Wired Women: Lauren Rodrigue

12:25 PM

Wired Women profiles successful women with ties to Boston who are pursuing their passions. These women serve as an inspiration not only to myself, but to women and girls everywhere who are eager to make waves in their field. These fab women will be sharing their stories twice a month while sharing their experiences. This week I'm profiling Lauren Rodrigue, Boston University alumna, NYC creative, and contributor to Jezebel's I Thee Dread column...

SW: You're living the dream with an adorable fiancee and a creative career NYC, what's your secret?
LR: Aww! Well, I take these pills every day, and... Just kidding! My secret is--big shocker ahead--I have tons of love and support. My parents have been my cheerleaders from the moment I got to NYC in 2011 (and all the years before). They talked me through a zillion very bad days when I was super broke, overwhelmed, feeling lost. My friends and my network here are always throwing me freelance opportunities, sharing my posts, connecting me with fellow creatives (and I try to return the favor!). And then there's my fiance, Joe, who is (sorry to be cheesy) the single most reassuring person I've ever met. He makes me feel invincible! When you have that support, it's easier to aim higher. 

Another secret: I never, ever turn down a chance to do what I love, which is writing. I have a full-time job, but I still never say no to a freelance gig, and I probably never will. It's good practice, and good money--no downside!

SW: I Thee Dread; tell me how that came about. 
LR: I got engaged in January, and started reading wedding blogs and mags (ok, so maybe I read a few BEFORE I was engaged, too) and while they were cute and helpful, I felt they didn't quite fit me, or my friends, or the kind of wedding I imagined having with Joe. I also didn't love that there seemed to be a dialogue out there that went, "If you're a feminist, you can't want a traditional wedding with a white dress and flowers. If you want that, you're kind of dumb, materialistic, and girly." So I went to Jezebel, which I think is one of the smartest sites on the web, and asked them if I could write a wedding planning column for the not perfect, not rich, totally neurotic bride who's torn between sticking with wedding traditions and wanting to subvert them. I wanted my column to follow my planning real-time, and have it culminate on my wedding day. They said "Yes!" and now we're engaged! My pieces run weekly on their wedding vertical, I Thee Dread.  
SW: What are you most proud of in your career?
LR: I'm proud that I've come to New York and established myself here. I moved here with no real direction, and now, four years later, I feel like I really belong here (unless a person on the subway, like, clips his toenails onto me). I like that I have my day job as a copywriter in the ad world, which is dynamic and fun, and then I have my freelance setup on the side, my little business, and I have my column, which just lets me write as myself. I think I could be doing this in any city, but for a scared little girl from Maine with zero confidence, zero connections, and tons of student loans, the fact that I've risen the way I have here means a lot to me. I've proven myself... to myself!

SW: You have a take-no-shit, no-frills attitude in your writing which makes you a perfect fit at Jezebel, do you think that surprises people coming from a petite brunette from the 'burbs? 
LR: Hah, maybe! I've always tried to put my sense of humor and sass first, and that might surprise new friends or strangers. But anyone who knows me knows I'm a "funny" gal because I've never been particularly graceful in social situations. Making jokes is how I deal with social awkwardness. Additionally, I think this point of view was needed in the wedding blog universe--like I said, blogs like The Knot are great, but they're SO perfect. Even their tone is prim and serious, while they write about THE SILLIEST THINGS: "Remember to coordinate the color and style of your getaway car with your wedding colors--you don't want a black limo if your wedding theme is shabby chic." Like,REALLY? How can you NOT make fun of that? So yeah, I can be a little sassy in my posts--and believe me, some commenters call me out on it. And I take those comments to heart, so lately I've been trying to balance those funnier,  brash posts with posts that are a little more serious, so people know I'm a real woman, really excited to get married, underneath the jokes.

SW: Why New York City over Boston?
LR: There is no philosophical explanation for this, I'm afraid! I left Boston after college, looking for a change, and moved to NYC because ~my friends were doing it~. Seriously, that's the only reason why! I knew I needed a big push to jolt me out of the post-grad slump, and NYC felt like just the thing. But I love Boston (and Cambridge!) and might move back someday! 

SW: Aside from that house party we went to in Allston, what has been your most memorable Boston adventure?
LR: EVERY HOUSE PARTY IN ALLSTON!! No, really, life rules right now, but I don't know if I'll ever have fonder memories than those of my college years. Best memory coming to my mind right now is when I worked at The Otherside, a beer bar in the Back Bay that's (sadly) closed now, and my coworkers and I biked to the Esplanade to drink near the river after we closed one Friday night. We brought tons of beer, climbed trees, goofed around, laughed a lot, rolled in the grass, and stayed up till the sun rose. Then we biked back home to Allston and got breakfast at Twin Donuts, and I went to bed at like 8 AM when my roomie was just getting up for work. I felt so happy and free and complete. And when I finally woke up way later that day, I found a leaf in my bra? Anyway--that kind of night magic just wouldn't go down like that in NYC. Boston only.

You can find Lauren on Twitter, @Laurenzalita

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