1.26.2009

Indulge Me.

Try this some day:
1. Quit your soul-sucking job
2. Spend two blissful days sewing in your studio which you finally had time to clean up
3. Wake up Saturday morning to a beautiful dusting of snow
4. Have a friend who loves nothing more than self-indulgent self-portraits
5. Eat Polish food
6. Visit your onesies at a super cute boutique

I promise you you will love it.

















The End.

1.21.2009

The End Of The Nerd Era


It is the end of an era. Today is my last day working with nerds. Next week I'll start working with college kids and cute girls and guys who work out at the gym a lot. Today is my last day surrounded by suspender-wearing nerd robots, and I have to admit it, that makes me really sad. I love these nerds. My heart is filled to bursting when I think of these geeks and how much they have brought to my life. Things like this, for example, from a nerd's trip to DisneyWorld (he said it made him think of me):



But already life is so much better! As much love as I have in my heart for my sweet geeks, I can't deny the sheer joy I feel every day that I get closer to being finished. When I said earlier I hadn't had a project in six months, I wasn't kidding. I haven't had anything to do, anything at all, for six months. So what did I do all that time? Well, I'll tell you. I surfed the Internet.

Last Christmas, when I was the Executive Secretary of R&D and had an office and a door and the engineers I worked with routinely called me "Mom," I bought a leg lamp at the local Rite Aid, you know, Christmas Cheer and all that stuff. A few weeks later, Ed Schweitzer, President of SEL and all-around boob, happened to walk by my office and see the lamp. He said it was inappropriate and insisted that I take it home. (Yes, the same Ed Schweitzer who made the joke about old man penises in front of me in a very small elevator--"gravity makes it longer but harder to get up," yes yes, the very same. Classy.) So I took it down, but not without a bit of good-natured ribbing, of course. Any chance I'd get, well into January even, I'd mention my leg lamp to my boss. It would drive my new boss crazy.

"Don't bring up that lamp anymore!"

And so the leg lamp went home to live with the rest of my Christmas items in storage. This Christmas when I was decorating, I just didn't have the heart to put the lamp anywhere. It didn't seem right in my house with my Christmas tree, being all cute and kind of funny. It was wrong. The lamp no longer symbolized Christmas Cheer, it was now a symbol of my righteous indignation! So I left that leg lamp in the box in my living room. And every day when I passed it, I thought, Someday, Natalie, someday that lamp will have its revenge........

Today was my last day. I rolled in about ten, because coming in any earlier on your last day is just silliness, and then, leg lamp in tow, I marched myself over to my boss's desk, plugged that sucker in, and placed it high and proud on the corner of his cubicle.



While I was arranging it just-so, one of the nerdiest nerds at SEL came over to see what I was up to. I explained the story, and he nodded his head. "I had a lava lamp they made me take down," he said. "This place is too serious."

And then he walked on his nerdly way back to his nerdy desk. I felt complete. I felt good.

It is the end of an era. And I ended it on my terms.

1.20.2009

You Wanna Talk About Exciting Things?

Check it out!

My Oy Vey Custom Onesie over at Dooce.com!

Also, how emotional was the inauguration this morning? I swear to you I choked up five different times. I have never been so proud to say I voted. What an amazing time we're living in.

1.16.2009

Honesty

I am having a wallow in bed sort of moment. I just want to stay here, surrounded by pillows and blankets and self pity.

Talking to my dad on the phone about stress earlier today the tears streamed down my face and I just felt so small. Any accomplishment I make pales so much in comparison to the one thing I can't seem to do, and I am at a loss. Sometimes I think of my stress as a tangible object, a part of my system that I've come to rely on and that I sometimes misdiagnose as a personality trait.

So on Wednesday of this week I put in my resignation at work. I've always known my work environment was unhealthy, but when i wrote that letter and sent in in I actually felt a part of the sadness that I'd been carrying around with me start to leave. It made me consider how sad I must have really been. But it's the tricky kind of sadness - the sadness tied to circumstance. Fleeting sadness, here and then not, that you just kind of endure. I'd been enduring it for too long, but now I don't have to. There is a certain power in walking away from something that is toxic. I am walking away to find something else, and I can't begin to describe how good it feels.

A new job landed in my lap this week. It happens to be an assistant manager gig in retail, which is for all intents and purposes a giant step backward on the career ladder of life, but for me it is one little step closer to better, and for that I thank my guardian angels. But when we talk about it I'll still be completely embarrassed to admit it. I'm leaving a job as a graphic designer and technical editor at a research and development company to sell clothes. And I'm going to be completely honest with you, I feel like a failure. I failed at SEL, I failed at getting pregnant. Stamp me on the forehead: FAIL. I'm going to be working in the mall. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.

On Wednesday I will have an exit interview with HR, where they'll ask me questions about my time at SEL, and then I will hand in my badge and go. Did I enjoy my work? Would I refer a friend? What were contributing factors to leaving? I completed two versions of the questionnaire - in one I am classy and dignified. I am grateful for the opportunities, perhaps I would refer a friend, I just feel my time here has ended and I am ready for something new. In the other, I am brutally honest. Working at SEL made me miserable. Working at SEL caused me to seek out a therapist last year. I would sooner refer a friend to prostitution than to employment at SEL. Is that too dramatic? When the president of the company said in front of me that "the good thing about old age is gravity makes it longer, but also harder to get up," that was a contributing factor. When I was transferred from Executive Secretary to Technical Document Specialist without my consent, that was a contributing factor. When the VP of HR called me into her office to tell me that no one liked me, and that to succeed at SEL I'd need to "try harder to fit in," that was a contributing factor. The burping manager by my desk all day? The fact that I have not had any work for months? Was never trained for my new position? All. Contributing. Factors. In the end I decided to be classy - (though that doesn't mean I have to be classy here).

So this is it: supporting a husband through graduate school is really, really hard. Living with monthly defeat and making compromises on the life you really want is really hard. And I am struggling to make it my own. I am struggling.

I know we all struggle with something, and this struggle isn't much in the grand scheme of things. I picked this blog back up because I needed to remember to celebrate the good stuff that's always here, sometimes hiding under the bad stuff but still always here, and I like to think that most of the time that is what I do. But I hope it's okay if I take a break for a bit and just say it: THIS IS HARD.

This is hard and it sucks.

1.15.2009

Life Lesson: Learned

Here is a little note to yours truly: Self, Natalie darling, when you are trying to clear up space on your hard drive for your music, don't go messing in your music files and deleting your entire iTunes library, okay? It sort of defeats the purpose, really.

Something else I have learned: One should consider waiting a day, or at least count to 10 before emptying the trash and sending all 3,000 of your songs into the ether. Because you can't just find the ether and ask for your songs back. The ether has good taste in music too, you know.

And also: When iTunes doesn't have enough space to begin with, reuploding all of your music won't work. It won't all fit. Of course, the songs that don't transfer in will be your favorites.

1.12.2009

As It Stands


it is january 11th and my christmas tree is still up.

i have grand plans to take it down, but then i don't know what happens! suddenly the night is over, and the tree has won, and there it stands, for another day.

please tell me i am not alone in this.