#PotteryBarn x NeatObsessions

(Wow. I am still in awe typing that hashtag.)

I guess Christmas came a little early for me this year!

The workshop a week ago is a gift wrapped in so many layers. Every day that led me to August 31 offered beautiful things that I felt like I was opening a gift one layer at a time.

Allow me to share with you…

My friend Mika (Martinez) and I were shopping in Greenbelt when out of the blue, she offered, “How would you like to conduct your own workshop?” The world stopped for a moment enough for me to think of a response: “Where shall I buy the confidence to do it?”

The idea kept playing in my head. I wasn’t sure how I will be able to pull an entire workshop off. A small part of me says I can do it, if and only if I will be given enough time to prepare. A couple of months, maybe?

After two days, someone from Pottery Barn called to confirm that the workshop will be in TWO WEEKS’ TIME! Totoo na ba talaga ‘to? Haha! If I could just bargain for more time… but at this point, I really was not sure when the right time is. Will I be able to gather enough confidence if the workshop was scheduled in two months’ or three months’ time, or will it just prolong my anxiety? I really do not know where to get the confidence to speak in front of people.

But Pottery Barn, as if feeling my anxiety, provided me so much comfort by efficiently attending to the logistics. I felt right at home when I saw that they were really into it, and that all I would do is be there on August 31 and conduct the workshop (which is not an easy task! Haha!). They made the preparations hassle-free for me. They told me that it will be a private event, and only those who are registered through the sign up form in Pottery Barn’s Instagram page, and those who will make it to the limited slots will be able to get a seat.

Preparing for my own workshop is one thing, having Pottery Barn to take care of me is another. This is Pottery Barn, an international brand collaborating with me! Just that thought is enough to make my heart burst with gratitude.

I must say that seeing my name on their IG page brought me to cloud nine.

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I couldn’t stop asking – Is this really happening?

When I reposted the invitation on my own Instagram page, the good lucks from people poured in. Somewhere there, I confirmed to myself that it is indeed happening.

Then I messaged Justa, the Marketing Manager of Pottery the following day after the announcement was posted online  to ask how the registration is going. I was supposed to request if I could reserve five slots for my family and friends. I was thinking, if nobody would sign up or show up, at least five people will be there to listen! Hahaha!

After a couple of minutes, she texted to tell me that they had to take down the registration because they could only accommodate a maximum of 40 participants, but the registration count already reached 168! Whaaaaaat? Why? How? How did all of this happen? I couldn’t really place what I was feeling that time. I was in a state of shock, gratitude, anxiety, excitement, and disbelief all at the same time!

I texted Mika to tell her, “What have I gotten myself into?” There I was catching all the anxiety in the world!

Prior to the event, as if perfectly orchestrated, I read the most heartfelt write up from my Senior Organizer. It was sent to me as a surprise, and it was such a confidence booster! It came at a time when Friendster testimonials were a thing of the past, and when many people would express appreciation in the form of likes and emojis… Read here: Neat Classroom

We’ve been working together for just give or take a month. I never realized I already had that impact on her.

How I wish I could also replicate that same impact in an hour!

Then came THE DAY.

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I couldn’t feel my toes that day. I wasn’t even sure if I was hungry or not but I ate anyway. Everything was a blur. Before I know it I was already standing in Pottery Barn an hour before 3pm, preparing our things, going through my notes, doing all this while my knees are shaking and my heart is beating so fast.

I love talking to people. But I’d love it more if the conversation was spontaneous. Knowing that this is an event that people signed up for makes me really conscious. But the people who came made me feel relaxed. I felt more than happy to finally meet the people behind the IG usernames who asked me once or twice where I got the storage bins in my posts, and so on. It feels so amazing that the people in front of me that time actually follow my page and read my posts! If I could only pinch myself to remind me that this is all real (and to help stop me from still being nervous), I’d do it. But I didn’t, all because things happen fast and Mika was already in front doing the introductions for the workshop!

The short talk and workshop consisted of three topics: Top 10 Tips in Organizing, Baby Bag Organization Tips, and Home Office Organization Tips.

The number of congratulations and words of appreciation from everyone is priceless. That day in Pottery Barn, I was with people I’ve known for the longest time, people I’ve been with for a short time, and people I just met – but I feel so humbled knowing that they all appreciate what I do. I never imagined that the little and everyday things I do could create such impact to people.

When the workshop was over, when my knees stopped shaking, and when all sorts of emotion came in, I stopped and thought – Maybe… just maybe… I am doing something right.

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Because this is a day I won’t ever forget, allow me to lengthen this post a few lines more to express my gratitude:

to Mika, for trusting me and believing in me. Up until minutes before the workshop, you kept telling me I’ll do great and that there’s no reason to be nervous.

to Pottery Barn, for being such a wonderful and generous host! Thank you for accommodating me and my last minute requests.

to Ria, for giving me the most humbling feedback. You gave it a time I needed it the most.

to all my friends, for coming to cheer me and to support me despite your very busy schedules.

to all the people who signed up but didn’t make it to the limited slots, to those who got seats, and to those who watched in IG Live, for making me feel I am worth your time.

… and to my husband, for tirelessly supporting me since Day 1.

I stepped out of my comfort zone to be able to survive my first ever workshop. While the beautiful gift that is the workshop has ended, it allowed me to open more and more beautiful gifts as I come to realize that the things that brought me to this workshop and to this day aren’t material gifts at all… shared lives, sincere mentoring, meaningful friendships, and deep, deep love.

Thank you God for loving me.

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