Saturday, February 1, 2014

Journal 52, Week 4 - Building Character

First, I just want to thank everybody for taking the time to leave such sweet and heartfelt comments on the last post.  I remind myself over and over that when something is hard to talk about, that's the thing I need to say the most.  You reward me with your kind words and lift up my spirits.  Thank you all so much. <3

Today, I just want to share my Journal 52 page for this week.  You can read more about J52 HERE.  The prompt this time was to create your own character for your art journal, and here's what I made:

"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow.  The shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing."
-Abraham Lincoln

I have to admit that after having such a bad time this past week, I was initially just going to draw horns on my girl and say something to the effect of "being the hero of your own story might make you come across as the villain in someone else's"...but I thought better of it.

For a while now, I've been dealing with a frustrating situation at my job.  For the most part, I can handle it and not lose my temper, but with being stressed out and emotional over Nu Nu...well, you can only deal with so much before you start to crack...I feel like I'm at my breaking point.

I have a co-worker...or I should say a person who sits in the same office as I do all day long without doing much actual work...and I hate her.  My other co-workers also have...let's say...very low opinions of her.  I do my best to keep quiet at work about how I feel about this woman, but not everyone else tries to practice "if you don't have anything nice to say..."  I try to maintain a professional attitude, one, because I was raised that way, and two, because if I do say something off hand, I will be the person that gets caught and probably fired over it.  I might have a big butt, but I always keep it covered...

I'm sure everybody either works with someone like her or did at one point.  The person who does the least work, that complains the most about how hard they work...  The person who makes the most money, but complains to the others about how much she 'struggles' to make ends meet...  The person who always tries to one-up everyone else...if you broke your arm, she knows someone who had both their arms bitten off by a shark...  The person to whom you just want to say "I'm sorry, did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?"   All these great things and more are wrapped up into one evil succubus at my job.

And since I'm ranting, she lies...she lies about things that don't matter.  She lies to garner attention.  And the worst part of all is she doesn't do it well.  I personally am a fantastic own mother can't tell when I'm lying.  I try not to lie, I'm not proud of the fact that I'm so good at such a bad thing, but for Pete's sake, if you're going to do something, do it right!  And the second to worst part of all is that she believes her own lies.  The woman is completely delusional.

The really frustrating part for me is that, at first, everyone loves her.  "Oh, she's so sweet..."  Gag.  The only good part about it is that eventually, people see through her act...  My father was like this to a tee...I think it's a big part of the reason I really can't stand my co-worker.  Just because you know someone is going to get their just desserts eventually, it doesn't necessarily make it any easier to deal with at the time...

And I was thinking about this when I started to make my character page this week.  How my co-worker has the reputation of being a nice, sweet old lady but the reality of it is she's a lazy, racist jerk of an old woman... Shadow vs. Tree.  People eventually see it, but it takes them a while sometimes.

The original journaling, which sound pretty negative, actually describes the situation really well.  In my story, I'm the hero, of course (I mean, it is my story...come on!), having to silently combat this frustrating situation day after day, without a resolution in sight.  

On the other hand, this woman is the hero in her mind...which makes me her villain.  In her mind, she works hard and struggles to make ends meet and she wants attention and praise and sympathy and pity.  By being the way she is, she doesn't get the things she wants...she constantly fishes for it and if people do give her the reaction she's hoping for, it's only because she's backed them into the corner about it.  I really did try to pity her for a long time, because she's constantly defeating her own purposes.  If she could just be a decent person, she'd get all the things she wants...or else, she wouldn't want them anymore.  But she's not a decent person, so much so that I've quit trying to pity her, and am reduced to trying not to throw a computer monitor at her face...anymore, that's all the energy I can muster in this fight.

The extra funny thing about it is that, as her villain, I'm getting all the things she wants.  For the most part, my co-workers like me, they joke with me, they offer to help me without being asked...because they know I do the same for them.  I get commended because of my good work by my boss...because instead of talking about how much I do, I just do it!  I totally understand that as an employee, I'm not doing anyone any favors.  They PAY me to do my job.  I also understand that no one is irreplaceable.  I work hard because I need a job, and it's part of the deal...I work, they give me money to buy art supplies (and, to a lesser extent, food)...  I am not there to get praised, I'm there to make money, but I get praised because I actually do work.  No matter what it is, work wise or socially (or artistically even), I do the best that I can...that's the most anyone can do.  If you want to see the least anyone can do, I invite you to come meet my evil co-worker...

I didn't mean to have such a rant today about this.  I really do try not to talk bad about other people...I don't always succeed as much as I'd like, but I do TRY!  I just had to get it out, before steam started shooting from my ears, making steam engine whistle sounds like in the cartoons...  

What do you do to deal with the 'villain' in your story?  Do you think someone looks at you like you're the bad guy in their story?  Are you the bad guy in someone's story (you naughty monkey!)?

Panned out a little so you can see the edges of the page...the first layer of this page was various book pages, including a word can see on the left hand side that "journal" was one of the words in the word search...I was very excited by that, and had to leave it showing...  There, now I feel like that was a more positive way to end a post... :)


  1. All I want to say is that you don't always have to be an angel. And to be honest, this person sounds like you can do whatever you want and she will still think of you as the villain. So enjoy your freedom to do what you think is right or what helps you not explode without wasting too much time and energy on worrying about her.

    1. You are totally right, it doesn't matter what I would do, her opinion would remain the same. Trust me, I'm not always an angel...but I don't want to go around jabbing everybody with my horns either... :) I think that is a good point, not to waste time and energy worrying about her. Thanks.

  2. Oh your poor thing. Your co-worker sounds like a real pain in the bottom. In fact, she sounds rather like the neighbour that made mine and Alexander's life hell for the past few months -thankfully she moved out a couple of weeks ago at last. Lying, carrying on like she's better than everyone else and like you say the worst part is people being taken in by it. We even went to neighbourhood mediation and she lied to the counsellors and they believed her!!! That's so frustrating. In my case I just continued to not rise to it and maintain being a decent person. Now that she is gone I know I'm still a decent person while she has to take her nasty self around with her wherever she goes for the rest of her life. I hope things get better for you and that she disappears or something. On another note, I love the picture! That green shade is lovely and so is the font you've made. I'd better go, my Mum is dangling a wet Alexander over me just out of the bath. xxx

  3. She is definitely a pain in the bottom!!! :) Thanks for the empathy. <3

    I like what you said: "she has to take her nasty self around with her wherever she goes for the rest of her life"...that's much worse than anything I could do to her. I will be thinking about it this way from now on!

    Thanks for the praise on the picture! I hope you know that the idea came to me because of your awesome quotation mark shapes that you use! I started with the leaf quotation marks and then the rest just popped up on the totally made that font along with me! <3

    Is there any smell better than a baby just out of the bath? You lucky duck! <3<3<3


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