How I “Lost” my Creativity

There’s a lot about the transition from high school to college to the workforce that we don’t ever talk about. In my last blog post, I wrote about some career-focused issues. But lately, I’ve been thinking about how our educational structure affects something more integral to human nature: creativity.

Now that I’m a year into my career, I’ve more or less developed a routine. Strangely enough, it’s basically the same routine I had in high school: go to work for 8-9 hours, come home, eat and read or watch Netflix.

The major difference that kind of frightens me is this: I haven’t written a poem in two years.

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4 Things I Sucked at When I Graduated College

At WorkHappy woman smiling at desk. Oh wait, that’s me. Photo by Brad Holt, videographer, photographer and Tesla owner extraordinaire.

 

When I began my first internship a year ago, I was pretty clueless. I wouldn’t speak up in meetings, I second-guessed my intuition, and I simply had no idea what was going on in the industry, or even how to find out.

Now I realize that I lacked some tacit but important skills, ones we never discussed in college, and ones I believe were actually hindered by the education system itself. Granted, these aren’t easy skills to develop, and I know I’ll be working on them for years to come. I just wish someone had told me about them ahead of time, helped me understand how important they were. I may not have worked very hard at developing them then, but at least I would have been prepared. Continue reading

4 Questions for Living with Intention in 2014

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to live with intention. I’ve just graduated college and I’ve got my whole life ahead of me. It’s hard not to feel pressured to “do it right.” But what is right?

There are hundreds of factors in every decision we make. Money, work, family, society… Too often we end up making choices out of necessity, or by default. Now, sometimes we do have to grit our teeth and do something we don’t want to do. But if we make too many choices without our own values in mind, we risk losing ourselves. That’s why I want to know my intention. Continue reading

6 Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Yoga

Okay, I promise this will be the last yoga post for awhile. I just can’t help it. My life has changed a lot lately, and yoga has healed, calmed and carried me through it all. After two years of practice, it’s clear to me that yoga alleviates much of the suffering and anxiety we impose on ourselves.

Yoga is a lifelong practice, and its benefits extend beyond the body. One of my yoga instructors describes it perfectly: “To learn to control the body, we learn to control the breath. When we learn to control the breath, we learn to control the mind.” Yoga does improve fitness, but awareness, self-control and inner calm are the real rewards.

Recently, I’ve thought a lot about how the lessons I learn in yoga extend beyond my practice. These ideas are helpful when applied to exercise, but enlightening when applied to life.
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Yoga Thoughts

I’d like to start this post with a disclaimer: I’m not a designer. My color theory sucks, and I’m generally not very visually imaginative. About the only thing I have going for me in the design department is my insistence that everything be understated and properly aligned. That’s it.

But when I was in yoga class the other day (as part of the DFW Free Day of Yoga — look for it next year!), I heard a phrase that really hit home. And when I got home, I had an insatiable urge to make it into a Pinterest-like typographic quote so I could look at it for inspiration. And here it is.

Yoga Thoughts by LorynwithaY

I often struggle with thinking too much during yoga or meditation or when I’m trying to sleep or just… any time. So when the instructor said this,  it just worked for me. I envisioned myself doing a downward dog in the middle of a quiet, italicized e, and my mind was quiet, contemplating the space. Not the letters, words or phrases, but the space.

I hope this helps you find your space.

Five Lessons from my First Internship

This is the last thing I shall ever write from my (adopted) desk at my first internship at an advertising agency. Well, possibly. It’s only 11 a.m. But the melodrama is hard to resist.

The intern ladies of Firehouse, Summer 2013

In all seriousness, I’m really going to miss Firehouse. They’ve been welcoming and friendly, offering a perfect balance of advice and companionship. I’m so glad I had the chance to start my career here. I’ve learned a lot — about myself and about agency life. The things I’ve learned about myself, I’ll keep to myself, but I thought other students might like to hear some of the things I’ve learned about working in an agency. Especially as an intern.

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Meditation and Keeping Yoga Sacred

I have a secret to tell you. Something I’m really proud of. And I hope telling you won’t spoil it. It’s called I’ve Practiced Yoga Every Day For the Past Two Months.

Well… mostly. I’ve done yoga every work day on every normal morning for the past two months. The thing I’m most proud of is that I’ve successfully made yoga practice part of my weekday morning routine. For me, that’s a Big Deal.

Like most routines, it was easy to start, but difficult to keep going. After the first few weeks I found myself waking up sluggish, wanting to sleep twenty more minutes, resenting my Sun Salutations. I knew I enjoyed practicing yoga, so I made a more focused effort to motivate myself. Ah, there it is. Motivation.

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My NSAC

Nearly two months after the competition, I finally got around to posting my work from the National Student Advertising Competition. I’m not sure why it took me so long. You think I’d have been bursting at the seams to share our brilliant campaign with the world. ‘Cause it is kind of brilliant.

But man, talk about burned out.

From January to April, the words “Glidden” and “Walmart” used up at least 50% of my breath. I went to bed at 10 p.m. every night from sheer exhaustion and dreamed about them. I paid little attention to my other classes because of them. Would I do it again? No effin’ way. Am I glad I did it? Definitely.

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Poem: Ode to a Tea Kettle

Sometimes in the midst of this busy world I leave my laptop behind, grab a pen and paper and head to my local coffee shop. There, I sit down with a plain-ass latte and spend hours watching passerby, letting my observations influence my pen. I wear a beret, too.

Ha, right. This poem was actually an assignment for my poetry workshop class. I can’t believe I decided to take poetry this semester — during Ad Team, of all semesters — but I’m so glad I did. It’s given me a reprieve (however short and not at a coffee shop) from the high-stress, fast-paced NSAC. And what better way to relax than a cup of tea?

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All Agencies, Big and Small

This spring, I’m going to start applying for summer internships. To scout out my selection, this winter break I went a-shadowing. And I highly suggest that every other student looking for an internship — or even a job — should do the same.

There are a few reasons it’s great to shadow. Of course you get an inside view of how the agency operates, what your job might entail, and how early in the morning you’ll have to arrive. But you also get to see the agency’s culture, which is incredibly important.

Culture can change a dead-end job to an awesome job, but it especially helps in the creative industry. You’re hired to think and create for a living — how are you going to do your best work if you don’t feel comfortable at your job? I tend to do my best thinking while I’m in the shower or lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. A cubicle is the farthest thing from my bed, know what I mean?

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