And then I knew again. Really, I knew all along. I knew from the first time I ever even walked into PCA. I knew when I moved from part time up to fuller time. I knew when I told her that I wanted to grow into owning a clinic not start one on my own – the most calculated off the cuff remark I have ever made. I knew when Ellen fell in love with Josh. I knew when we were sitting on the plane on the way home from Manchester and she was telling me that I really had to investigate my motivations for wanting to own a clinic. I knew when I told my parents, my old CA boss, my friends, an accountant, a few punks, and anyone who would listen and not tell. You know? Every single person I have gone to talk about this has said the same thing … “Cool. Sounds good Sarah let me know how it goes. I totally think you can do this.” Not a single one fought me on it. I had two friends question staying in Philly and the rents wanted to hear more about the debt. Most people just shrugged their shoulders – cause they knew all along too.
If all works out smoothly – Ellen is going to move to Tucson by August of this year (2012). No worries about PCA. I am taking over the place. I got this! I am so totally and one hundred percent into, behind, on top of, and all around this. I LOVE YOU PCA! I will fight for your existence. What will we do without Ellen? We are going to keep on keeping on, that's what we're going to do. Jobs will be had, patients will be treated, volunteers will surf facebook, community acupuncture will still be going on upstairs of the Firehouse at 50th and Baltimore. Come on down for a visit. We would love to see you!
Ellen! I hope the sun is shining in Tucson. I hope Uma and Josh hang like icing on cake, better together. I hope Uma's school is what you were hoping it would be. I hope you get a freakin job already. I love you. Thank you for this most amazing opportunity. I have always told you that you built the most wonderful one. And I will do everything I ever could do to not just keep it open but help it grow! Yeah!!
Sarah, you are going to be AWESOME at this work, and you are ready for it. You have the heart and you are smart and energetic enough to take it on. Lots of transitions, but it is a rewarding challenge. You’ll have to wear lots of hats and make bigger decisions, but you will also have tons of people you can go to for help when you need it. Plus with all the experience you already have you couldn’t be more ready for this change. If you weren’t scared, that would be abnormal; owning a clinic, or running a clinic, or going through a transition such as this one is scary, especially in the beginning – but then things work out and get easier and more routine and you get into your groove (just like when you had to jump in and treat 6 people an hour – scary at first, then it became natural). Thanks for sharing and best of luck! 🙂
Sarah, this blog post made me cry. I love you, and you are going to be great, and I will do what I can to help.
Sarah I know you’ll be awesome!
Sarah, you are amazing. This is going to be such a great thing for you, PCA, Ellen, Billy, Zem, Uma, Josh and the rest of us who know this is the perfect thing for all of you. I can’t wait to see you in person and give you a giant hug.
Makes me want to quit Circle and come work for you.
Thanks guys. I was just exploding about it today :). Seps I would hire you any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Zem!!! We are so excited for you to come home.
Sorry, I only work once on Sundays.
You’re going to do a fantastic job! And I’m going to be around if you need a hand…or a beer.:)
Wow wow wow I love you Sarah!!!!
That is so fucking awesome!!!
Fuck yeah, kids. Nothing easy about what you do, but it’s the most rewarding when it’s challenging to begin with…
Congrats on the big leap, Spitfire! Ellen was super-helpful during my big transition, and I’d love the opportunity to be of help to PCA in any way I can – please feel free to hit me up for whatever. Bon Courage!
Sarah, you are gonna be great! Ellen is lucky to have you to pass it on to, and the patients are lucky to have you to take it over. When I heard you were gonna be future PCA owner, I had this big pang of jealousy, because of how I miss Philly sometimes, and only ever wanted to be a clinic owner, but could never live in Philly and practice anywhere else but there. Maybe you haven’t lived in West Philly long enough to know this to the bone, but they love their community institutions, and that includes PCA. You need to be there to steer the ship, but the waves that carry that ship are the community there. They won’t let you sink. Some day, long long in the future of course, some patient will be saying to whoever, “what are we going to do without Sarah?”