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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Thursday
Dec022010

A Really Cool Thing

I'm done. I think I'm finally there. All those pictures? They are hung. All the boxes? Broken down and stacked (neatly, by size) in the storage closet outside. There is still the issue with the closets. Not enough space, too much crap - either way, it's not working for me. At least all of said crap is hidden away in the closets. For now. 

I was dragging my feet on my sewing room too. I was really wanting to decorate it all super cool - a la Design*Sponge or Young House Love. But the budget, space and time were not allowing me the ability to go all HGTV Reality Room Make-Over Show on myself. Boo. So I made do with purchasing the following: 

  • A new futon frame since our old one got eaten in the move. Missing parts do not make for a functioning futon frame. I picked up a cheap one at Ikea for $60. 
  • An equally cheap bookcase for $30 from Ikea. It was actually easy to put together too. Score!
  • A hanging light thingy for one of the paper lanterns The Candyman got me for our wedding anniversary. From Ikea, it cost all of $3.

And then the more I thought about how I wanted my sewing room to "look" the harder it got for me to figure out how I wanted it to be. Late yesterday afternoon, I was sitting on the futon contemplating hanging a particular print that I've had since high school. Yes, high school. The Candyman hates it. I love it. Still, after all these years. So I thought about WHY I loved the print. I came to the final conclusion that it was inspirational to me, always has been. The print? It's a the famous "Leg Warmers" print by Harvey Edwards. I think every teenage girl in America either had or wanted this print poster. It reeks of the 1980's. For years I thought the legs belonged to a woman, when in fact, it's a man's legs. So I didn't go all indie and cool with the sewing room. I put up what I love and continue to love because that's what inspires me. 

I also have some black and white photos I took of one of my cats - nearly a decade ago now. She passed on to Kitty Heaven some time ago, but my GOD, I loved that animal. The series of pictures I took are ones of her just up from a nap and I have them hanging in a series above the futon with the paper lantern from The Candyman. 

I also put a bunch of pictures that my brother and his wife painted. These are SO COOL. They were the favors at their wedding. That's right. They painted over a hundred of these and hung them on a wall inside the tent they had for their backyard-style wedding. The flood of color and all the different designs made for SUCH a cool backdrop. I can't believe the work they put into these - each different and stenciled with their wedding date. Cool, right? 

I've got a cork board hung to pin swatches and such too, but I've added a few of my anniversary paper flowers, a cool metal Kanji things that says "Dream" and some small postcards and things I purchased in my years of overseas traveling. There's also a picture of me with two of my Philippino designers I used to work with overseas. Our collaborations were always simply amazing, if I do say so myself. Working with them was always fun and inspiring. Gotta have that picture up as a reminder when I get bogged down in the mire of tasks. 

So while the one side of me is all, "You could do so much better than this!" the other side knows what makes me happy, knows what inspires me: love and art. So while I might be working in a time-machines of style, I know it's a workable space for me. And honestly, I'm just glad it's done. 

And now onto the next conundrum.

I received an invitation to do this Really Cool Thing in January out in LA. Like, REALLY cool. So cool in fact, that I booked the trip using my frequent flier miles almost immediately after receiving the invitation. I booked the trip not really thinking about much other than how Cool and Fun it would all be. I booked the trip starry-eyed about the Really Cool Thing.  I didn't really think much past that until recently. Since the Really Cool Thing is out in California, I decided that I could stop and see some other LA friends, as well as drive up the coast to central California and visit my MOH and other family. A multi-leg, very productive trip, right? Right? 

I didn't think about the trade shows going on in my work industry that month. I didn't think about the bridal show being held here in Charlotte that month either. Both shows would allow me to network and get my name out there sooner rather than later. I felt like missing one would be OK, but both? Whoa. It seems totally irresponsible of me to do that - to go flying off to California for a Really Cool Thing when I should be looking for a job and/or being productive towards something that contributes to the Marital Money Pot. 

Ah, the Marital Money Pot. I'm officially still contributing because of this lovely thing called severance. However, that gravy train comes to a screeching halt in January, right about when I'd be flying off, willy-nilly to California to romp and play and be a part of this Really Cool Thing. It all makes me feel totally irresponsible. 

Well, I've been carrying around this big ball of what-to-do burden for the last few days. It was exacerbated by confusion with the above mentioned severance (it's all ironed out now), as well as a $1200 timing belt issue paid yesterday on the auto. I discussed the issue with The Candyman and he wants me to go do the Really Cool Thing. He doesn't seem to care as much about the Marital Money Pot as much as I seem to, "seem" being the operative word here. I know he cares. He just doesn't freak about it like I do.  

I happened to talk to a great friend last night regarding the upcoming nuptials of a BFF (I will be posting random things about her wedding and all it's upcoming coolness. For instance, her venue? Oh. My. God.). My friend is like this really amazing chick when it comes to work and life and stuff. It's her job actually- behavior management mind-freak stuff. She asked all the right questions about who, what, when and most importantly, WHY. She asked me where my passion was and I couldn't say. I LOVE the job part of my old job. Designing and developing home decor and lamps is freakin' fun as shit. I got to work with amazing people and had a creative outlet that paid me well. Then there's this little blog that, if I market myself right, could make me money. That's right. I said it. Blog making money. I'll go there. Yes, I will. Why? Because I love doing this too. I love writing this blog. I love mixing a passion for design, weddings, love and art into something I get to blather on and on about. I like throwing in my personal stuff too because it's just another creative outlet for me. Then there's the whole TruLu Couture thing. I threw up that Etsy shop so fast and it needs work. I think that can be additional income for me once I spend some time on it. And I LOVE to sew. I mean, I have a freakin' degree in it. I would love for that creative outlet to make me some money too.  So we talked about it all and I feel so much better. Why? I feel like she gave me the permission to not know what I'm supposed to do with my life. Ultimately, that permission comes from me alone, but hearing it said by someone outside of my immediate circle really helps. I've also had four really amazingly talented and successful people all tell me to start my own thing. These four people are presidents of companies and have amazing resumes. They are all recognized in my work community as the bomb-diggity of home decor. And these guys are telling me I should do my own thing? These guys have that much faith in me? 

I think the problem is having faith in myself. I'm scared shitless to try my own thing. I mean, what the hell am I thinking? I don't know how to do this! I don't know how to file taxes this way! I'm used to auto-deposited paychecks with all my taxes and healthcare and 401K money taken out and managed for me. I'm used to paid vacations and bonuses and yearly increases (not so much in these last two years though). I have to try to wrap my brain around it all and LET IT GO. I have to let the control go if I want to try my hand at any of this. 

The reality is that this Really Cool Thing is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet incredible people and have some fun. The trade shows will always be there. I can go to High Point in the spring for goodness sake - it's practically in my backyard. There will be another bridal show and besides, everyone wants to talk to BRIDES then, not bridal bloggers, right? 

I'm trying not to let going or not going to this Really Cool Thing determine the rest of my life or my career. But I also can't be lamenting or worrying about what I'm missing if I do go to this Really Cool Thing. Trying to figure it all out and make a solid decision is driving me loony-tunes, people. I don't want to just jump into some job just to contribute to the Marital Money Pot. I can't work somewhere hideous and stressful and miserable just to do that. I've been doing that since May of 2009 and I'm over it. WAY over it.

Is it Really Cool Thing vs. Responsibility? Or is it Louise vs. Louise? I'm trying to figure it out.  Stay tuned. 

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Reader Comments (9)

If you cancel the trip, will you lose the miles? Doesn't seem right to just let them go like that. You never know, the trip may lead to something bigger and better than you ever thought. You KNOW what happens at bridal shows and market. You DON'T KNOW what will come out of this trip. You may always wonder "what if" if you don't go, rather than the other way around. And as you said there will be other shows and other markets.
When you get back companies will have their 2011 budgets, and managers will be thinking about hiring. You've got your resume out there, so seems to me you're ok in that department if you decide to go the corporate route. Yes?
Anyway, you have MY permisson to go. :)

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMom

First off -- that poster. Did we ALL have that poster? I had that one, two Miami Vice posters, and I really really wanted a door-length poster of Baryshnikov but my mom wouldn't let me (his tights were, um, too tight for her liking).

I'm staying out of the Really Cool Thing debate because I'm biased.

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I love your Mom's response above. I wish I could go to the really cool thing but I have to be in Virginia the following week for a wedding. Boo. I mean YAY for my friends but BOO. I think a lot of us are in the What Am I Supposed To Be Doing With Myself phase. I'm not sure if that helps, any, but you're not alone.

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkc

Really? A man's legs?

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterflo

@Mom-It's funny how Mom saying, "It's ok, go! Have fun!" sorta makes me feel better about the Really Cool Thing. If my mom says it's ok......

@Sarah - Oh. My. God. That Baryshnikov? Yessssssssssssssss..................... And your biasness is noted. It helps saw in thdirection of the Really Cool Thing.

@KC - I hear ya, bu I'm also older than you and should I really be in this "What Am I Supposed To Be Doing With Myself" phase? I had that phase a decade ago and figured it out. Now SO MUCH is totally different. Married. Moved. Unemployed. The game is different. I don't know the rules. However, I've always been a little less mature than my equally aged counterparts (surprise, surprise...NOT). All my friends had their carers together by their mid to late 20's. Me? Still gasping for breath and swimming frantically for shore. In their 30's they married and had babies. Me? Career girl, thanks. Now my friends have kids in high school and I'm trying to figure out whether I want to HAVE kids. Why am I always like, a decade behind???

December 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

Go do it! Mom says it's okay!!!! Also, don't worry about the taxes. As an English/art double major working at a CPA firm, I can tell you that there are MILLIONS of people who will do your taxes for you and give you advice. And lots of them are really cheap. ALSO, is it terrible that I'm not officially engaged yet and I want you to do all my sewing n stuff???

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennie

Jennie is right. No need to worry about taxes. None at all. If I can, you can for sure. You just need a consultation with a CPA and an organized way to keep . You are way good at that.

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterflo

I think its the plight of the creative mind - when every path looks interesting and exciting, its so difficult to decide which is really the right choice! At least, that is what I am telling myself as I quit a perfectly decent job to jump into doing something - haven't exactly landed on what yet - creative and my own. So congratulations to you and your creative mind!!

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda May

What you're learning is that some people have to answer the "what to do with my life" question more than once. Your father was a paper salesman, then a fighter pilot, then a computer network engineer. And he liked doing all of them. Well, he LOVED the fighter pilot thing. :) It is so exciting that you have a chance to do this again.

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMom

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