Stepping out of the nail salon with drying toes and manicured fingers, we shuffle clumsily to the Italian joint next door. The place is small and quaint for a rare non-chain restaurant in the suburbs. It’s not classy but it’s not a dive. It’s filled with smells of garlic and red wine – both of our love languages, and therefore our favorite spot to catch up.
Megan eyes the perfect table outside – the one with flickering lights and a view of just another strip mall and bustling cars. But the air is cool and the music is good, so she plops her gray Kate Spade on the table and pulls out a chair as the server comes by.
“Hi! How are you?” she blurts pleasantly in a voice so welcoming and powerful you feel like you’ve known her for years. After a short banter and a belly laugh with the server, she orders without hesitation. “We’ll have some garlic knots and a bottle of Chianti.”
She didn’t ask me because she didn’t need to.
Megan is my best friend. She’s also lots of other things.
She is a wife to Brandon for five years in November. She’s a business owner. A wedding expert. A friend to many. A daughter. A dog mom. A dancer. An amazing aunt. An adventurer. A hostess. A leader. An organizer.
Much like many of us, Megan wears several hats both professionally and personally. After graduating college, Megan and her talented and creative friend Mallory (who has become a dear friend to me, too) started Marmaros Productions, a wedding coordination business.
When the wine and rolls arrive, I reach for one first – because . . . hi, carbs. We begin chatting, and Megan lets me know she has a meeting with a bride right after this.
“I left my computer at 12:00 today and it’s 4:30,” she says, feeling guilty about her time-blocking struggle. “I was at least able to finish the blog and get two weeks of our schedule nailed down this morning. It’s just hard to keep up with everything sometimes,” she mentions as she takes a peek at a new email notification on her phone. “You just don’t know what you don’t know.”
Doing it All for a Dream
The clouds begin to part and the sun touches the umbrella at our table. That feeling – the one of just not knowing – is all too familiar for myself and many of us in our twenties. After graduating high school, maybe we go to college or jumpstart our careers. Once through college, perhaps we pursue our majors only to find we don’t actually love them.
So . . . we do everything.
Clumsily, we throw everything we have against the wall to see if something sticks. Why? Like Megan said, because we just don’t know what we don’t know. And we’re in our twenties – so we will do it all until we find out!
In the two years following the start of Marmaros, Megan worked at a north Georgia wedding venue while also teaching dance at our home studio. Her hours were long and her weekends were slammed. She recalls the stress in trying to do it all and the toll those hours took on her physical and mental health.
“I was in a depression,” she admitted, looking towards the partly cloudy sky. “I wanted to do it all – I had to do it all. I needed the wedding day experience and I wanted to do all the jobs to the best of my ability . . . until I just couldn’t anymore. Everything in my life was falling apart.”
Megan details how grateful she is that she overcame the depression brought on by doing too much. When I ask why she felt like she had to do everything, she says, “Because I needed the experience. I wanted to understand this industry like the back of my hand. I had to learn to make my own business work.”
Clearly, there’s something to be said about this determination . . . In Marmaros’ four years, Megan has run over a hundred weddings. Marmaros has coordinated fifty and counting, and she has dreams of expanding the business.
As she tops off my wine glass, Megan redirects the conversation to all things Becca, offering creative ideas and organizational hacks with every bite of her garlic knot. Megan has a classic way of taking a conversation that was supposed to be about her and pointing it to others.
Eagerly, I tell her about my sporadic schedule and loose writing routines. She reaches for her keys and replies,
Consistency is what built us. It’s what will build you, too. Keep doing the small things.”
With that, she tosses her hair to the other side and drives away. And me? All I’m left with is a sense of rejuvenation, clarity, and a new found passion for what I do.
Oh, and an empty bowl of garlic knots.
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