Goals & Passions
My name is Flor Mercado, the creator of Dad Style 99. I have always wanted to be a better version of myself but struggled for years with trying different things to find myself with the same frustrations. I’ve been pushed to new limits with previous relationships, quickly learning fatherhood as I’m sure no one can prepare you for, having an inconsistent health track and just finding my true character and passions. All of these had their share of obstacles, challenges and or bumps in the road. Through these, I have learned so much about myself and just life in general.
In 2017, I was introduced to the outfit flatlay world and I took huge interest in it. I was inspired by many outfits and immediately thought it was time to give my own style a tune-up. I started @Dadstyle99 on Instagram and wanted to showcase some of my favorite pieces, put it together in an outfit using the flatlay approach and show it in a lifestyle photo. I even included my daughter in some of the photos which sparked many ideas and began to think of my own brand. What is my purpose? What can I offer and how can I be of value? That’s when I knew I needed to share my experiences and what I’ve learned to teach, mentor and or inspire dads to unlock the better version of themselves.
Now I’m not an expert by any means but I feel that real life situations are sometimes the best lessons we can be put through. In return, you feel the greatest accomplishments when those walls have been broken through. My goal is to offer my guidance and support to assist other dads in getting through these lessons by sharing my own experiences.
You will get style tips and ideas, overall men care tips, How-To’s, fatherhood learning moments, featured topics and reviews and maybe some Q&A’s. I always want to hear your thoughts or blogs you’d like for me to put together. Anything you’re interested in might be someone else’s interest, so please share.
Thank you thus far for your support and I look forward to be a part of your journey to unlock your own “Dad Style”.
My Short Story
After High School, I attended a local community college in hopes of eventually becoming a teacher. I was also in a relationship during this time which was becoming pretty serious. This turned into being engaged. We decided to skip on the big wedding plans and own our very first home instead which left us in a money-tight situation. College became expensive and bills needed to be paid. I took on a second job and she decided on a career change. It wasn’t an ideal scenario for our relationship so things got rocky and the spark quickly diminished which grew us apart from each other. Married at 23 and divorced by 27.
I moved out to my own place with little money, two unreliable jobs and a pile of bills. For months I survived on PB&J sandwiches and cereal. My place was about the size of a large walk-in closet. I needed to figure out how to pinch pennies so I made some changes to survive on the bare minimum. After budgeting and cutting corners I was able to slowly get myself out of the hole. Things were starting to look much brighter for me…
Certain qualities and values were missing in my first marriage. Why did I still marry? I’ve always love the idea and I knew I can make someone happy one day. So I decided to blindly pop the question. I spent a lot of time away from my family and friends and ended up changing a lot about myself to cater to her happiness. Long story short, I eventually met someone who found that family and friends was an important value. I stuck to that value so hard and before you knew it, I blindly popped the question, again!
So here we are making plans for the wedding but because family was important to both of us, we skipped on the big wedding to start a family of our own. I was married again by 29 and a daddy by 30. First eye contact with my daughter was the biggest changing moment of my life! I knew that every action that was to come from me, was going to be for her. She means everything to me. Unfortunately, at the early stages of the marriage, there were qualities that I completely overlooked and I realized that I didn’t give myself enough time to get to know them. Because I was so stuck on finally having the value of family, I missed some things that were just as important in a marriage.
I have learned that communication and compromise are huge in a relationship. Respect and consideration are equally as necessary. No one is perfect and relationships will go through rough times. The key is to want the relationship to work and to nourish it. You will work through your differences, respect each others opinion, consider each others feelings, compromise and meet in the middle and clearly communicate to come to an understanding. Sadly, a lot of this didn’t happen and led to an extremely hard decision. My integrity as a man was challenged. Trying to communicate as if I was in an air-tight sealed room, left me unheard. Eventually I found myself not being able to express my feelings. Not being able to speak my opinion, thus leaving many issues unresolved. Now I do have a part in this as well as the relationship left me with no motivation and I almost lost all passion in being a husband. Even through all of this, the only thing I never lost passion for was to be the best father I can be for my baby girl. This was more important than anything else.
With raising a daughter, from a fathers point of view, has many challenges. Especially when compromise and communication is not the greatest between both parents. There are many things to learn so that I may raise my daughter the right way. I didn’t want her seeing that a relationship is suppose to be an ongoing battle of constant unresolved debate, tension, no team work and improper actions of love. We were separated when I was 33 and divorced by 34. Co-parenting is a huge factor when trying to make this work and even that has been a challenge. I’m still trying for the sake of my daughter and I hope for others to feel the same. Thankfully, I have been fortunate to have the support of family and friends to get me through my days.
Out of all these relationships, the biggest thing I’ve learned is you have to get to know the person. Not just meet a person. Although, appearance can sometimes set the tone, looks is really not the important factor. Having a relationship where friendship is the foundation means more than anything else. To have someone who knows you more than you know yourself and can finish your thoughts before you can get them out is something not just anyone can do. I am thankful and grateful that the person I have in my life right now is truly a blessing. I feel I have started to restore many qualities about myself and gained faith in those missing values because it’s important to her I don’t change for anything or anyone and that I always feel comfortable to express myself and hold to my heart all things that are important to me. Ultimately, my happiness is her happiness. Her enormous caring heart and many selfless acts is truly one of kind. Everything I have gone through has prepared me for this and I can honestly say that I deserve every bit of it! Staying positive has been my motivation!