Archive | May, 2011

[daddy’s] girl

31 May

[This post was extremely difficult to write, but it was necessary. The GWC tries our hardest to give you insight into our lives and who we are. We’re firm believers that when you know better you do better. Hopefully this post will help gals (and guys) out there who in there 20’s and find it hard to fully cope with the loss of their first love…]

This Post is dedicated to The First Love I lost- My Daddy

Every one of my many heartbreaks could have been avoided had you not waited until I was 32 to tell me you loved me.

While browsing through one of my fave tumblr inspiration sites I saw this quote and it instantly stopped me from navigating to the next page. The tags under it were: divorce, absent,fathers failed,relationships, daughters, and love .

Out of 25 years of life I had my father for 4, spent 20 convincing myself that he was not needed and 1 coming to terms with all the built up hurt I’ve unsuccessfully tried to repress. I thank God for my Gandpa, Goddaddy and all the other men in my life who filled the shoes of my father, but honestly, My Daddy will always be the one who so easily walked away.

I feel that sometimes those of us who are the “successful” products of broken homes like to look down on those who “fall victim to the stereotype”, when in reality even though we aren’t spreading our legs to find love, we have closed our hearts and shielded our pain behind an ice cold rock hard exterior.

I can cook. I can clean. I can support you. I’m independent. I can from a good family. On paper, I am94% of what your parents told you to look for in a wife. I was born, raised and bred to be a wife. But ironically, I am not the complete package. I shut down, I can be cold, I’m paranoid, I over-analyze everything, I easily write men out of my life and sometimes relationships make me feel like I have a plastic bag tied over my head (suffocated). Running away from and sabotaging love is just as bad, if not worse than chasing after it at any cost.

Though we (women like me)  strive our entire lives to convince ourselves that we will not be the type of girls who carry our “daddy issues” into our relationship, there comes a certain time when you realize your daddy issues were boarded onto the plane before you even checked onto the flight. Despite knowing that he is NOT your dad, its hard to think that any man could love you enough to stick around when the initial example was null void. The feelings of abandonment, rejection, vulnerability and loneliness and to avoid having to relive this pain you push your self away from any man who shows any interest beyond a platonic friendship in you.

The hardest thing for me to come to terms with was knowing that I was destined to be a daddy’s girl. My Godfather stepped up to the plate as my father and allowed me to partially experience what it was like to have a dad. We attended all the father-daughter dances, he was my escort at my debutante ball, he stood at the bottom of the stair case  next to my date at prom and will undoubtedly be the man who walks me down the aisle at my wedding. He spoiled me, he loved me and gave me the perfect example of what a true father-daughter relationship was supposed to be…but at the end of the day I knew, he wasn’t my father.

Even though reconciliation would be the road most traveled, for some of us that option isn’t available. In order to embrace love you have to truly open yourself up. Becoming vulnerable, trusting someone and letting all your guards down will be the scariest thing you have to do on your quest for love. Not everyone you run into will deserve to have you apart of their life, but at least you can rest easy at night knowing that you did not sabotage what “could have been.”

There is hope for us yet, because the only thing you can control in your life is WHAT YOU DO. You cannot go back and erase time, you cannot fix what was broken but you can allow yourself to find a future full love. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but I speak from experience and know that it can, will and does get better.

Live Long. Laugh Often.Love All.

the lies about relationships…

26 May

Someone should write a handbook about how to successfully date in your twenties. Truthfully, no matter how much Southern training your parents equipped you with-cooking a good meal, being supportive, always minding our manners, and taking care of your man DOES NOT create the PERFECT RELATIONSHIP.

The following are the most popular lies we’re fed while dating-

1) You’ll know when its right. There is no way to identify Mr. Right. The last man I dated had a solid 90% of the qualities I wanted in not only just a boyfriend, but a husband. Guess what, HE STILL WASN’T RIGHT. Little girls should be informed that not only will you kiss a lot of frogs, but you’ll kiss a lot of princes that still don’t belong in your castle.

2) He that finds a wife… We all know this scripture forward and backwards, however women need to realize that JUST because he finds you doesn’t mean you need to be his wife. Contrary to what most women believe, HOLLERING is still alive and well in 2011. Make sure that you aren’t falling for the first “gentleman” that approaches you because you’re tired of being single.

3) Relationships should not be hard work. This could not be further from the truth. Unfortunately, a lot of people expect relationships to be less complex simply because we’re GROWN. Being GROWN only means that you are more set in your ways, which means that compromise is going to be much harder. When trying to make 2 become 1 there will be a lot of bumps and bruises alongside the kisses and hugs. Just keep in the forefront of your mind the reason why you entered into this relationship in the first place.

4) ALL MEN ARE DOGS. The root to all the issues in your dating life do not lie in the male species. You attract what you project. If all you are doing is attracting men that aren’t interested in settling down its time to stop, look and reevaluate what signs you’re sending out that are telling men you are not to be taken seriously. If you demand to be treated a certain way you will find a man that has no problem treating you that way. Remember the saying, you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife. IF NO MAN HAS MADE YOU WIFEY…well….I’ll let you figure it out for yourself

5) YOU CAN’T BE HAPPY UNLESS YOU’RE IN A RELATIONSHIP! Let me dispel this myth RIGHT NOW! You will NEVER be happy in a relationship until you’re able to be happy by yourself. If all you’re seeking is a warm body to cuddle up next to you will NEVER find true happiness. Finding yourself mostly only happens when you are by yourself. Do not let society, family members, or friends convince you that you are doomed to misery because you’re single.

6) The way to his heart is his stomach. I’m sure his last jumpoff/girlfriend cooked for him and look how far that got her. Men nowadays are looking for the total package, and unfortunately its not what women consider to be the total package. I know a lot of successful, independent, intelligent and attractive women that are SINGLE. Reality is, men are looking for a woman that stands out- are you creative, do you have a hobby, what makes you different from all the other gals out there? Once you confidently discover what makes you unique you are one step closer to attaining his heart.

Financially Ready for Marriage

19 May

At one of my Bible Study lessons, a minister said that women need to prepare for the man God purposed for them.  Women need to create a space in which a man can enter.  He even joked imitating an exchange between two women: “Friend: Girl, why are you cleaning out the other side of your garage? Woman: For my husband.  Friend: Why are you sleeping on one side of the bed? Woman: Because my husband will need room. I have to get used to sleeping on one side of the bed”

I thought it was hilarious, but all jokes aside, I agree.  I would not go to this extent. However, on a higher level this makes sense.  Whether we are single, on the verge of a relationship or in one, we should be in preparation mode, two wholes coming together to make a better whole.  I don’t think two halves coming together should expect a one, although mathematically it makes sense, “but physics, this sh*t ain’t.” It would be better said that we strengthen one another’s weaknesses.

Since we’ll forever be a work-in-progress (God is never done with us.  Our living purpose dies when we do.  Our legacy lives on), I presume we can pass several common roadblocks in marriage if we merely improve the quality of our individual lives. 

Getting my finances in order – minimal debt, great credit score, retirement, and savings – is a personal goal, as well as a relationship goal, and a standard.  I want to have the least amount of baggage entering into my marriage.  I suspect finances is one of the leading reasons marriages are either dysfunctional or broken (sorry, but I did not want to read up on the statistics and compile them). It is imperative that spending and saving habits are complimentary, as well as, financial goals.   The last thing I want to do is argue money in my relationship or future marriage. This year, I’ve made an effort to seek the best deal and figure out where to spend my money. I still enjoy eating out as well as cooking. Both are expensive, but now I check ads for prices. My friends have helped me become conscious of prices and substitutes.

So, ladies, continue financial responsibility or take it up.  Men should not have to marry debt and bad credit, too.  Although this is geared towards women, it is also applicable to men.  “I don’t want no scrub.  A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me.  Hanging out the passenger side of his bestfriend’s ride trying to holla at me.”  Hahahahahaha. 

I subscribed with Learn Vest, a site about finances intended for women.  It is relatable and easy to read.  They somehow made finances feminine, subject matters women deal with financially. Today, one of their tweets read Spring Cleaning: Don’t forget your finances!  Check them out. You can also check out www.mint.com.

Best Rebound of All Time

17 May

Please don’t read too deep into this.  No feelings linger from the past. We experience anger, hurt, crying, adaptation, and healing –> Good Mourning (India Arie)

After a breakup, I am as wild as the wind without the whoopee (Please tell me you’ve see The Newlyweds Game).   Between drowning in Amy Winehouse and dating like Kim Kardashian, I distract myself.  After my last severance without pay, I went on dates with a few guys that told me too much too early, but then again I am a prober.  I will ask a lot of questions.  I want to know where you grew up, how you grew up,  what your favorite cartoon was, how you spent your summers, your favorite movie, everything.   I want to know people.  It takes on more of a nostalgic conversation rather than an interrogation.  However, sometimes, I excavate something I want to return 6 feet under. 

One guy admitted that he cheated on his girlfriend and was single because she refused to take him back.  That was not my situation, but we were both damaged goods at the time, neither had healed from recent heartbreak.  We were rebounding one another.  We made sure we didn’t wake up alone, go to the movies alone, sit on the beach alone, eat alone, play Wii alone, drink alone, or watch the sunset alone.  One of my best dates was with him, as a matter of fact.  We had a pseudo relationship, until we moved on.  I thought it was an awesome situation.  We were open about our past relationships and what happened in them.  Admitted when we missed our formers.  He paid. I paid.  Neither of us felt used.  Best of times.  We both knew what it was (maybe I did more than he).  He tried to cross the line many times; he still does.  LoL.  He is now one of my guy friends that will hug for a little too long, put his hand on my lower back, try to rest his hand on my leg, request movie nights, send inappropriate texts, call at awkward hours, and lay his head on my stomach and/or shoulder while watching TV.  *shaking my head* Yea…habitual line crosser. He just tries and tries, even though he has a girlfriend.  When he does something inappropriate, I get loud and ask his friends, “what’s wrong with your boy?”  He is never embarrassed. I think he knows nothing will ever happen, but will continue hoping one day he gets a pass.  We crossed one another’s path at the same unfortunate but fortunate time.  It was the best.  However, I don’t think rebounding situations ever work.  Why?  You haven’t quite gotten over your ex.  I don’t know how one can make room for another when someone else still occupies the space.   Is it possible?  Have you fallen madly in love with the rebound?

This is not the color I picked out

13 May

I began this post weeks ago, but wasn’t motivated to finish until this morning.  Someone inspired me with their text message.  They sent me pictures of a room last week and said, “I want a soft golden yellow and a light burgundy.” What is light burgundy?

It’s rare that a paint chip gives you an exact match when you take it home and try it.  Colors tend to darken when they dry and if you look up in a paint store they use bright fluorescent lighting, which typically has a bluish tint or pure white light.  If you do not have fluorescent lighting in your home, you’re not getting a true depiction of the color.  Nope.  Can’t head outdoors.  Your room will not be in direct sunlight.  So what’s the solution? Buy a sample of the color and paint a 12 x 12 inch block on the wall.  If the wall has already been painted another color, prime before painting.  I also advise that you buy about 3 different colors you like.  Doesn’t make sense to continue going to the paint store when you can knock it out in one trip, hopefully.  Home Depot sells a flat finish sample for $2.98.  Make sure you buy paintbrushes.

Picking the right paint color is cumbersome.  If you get it right the first time out, congratulations!  That’s a HUGE accomplishment.  It’s more than a mixture of the primary colors; it gets quite complicated. I spend a lot of time with the Paintirista (barista…nevermind) asking what’s in the color and how much of it is in the color.   I use Home Depot Behr, unless my client has another vendor they prefer. 

Why do I love Home Depot Behr paint?  I am extremely familiar with their product, their price is mid-range and affordable, they have several color choices, they do color matching, they make their paint display user-friendly, and Behr has pretty darn good coverage and life.  Although Dunn Edwards and Benjamin Moore are great paints, they are on the higher end of the price spectrum.

Please refer to the picture above for the remainder of the post.  I didn’t get the bottom of the paint chip display.  Lame, but this is how to use it:

From top to bottom the colors are arranged by Pure, Muted, and Shaded.

Pure – exactly what it says.  There’s not a lot of white or black.  Just the primaries and the mixing of the primaries.  These colors are brighter and pack the most shock value.  Notice the top of the picture is brighter than the middle and bottom.

Muted – These are the Pures combined with white.  The colors get a little Eastery.  I think of babies when I see muted colors.  Generally, they are softer and cozy.

Shaded – I work a lot with the Shaded colors.  I call them the adult colors because they are a bit more sophisticated than the Pure and Muted colors. the Pures mixed with gray (a combination of Black and White, Shaded) result in Shaded.

I hope the dots are connecting and you’re having an Ah Ha! moment.  I’m excited for you to understand how easy this is.

I have couple of tricks that you can use in the paint store to lessen the risk of choosing the WRONG color.

Notice how the color chips move from red to green to blue (left to right).  Let’s look at the second row.  To the far left (where I obviously did not capture the entire column) are the reds; they are Pure reds.  As you move to the right they become red-oranges.  Move to the right again, they become orange-yellows.  Then, yellow-greens and green-blues.  Lastly, the blues. 

Let’s say you want a greenish yellow, I am going straight to the right-side of the 2nd to last column and the left-side of the last column.  Now, I have to decide, whether it should be Pure, Muted, or Shaded.  Basically, I moved horizontally.  Then, I moved vertically.

Oh last thing! Because the colors are mixed, there is always an undertone. You can always tell the undertone on a paint color by looking at the darkest color on the paint chip.  See the below.  In choosing reds, although I am not using the bottom colors, I was able to eliminate the one on the left because it takes on a brown color.  I don’t want that it to have a brown undertone.  I want more red, so I’d choose the one on the right. 

Time Is Money

11 May

I have a weird amusement with the Geico Money. It makes me laugh so much.

As several of my friends and I follow different avenues to success, we learned some hard hitting lessons along the way.  I thought I’d share a few lessons learned with pointers, much of it is specific to Interior Design and Event Planning because that’s where my experience lies (and a trillion other things).

∙ You must have a consultation. 

    This is not the time to document a plan and pick a centerpiece or decide a wall color.  This is the time to assess on a high level what the client wants, their time and availability, and budget.  THIS IS THE TIME TO ADJUST YOUR AND THEIR EXPECTATIONS, BUT PROVIDE HOPE.

∙ NEVER begin working on a project without a budget

    I don’t care what they say and how much money they have.  Never ever begin your work without a budget.  Ask them what they are comfortable spending.  Then, ask if they have cushion.  Never operate on the top of the budget.  Things happen and you may need to cushion to get things done.  If a client will not let you know the budget, RUN.  It will prove to be a waste of time.  Imagine doing the pricing and product and they now confess they don’t have the means.  I’ve been there and I’ve done that.

∙ Include your fee in the budget

    Once you actually have the budget, make sure you deduct your fee from the budget before working any numbers.

∙ Study your trade

    Get estimates.  Find people.  Read.  Buy books and magazines.  I have Accounting books, a $70 teaching Mathematics book I begrudgingly purchased, and a host of Interior Design books.  I truly believe one has to hone their talent with skill.

∙ Always. Always. Always be professional

    Have a plan.  Know what you are talking about giving room for their input.  Be professional yet charming.  I had to learn how to be personable and genuine in business.  When I first started the journey, it was painfully forced.  I discussed this in an earlier GWC post.  When performing a service for someone, especially as personal as an event or design project, they want the transition and process to feel organic.  They don’t want to be sold, per se.

∙ Don’t allow a good deal to ruin relationships

    People will try to use you and the people you know #fact.  Don’t let them.  I always say that my contractor is more important than my client.  I trust my contractor.  He does great work and is flexible.   I can trust him.  Big thing here, I can trust him.  I can get another client tomorrow, but I cannot find a great contractor tomorrow.

∙ Be honest about what you can do

    If someone has some extraordinary task that I have no experience with, I will tell them “I have never done that,” not I can’t do that.  A client wanted to cover a brick fireplace with cement, which I had no experience with.  I told her I’d speak with my contractor, do some research, and get back to her.

 

∙ Know when to pull the plug

    Respectfully decline projects when you know it is not going to work out.  Merely state that you are currently booked and cannot work the project at this time.  Don’t just flat out say, “no.”  Although they will not be your client, give them alternatives and advice.  If you know they’d work out best with someone else, suggest them.  Give the other person a heads up, though.  Never know where your blessing is going to come from.  The people who can’t make decisions and have not given me the freedom to do so get the “let me know when you’re ready.  I’m waiting on you.”

∙ Know when to stop doing portfolio work/paying your dues

    This is the grayest area.  I want my name out there.  I want to be established, but when do I stop doing work free of charge? I have work in my portfolio. This is decided by you. Can’t stutter when you quote. I decided when a former client said I saw your work at ______ and _______ with _____ and _______. She knew my work from beginning to end, so it was time.

∙ Find your niche

    Which basically means know your strengths and weaknesses, so you can market correctly.

∙ Control your time and outline what you will be doing

    People will run you ragged.  Set parameters.  Be polite and outline what your services include.  Be very detailed with the timeline.  I even include that the contractors will dispose of all waste related to the project given the homeowner provide a receptacle.  Yea…it gets that specific.

∙ Have a Non-Disclosure Agreement

    When you’re doing free work, get a non-disclosure agreement prepared for your work, depending on the job.   My commercial work has one.  Why?  They’ll take my ideas and not give me credit.  All I ask for is credit on this one.  Only do so much mapping, sharing and caring without a Non-Disclosure.  Put your logo and/or name on everything.  Email.  It’s a legally binding document, to my knowledge.  I am 99.9% sure it is.

Our talents are God given. Giving advice concerning our craft will not interrupt our blessings.

It’s how we put it together that sets us apart, not what we’re given. People pay where they see value. So for those that want hours of my time, ante up!

For All the Wrong Reasons

2 May

  Before

After

If  you’re like me (and unlike Misch) you feel easily judged by others. I HATE feeling judged or feeling like I’m at the butt of an awkward joke. About 2 weeks ago Mischalay came by for a visit and we were discussing clothing. I opened up my closet to reach for an item and immediately halted in my tracks because of the blood curdling gasp that escaped from her mouth.

Me: “WHAT! What happened, are you okay?”

Misch: “OH MY GOD!” *in her most dramatic tone*

Me: “What!!! What’s wrong!”

Misch: “Your closet! What is wrong with you! That is absolutely ridiculous….[insert the teacher’s voice from the comic Peanuts]”

She then proceeded to get up from the chair and rifle through my clothes in disgust…

Misch: “How do you find anything? Your skirts, dresses and pants are all mixed up, your shoes have no order and its not even color coordinated!”

By this time, I was mortified that not only had she put me on BLAST for how my closet looked but she took it step further and provided me with an itemized list as to why my closet was such a catastrophe.

Shortly after, she left [not sure if she really had to go or if she was that offended by my closet]. I sat there and stared…for about a good hour a stewed in embarrassment and contempt (mostly at myself) because my secret was out. My name is Megan and I have a terribly messy closet.

Fast forward 1 week later…besides feeling overwhelmed after the funeral (My Gandpa just passed) my normal paranoia began to seep in and I decided then and there- SCREW MISCH, I’m cleaning my closet! 2 days, 8 hefty over-sized trash-bags and 5 phone calls designating several items to appreciative people, my closet was cleaned. I sat on my bed looking at my completed work…then the anger began to boil in my body, I immediately grabbed the phone.

Misch: “Hey Meggy Poo!”

Me: “Don’t you Meggy Poo me! I cleaned up my flippin’ closet!”

Misch: “That’s great! It’s about time….you should’ve had that thing cleaned like yesterday!”

Me: “NO! I hate you! You judged me, I cleaned it and now I have no clothes and [insert 2 minute rant/tell off]…I will not be speaking to you for the remainder of the day!”

Misch: *insert uncontrollable laughter*

Although my closet probably was long overdue for a major cleaning overhaul, at this particular point in time I cleaned it for all the wrong reasons. Although this might seem a little dramatic to some of you (and it probably is a tad bit) I’ve come to realize that a lot of times in my life, more often than not, I tend to make the right decisions for all the wrong reasons.

I’ve never been one to break the rules or go against the grain and truthfully, I’m not sure if its because I am just a goody-two shoes or is it because I just don’t want to feel like others think I’m wrong. Despite what people think or the input some people may give you in regards to your life, at the end of the day the key words are YOUR LIFE. If I’ve learned anything from my Gandpa and the removal of 3/4’s of my closet it’s that I can no longer do things just because “it’s right”. What’s good for the gander is not always great for the goose.

This post is probably a little silly but the moral of the story is to do what fits you (as long as its not drugs, lying, cheating, stealing or anything morally compromising). So what if you’re turning 30 and still have no princess/prince charming, live your life to the fullest until he/she comes to sweep you off your feet. It’s alright if you are going back for your masters at 25 and your best friend had her’s at 23, ultimately things have to be done in your own pace on your own time. If you do what “your supposed to do” but its done for all the wrong reasons you will not be happy with the decision you’ve made.

Misch can comfortably go through her closet…I have to prepare myself for the amount of disdain I will every time I swing one of the doors open.

I hate you Mischalay.

Happy Monday!