Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Drive.

What happens to the “drive”, the internal force that propels some of us forward when something happens to us we never expected? Some have this “drive” naturally that seems unstoppable. Some have to develop the drive and others have to force the drive. I’ve seen stories of terrible things happening to highly driven people and they power through, make the changes and keep going. I have heard stories of the opposite as well.

I don’t think I was born with a drive. I think it developed over the years. I never “needed” to win, to be the top of the class. I wanted to. If I didn’t, I remember feeling bad about it. I could only imagine how bad others felt that were not even in the “smart and gifted children” section. I wasn’t gifted in the sense of “smarts” but I was gifted. We all are. I had to learn how to lose gracefully. I had to learn how to be okay with giving my best. I had to learn that some have a gift that exceeds my gift of logic and smarts and that’s okay because I have things they don’t, do things they can’t, understand things they don’t, it makes us all DIFFERENT, UNIQUE, WONDERFULLY made. Uh, individuals.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to turn my drive off once it’s on. It doesn’t matter if I am writing, studying or researching an interesting subject, painting, crocheting, cleaning, fixing something, etc. I find it sometimes difficult NOT to do, to let it be, to give up. I first realized this when I use to repair laptops. We had to meet a quota and pass quality inspections. I would get stuck trying to fix a laptop, determine the problem, and get behind on my other work. I did not want to give it up and pass it on to engineering. And even after it went there, I would follow up. So much so, they rolled out a policy where engineering had to let us know what fixed the machine. It was a wise coworker, that said to me, “Nik’, you can’t fixed them all as good as you are. We are engineers and we can’t even fix them all. You have to know when to let go and pass it on. You’ve done all you can do.” It sure was hard to learn this lesson. I am a problem solver, a quality over quantity (but also how can I have both) type of person, a highest form of service type of person. If I don’t get a hold of myself, I will crash and burn. I will become overwhelmed. Burnt out.

I use to be this way until Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease hit. I went through depression. I wasn’t immediately the “Oh, well, let’s beat this, keep going, person.” My type of drive died the day I got the diagnosis that it was back, out of remission, and kicking my ass. The struggle was real. My drive had to be revived, put on life support, and weaned off. My adjustment was rocky. It was and is a spiritual journey that took a sharp left turn. It really seems more like reached a cliff and drove off.

I notice the drive a few years ago when I started to paint again. The need to FINISH it, perfect it, for hours, or in the late night or wee hours of the morning. I noticed it when I started writing again. The “I must finish this chapter, this number of words, this goal.” I noticed it in my need to create quality crocheted items, meet my deadlines, have excellent customer service. I also, noticed the obsession to do these things when I am on the verge of crashing. I would ignore my body and common sense. I would crash, burn, and be in pain. I would cause a flare up of pain and swelling, unnecessarily.

I said yes to some events this year, way more than I did last year and I was overwhelmed because I didn’t expect to be received so well. (I am spontaneously SPONTANEOUS.) I didn’t realize I needed as much inventory as I did and that I simply couldn’t create it fast enough because it takes time and I do have physical limitations. It was one night before the first event and I had driven myself into a frenzy that I simply GAVE UP. I said, “I HAVE WHAT I HAVE AND THAT IS ENOUGH.” This has been my mantra this season in creating. It has been my saving grace. It has not prevented pain or swell ups, but it has lessened my actions being the cause of them. I have hurt more from the activities, late nights, stress, no help, etc. I am hurting now! It’s that taking it to the edge, when necessary, but not going over knowledge that kicked in like the technology that tells you you’re about to back into the garage lol. Beep, beep, beep beep beep beeeeeee…. Overall, this has been the best learning experience in a long time. I needed it. I had to quickly adjust, improvise, make peace with having what I have and letting that be enough. I had to say no to other things, people. I accepted it. I am better for it. I feel like I am being prepared for something AMAZING and something that requires me to be able to manage my illness, peace of mind, and health on a very controlled level. Also, these business skills I have learned, have been priceless.

~Nikki

Confetti Weekend: Art. Orijennal Art to You

Last year I had the opportunity to sale and show my work at an art event for African American/Black artists in the Fall of 2018. The B.A.E (Black Art Experience)! It was the first showing of my art and I sold three pieces I believe. In the city of Memphis, and many other cities, there is not enough exposure or outlets for people of color and their art. Well, this young lady created an event that did just that.

Fast forward to this year and here she is opening up her own art gallery, teaching art to children in a school system, and with many more things on the horizon for all things art!

This was the GRAND OPENING that houses several artists in the city, including her beautiful art of black women and girls. Hopefully, I will be able to get a piece of my art in there soon. I marvel at the artists and their works. I got to speak with one of my favorite artists at this opening, Mosal Morszart, and met many more new artist.

Seeing their work on the walls really inspired me and talking with Mosal gave me a confidence boost in my own lane as an abstract artist. Jennifer, has also been very supportive and encourage of my work. This means so much to the black girl inside of me who’s work was shunned by an art teacher in High School. Up until then, many teachers were supportive and I was asked to take on many creative projects in school. I stopped painting after that teacher in High School. It wasn’t until about two years ago I put the brush to the canvas and it was like I never left.

Each artist was able to speak about their work.

Not only is there art for purchase, there is also art to wear and art for your home. I really like this space and I am really proud of Jennifer, a sister that has opened up another door for artists. Click the link for more Orijennal Art!

And also check out Mosal’s Page!

https://www.facebook.com/oriJENNalart/

https://www.facebook.com/morszartmosal

Also, you can find my art and my crocheted art on my Facebook page and you can find me on Instagram @theconfettishopbynique

https://www.facebook.com/TheConfettiShop/

~Nikki

Confetti Weekend: Vending Woes and Triumphs

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Top of the morning to you! I had a great weekend filled with vending at two different events. One was the Colonial Park UMC Fall Arts & Crafts Festival and the other was the 4th Annual Purple Meets Pink Affair (for Domestic Violence Survivors & Breast Cancer Survivors). Let’s get the WOES out of the way, shall we?

The Woes: I was affected by the storm and tornado that came through on Monday morning of last week. My power was out until FRIDAY evening and I had my entire week planned to finish up and prepare for both events. I had to crochet in the day and go to my parents in the evening and return home at night. It was cold at night and I have Rheumatoid Disease. I layered my quilts. I eventually got a hotel room Thursday night until Saturday morning. I crocheted all Friday night and slept for 4 hours and did the event. In the midst of this I finalized the ending of a relationship after seeing something with my own eyes. This person was also suppose to help me with both shows. I had no idea how I was going to do all of this. I was incredibly STRESSED and in so much pain. My daughter called me from college Friday and said “Mom, my classmate is coming home and I am going to ride to come and help you with your events.” She had no idea about the power being out, nor the break up. I did not want to concern her with those things because she should be focused on her classes. I was exhausted before she ever arrived. I did tell her once she got here. She was a HUGE help as she has been my helper as long as she could walk and talk lol. Anyways, I made it through both events and the last one I had to do all by myself, but she helped load everything into the car before she returned to school on Sunday. I had two very supportive phone calls from one stranger during that week about the break up, depression and anxiety. She is an in your face truth kind of person. I needed that. Plus, I realize Mercury is in Scorpio and this is the season of BOLD TRUTH AND BRUTAL HONESTY. Boy did I get a HEAP (as my granny would say) of that at the end of this relationship. A HEAP (just had to say it again).

Now on to TRIUMPH!

The rain slowed the crowd down at the Arts and Crafts festival that morning. But then as I suspected and prayed for, all of us vendors in my area were praying, the rain slacked and the people came in like a flood! I sold so much of my crocheted items and even a piece of art! I met numerous vendors, received great advice and made many connections. I also learned of more places I could vend and sell. I also learned how to get into the fairs that come to our city. I learned about a huge event in St. Louis. It was a great Saturday although I was tired, in pain, and I slept like a log when I did get home. I put on my smiling face and greeted every customer.

Sunday I was ready to go to the second event. The event itself was inspiring and once again I met some great business owners. I shopped with them and they with me. I did very well at this event for it to me a small crowd. The people there were very supportive and so were the vendors.

Here are some photos of the other amazing and gifted vendors from both events. Plus, the things I purchased!

This is my haul from the events. It’s important to support other vendors!

~Nikki

A to Z. Jump. Empowerment, My Personal Journey.

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I had researched enough. I had practiced enough. I had thought about it long enough. I had stood on the sidelines watching and observing others. It was time to JUMP. TRY MY HAND AT IT. LEARN AND LIVE THROUGH THE PROCESS. RIDE THE WAVES. It was writing a book. It was putting it out there. It was learning to crochet, selling it, and doing festivals. It was working on a mini-series. It was taking sewing lessons. It was creating abstract art and putting it out there for the world to see.

JUMP. It’s scary. It’s nerve wracking. It’s exhilarating. It’s freeing. It’s fun. It’s faith building for sure!

~Nikki

Thinking Bigger

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I’ve been thinking bigger. I am just as great as Oprah, Tyler, James Patterson, Stephen King, Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Jay Renee etc. I see their methods. They have laid out their blueprints. And you know what, it’s all about determination, belief in your self, shutting out the critics, focus, never giving up (faith), drive, being prepared for the opportunities, going against the grain, walking away when it wasn’t right for them, taking risks and learning from it all. I love to hear Stephen King on interviews about his writing and career. He gives inspiring advice and so does James Patterson. Yes, I know sometimes as an AA it’s harder for us. Some people can get a deal on mediocre content based on their skin color and who they know (But I know somebody, too! ). But that doesn’t stop my flow or kill my vibe. It doesn’t put my fire out. Some want to help, some want to hinder, all I need is discernment and to trust my gut. This year, I am going to give it all I got and let my Creator and Angels do the rest. I’m going to push the envelope pertaining to my beliefs. #44Presidential

Fix it Jesus. No, You Fix It.

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There are just somethings in this life you have to take by the horns and fix it yourself. I waited until the last minute to resolve an issue. I sought wise counsel and I got great, but mixed advice. I thought I saw the right thing to do or was it that I saw what I wanted to see? I thought I felt the right thing to do, but it was too hard to do. I was vexed in my spirit for two weeks! I knew all along what had to be done. I only wish I would have done it sooner.

The lessons and reminders for me are:

  • Leadership requires making hard decisions sometimes
  • This wasn’t a Fix it Jesus moment. This was a moment of growth in my journey. It was very uncomfortable. I had to work through that emotionally and I am still working through that.
  • Vibes and energy are important. If you don’t feel it or them, if they do not feel you, just don’t mix it with business or pleasure. People are responsible for the energy they bring to you and you are responsible for yours. You can put out good energy and they can still bring their weird or bad vibes. What are you going to do?
  • If you are in business, you should bring good energy and vibes. You are providing a service, but people are paying you for it. Why would you bring bad juju? 😀
  • You are not asking for a favor, you are acquiring a service. (wise counsel)
  • Keep it short, don’t go into detail if you feel they won’t be receptive anyway, and keep it professional. (wise counsel)
  • They told you how they felt about you through actions and attitude. It’s okay to do what you need to do. (God, Holy Spirit)
  • This helped to decipher if I were being sensitive or if this was my GUT speaking. Hence, feeling vexed versus hurt feelings. My gut was practically screaming!
  • You know what energy you want to bring to an event. You know your audience. Trust yourself to cut what doesn’t flow.

 

~Nikki

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It’s Business and It’s Personal

Enjoying spa treatment

Great customer service is important to me. It can be good and I am just fine with that. However, what has been bothering is dealing with business owners who have the worst attitude or a bland attitude with some customers, but a blatant chipper, upbeat, smiling and bubbling personality with those that have money, fame, or just someone they think can get them closer to their dreams. I just want to be treated with respect, like my business and my money matters.

I dealt with a person for their service and the first time they were nice. The second time I saw them at an event and they were so busy trying to kiss up to the crowd they wish they were a part of, they blew me off. I asked them for their business card and they said to me: “Like, you are going to come.” I was so offended. They had no idea what I was going through and what it cost me to patronize their business. However, as time went on I decided maybe I should give this person another chance. Well, guess what, once over the phone they had the same snobby, funky attitude they had once before. I’d already paid them for an upcoming service and I immediately began to regret it. In fact, I considered cancelling it, but I did not want to disappoint the people at the event.

Once the event was over I decided to never use that person’s services again nor to recommend them. As an African American in this country, it’s important to support African American businesses because many times we, along with other minorities, INCLUDING WOMEN OF ALL RACES, are the minority. If we are going to do business, no matter the race, I must be treated the same way you treat others. I’m important, too.

~Nikki