Office Space Jam

First of all…if you have never seen the movie, Office Space, stop whatever the hell you are doing right now and go watch it!! It is a comedy, but it’s real….it’s so real. We (including myself saying “we”) often say things like “_______ never prepared me for the real world.” Would you like to be prepared? Go watch that movie right now. Besides the AMAZING soundtrack, here’s why:

 

1. You might be educated….but you still don’t “know”:

office space animated GIF

 

2. You still struggle with confidence issues, especially when trying to “sell yourself” without seeming like a cocky asshole (especially when asked “what makes you different”):

working animated GIF

 

3. You will probably consider quitting and doing literally anything else:

office space animated GIF

 

4. The older you get, the more uncomfortably inappropriate people are…yes, in a “professional environment,” too:

sex animated GIF

 

5. When corporate bosses/consultants come in, they will tell you they want you to be “free,” and “creative,” and “express how you really feel”……THIS IS A TRAP! More than likely, they don’t:

office space animated GIF

 

6. PASSIVE AGGRESSIVENESS EVERYWHERE!!!

reaction animated GIF

 

7. You will have at least one job (probably more) that will make you a shell of a person/make you hate EVERYone:

work animated GIF

 

8. Yes, this will happen, too:

movie animated GIF

 

9. Loyal, good people will steal your office supplies. Guard them with your life!!!

Maudit animated GIF

 

10. There will ALWAYS be that one co-worker that has to comment on EVERYTHING. Worse, it seems like they might be trying to get a laugh?

monday animated GIF

 

11. Office equipment is the worst (we really can’t update this 1980s model?):

office space animated GIF

 

12. Corporate visits are like your parents saying “we need to talk,” even if you’ve done nothing wrong:

Maudit animated GIF

 

13. Know the difference:

Maudit animated GIF

 

14. You will feel fat being overly eager for “community food”:

Maudit animated GIF

 

15. But never…NEVER forget:

fish animated GIF

The Truth About Depression

By this time, thousands of posts have been written about Robin Williams’ death. Most I’ve read are flawless. Some are tributes, but with a nuance I find disturbing….

I’m sure everyone (like me) wants to know “why.” It sucks, doesn’t it? This beautiful soul that bought laughter to millions across the world for decades. He’s seemingly touched everyone’s life in someway or another. The funniest man in the world. The king of laughs. One of a kind. A family member to us all.

Unfortunatly, I can’t tell you exactly why, but I would like to address some of the seemingly harmless statements I’ve heard. These statements lie in the gray area and often go unnoticed – because they aren’t meant to harm or to dispute character or are even meant disrespectful. But I have something to say; and I really do want to share some things about depression that I want people to know. Here are some statements I’ve heard following his death:

“You’re 63 with 3 children and seemingly SO much- you’d take your own life? you’re 63 man- finish this thing out!”

“I’m no longer a fan. I can’t forgive him for this”

“He’s so funny! Why would he do this?”

“He’s the last person on earth I thought would do this because his life is laughter!”

 First of all, let me start by assuming that anyone reading this doesn’t know me (probably true). I’m a 27 year old woman. I live in a very nice suburban home, came from a christian family, have true friends, have a wonderful companion in my husband, am educated, valued, a hard worker. I’ve been given many awards for both work and things like voted “most talented” and “most popular.” I’ve got it good.

I suffer from depression

It is, above all, a completely unfair and unexplainable disease. And that’s why NOTHING will ever explain Robin’s death, not even the Parkinson’s Disease, because it is unjust and cruel. It is a disease without reason. That’s why being 63 with 3 children doesn’t matter, and most of all, that’s why his humor didn’t have a damn thing to do with this. To the world, his humor was untouchable, but to Robin, it’s very possible that he felt he lost it.

It is a disease that consumes the mind. All of it – emotional, logical, ethical, creativity…ALL of it. It takes WHO you are. And when you get that low, you’re not thinking like you normally would be. I’ve been depressed enough to consider suicide as a viable option. When you’re in your good states, you don’t even recognize that part of yourself – it feels a little like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. But I’ve got to tell you, when you’re in your bad states, you don’t remember that. You feel like a burden on everyone’s life. You hate yourself when you see quotes that say things like “today, chose to be happy,” and you try…GOD, do you try….and you can’t. And because of that, you sink further down and hate yourself more.

“What is wrong with me?? Why can’t I just be good? Why can’t I just be happy?”

I’ve never cut myself, or actually attempted suicide. But I promise this thoughts are mental abuse on your own brain. and then comes the support: “You should get involved with a church group! That will make you feel better!” or “let’s get a drink! You’ll feel better!” or even the tougher ones “you’re a strong, capable, privileged woman. The bottom line is you have everything you could possible need. Get it together.”

“Yes…I do….then why do I feel like this? Why can’t I get out of it?”

You might even feel like you can fool yourself once and a while by “choosing” to be happy. It makes things worst. The monster is right there waiting for you when you take off the mask. It’s a disease of the mind. It controls you. It’s like a a bug caught in a spider’s web: the more you struggle to get away, the more it consumes you. If you stay alive, you’re still just struggling and stagnant. For those few moments I considered suicide as a viable option, I can’t explain it. All I can tell you is that in those moments, it felt like the best option. Maybe for the reason or not burdening anyone else with my problems, Maybe for not being “Debbie Downer” anymore, maybe for not hurting anymore (or worse, when you get past the point of hurting and into the place where you feel nothing), maybe for not having to see the people you love and care about be so hurt or helpless in your presence anymore. I can also tell you that in that “feel nothing” place, hurt turns into a good emotion, because it means that you feel something. That you are alive and human. The bottom line of it is that there is no. damn. reason. It’s a murder. It’s not you. It’s not who you really are. It’s something that’s hijacked you.

I am depressed. I am a great person. I am selfless. I serve other. I’ve seen counselors. I take medication. It doesn’t matter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in full support of continuing the battle to fight the disease. But I can tell you as a person that has been doing it for over 10 years, it’s taxing, and it’s hard, and there’s very little hope of ever truly leaving it (cue “Hotel California” song).

PLEASE. For anyone out there struggling with this disease (and I say this for myself as well): FIGHT. Let Robin Wiliams be and inspiration of what happens after death. You are worth it. You are loved. You are loved and important.
To everyone else (and please note being sad and being depressed are different things), please have mercy. Please be understanding. You’re not expected to understand, and please don’t try to connect like you do. Just let the person know that you love them, that you don’t know what’s going on, but you will be right beside them the whole way while they figure it out. Please have mercy on those that have committed suicide. They were not in their right mind, they were more than likely trying to act selflessly instead of selfishly, it’s an impluse made or incorrect and delusional knowledge.

Let us all try to understand, even if we do not agree, before disposing because of judgement. It’s real. And I’m glad it’s being talked about. And I’m so very glad for Robin William’s life.

Freckled Face Forward

Maybe you’re new here.
Maybe you’re not.

I’m plain old’ Lauren.
I’m twenty-seven.

I am an ambiguously complex girl.
I’m in the wrong place, but not at the wrong time.

My “city” is even ambiguously complex. It’s in two states. Two southern states at that. It’s either two cities or one, depending on whether you place “AR”/”TX” or “USA” after “Texarkana,”.

To begin, let’s call it “two cities.” What we have in common: the name, the bible-thumpers, the lack of culture, an interstate, Wal-Mart, dog-parks, convention centers. Where we differ: city government, liquor laws, fair grounds, state pride, taxes, and bumper stickers (There seems to be a large number of people trying to discreetly tell the world not to mess with Texas. Don’t even think about it).

To quote an exert from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” Although, I think I’m figuring it out. You see, about 3 years ago, I was ignorantly happy. I knew I was a hard pill to swallow, I knew I was a little too abrasive, I knew I loved myself, I knew I love the capital city I lived in at the time, and I knew I didn’t want to get married (and certainly never wanted kids), because I knew…I KNEW that I could never love someone to the standard that I think spouses should love each other. I’m not a selfish girl, but I’m independent (to a fault at times) and can tend to push people away. You should know that in the past year, I have married, become a step-mother, stopped working in nonprofits (something I have worked towards since I was in elementary school), moved to the type of place I SWORE I would never live in again, and because of that, am forced to surround myself with people who I would never allow in my life.

I want you to know that I don’t regret one damn thing. Because that I love the dude I married more than the standard I originally held for spouses loving each other. That does not mean that I have never fantasized about choking him. Or that I haven’t put myself in a dark place wondering why the hell he still loves me. We are not in the cupcake stage. We’re in a “real” stage that I have only seen in one other couple in my ENTIRE life. ONE. I say that to defend him and our marriage, but that is not why I’m writing today. I’m writing about the other stuff.

I am unbelievably unsatisfied with all of the rest of my life. That’s not entirely true.  Knowing I made the right decision to be with him makes everything else more tolerable – let’s just say I “nothing” it, because I am, after all, a “blessed” person. I nothing this town, I nothing the people in it, I nothing my job, I nothing my social life, I even nothing my ability anymore. Because it’s one of those places you just know won’t get better. There’s no problem to the people here, it’s me that’s unsatisfied, not them. Except for a girl who is living out the exact same scenario that I am (she moved from New York). She understands.

Oh yeah….aging isn’t helping. Late twenties means your body, friends, priorities, fun, and stamina ALL change.

But my greatest…my GREATEST problem…is for the first time in my life, I lack passion. And that has directly impacted my hope. Because to me, passion drives hope (careful, that can be either good or bad. Cool it, Voldemort). I want to write, but I have nothing to write about (if you’ve read this far, you see what I’m talking about). I want to paint, again, but I have no inspiration to paint. I want to explore new things, but there is nothing new here, unless you count the newly renovated Taco Bell on Stateline. I want to change the world, but there is no “problem” here. They don’t want change. I want to find pride in my work, but it’s very clear that I’m here to make a profit. And there’s no competition. If they want to replace me with someone with far less abilities, they can. And it would work. And I have no where to go, no hope for a raise, no inspiring projects, no real stimulating work.

Ladies and Gents, I need stimulation. How do I find that? What do I write about? How do I draw it? I can’t get out in nature anymore (sweet pine trees, man!). I tried to join the Young Professionals group (the entire process is a plug for themselves and how to get more people in the group), I’ve tried to find a good hang out (Olive Garden ain’t what it used to be). Guys, How do I find passion? How to I get back to the point where I feel like I’m living the width of my life?

I actually don’t mean to sound so whiny. I’m hoping that randomly pouring my thoughts out with start to churn up some creativity. So bare with me as I may have to write nonsense for a while. I don’t want to be here, but I’m fine being here for now. I gave up everything I loved for something I loved more and have no regrets. And one day, I’ll look back and say “How did I live without passion?!” But until then. I’ll write and ask questions. So to all the “Dear Abby” people out there. Please advise.

 

Shall We Call This Therapy?

Because I’m going ham on GIFS today (I apologize if that phase is out….but I can’t stop). I’m feeling particularly snarky about work today, so here’s a Pulse Point on being an Events Manager:

How I feel when the newbies are telling me they’re not having much “fun” at their assigned job and want to do something else:

slap animated GIF

 

When they tell me we need to add another event to the calendar:

crying animated GIF

 

When I realize JUST how ignorant some of the “professionals” I’m surrounded by are:

askreddit animated GIF

 

when I walk in to my office:

reaction animated GIF

 

When one of the co-workers I do like and I talk:

sad animated GIF

 

When someone who knows NOTHING of struggle talks to me about their “stuggle”:

parks and recreation animated GIF

 

When someone’s lack of planning pushes us managers into an emergency state:

funny animated GIF

 

When I leave work:

will smith animated GIF

 

All Up IN That Gray

So here’s one thing I’m about:

I’m about words. All of them. Even the ones you may not like.

I’m not about abusing those words. Words can be taken WAY too far with the extreme. Especially now that we are ALL about the internet – and, trust me, I think the internet is incredible. I’m a huge fan of Grumpy Cat, Gifs, Memes, Buzzfeed, and certainly seeing if Beyonce has that “thigh gap” today (that last one was a joke…thigh gap is the some of the dumbest S&%# I’ve heard in recently). BUT we in the I.W.A (Internet With Attitude…Straight outta Computers…rollin’ on Chrome) get real gangster and real brave – and that’s fine to a degree. We need some abrasive people every now and then; but if that’s not who you are, DON’T BE THAT PERSON ON THE INTERNET. Because it make the wonderful World Wide Web full of extremes, and that brings me to today’s blog post (*WARNING* cuss words could be used):

Does anyone else realize how EXTREME we’ve become?? You’ve got to be either conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, White or minority (even in areas where white is the minority), cat person or dog person, feminist or oppressed, living a horrible misunderstood life or living the champagne life. Not being a hater…but can’t we be some of both (in some areas, not all. You’re entitled to be a little extreme). Even the words “hate” and “love” (extreme words) have been devalued because of the extremity of their over-usage (guilty). And then I ran across a quote from the writer Joan Morgan in her 1997 hip-hop feminist manifesto When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: “a feminism brave enough to fuck with the grays.

bill hader animated GIF

The Gray Area. I love it.

Why are we so insistent on drawing a line in the sand? Just because my husband is the head of the household and is a man and makes the most money…that devalues me? Perhaps you should visit my household. I don’t feel like I must devalue him to find value in myself. And I think that’s the major problem: those extremes cause us to feel the need to devalue things in order to add value to other things –  we are all bred bullies. Instead of working our ass of for a position, we have to find reason why the person in that position is not qualified, instead of showing (and PLEASE note I said “showing” not “telling”) why we are the most qualified. Congress can’t agree on ANYTHING because  it has to be the republican way or the democratic way. You want to know the real reason I beleive the divorce rates are going up? Because we have been taught that it has to be one way or the other. 

comedy central animated GIF

Y’all. It doesn’t. There is so much value in the Gray. Things are wonderful in the light, fluffy, rainbow stages and things REALLY, REALLY suck in the depressing, gut-wrenching, heart in physical pain, can’t breath moments. But life isn’t the songs on the radio, folks. Real life isn’t. Real life is in the gray areas. I’m NOT saying don’t strive for exceptional, just embrace life when it’s not exceptional. DO. NOT. FEEL. ENTITLED. YOU. ARE. NOT. ENTITLED. You are earned, satisfied, passive…etc. But never entitled to anything above human rights. But it’s all up to you…so get out there and start doing the work. Because a mediocre job is better than no job at all, and that asshole that leaves his towel on the floor loves you unconditionally every. damn. day. And that..that gray area…is pretty exceptional.  Sorry to get preachy. But this post is as much for me as it is you guys. I hope this might ease some tension and spread some love and above all, spread some appreciation for things/people in your life. Shanti, folks!

 

P.S. An article about my favorite song on the newest Beyonce album actually inspired this post, check it out here.

Pulse Point VI

where I express my feelings through the art of gifs:

When my stepdaughter tells me a kid on the playground wouldn’t let her play with them:

How I feel when I go to watch TV with my husband, and he’s mindlessly watching whatever is on ESPN:

Cheezburger animated GIF

How I feel anyone associated with the Royals franchise feels (I’m from KC, I can say that):

idk animated GIF

When I run out of my ADHD medicine:

winnie the pooh animated GIF

When I learned that you should wear gloves when cutting jalepenos:

How I think when people say “let Jesus take the wheel”:

When people put up snarky signs in the workplace:

When I walk in stilettos:

31 GIFs That Will Make You Laugh Every Time

How I feel about dancing like no one is watching:

31 GIFs That Will Make You Laugh Every Time

when people leave “community food” in the break room:

31 GIFs That Will Make You Laugh Every Time

and one more ‘cuz it’s FRIDAY, Y’ALL!!!!!!!!

Pulse Point V

If you’re new here, this is me checking in with my feelings through the art of gifs (I love you, internet). One day I will write something with some gumption….

 

When someone makes a passive aggressive cut at me:

mlb animated GIF

 

When I’m at work (particularly this week)

dog animated GIF

 

When I’m trying to be a cool, respectable adult  – boss status

mash up animated GIF

 

When a coworker tells me “someones got a case of the Mondays” or brings a major problem to my office before 10am

insult animated GIF

 

When it’s summer in Arkansas (except  not in this location…because eff snakes)

party animated GIF

 

When someone “gets it”:

basketball animated GIF

 

When I walk my beagle:

dogs animated GIF

 

When someone purposely takes up two parking spots in a crowded parking lot:

fire animated GIF

 

When my husband asks where the Doritos are:

kanye west animated GIF

 

When my husband tells me he ate all the Doritos…and threw away the remaining cheese dust:

sad animated GIF

 

 

Happy Weekend, mother lovers!

 

Changing Faces

Let’s not call this a pulse point….but I feel like Bill Hader always has the best ways of expressing my emotions through a work day:

 

When someone won’t let a meeting end because of all of their “great ideas”:

snl animated GIF

 

When the dramatic girl busts into my office to tell me how she just got “chewed out for being nice” and I’m trying to hide my distain for being interrupted and underwhelmed (spoiler: they didn’t chew her out….at all)

bill hader animated GIF

 

When she walks out:

bill hader animated GIF

 

When turnover rates are already too high because of the plethera of overtime people work uncompensated, and corporate thinks we need to work on some of the holidays we are supposed to have off:

reaction animated GIF

 

When someone “jokes” that they could use a drink at an event:

bill hader animated GIF

 

When the other new girl tells me it would be cute if we all wore “cute matching pink camo hats”:

snl animated GIF

 

When someone tells me they can’t come to a meeting or function that has taken months to plan because of something trivial (I.e. “Isn’t there a thunderstorm that day? Is it safe to walk down the hall?”)

bill hader animated GIF

 

When someone says something passive aggressive to me:

saturday night live animated GIF

 

When I leave for the day:

snl animated GIF

 

 

A Post about a Hook

So…for the most part, I’m an adult now. By that, I mean I’m a 27 year-old homeowner, with a respectable job, that still laughs at “that what she said” and fart jokes. But let’s face it, they’re hilarious. I am also a 90s child. I love it. I love that we are bringing the 90s fashion is back. And just WAIT til that floral pattern for home decor comes back (ya better check ya’self before you wreck ya’self, chevron pattern!). Also…still waiting on my beanie baby collection to have value again…I will be SO rich.

rich animated GIFHolla, Richie Rich!

Back to 2014 for a second, I LOVE Emma Stone. And I really love that people tell me I look like her instead of Lindsey Lohan now. But sadly, after she straight up obliterated Jimmy Fallon in a lip-sync battle, I no longer feel worthy of comparison. Aside from her mad skills and overall awesomeness, she sang one of my FAVORITE songs- “The Hook” by Blues Traveler

Weird thing about this song, it was popular circa ’94, which put me at 7 years old (SWEET BABY JESUS…I just realized that song is 20 years old this year! whhaaaaa. Aging is for the birds). That’s right, a 7 year old jamming Blues Travelers…I was a cool kid. 

Except for one moment. I’ve know every word to the song since then, but I have never PROCESSED the words until my girl, Emma, battled it out. And I will be darned if that mindlessness isn’t what the song is about!

 

“It doesn’t matter what I say / So long as I sing with inflection /
That makes you feel that I’ll convey / Some inner truth of vast reflection / But I’ve said nothing so far / And I can keep it up for as long as it takes / And it don’t matter who you are / If I’m doing my job then it’s your resolve that breaks
/ Because the hook brings you back / I ain’t tellin’ you no lie
/ The hook brings you back
/ On that you can rely”

 

My face..wait for it:

christopher lloyd animated GIF

and I felt a lot like this.

I’ve been tricked. Now, y’all…one of my better qualities is that I’m a pretty witty lass. I over-think things and I’m fantastic with detail. So this realization caught me a bit off guard…how much mindlessness passes through me every day?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a “deep” post or anything, but I thought I’d throw that out there because I thought if ANYone would feel me, the internet would feel me. Help me. What other songs do this? 

 

On a Serious Note…

I’m going off the cuff from my ordinary humorous tone, to ask you all for your help:

As some of you may know, my blog title is  a pun from the Arkansas state motto, “The Natural State.” You may or may not be aware that an unofficial F5 tornado rummaged through Central Arkansas last night, and this is the first time in almost 10 years I couldn’t be there to help.

11

I realize numerous tornadoes and natural disasters upset hundreds and thousands of people every year, this post is in NO WAY to diminish what you all are going through out there; I am merely speaking what I know, and hope you do the same (God forbid) when/if your community is affected. This is my home state. This is where my heart is. I have actually already come across two homes that my friends used to live in (the no longer do) that have been destroyed – homes in which I have stood and celebrated. With all walls down, I’m feeling lost.

t6

1

7

If I am feeling this way, I cannot even FATHOM the 1st person view from the videos I’ve seen – the woman screaming and whistling for her dog outside of her destroyed home while tears are rolling down her face; the 17 (and counting) people who have lost their lives and their families; the friends and family of those who still  cannot reach people and are desperate for answers, the loss of everything you have and countless years of everything you’ve worked for gone:

t5

t

Here’s where I’m asking you to pay attention: As bad as the images above are, there are some beautiful, beautiful things happening in this resilient state. My old church has been one of the few volunteer groups allowed into this disaster area:

10 9 12

They made lunches for several hundreds of people in the area – each with a handwritten note of encouragement to the recipient (they are using #SERVErelief on Facebook and Twitter if you’d like to follow them)

8 5 4

These incredible communities are showing ASTOUNDING resilience, hope, and courage.

I’m asking your help – Don’t say you can help, you can:

1. If you pray, pray for these communities, the families, the first responders, the volunteers, the answers, and most of all, divine peace over the matter.

2. If you can donate money, donate money. You can donate to the American Red Cross. (Also, we have already found one scam that raised $10,000 and was fortunately caught before it was collected. PLEASE be educated and careful). Samaritans Purse is another organization that has been highly praised in similar situations.

3. The American Red Cross has gathered some pushback over the years (I cannot speak educationally about the subject and in no way am condemning the organization) – BUT, if you are not comfortable with this, please consider local organizations and local churches. ANY of them will help but here is the church I spoke of earlier.

4. If you are in the area, and able to provide in-kind donations, here are some supplies needed: (from New Life Church) “If you are looking for ways to help with Tornado Relief, we are currently needing supplies: toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, new socks & underwear for kids, men & women, sunscreen, tarps, etc. Drop off at GLR or Conway New Life Church locations NLC.Conway New Life Church.” New Life Church is also host to the Arkansas Dream Center

5. Also if you are in the area, PLEASE, PLEASE consider fostering found pets until their owners can be found! If you are looking for updates on pets you can find them here and here (the latter is the organization that helped me find my dog when she was lost)

6. Donate AND spread awareness with this t-shirt. 100% of profits go to relief efforts. I have loved this company for a LONG time, their t-shirts and great, and they do so much for our community!

7. Stay informed with social media: Here is one Facebook page I have found set up to assist the Mayflower community

8. If you are someone you love has been affected by a tornado, here is a highly rated post of a victim paying in forward: “Dear friends here are few things I wished we had known immediately following the tornado to do.  1: call insurance company. 2: call a restoration/water removal company to come in and remove anything left to clean, itemize & store your belongings. 3: ask your insurance company to find you a temporary place to live ASAP. This is in your policy. 4: take pictures of EVERYTHING LEFT!! Take hundreds before you remove anything.  5: cancel all utilities. 6:go to relief centers & get clothing, food, toys etc. 7: register with FEMA 8: BUY TUBS TO PUT THINGS IN YOU NEED IMMEDIATELY.  9: board up what’s left of your home if the restoration companies can’t get to you immediately. 10: do not be afraid to ask, seek & beg for help!”

Someone also commented that you might get a binder to organize your files, and contact your bank for what you can do to protect your accounts.

I implore you to help in anyway you can. Even if all you can do is pray or send good vibes or words of encouragement – it makes a difference! I would also like to encourage each and every one of you to prepare yourself for these storms.  I highly recommend the “Tornado – American Red Cross” app. It includes tips for preparing for a tornado, as well as a warning system that will go off if a tornado warning is issued for your area.

Thank you for tuning in, internet. As always, you’re awesome. Stay that way.

t4