Onward to our beloved Megan!

October 12 2017 | arielmstallings
Me 'n' Megan dancing at her wedding this June. Photo by Wild About You Photography.

Oof, this one's hard to write.

Megan was Offbeat Bride's second intern, going way back in February 2009. I hired her on as my first paid contractor six months later, and we have worked together ever since — almost nine years, and fuck those have been a pretty epic nine years.

Megan and I have worked together through the Offbeat Empire's growth from one site to two sites to three sites to four sites and back down to two and a half. We worked together when Flickr was still a big thing, before Instagram was a thing at all. We worked together through the birth of my son, through the dissolution of her first marriage, through my divorce, and through her engagement and second marriage. We've watched the internet change so, so much… sometimes leaning forward white knuckled and screaming, and sometimes leaning back, wines in hand, darkly snarking at the ridiculousness of it all. We've ridden out more commentroversies than either of us care to think about. Through our time together at the Empire, we've both been hounded, healed, helped, hacked, humored, and lots of other things that start with H.

Honestly, we've grown up together.

And as of next week, Megan is moving onward into her next adventure.

UG NOW I'M CRYING. (That's another thing that happened during the time that Megan and I have worked together: she got to watch me go from a tough hard bitch to whatever this weepy, deeply feeling, midlife existentialist thing I am now is.)

I want to be clear here: despite my sniveling, Megan's departure is not a sad one. It's an awesome one full of wide open new possibilities for her (and ongoing sustainability for the Empire), and yet still I cry and I cry. This is what no one told me about people managing nine years ago: it's parenting. Especially when you're a manager like I am (which is to say, maybe not quite enough boundaries between business and personal), it's all tangled up. I've been managing and mentoring Megan since she was 27. In some ways, she was my kid before I had a kid.

Wait, I'm saying this wrong. Like this full-grown woman was some sort of infant who I had to nurse — that's not what I mean at all! But managing people (and Megan was the first person!) has taught me so much about how we humans can benefit from positive encouragement, mentoring, cajoling, loving prods, healthy boundaries. Through managing Megan, I learned so much about my own limitations and capacities… if no one told me that people managing was like parenting, no one else told me that both people managing and parenting are all about flying blind and hoping you don't crash the plane. Both are about being taught by the people you're supposedly teaching. What I'm trying to say here, awkwardly, is that Megan birthed me as a boss. That's a big deal, and a gift for which I'll be forever grateful to her.

While there was zero drama when Megan gave her notice, it was not easy.  She was like, hey do you think now is time? And I was like, yeah now is probably time. Then I fell over and started sobbing because even when you know it's time, CHANGE IS HARD.

…Ok, ok. Rein it in, Stallings. What were we saying about boundaries?

So! Megan is heading on into the next phase of her work! Me and my wobbly tears aside, I'm pretty fucking excited for her because she's focusing on all the Megan stuff we've always loved: you can follow along with her personal writing over at Funk In A Deep Freeze, or her foodie stuff with her husband Mike over at The Dash & Dine. And since Flickr hasn't been a thing since 2011 (HA!) you can of course follow Megan on Instagram, too: @meggyfin and @thedashanddine

As for those of us staying behind here at the Empire, Catherine and I are redistributing Megan's Offbeat Home & Life work, so you might notice some subtle shifts over there…

If I had to guess, I'd bet on more Fucking Basil and offbeat takes on pop culture from Catherine, and more of the awkwardly emotional woo-woo weirdness I've been dishing out lately. We'll see. As always, I'm not completely sure what I'm doing or where we're going, but here we go!

Alright. That's enough from me. Let's raise our digital Game of Thrones goblets to our beloved Meggyfin and wish her well on her next adventures. ONWARD!

  1. To Megan: ever there to commiserate, collaborate, coach, converse, co-edit, captivate, and other C words except for *that one*. Thanks for being a huge part of why the Empire is a really kick-ass place to work and grow. I will miss being ever awed by your creative and hilarious writing for the Empire, but will certainly not miss your friendship since I will continue to hound you for life. <3

  2. Oh geez you guys! I feel this on all the levels possible. Raising a glass to you both in celebration of indescribably good times past and the infinite promise of adventures yet to come! <3

  3. Megan, if Ariel has been the farmer to my awesome blossom, then you have certainly been right there in overalls and straw hat right beside her. It's been an incredible journey and I thank you for your years of service to this space that has meant so much to me personally and professionally.

  4. Damn. I'm weepy too, now. I think Megan started at OBB at the same time that I started looking at and interacting with the site. Best of luck, Megan, and may you continue having kick-ass adventures in your next gig. Thank you for everything!

  5. Love you guys. Love you meggyfinn. Life changes happen but we always carry those people and experiences that matter most along in some way. I consider myself having moved on from when OBB OBHL were my daily staples but I have learned so much from this place… And I love to check in from time to time. Thanks Megan for all of your time and hard work, may the road rise up.

  6. I found out about Megan leaving from snooping in her personal blog, so I didn't think it would feel this much when it happened. From a reader who has appreciated what you offer up on the interwebs, thanks for providing excellent content and everything else you've added to the atmosphere of the Offbeat Empire.

  7. Oh Megan, so many feelingsss! I've been reading for your whole tour of duty too, and what an amazing and often hilarious ride it has been. You will be so missed, but good for you (and Ariel!) for knowing when it feels right. Huzzah for your new horizons!

  8. Aw Megan <3
    I can't wait to see what you do next, but you'll be missed! I'm glad you went out on this epic as shit wedding though, that seems perfect.

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