Keeping It Together

                          Original Concept                                    Finished Results

I see you couldn't resist the temptation to read my cautionary story. A bit of a warning, sarcasm everywhere. So welcome to my Keeping It Together blog, my beloved metiches (nosies). I promise my future blog posts will be livelier and more humorous than this. Due to some delays, I had to postpone this blog post. I wanted to end this chapter along with 2018. However, it wasn't possible, but hey, that's life. It was a year of lessons learned and internal growth. Thought it was appropriate to briefly explain why Arnaud  is no longer my business partner and the new direction of this project. I just couldn't go on pretending or not acknowledging what this person did. I know I'm never going to get the money or designs he owes me. Writing is my way of releasing and letting go of everything. As soon as the words are formed, I feel a sense of relief. Out of courtesy, since I'm considerate of others, I did send an email to him, informing him about my blog post in advance. I don't want anyone to think this is some kind of revenge. Just wanted to clear that up.

To the people that know him, I do bow down and offer my sincere apologies if it contradicts your impression of him. I'm not portraying your friend as a miscreant. I'm sure some of you scampered for a dictionary. Some become so lost within themselves, they can no longer see beyond that. Perhaps a lost soul. But does anyone truly know the people you surround yourself with? What lurks in someone's mind or heart? No we don't, do we.

Since I was not given the opportunity to say what I wanted to say, this is my closure. I needed to get this out of me before moving on to the next chapter. In sharing this foolish story, I hope people can learn from my errors. (Now for those grammar Nazis, I'm not a writer. I do not have a degree in journalism.)

So please, take a seat on my roller coaster, as I take you through my emotions.

  Let's start playing the violins for this ride, as I get deep.

2018

It had been a year of unstable foundations collapsing, exposing a false friend. A former friend I had genuinely loved and cared about at one point. Which caused the ending of our business partnership along with our friendship. Deception can only go so far, before cracks start to appear and the walls begin to crumble. As the German saying goes, "Lügen haben kurze Beine." (Lies have short legs, meaning lies don't make it very far)

It’s very upsetting when you have put your heart and soul into a project and someone takes advantage of that, especially when you have helped the person out tremendously. My children are the reason I started this project. Once you have those life sucking little monsters, you are no longer a selfish prick. Like an Aztec ritual, you sacrifice yourself on an altar for them. I wanted to make sure they had an easier life than I did before I returned to the earth. To me, the Morgana Sin project is a labor of love. It takes time to grow. No different than taking care of a child. If you start a project and expect fast results, than you have already failed. People may start things with you, however most will not be there to follow through with it.

  Reality gave me a slap on the face as I was flying out to do a second trade show in London back in September. I had paid for Arnaud's airline ticket. Seeing that empty seat next to me hit hard, realizing at that very precise moment, that he was not there for me. I couldn't keep making excuses or not acknowledge his deception and betrayal.

  I had the idea for the Keeping it Together design over 3 years ago. It was an image I envisioned while riding a bus in Berlin, Germany. A lot of stuff was going on at the time, but I had to appear strong and well put together. But internally one is falling apart at the seams and self repairing. It was becoming harder to keep up the smile. I pictured myself with a needle in hand, repairing every undone seam within myself. I'm sure a lot of people can relate.

Unfortunately, the design never got finished at the time, along with others designs I have. Arnaud was supposed to help with this project, but ended up lying, betraying, abandoning and taking a lot of money from me. The money part is irrelevant. That's not were the hurt emerged from. I meet my ex-business partner during a difficult time in my life. When Arnaud was living in Berlin, I helped him out financially because he was struggling. I would even make food for him so that he would have enough to eat. When he needed to return to Paris, I paid for his airline ticket. Having knowledge of where I came from, having helped him and for him to stab me in the back the way he did, that's what hurts. I won't divulge everything that transpired between us. I'm just giving enough to get the picture.

  Ride fast approaching intense inversion, as known as hurt....

A person can cause so much damage, without a care in the world. Thinking that wiping the slate clean will erase everything they've done. While the other person is left picking up the pieces and trying to rebuild something out of the mess created. I'm a person that can easily let go of bad experiences. I'm no stranger to them. However, this one really took me for a loop, took time to get over. I guess it's because this person didn't just take from me. This person also took from my best friend and my kids. My best friend runs a very successful business. She invested in my project because she believed in me. The majority of that money went to my former business partner in exchange for doing designs for me. He was supposed to do 30 designs. He only finished 12 plus 4 unfinished ones. Which means I have to pay someone else to finish them. I also gave him money when he needed it. All I asked was to be repaid with graphic designs. Which of course he didn't do. My friend did not trust him from the start. He, in turn, even wrote to her personally to reassure her. She advised me to do the business alone nevertheless. I went against her advice. Which of course I ended up regretting. He ended up keeping the money without finishing the designs he was supposed to do. Having to explain to my best friend that I lost her investment after she warned me, was humiliating. Having to do your first trade show in Las Vegas and not being prepared because of the deception from him, was humiliating.

For months he kept telling me he had a great collection lined up for me. As the trade show neared, he started ignoring my phone calls and emails. He finally sends me a last minute email that he couldn't keep up. Turns out, he had absolutely nothing for me. Not even one design done. By this time, it was too late to cancel the Las Vegas trade show booth. I only had 12 designs to display. I ended up losing over $4,000 in expenses on this trade show because of him. Money I could have used to be better prepared for another future trade show. I went into debt just because I wanted to help him out.

Had he been honest with me and verbally had a conversation with me in advance, I would have avoided all this and more. We could have come to an agreement regarding the money he owes me. Things would not have snowballed out of control as it did between us. But no, without any shame, he took the cowardly way out and remained silent. Till this day, I have not received a single phone call from him giving an explanation or an apology. He let me fail and be humiliated in spectacular fashion. I take responsibility that I ignored the warning signs early in the project. His lack of commitment, unreliability, constantly making excuses why he hadn't finished my designs. I was stupid for letting it go on for over 3 years. I won't disclose the reasons behind my idiocy. There's only one emotion that can blind a person. Doesn't matter your intelligence. We have all fallen at one point in our lives.

  Roller coaster going higher and higher towards that nasty steep slope called hatred and anger, fasten your seat belts boys and girls.....

It doesn't matter how much you are there or how much you do for someone, don't expect the same gesture to be reciprocated when it's your time of need. This is when you'll know, who is truly there for you. The crucial moment I needed my friend to be there for this project, he was nowhere in sight. Didn't even bothered to make things right after promising he would through an email. 

When he needed money he sure didn't forget about my existence. Reaching for that phone was not a problem. Promising to right a wrong by creating a wall of silence was not the answer. Ignoring me instead of keeping the agreement and hoping I will diappear like some regrettable one night stand was not appropriate. This is not how you repay a person's kindness. My kindness is not a sign of weakness. Due to this person's actions, I was made to feel that I was nothing. Unimportant, used and disposable. Those feelings don't go away, they linger. I don't know if my interpretations are wrong, but when someone doesn't give you a verbal explanation or a sincere apology for their actions, one's mind begins to interpret things their way. The mind becomes the enemy, it goes to very dark places to find an answer. No matter how hard you fight those intrusive thoughts, they keep coming back. Pondering why he did what he did. I generally always try not to callously disregard anyone, because you never know who they will become one day. I don't want to have any regrets.

I was beginning to turn into something ugly and I did not like it. It is not who I am as a person. I am better than that. I could not handle these negative feelings anymore. Couldn't even remember a time I felt like this. I lost confidence and faith in myself. The love and passion I felt for this project was gone. Once you lose the ability to feel, it's the death of the soul.

The hatred, anger and hurt I was feeling, was starting to become like a cancer, eating me from inside. Anyone that has ever been betrayed by someone they loved and trusted will know the feeling. It doesn't go to the heart, it cuts to the soul. As is typical for a Scorpio, I had to go dark for a while. I needed to destroy what was festering inside. I had to find myself again in the darkness. As time progressed, I began to see light again. I slowly re-emerged, stronger than ever. Like a snake shedding its skin, I left my insecurities behind. The love and passion I thought I lost, returned with a vengeance. I harnessed all those negative feelings and turned it into positive energy, by refocusing on the Morgana Sin project.

  Now for the plunge, time for redemption...

I'll admit that at first I wanted revenge. However at some point, revenge turned into forgiveness. As hard as it was, I had to forgive this person and make peace with it. He doesn't care of what he did. I had to let go of everything, because in the end, it would've been detrimental only to myself if I didn't. Good or bad, I always make sure to appreciate the people that pass through my life. I don't wish anything bad to this person. Even in the ashes, microscopic remnants of love remain for that old goat. I will always be grateful for the small role this person played, regardless. For a few months he got his shit together and did some designs plus other stuff. Not the ones I wanted to be done. But he did do some beautiful graphics. I will give credit where it is due. It took the two of us to create this project. Morgana Sin would not have existed without our paths intertwining.

When I first had the idea for this project it was different than it is now. My original idea was to share stories that coincides with my designs. I wanted my designs to have meaning behind it. The former direction didn't feel right to me. That's why I'm going with my original idea now. I'm a firm believer things happen for a reason. Although, it took me a while to realize what reason it was. It wasn't until I forgave, that the reason became clear. This had to occur in order for me to take charge. I could not remain in the background as I wanted. I had to lead because this is my project and no one else's. As frightened as I was at the prospect of doing this project alone, I had no choice. I had to take the reins. It was a difficult, but necessary change that propelled me to move forward. It caused me to reevaluate the direction I wanted to take this project. The direction it should have gone from the start, but I was blinded and misguided.

It's been heartbreaking having to say goodbye to someone that I thought was a friend. People may come in and out of your life and remain a memory. Only a very few will become part of you. Eventually the scales of justice will be balanced out. I leave it to the universe to decide what's right. I thank him for the experience. I learned a lot from it. I wish him well on life's journey.

  Sharp turn....Happy times ahead....

While I was at the London trade show I met a lovely Romanian artist named Sonia Tibacov. She was my booth neighbor. I admired the work she was exhibiting. After I returned to Berlin, I contacted her and asked her if she will be interested in trying to do some designs for me. I had her do the Republican design I had. I loved how she followed my instructions. I think she did a fabulous job. This time around, I made sure I had a contract. I also did not pay in advance. I decided to have her do Keeping it together. It seemed appropriate to bring out this design now, considering all that has happened in the recent past. I am really happy with the results and am looking forward to continue working with her.

Thank you for going on my roller coaster, that was it for this time. Please feel free to come again.

  This chapter has ended. On to the next.

The hardest lessons brings the most awakenings. It woke up dormant sides of me I did not realized I had. The universe loves to send me complicated circumstances, but every lesson makes me even stronger. I learned that even with friends I need to have contracts and Nooooo money in advance until the work is finished. I would have avoided being taken for a fool if I had set boundaries. Maybe I should consider switching professions. I'm starting to sound like a motivational speaker. Anyways, I still have my sense of humor. I'm happily trekking forward. I have the vision, motivation and strength to take this project to the next level. Looking forward to the new opportunities along with the trials and tribulations Morgana Sin will bring. Out with the old, no looking back. Endings with new beginnings. I'm a little wiser after this experience. As always, I'm Keeping it Together.


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