The Funny & Fabulous Storyteller
Oh là là! We really can’t get enough of Zurich's funniest Instagram it-girl, Olivia. She is so unapologetically funny and honest and she’s stolen our hearts with hilarious Instagram stories where she shares random moments and occurrences that only she could get away with. We actually learned of her through fellow Doyenne Franziska who on a car ride to the mountains was telling us about this girl she was writing with on Instagram trying to play cupid. We thought it was hilarious and started following her and honey are we glad we did. And then when we met Olivia in person, well that was a whole other love story. You know when you sit there for 2+ hours talking and you feel like it was just 15 minutes? Yep that kind. And you wish it could go on and on forever. So with no further ado, read everything about Olivia, wonderful mama, funny writer and make sure you read til the end to find out where you can see her on stage this fall. Enjoy!
For our readers who don’t know you yet, tell us a little bit about yourself, in let’s say, 7 sentences?
Other than the beach of Malibu, I think I‘ve tried out all the work places that were hyped by the tv series of the nineties: radio station, record label and, after working some years as a personal assistant and copy/ghost writer at agencies, I became the editorial manager of an online-magazine. I then started to do some artist management on the side and ever since my kids were born, I work on several small projects as a freelance writer. Having had the opportunity to try out all these jobs not only gave me a sense of possibility and basic trust regarding my work life, it also showed me that I‘m not too emotionally attached to any of these specific jobs or titles. I‘m eager and determined in whatever is my challenge, but I can always let go and I’m never afraid not to find another job that I can somehow learn to like. There will always be something that I can do.
You work on many different projects, write colums for blogs, do a stage program show, you are freaking hilarious on Instagram and on top of that you're a mom to two fabulous girls. How do you do it? How do you manage everything?
If I sleep less than four hours, I don’t manage it at all: I overeat, binge, stop cleaning and things start to get messy. But I’ve become friends with this version of mine over time (she’s the one doing most of my instagram stories). If I don‘t suffer from sleep insufficiency I find it quite easy to handle it all. My kids are no longer toddlers who need my full attention 24/7. They love to role-play and draw onto our furniture and walls without me being necessarily involved. So there’s some time for myself to get things done even when they are around. I‘m well organized and thanks (thanks! thanks!) to my mother, my in-laws and a babysitter, I have several hours during the week where I can have some time for myself to think and write.
Your job or may we say jobs are very demanding and you have to be creative all the time. Where do you get your ideas for new articles? What keeps you inspired?
For me, the real magic happens in the everyday. Being a mother is kind of as good as I think what life can offer for me. It made me softer and more sensible. I find inspiration in my daily life just by looking at things. I‘m very inspired by my friendships as well as by new acquaintances, may they be real or digital only, as I love to chat and talk and exchange messages, memes and thoughts. I really love to engage in long written dialogues. I never feel like my time on whatsapp or social media is wasted, as I laugh hard because of it every day and I sure made some friends there who became important to me also in real life.
What is something about your work that people don’t know or that surprises them?
I usually just gather thoughts and observations by typing notes into my phone whenever I feel like something is note-worthy. Once I have the time, I write them all down and arrange them until they add up to something that might make sense. So, from the outside I just look like everybody else these days: staring at my phone, typing. The only surprising thing I can think of is that I’ve discovered a positive side to my sleeplessness: When I’m tired, things in my head somehow connect differently. So for me, being tired has proven to be a great way to generate ideas. I wrote most of my stage program when I was suffering from sleep deprivation.
You write very honestly about things that no one really talks about (like this very bold article) - why do you think there’s such a stigma and why women especially, keep so many things to themselves?
One way to overcome this is a simple thought I once had: I don‘t consider myself special. Based on that, I assume that everything that has happened to me might have happened to many others as well. Also, most of what I think has probably been a thought in someone else’s head before. This helps me to open up and write honestly about almost anything and just share my thoughts and experiences. All in all, we’re not all that different. But of course I, too, have some secrets and things I hardly talk about, just because they feel better when kept to myself. I think we all have weak spots that are somehow linked to a certain kind of shame. I find that okay, maybe one day or the other, it will suddenly feel right to talk or write about it. For me it has proven to be absolutely worth it: The more I open up in my stories, the higher the chances that people react to something I said or wrote and might even share their own experiences.
What’s a mistake you see get made all the time, even by very smart people? What have you learned from that to handle it the right way?
I hardly find a reason to not take things easy. Being nervous or too agitated never helped bring out the best of me. When things get hectic, I prefer to take a step back to strategize calmly and plan ahead. I don’t get along too well with people who define themselves by being super busy all the time, always sacrificing too much of their private life just to keep up the mistaken assumption that working hard is the only right way. Still, I wouldn‘t exactly consider it a mistake if other people handle things differently. Probably everyone has their own way of getting things done.
Where can people find you?
I am part of the authors‘ collective Atelieer and have just finished my book ‚flowery wordis‘ (nope, no typing mistake here). It‘s a collection of thoughts and short stories which in total hopefully adds up to something similar to life itself: an entertaining, bittersweet pleasure that may only make sense when it is over. The stories are autobiographical and revolve around the fragility of one's own identity, weird misunderstandings due to sleep deprivation and — sorry for that — the inevitability of death. Still funny, though. (The book and) I will be on stage (and online shelves) as from September this year. I will be more than happy to see you there! For more info, please visit this website.
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Favorite Quote: The bad news is that nothing really matters, and the good news, too, is that nothing really matters.
If you could hop on a plane right now, where would you go? To see a therapist to alleviate my fear of flying.
And who would you take with you? Anyone who‘d like to talk in the dark and take the night train back home with me.
Most beloved piece of fashion you own: Jumpsuits!
Ultimate Happy Fix: White sports socks.
Last thing you ate: Random, unrecognizable bits that fell off my kids’ plates.
Mornings or Evenings?: Evenings!
Most used emojis: 🤷🏽♀️😑🥰🆒
What are the three words you would like people to use when they describe you: Chill, loving, fun.