With Just a little Pixie Dust

I don’t fit into my office. This is not a new secret. Like, I don’t fit in so bad that it’s nearly comical. It’s almost like I’m a mystical being stuck in a land of protocol and unyeilding emails. Actually that is almost exactly what it’s like, it’s hard to be a Lauren in a 9-5 kind of world.

And the best part of all of it… is that my boss hasn’t the slightest idea. And the worst part is… I think he’s such a nice boss, that I kind of never want him to know how hard it is to work with some of the other people in our tiny office space.

I’ve been tinking about it a lot lately. Have you ever thought that maybe Tinkerbell was really just tired of being treated poorly by the lost boys? And maybe she was tired of always being put in cages and treated like a weird sparkly decoration? I do. She was totally over it because she know she can do more than that.

Now several times last year I thought of quitting my job, without any back up plan. And not for reasons people usually do… No one ever has a great boss, and bad coworkers. No one has ever said that! And no one ever says when they are in a bad work environment that they love the work they create. Which… I do. I like the clients I deal with. I love the idea of something I draw being built and occupied by people who are learning, and working and changing the world with their existences and thoughts and dreams. Right now at this moment, that is what architecture means to me.

Things I don’t like about work is being harassed by coworkers, being asked to quit to make certain people feel better about themselves (several times, actually) and feeling totally unappreciated for all the actual effort I put into creating a product that we are proud to put our names on.

I have actually tried to think through these issues a lot in the last few days. How can you get past these kinds of work problems?

The first one… well I’ve tried a few things. Including ignoring, trying to talk it through, and finally giving up. And then I stumbled upon these little words from every cool chick’s homegirl, Tina Fey:

“So, my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.” -Tina Fey, Bossypants

I have taken these words to heart, and my days have felt so much lighter and brighter than they used to. I can do my work really well, and I will be in charge of a firm someday. And maybe I’m also better about this type of situation due to the fact I may (or may not) have concealed and color coordinated weapons on me pretty much at all times.

Basically this is me getting ready for work. Except I’m more partial to flats. Image Courtesy of: Photobucket & the Weinstein Company

And secondly, I’m not going to disappear to ease other people consciences. You are an adult, I am an adult, we make our own decisions. And I’m sticking around to get stuff done, and you can’t be rid of me so easily. Also you have no right to banish a good fairy, unless your name is on the business, which it is not.

No one ever to told Glinda to get the Heck out of Oz. She was just doing her thing and being sparkly. And that is how I want to be. Especially with that hat!  Image Courtesy of: Photobucket & Warner Bros.

And well the other one…. Hmm, there isn’t much I can do about this. All bosses everywhere do this in some shape of form… I mean if you keep pulling off impossible deadlines for them, they think that you can do so much more. Sometimes to fulfill my boss’s requests I find myself alone in the office in the dark of the night clicking and clacking away at the computer just to meet the deadline. And then after it’s all printed, he will say, no lets go back to the other thing we were at a few days ago. And then I will smile and know I tried. This actually happens a lot, and it used to make me really mad. But now I think he requests crazy things because he believes I can make magic. So now instead of getting upset when my work is shelved… when I complete the impossible tasks he asks of me, I just feel a little bit magical.

And well all of the analogies in this post came from my truly desperate grasps at happiness. Online Quizzes. Yes, when I feel a little blue I take internet quizzes that tell me things like I should paint my walls blue… or eat a margherita pizza. So this time when I was feeling a little down I took an internet quiz about Fairy tales and even the internet agreed:

You Are the Fairy! You are charming, cheerful, and a little bit magical. You make other people’s lives better. You are a bit eccentric at times, but you truly care about people in your own way. You are hyper and restless. It drives you crazy to sit still, and you are usually the first to leave any event. You are unpredictable and flighty. No one can guess what you’ll be up to next … or where you’ll be!  Image Courtesy of: Blogthings

And then I applied that knowledge to my actual existence, and found that it’s not really too far off. Eccentric, cheerful, probably coated in glitter. Maybe being a fairy isn’t so bad, as long as someone thinks you’re magical.

Lauren

p.s. Sorry Amber who reads this blog, but you know how it is ;)

Christmas All the Time

A while ago when I was talking to a coworker friend who knew I was lacking in a bit of confidence. He told me he didn’t really know why I was because he thought I was sparkly inside and out. How does this have to do with Christmas? Well besides the fact I was was called a “Christmas tree”, it is because this Season is about having appreciation for family and friends.

And this year, I have learned that some people should be appreciated for being so kind to you, especially when you don’t feel you deserve it. At the time of this compliment, I really didn’t think I deserved niceties. But we all struggle with that. And that is what makes the happiness of this season so important.

Wow, this post isn’t very merry. This post is actually verging on the “It’s a wonderful Life” kind of introduction to Christmas… I think I was just trying to say that maybe we should celebrate how much we care for people all year long, because a season isn’t enough to show people how much we care about them.

And maybe we should pretend it’s Christmas more often… and not for presents or to age Jesus a little more. But maybe because this is the time of the year when people try to be the kindest and most grateful for what they have. We should carry it on for the rest of the year. We should tell people they sparkle. Because it makes them realize they can.

I hope that in the midst of all your Christmas and Holiday crazy this made you smile… just a little bit.

♥ and Merry Christmas, My Sparkly Trees!

Lauren

Where is my mind?

I have been very scattered lately. I have all these ideas floating around on loose leaf paper, and post-it notes. I have accumulated so many of these scraps my desk at work and at home is beginning to look like I’m starring in a remake of “Memento.”

I actually even have physical post-it notes on my phone. and they are written on front and back. I am aware of them every time I pull my phone out… because as many people have told me they make apps that negate my use of actual post-its. But lets just be honest, if I have to click around on a screen to find this graphic post it note… I’m not going to remember it if I’m in a rush. And true story I have digital post-its on that program from May, and those things are still incomplete.

No problem in 3 months I’ll be wondering what I meant by “incandescent toboggan” and your digital reminder will be lost to the world…

You may be saying to yourself right now… why are you having a traffic jam of thoughts in your imagination? And I will tell you, I have let myself get busy. I tell myself that if I get it half done I can finish it later. And later just isn’t showing up. I’m so stressed at work my hair is graying, and I find myself nearly passing out from exhaustion at 7:30. Yes 7:30, I can barely make it past the time the elderly are watching Wheel of Fortune. Also trying to figure out the business end of all the projects I’m trying to start right now is also killing my brain. I realize the reason I didn’t go into business is because I frankly find it confusing. Numbers and marketing? No thanks, I just want to bust out some of my thoughts with the free crayons I got at lunch.

And they are freaking crayola’s… FOR FREE. I FEEL LIKE I JUST WON PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE OF CHILDISH ART SUPPLIES!!!! In my day they would just give you those knock off really waxy crayons… kids these days are all about the name brand.

The only thing that has been calming me the last few art-less days is listening to music. However now my imagination is mixing with the sweet sweet melodies and the next thing I know I am preoccupied with my ideas again, and then out comes another sheet of paper, another post-it. And the vicious cycle continues. You can’t comprehend how much I don’t want to be looking at these ceiling plans and renderings. They are trying to consume me with their evil stringent rules and budgets.

Anytime my coworkers have talked to me in the last few days they first have to break me from the spell of Joy Division, New Order or Of Monsters and Men to get in a word to my brain… and even then it’s questionable if I can soak in what they are telling me. My brain is lost in the music:

Tonight I vow that I will make time for my artistic needs. Hopefully this will clear up my brain so I can get more done for the big Friday rush. And seriously… does anyone have a post it? I have this great idea about a…

Lauren

My Cupcake Caper

I realized my joy is getting braggy. And I’m not going to unpack the brag bags… because that is annoying. And my Inner Pam Beesly told me “Take it down a notch, the world knows about your joy.”

So I took a cue at not to make myself a real life Mary Sue, and to look at my sketchbook and pull a drawing from my archives that I already should have shared. (Hehe, I have archives!) A few months ago I was not feeling the joy, and much like the friendship of Turk and J.D. from “Scrubs” my Lady Turk counterpart (Nancy) told me to drag my booty to her house to experience the “WORLD’S GIRLIEST WEEKEND”. And we did, we watched teen movies until we passed out, we ate fancy hamburgers, we made crafts, we packed goodie bags for children, we went as lady dates to a wedding…

And

then

we

tried

to

make…

red velvet cupcakes…

from scratch.

Being our first go of making red velvet cupcakes from scratch we pulled out the recipes, and not wanting to risk making a horrible huge batch Nancy decided to cut the recipe… in 4s. And most impressively she had all the math all figured out, but that wasn’t the difficult part. The most difficult thing  was attempting to mix .375 teaspoons of baking soda with a 1/2 an egg. But we were in it. We were committed. Everything was going on the good side of moderately strange until I had to add the red dye to the mixer…and like most things that were happening to me at that time, the mixer decided to stage a mutiny, and it exploded in my face, and hands and all actually over my person.

My face was red… with more than embarrassment.

However the cupcakes were then baked and finished… and were fabulous except for 2 small flaws…

1. They were burgundy and pink, like a weird steak.

2. They were crunchy on the top.

We covered that stuff up with frosting like crazy! So we may not be opening that cupcake shop like the “2 Broke Girls” afterall:

 Lauren

Turning Back time on technology!

There is no doodle today because I have been working like a mouse making a Cinderella’s dress!

I am still at work and my brain hurts a bit. I have to take PDF’s and make them into a power point. When I asked if I could just make a multiple page PDF. I was told the person did not comprehend it…

So I’m being the Cher of technology and turning back time on it’s butt. Hey there power point!

Next Goal take away all the Xbox 360s with Call of Duty and replace them with DOS computers with the Oregon Trail!

UPDATE: Everyone in my Target audience was amazed with my hysterical story!

My audience of 1.

♫Lauren

It’s not me… It’s you…

This post for many reasons must be short and sweet. There are some people in your life that are incredible blessings, and there are some people that aren’t. And we don’t always see that people are bad influences on us until something major happens. And then sometimes you still try to be blind to it… for one reason or another… and then you find yourself buying handfuls of lip-glosses in shades you aren’t even sure you want to wear… Oh, wait that’s just me.

Speaking of me I did something I’ve needed to do for months, took a break. And my eyes were opened. I saw miles of consignment shops, and deserts, and some of the most fabulous people you could ever meet… and then I realized the best thing ever:

And it doesn't look good for you

And I deserve to be happy whenever I please.

♫Lauren

My So Called (Unicorn) Life

Earlier this year I adopted a life motto I couldn’t have said better myself:

“No one looks stupid when they are having fun.”-Amy Poehler.

And since then I have really embraced it, I accept all offers if they sound like fun. Sometimes even if they don’t… and I know I can make them fun. And since then I have realized a few things.. the most important is, I live a fabulous and rare existence.

I really do.

I love to dance all over my house to Aretha Franklin songs. Drive to work singing along with Pitbull, drive home singing the songs of Phil Collins. And I draw for hours, sometimes I get paid for it… And then I also doodle in addition to that, just for fun. I can and do decided to go on super fabulous adventures on the drop of a hat… but not to Sea World on a Saturday (you can’t win them all.) I have a closet full of fabulous threads. Tons of lip-glosses and nail polishes… scads of jewelry and shoes. I also just got a pair of sparkly tights in the mail… I really do live a charmed life. And best of all is I have some fabulous friends who let me exist in my sparkly universe, and stop on by on occasion to watch it in real time. And my friends are all so different and deliciously brilliant, I get the thrill to appreciate each wonderful thing about them!

Now about a month ago if anyone had mentioned the fact that I live a rare magical existence I would have burst into tears, because I desperately wanted to be grounded like everyone else I know*.  But lately I realized through a few fantastic people… that I make their days a little brighter. And that really changed everything. I thank you friends for making me feel like the most magical unicorn that has ever existed. I may care more about concerts and charities than business and finances and I don’t know stock options and refinancing… or whatever serious people are into… but I do know that sometimes there is nothing better than watching a Disney cartoon and eating pizza after a hard day.

The world doesn’t have to be such a serious place, it can be full of the joy we make. And I think that is a choice that we make… I choose the fun, even if I look stupid.

 

Thank you friends for letting me be your unicorn.

♫Lauren

A Good Old Fashion Nautical Re-do

My mother told me a few weeks ago about this woman who has a super fun sounding job. She is a PROFESSIONAL MERMAID!
I asked myself how with all the imagination I have been blessed with… why did I never try to grow up to be a mermaid? And really… instead I chose architecture! I really, really blew it.

I’m putting in a formal request to my history. Small child Lauren, take all your doodles and dreams and craft a mermaid tail. It will change your life for the better. If you are a mermaid, no one will be awaiting your email during a regular 9-5. No one will stick you in a cubicle, no one will make you feel like you don’t belong. Instead you will get to be sparkly and entertain people, and you will get to see outside.

And I think you get to automatically meet Daryl Hannah… or at least get to eat dinner with Tom Hanks, and that would be like a 10,000% improvement in my quality of life.

And if you are a professional mermaid I think you get a briefcase made out of shells…

♫Lauren

Words I might have Ate…

I may be actually making everything worse for myself by admitting this… but I have to.

I did something this week that I’m not entirely proud of. I said the thing I wanted to say… but knew it was one of those, you-shouldn’t-have-said-it kind of things. But there it was. It sprung from out of my mouth, and it was so matter of fact and harsh I knew it the moment my breath left me.

Anyways of course after I said it, I felt awful. But I simply could not apologize for it, because I simply cannot form those words to that person.

I can say for a moment when I saw the words pierce their intended victim I felt like I had slayed a dragon. I mean this person brings out the worst in me. They are constantly provoking and prodding me so I can be my worst. I usually try not to let them get to me, I smile and I turn my cheek, but this time it was different… I was bubbling with anger… And when the words escaped, it seemed magical to be the person with the cruel “Wuthering Heights” like upper hand. It just isn’t very me to do so…

And although I felt glorious for those 45 seconds… I just didn’t like it. And I feel really awful that I went to that level. Reflecting on this situation I realize it probably only bothered me, because I don’t think this particular cares one iota about me, or my feelings. There I go again. Maybe that is an unfair observation… but it is my opinion.

I heard a song when I was feeling bad about this situation that made me realize that I should let that person be the pot and the kettle all by themselves. And they can think whatever they want about me, because I try to be a good person, and spread joy and giggles- most of the time.

I just have to remember this when I see them and become filled with rage.

Party Serious this Weekend!
♫Lauren

*And yes, the title is a Green Day reference… I’ve been listening to “Oh Love” all week..