Monday, January 7, 2013

Awesome is (not) a four letter word

I returned to work the day after New Year's Day to immediately have to go to a client meeting to review interior design concepts and have a user group meeting. We needed to show the clients what kind of finishes and colors we'd be using, and I needed to show the actual users of the space what kind of cabinets and rooms they were getting and where do you want the head of the patient in this operating room and is it better for you if the crash cart on this side or that side of the nurse station?  I generally don't mind these meetings--I even find them invigorating at times--but this time, I just wasn't feeling it.

After spending nine or so days away from architecture, I realize how much I didn't feel like being an architect.  Not that I suddenly decided that I now want to do something else for a living, it's just that I was tired of buildings and flooring choices and equipment locations.  See, if you're a dentist, you aren't forced to constantly look at teeth all day as you walk and drive and go to the bank.  People don't walk around with their mouths wide open so you can see their molars and hey, that might be a cavity right there! If you're an elementary school teacher, you don't have to teach everyone you meet in the grocery store and at the dry cleaners and the vet's office how to do long division and where Italy is on a map. But as an architect, I'm constantly, constantly confronted with the thing I do for a living all day: buildings.  I see them everywhere I go, I interact with them, and I compulsively analyze them. And what I have in common with doctors and dentists (but not with teachers) is that if anyone finds out at a party what I do for a living, they want me to analyze yet something else and give them free professional advice.  And to that, I say fuck you.

After throwing myself into my work for all of 2012, I'm pretty sick of being super awesome architect girl all day. i need a break from all this archicrap in 2013, and I needed the break in an untimely fashion on January 2nd during my user group meeting.  As I sat down to talk with  the head of patient care and the OB surgeon, I just thought, "Well, fuck it. Just be nice and get this over with."

And it went strangely well. I asked questions, we talked, I made some joke about how designing a hospital is like taking a ring into Mordor and made everyone laugh, and three hours later, we had a lot of good information to keep moving. Even Howie complimented me on how well I did in the meeting.  I didn't think I did anything exceptional or worth commending, but a pat on the back is a pat on the back.  I'm beginning to think that I've set my threshold/bar for awesomeness a little too high.  Maybe my 85% or 90% is good enough most of the time.  Maybe.


Lilylou said...

I always like how honest you are with yourself, Pixie. And I'm glad you're posting again. It feels like it's been a long time since Dec. 22.

Scarlett said...

we over achievers - our bars are too freakin' high.


Also, lets go camping. No buildings when we camp. You can analyize the tent design, sure, but that should only occupy you for like 2 hours.