December 4, 2013

Life After the Dress...Nadia van der Mescht

I am so happy to introduce you all to my fourth guest here in my Life After the Dress series on the blog.

Nadia is a Creative Consultant, and I first met her at one of the I Heart Markets in Durban where she was selling her custom made button & ribbon brooches, corsages and boutonnieres. I took some photographs of her wonderful market display for a blog post, and then via our blogs and Facebook we became friends. Nadia is just such a lovely person, with such a warm heart. She has been doing so well on the creative scene in Durban, and is such an inspiration for other bloggers and creative people who are thinking about starting their own businesses in South Africa. We also commissioned her to make Farmboy and his groomsmen's boutonnieres for our wedding (she even included a beautiful brooch that matched for my hair), so thoughtful.
This talented lady is going places, so make sure to pop on over to her blog to see more of what she is all about.

Q1: Please introduce yourself (age, of both yourself and your husband, where do you live, what do you do & how long have you been married for?)
Hello, I am Nadia, a 29 year old creative business developer, consultant, blogger and wife. My husband, Daniel and I live in Durban. He is 36 and works as a furniture designer. On November 27th this year it will be our three year wedding anniversary.

Q2: Which Disney character do you feel sums you up to a ‘T’?
I would have to say Jasmine from Aladdin. When I was little I was in love with Aladdin and wished that one day I would meet my ‘diamond in the rough’. 

Q3: How did you and your hubby meet?
How many hours do you have? 

My husband and I met while we lived in London. He was the IT guy allocated to our floor at Burberry. Our building was full of Italians, so when I met an Afrikaans man, I was quite amazed. Since then I have told many versions of our story including short versions, long versions and romanticized humorous versions, today’s version is just a truthful one from my heart and a story I have not shared on my blog.

Our story was not an easy or perfect one. After meeting randomly via an intern who introduced us, we became fast friends. We both loved London, but missed home. We often got lunch together, sipped hot chocolate at Starbucks and just chatted and got to know one another. I had moved to the UK with my long-term boyfriend who I loved a great deal, but aspects of our relationship just didn’t work. After a long holiday away from London and Daniel, I realized that I just didn’t feel ‘right’, I felt broken and couldn’t put my finger on the problem. Shortly after this mid-twenties reality check - Daniel left the UK to wait out his renewed visa back home in Cape Town. We said goodbye and it really added some perspective. After that I was filled with angst and tried to figure out why I felt so lost. I tried to feel better, to get over my confusion, but I just couldn’t. Something was missing, but it took me a really long time to figure out that my London life and relationship were not the right fit. I couldn’t give up a seven year relationship based on a year long friendship, I didn’t feel that was the solution. I decided that regardless of everything, I needed to go home to my family and find out what it was that I wanted from my life. To this day it is still the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. I bid London goodbye along with my boyfriend of seven years. I moved back in with my parents and took some time to figure it all out. I went through so many emotions both while deciding and once I got home. A while after that Daniel came to Durban to catch up with me. Our first kiss sealed the deal and we knew this was it! The wonderful thing is our relationship was built on a solid friendship and we got to have our fresh start and begin our happily ever after in the right way.

Q4: Was your wedding everything you hoped it would be? Would you go back and change anything? Do you have any advice for brides-to-be?
I loved our wedding, the day was almost stress free and elegantly simple. The only thing I would go back and change is the guest list. I would make it even smaller and more intimate.

Q5: Has ‘life after the dress’ been as you imagined it would be? 
It has been all sorts of different things, interesting, challenging, difficult, beautiful and blissful. The important lesson has been that we are in this journey together.

Q6: What have you learnt about yourself since being married?
I'm not sure if my lessons have been general life ones or due to being a wife. I do know that I have learnt to be really strong and cope with juggling a great deal of different things from wife to business owner and each has its own set of challenges. The main thing is I can handle it and it helps to have a supportive husband.

Q7: If you could describe your marriage in 3 words, what would they be?
Love, Patience, Respect

Q8: Do you have any pearls of wisdom you would like to share with my readers about being married? Perhaps something some wise person once told you, or something you’ve learnt the hard way?
I think you need to remember to always find time for each other. It need not be hours and hours each day, but rather take time to listen… properly without typing on your phone or thinking about later. Carve out quality time and plan for it. We get so busy with our work and life in general and it’s important to not treat your spouse as another to do list entry. Romance is also a must – again not all men are romantic, but keep on having date nights or weekends away. We have to sometimes escape and we might as well do it together. My final pearl of wisdom is do what is right for the two of you. I often hear people say that other people don’t have a ‘normal relationship’. That is annoying as we are all different and we need to allow that our relationship follows our rules not those of society. Daniel and I have things we enjoy together and things we do apart and it really works for us. I surely can’t expect the poor guy to be as excited about washi tape and crafting as I am, nor do I want to go to a paintball game :)

You can find Nadia at the following places:

In this series I am interviewing real woman and asking them questions about their lives after their wedding day. I am asking them real questions about their marriages, and of course having them give me and you some pearls of wisdom that they might like to share. If you would like to read more about this series, or if you would like to be featured here on the blog, click here or you can drop me an email here or leave me a comment below.