"Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect." -Alan Cohen
When I signed the papers, to call this little place home, I knew the conditions were far from “perfect.”
Yes, there were things…growing? from the floor.
Yes, the ac/heater needed to be replaced.
Yes, the hot water heater was on it’s last leg.
Yes, there were both pink and bright purple walls.
Yes, there was a really, really bad smell.
For some reason, these things didn't deter me.
For some reason, I was excited at the thought of what this house could be.
I dreamed of seeing it with fresh paint and a fresh start.
My first step from a was to get it back to the bare bones.
Floors, ceilings, and walls.
I wanted to try to save as much money as possible throughout the process (to be able to budget and invest in the more core essentials; a new hot water heater, air conditioner etc).
Doing it myself (with the help of my mom 😌) definitely wasn’t easy but enabled me to save so much!
I knew that my first step was that I need to start over with a clean slate.
Clean slates in life can be liberating.
Clean slates are the moment after every bit of chaos (or the pieces that don't fit into the puzzle) are removed and we have the chance to rebuild.
We have the change to build up, bigger and better.
I've always felt beauty in having that clean slate moment. Maybe you have experienced them too....even if not while taking on a fixer upper. Perhaps you've lost your home, saw a relationship end, or made a career change. One thing I believe to be true.... often we have to start at the worst part to get to the best part.
Those hard parts, before we get to the clean slate and fresh start are the moments that define us learning how to evolve and grow; from nothing into something.
I knew that to make this condo into the home I dreamed of, I needed to get to the bare bones and do the labor to get to that clean slate start that I knew needed to be the starting place.
I focused first on the ceilings; removing the popcorn, sanding, patching, resanding, and then painting the entire ceiling. This was in no way glamorous and my arms had never been so sore! However, doing it myself....and starting from the ceiling really made quite a difference in both my budget and how beautiful, clean, and modern the results were.
A couple things I learned.....
1. Save all painting until after ALL pre work is complete.
2. Work from the top down. Start with repairing and preparing your ceilings, then walls, then trim. I painted in this order too. It makes the clean-up a million times easier.
3. It's very important to do your research and make sure you wear the proper protection (gloves, masks etc) when you are doing these kinds of renovations (based on your individual circumstance).
4. There is a Youtube video for EVERYTHING!
5. Shopvacs are your friend.
6. Music makes DIY projects a million times more fun.
When choosing a paint color for this home I strived to use color to set the mood. One that created a sense of a calm and brightened up this entire space! 🏡 many of you have been asking....and the walls are all #sherwinwilliams #alabasterwhite which I felt was versatile!
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I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your outpouring of support and encouragement!
If you've read the "behind the name" section of this blog, you've probably read the core message which I wholeheartedly believe to be true..... that you can have everything you want in this life if you are willing to work for it.
Today, I want to share some tools and strategies to help guide you through the process of working through a new chapter, life change, or as you move towards a fresh beginning.
When we start something new in life; whether we start a new job, take on a fixer upper, or move to a brand new place..... those new beginnings can often feel like navigating unchartered waters.
New endeavors and journeys can often feel overwhelming or intimidating and often times, we may even feel as though we are on a boat in those unchartered waters, alone.
Today, I want to share the lessons I've learned from starting something new.
These are the lessons and three steps that have worked for me.... time and time again.
I have used these three steps, stemming from life experience, the framework and principles I’ve learned in my MBA program, and the techniques that I’ve applied in project management when...
I’m by no means an expert but I hope these steps help anyone needing encouragement, a starting place, or who is feeling overwhelmed.
1. Develop a change vision and strategy. In major corporations, when change is on the horizon, developing and creating a vision and strategy of what the ideal future state is (the target, appealing state) is step one.
The same can be applied to personal endeavors.
Create the vision and strategy of an appealing future.
Ask yourself “what does life look like after the project, fixer upper, or journey is complete.”
For me, when I recently moved to Connecticut, started a brand new job, and bought a condo fixer-upper,
Before moving across state lines and towards this dream, I knew that there would be steps I would need to take to get to that vision (ex. purchasing a home that was in my budget, moving away from a city I lived in for four+ years etc).....but those would require some major work.
In times of change and before doing the major work, having the vision of what life will be like AFTER the hard work keeps me motivated to let go of the past and continue working hard.... even on the hardest days. That vision enables us to focus on an end goal and what the future state will be.
Furthermore, it makes the journey more appealing because we know that each step along the way is sensible and desirable.
2. Decide to make the change and commit. Sometimes I have people ask me how I could find a job in a different state and move across the country. Many times I want to say "it all just somehow fell into place" but the truth is......that's not what happened.
The truth is, I decided what I wanted and promised myself that I wouldn't accept anything less. I never gave up (even when there were challenges). I always believed that I could have what I was striving for if I worked the hardest I possibly could.....and if did my part.
I knew that I needed to do heavy lifting and be extremely clear on what I wanted in order to reach my goals.
When you realize you want something.....making the decision to commit to that vision is where the magic happens.
Don't allow any other outcome to occur outside of reaching your vision.
I have learned that we must take responsibility and commit.
Make yourself proud, take control of your life.
Step into your power!
Don't take no for an answer when it comes to your story!
3. Realize that time is better spent fighting for what you want instead of against yourself.
We hear so many times that we should trust our gut. However, often times following that gut feeling is scary as can be.
That gut feeling though? It's never wrong.
That my dear is your intuition.
What I've learned is that... when I rest in my truth, when I lean all the way in, and when I follow what feels right in my bones....the puzzle pieces of life start to come together a little faster.
We have to learn to follow our gut while also remaining discerning.
Don't fight against your gut. Don't let fear win. Lean in!
So many times I've wanted to not take that next step when things get hard. So many times I asked myself "what if things don't work out?" The truth is, following our gut may be massively uncomfortable but pushing through fear helps us grow into new, beautiful, unknown chapters..... and that's when life starts to get really, really good!
I’d love for anyone who fears failure to find a space here that makes that fear disappear.
Failure simply is a sign that you are making big decisions and learning as you go.
I’d love for anyone who needs a space where they feel encouraged to find that here.....because no matter what happens in life, no matter how hard it gets, there is something good around the corner. I
I hope this space echos these things and more and that you are reminded of beauty of the unknown, your abilities, and your gifts here.
Glowwithmeraki is about pouring your heart, soul, and love into your agenda every day! Every victory, obstacle, loss, heartbreak and mistake....all of those are part of the recipe for growth. What's important is that you don't ever stop! Make mistakes, mess up, step out of your comfort zone until you make yourself proud.
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