Last week, we had a lot of excitement going on around my patent-pending Arry Table. To bring you up to speed, I designed and patented a table design in the fall of 2010 and have been busy as a bee since then on working on taking this idea/prototype to product. I have big dreams - and really believe it'll change lives, like it has for me I had decided to live in the city five years ago - and with it, came space constraints. I chose this great one bedroom - with a fabulous rooftop deck, great amenities and a park a block away. My one bedroom had this great little alcove area - and I wanted to use it for so many things: an office, a kitchenette, a dining table, an arts and crafts room, open yoga room, etc... but the options out there for me just didn't cut it - hence, I decided to design a table that did cut it.
More on the table to come... first, my experience working with the experts of their craft.
I am working with an awesome photographer, Thom and Jamarie of Tagged by TM, an awesome videographer, Mike Folden, and a talented makeup artist, Krystal of Smashing Divas. It is my first time working with professionals in this realm - and it started off with coming up with "looks" for my table photoshoot, the video, and some professional headshots. It was quite an interesting and a big learning experience for me - learning more about myself and the art/craft that they work in.
Picture to the left is the process of going through my closet with Krystal, Jamarie, and another model/stylist to come up with those looks. Exciting, yes - afterwards. During, it was humbling. Having people go through your closet: It's like having all of your innards and darkest secrets - everything you throw into your closet and under the rug being exposed. Yes, I haven't really been shopping in over five years - all of my money goes into my startups now. Anyways - thankful to have good people that I can trust help me.
I learned that it takes a bit of thinking and planning to come up with awesome photos/videos. We spent a bunch of time refining the message, the branding, the looks, the colors... the end product is the fruit of hours of work. I cannot wait to see the end product - the photos from Tagged by TM, the video by Mike Folden. Smashing Divas did things with my face I had no idea were possible - wow, make-up!? One of the looks we did was a "professional" one, and wow, if only I knew how to look that awesome. Taught me that I will never stop learning and refining myself - a great thing.
Ah well, I am super lucky to have had such an awesome team helping me with this project. Super super blessed. One thing I've learned to appreciate it specialization, trusting and believing in the experts you work with to do their thing. There comes to point where the best thing I can do is simply let go and trust that all will be taken care of - because I've found the best people I can to help me.
Thank you: Thom, Jamarie, Mike, Alec, Jeff, Ryan, Ron, Roy, Roger, Tim, Dae and so many others for helping me with this.
Changing it up with my posts - thought I'd share with you one of the scariest ideas I decided to do (thanks to GroupOn/Living Social). Bought this on a whim and imagined I'd discover a hidden talent... which I did not. The first time I went up that ladder, I tried to turn around and go back down - they would not let me. I found that the reality of this beginner class was SO MUCH more difficult that I had imagined... My adrenaline was pumping off the charts. Heart pounding. Stomach doing belly flops on itself. My fear of heights overwhelming. ... After the first time, I made myself go up there two more times before throwing in the towel and saying, "flying trapeze is absolutely not my cup of tea.". No, thank you. I do give myself credit for getting the courage to go up there and hold on for dear life, three times. I think that one should try whatever it is at least twice before deciding whether you'll do it again or whether you like it or not.
This video is still hilarious and worth sharing - I giggle laughing my face off every time I watch it. :)
My beau, Dae, and I have been seeing other pretty seriously for about five months now. I've got quite a funny update to share with you: two days ago we decided to make it really official - on Facebook. Yes, Facebook. On August 14, 2011, Dae and I coordinated our efforts and updated our relationship status to "in a relationship with Arry/Dae". We updated our Facebook profile pictures to a favorite photo of each other together, too. It was a scary, silly, and serendipitously happy moment in our courtship together.
Until a few months ago, I had actually forgotten that my default status of "single" was up there in my profile - and was reminded of it after getting quite a few questions about that. Dae didn't have any relationship status visible to his Facebook network - and maybe his network/friends just don't notice these things. I don't know what it is - are people just nosy, are people just very interested, or is this really important? I was reluctant at first to admit it... but the Facebook thing bothered me as an annoyance... Then I felt a little stupid about it, and the more I thought about it, the more important it became that I be open and transparent about our relationship - I wanted to tell the world. After-all, I am proud to be in a relationship with this awesome man.
We decided to sit on it for a little while we continued to grow closer together - our relationship is interesting in that there are so many aspects about it that feel so right and natural - and there are so many aspects about it that we consciously, intentionally do to be "crystal" clear as we don't want to assume/take each other for granted. I've been wearing the banner of "I'm independent, strong and single" for years now. My Facebook status has said "single" for years - because surprising or not, I haven't been with anyone in recent years where I felt the desire to change it, ever. Those relationships obviously didn't last... And now, I'm in this awesome relationship that has been truly wonderful - both in the fun we have together and in the ways that this relationship has stretched me to grow. I want to be a better person and I feel challenged. I am happy. Silly or not, we made an intentional decision to act together to make our relationship "official" on Facebook. It feels good to be on the same "page" as Dae.
Yes, so... it's official now for absolute positive reals now. See screenshot above - that's the proof. Facebook says so. :)
"Do you plan on having children" ... the question of the week, the month, ... the year. Lately, that's the question I've gotten the most often lately - I don't what it is, whether random people have gotten together and decided that would be the theme of the week or there's something in the air, but wow, ... children. My stance on whether or not I wanted children has vacillated back and forth over the years... but started off as a most definite yes:
Up to High School: Most freaking definitely yea I did. I love babies and children. I worked in a daycare, I babysat, ... all I could do was look forward to the day I would have at least two of my own. One boy, one girl, of course.
High School through College: It was definitely still a yes. That is what I thought was supposed to happen. I was supposed to graduate high school, go to really awesome college, graduate college with amazing honors, go to amazing job in New York City, kick butt, fall into relationship with a tall handsome very wealthy guy with cool clothes and car, fall in love, get married, have kids, live happily ever after in the suburbs of McMansions or penthouse in the city.
Post College to my Mid 20s: This is also a time of definite yes for the most part. I was going to enjoy getting better at my art and music hobbies, do event planning, work in nonprofits and raise money for good, watch a lot of movies and tv, read lots of books, maybe be an executive assistant ... have my first child hopefully by the age of 28, my second by the age of 30. ... Yea... Live the life of a carefree artist...
Age 25-26: This is the weird part. Around 25, I got recruited into this career that originally started as a hobby - my life in management consulting. I got a taste of how great it was to have a career, make real money, have a voice with a business card and growing my credentials and skills... I loved learning new things, being challenged, working with technology... In fact, I got multiple promotions in my first year at it. I didn't see children happening for awhile... if at all. I adopted a dog who in essence became my first child at that time, my Shiba Inu puppy, Mochi. My motherhood desires were fulfilled for the time-being and I was having fun with "work"....
Age 27: ... then I went on this "booze cruise" in Puerto Vallarta with a few friends, where I spent the entire three hours with these two Mexican girls (ages 2 and 5) and fell in love... I decided that I needed to have children ... Crazy - missed out on my booze cruise to hang with little girls that I couldn't communicate with (they didn't speak English, I don't speak Spanish)
Age 29: ... and then my career was taking off and I was now already a mid level Manager at a consulting firm... I had aspirations of starting my own business, going as far as the ride would take me. I loved the independence and freedom having a career gave me. I didn't need a man. I bought my own things. I traveled. I did whatever I wanted. ... I didn't see how children or marriage would work for me.... I saw children and marriage as handcuffs, shackles that would restrain me... The women leaders at the companies I worked at didn't have children. Most were unmarried.
Now: ... and now since then... I've been on the fence and wary about children. About marriage. You've read about it until now... I don't think it's changed much... Except that I think I might want children again. :) It's always been the scariest thing in the world to me - children and marriage. ... For some reason, I might be just a little more open to it now. I've got a great awesome super duper man in my life. I love my employer, my start-ups. I love the people in my life. My dog is the best pet ever. I'm in a good place. I've left the single world and am very happily in couple world. I think I'd like to be a part of the 'couples with children' world some day... but maybe some day sooner rather than later. Did I just write that?
Weird. Huh? Now... just to figure out how I'm going have it all: family, life, friends, business, start-ups, me. Time to make it happen. How? I dunno - I'll let you know as I figure it out.
I think I've misplaced my anti-reality superhero shades. Have you seen'em? I don't know what's hit me lately, but I've been feeling down with that "woe is me" feeling. Overwhelming. Very vulnerable. In order to be in and play in the world of start-ups, charging on, embracing change and risk takes a sort of mad man approach to the world - you have to put on a thick suit with a pair of reality blinders like you're wearing your favorite pair of shades that helps make the world a whole lot more palatable. It's like I've got a really good poker hand, and even if I don't, I'm confident that there's a chance I'm going to win anyways. It is a gutsy feeling of personal power that you need to have to win in this world, that it's completely possible to make a difference in the world. To leave a dent in it. Some days I imagine that the dent I'll make is a dent the size of the moon. Other days... the size of a pebble or nonexistent.
Today. Pebble. Yesterday. Pebble. I'm thinking, "Really, what the hell are you doing, Arry?...What the hell are you doing?" ... Think about all the money! ... Oh my gosh, all that money. What am I doing... Oh my. Really? Yikes. Really? What am I doing? This is not normal! Why can't I be happy with a nice stable job, a nice stable income, a normal career, ... meet a nice man, get married, have children, raise them, bake cakes and cookies, retire, vacation in Florida... Yea, what am I doing?
And then it switches to, "If I don't make it, if we don't make it, I'm going to die". Failure is not an option - one step at a time, one step at a time... inch by inch, we are going to make it happen. Make a difference. Make my life count. I can do more and I will do more. Make a dent in the universe that says I AM HERE! I WAS HERE!
And then... it's back to moping. It's an overwhelming brick of fear that hits you smack in the middle of your gut... my heart actually. Fear. Overwhelming. The realization that I'm possibly out of my mind... And me, how do I deal with these feelings? I allow myself to mope. Embrace the negative feelings and fear. Sometimes it's hours... sometimes it's days.... and sometimes even longer. Eventually, I shake it off and say those same words back to myself, "What the hell are you doing, Arry"? Do not waste your life. Make your life count. I am not going to take no for an answer - hell freaking no. This has to happen. Our team motto at AllThingsWishful.com is, "DO OR DIE!!!!"
And yes... I know... "this" is actually multiple balls in the air for me right now (my consulting day job, my AllThingsWishful, my table design patent, ... )... ... and that is not normal. I'm not normal. What is normal anyways?