Radvent day 1: Knowing

Once in a while I get contacted for an interview, and I LOVE that. I’ve always loved talking about myself–I’m not even going to pretend that’s not the case. (I mean, I’m a blogger.) A few weeks ago I did one for a new online magazine, and it’ll be published in February which seems so far away. But it’s been on my mind and I can’t wait for it to be printed, because I feel like I gave such an honest, transparent picture of the state I’m in today. The questions were really personal and it took me back through this whole year of internal change I went though change and existential crap and it felt so freeing cleansing to talk about things as they are.  It’s one thing to know something is true for you, and another thing to speak it out loud, make it real to everyone else by physically putting it out there into the world. To clear out all the smoke and take down all the mirrors. Be honest. What do you know? And what don’t you know?

One quality I’ve always liked in a person is when someone is willing to say that they don’t know the answer. Saying you need more time to decide. Saying “I’ll get back to you on that one.” Admitting that you don’t know something shows more wisdom than firing off a bullshit answer, even though I’ve done a lot of BS-ing in my time to get people to take me seriously (which is really a disservice to my true accomplishments and identity). In general I think it’s a mistake to be really, really sure about anything because the only thing you can know for sure is that things change. However, just because things change doesn’t mean you can’t live according to a set of beliefs. Even without knowing things for sure, holding on to our own truth is enough to bring clarity to navigate a world full of change.

Here are five things I know.

1. Having an opinion is not optional.

But speaking is optional. (I’m working on this one.) I’ve had some super-rude moments in the last year that I don’t really know how to reconcile. Whenever I speak my mind, I never regret it, but I know that doesn’t mean it’s always tactful to do. A few months ago, I was at a business lunch and the leader of the group mistook me for “just a wife,” in his words. “Oh, I thought you were just a wife here.” No, I’m one of the founders here today. I was invited here. By you. This week I saw him again because I was speaking to his class at a local college. I introduced myself and he didn’t remember me, and I said “Yes, I went to that startup lunch and you said you thought I was ‘Just someone’s wife.'” He said “Oh yes, now I remember” and didn’t make eye contact with me for the rest of the night. Megan. Why do you do this.

2. To get to know someone ask, “Tell me what you’re excited about right now.”

I’ve always had trouble with small talk. I’m not one who can fake genuine interest and I’m always really self-conscious that people can tell that I don’t feel like chatting. But it’s easy for me to start by asking questions. The more I give others the chance to talk about themselves, the more we open up to each other and find things in common. Caring is a talent to keep cultivating.

3. You’re never anonymous.

Even if no one ever knows it was you. Call it superstition, call it latent Catholicism, I do believe that what you put into the world comes back to you. If you wouldn’t do it when people are watching, don’t do it when people aren’t. It gives the actions you DO take when people are watching more meaning and weight.

4. Being afraid to do something wrong has a lot to do with being afraid to learn.

This year I feel like I failed at many things–CAMP, blogging, growing Princess Lasertron, and I know I’m still in a transition of deciding what to do about it all. The truth is that nobody is keeping score except me and I’m realizing that these “failures” aren’t so much a function of my own error as a sign of my priorities changing. You’ve all watched it play out on this blog, through my Twitter account, and however else you keep tabs on my life online, because one thing that hasn’t changed is my tendency to overshare every detail of my life. As I move forward writing on this blog, finishing my book for release in 2014, and growing Hello Holiday, it’s awesome to feel like I’m moving on from my past to greater challenges.

5. Don’t have heroes you’ve never met.

And if you do get the chance to meet people you admire, appreciate them for their humanity. Holding them to any higher standard than that is unfair to them and a sure way to be disappointed.

“Do what you know and perception is converted into character.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Today, think about what you know for sure.

  • Make a list of things you’d like your daughter or son, or a good friend to know.

  • Ask the person closest to you to meet for coffee and share your favorite thing you know about them.

The more I learn about new subjects that interest me like feminism and best practices and retail and equality issues around the world, the more I ask other people about what they know passionately, and the more I share what I know (and you’ve got an earful of that if you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure), the more confident I feel and the more the smoke and mirrors come down. More more more. How many times can I say “more”? It’s nice to feel more.

xx
meg

Writing your own Radvent response? Share the link in the comment section below!

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25 thoughts on “Radvent day 1: Knowing”

  1. I’m so excited about this. My friend Sandra at Raincoast Cottage wrote about Radvent today. I’m reading all the posts now and will follow for the rest of the month! :)

  2. Corrie says:

    Trying not to be the wallflower this year – love reading Radvent posts but never participated. However, figured it was high time. http://www.linushatesme.com/2012/12/what-i-know/

  3. Grim says:

    I loved it. You are your own worst critic. You feel you were less than progressive in certain areas. However from the viewers standpoint you are still making waves. Keep up the good blogging, and the good living.

  4. Anna Vargas says:

    I probably would have done the same with the “just someone’s wife” guy. It’s hard to bite your tongue sometimes, huh?

    Here’s my post today: http://bit.ly/VdGR87

  5. Sarah D. says:

    My first foray into Radvent! Thanks for this, I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.

    http://thefamilydunkley.blogspot.com/2012/12/what-do-you-know.html

    1. Megan Hunt says:

      I’m grateful for your participation and i look forward to reading this tonight!!

  6. Kristine says:

    Thank you so much for doing this again–Radvent inspired me so much last year! http://www.thesuburbanprairie.com/2012/12/radvent-knowing.html

  7. katykey says:

    My third year reading, but first year writing. I needed this. Thanks Megan.

    http://katykey.tumblr.com/post/36986697979

    1. Megan Hunt says:

      I’m so glad you’re jumping in! I hope it’s fun for you.

  8. asmallbird says:

    So excited! I love RADVENT. :) Here’s my post! http://asmallbirddesigns.com/blog/radvent-day-01/

  9. Maike says:

    Remember this? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0128853/quotes?qt=qt0546474 and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0128853/quotes?qt=qt0393033 Sometimes those people need to hear what you say in order to grow themselves…

  10. becks says:

    Short, sorta lame, but I can only imagine once I get some practice writing again, I’ll loosen up. http://tinyurl.com/yeahradvent1

  11. Mary B. says:

    I posted over at my blog, but the quick summary is this:

    Mentors are important. Make soup. Staying inside is not an option. Experience counts. Georgia {my daughter} is always learning.

    http://authenticallymerry.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/radvent-1/

  12. Wow. This blew me away. You are fantastic.

    1. Megan Hunt says:

      thanks. that’s really kind of you.


one × = 3

Alice Elfie’s Day Off

Alice and I stayed home today so we could start making presents for our family. It's hard to find much time to be together and do any of that between getting off work and bedtime, so we both took a day off! We listened to the Mariah Carey holiday Pandora station all day and had personal pan pizzas delivered for lunch, and ate all the cookies we wanted from a cookie exchange we went to last weekend. Here's what we made, including links!

OOTD: Clothes to covet

Today Alice and I are staying home to work on all of our Christmas gifts together! With my new work schedule, there isn't a lot of time between work and bed to finish any meaningful projects together, so we both took the day off to make and wrap all of our gifts. One thing on my gift list is this outfit. If we don't sell out of my size before the holidays, I'll definitely be buying it from the store. Usually I just buy whatever I want as things come in or order extra for myself, but during the holidays I want to give all of our extra inventory a chance to sell at full price before I snatch it up.

Clark & Company: Young guns in the Omaha music spotlight

This summer was the first time I heard Clark & Company’s music. I was at a friend’s house for a big party and the place was buzzing with lively discussions between friends reuniting and new introductions being made. I heard Clark & Company in the background of all this fun, and it was the kind of sound that you at first think is coming through some speakers somewhere. Soon, singer Sophie Clark’s beautiful, soulful voice caught my ear, and I began paying more attention to the music than the conversation.

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So I've never worked clothing retail before. In college I worked at a record store for a while, but it was pretty much exactly like the movie High Fidelity and thus not a legit retail experience. As we were preparing to open our first retail location for the Hello Holiday offices, everyone who knows me kept saying stuff like, "Well, I hope you can handle retail." "I think you're gonna find that running a physical store is a lot different." "Well, I look forward to hearing how THAT goes." It's like when you're a parent and you say stuff like, "I'm planning on taking my kid to work most days," and other parents knowingly go, "Oh, YOU'LLLLLL see."

I opened a store. Here’s what it looks like.

On November 25th, right before Thanksgiving, Sarah and I opened Hello Holiday's first brick-and-mortar location. When we started Hello Holiday, we had no intention of opening a physical store, but one thing we are both good at is seeing opportunities when they arise and reacting to them quickly to take advantage of them. We had had some success with local pop-up shop events, and when a retail space came over in one of Omaha's coolest neighborhoods, we knew we had to take it. We're excited for the store because it'll give us the space we need to grow. The front is the retail showroom, the back will be our offices when we finish construction, and our growing online fulfillment operations take place out of the full basement. With this space, we'll also have the opportunity to carry more independent designers from all over the world and take more risks with designers that would be harder to sell online. When customers can feel the clothing, see the lining, feel the zipper, see how it looks on, they're more likely to feel that emotional connection to these designers. It's not just a connection to an object, to an item of clothing, but a connection to a maker--a designer--who may live thousands of miles away. It's someone we believe in and support, and we're exposing their work to hundreds of thousands of new supporters through our store--both online and now with this physical location.
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