Live From Law School

Hi there everyone!

I wanted to give you all a little blurb about my first month of law school. I’m starting week four with a bang-or rather, with a really horrendous cold! Because of the attendance policies of law school, I was able to miss one class this morning, but showed up for my afternoon class. Honestly, I’m not sure it was helpful to me, but my name was on the attendance roster, and that’s a start. Now, I’ve been very good about medicating-I’ve got some serious DayQuil/Advil action going on, and I’ve been hydrating and other self-care recommendations. But I didn’t come here to talk about my cold!

What they tell you: Law school is hard-in a different way than undergrad. It’s supposed to stretch you as a human being and make you think like a lawyer. It will prove useful in all facets of your life, not just the ones that you would think. It will make you more annoying to be around, because you’ll analyze everything. It will force you to work on yourself in and out of the classroom.

What they don’t tell you: You will think about quitting every day for what feels like forever. You will feel completely worthless. You will hate the amount of homework you have. You will debate changing your life, settling for a career that is “kinda” what you want.

And then you’ll get out of the first two weeks and realize that this is something you can handle-it was all just an adjustment period, testing the unfathomably steep learning curve. And you’ll grow accustomed to the labor intensive study patterns, the crappy food plans and the weird cravings for comfort food in the middle of the night. You’ll discover a coping pattern for mornings-which usually require copious amounts of caffeine. You might even discover that you like mornings (I think that day is still a long way off for me, but we’ll get there).

Law school is this weird place where you bring a hundred people and on the first day you’re all strangers, but by the second week you have a core of friends who know everything about each other. You spend all day every day with those same people and suddenly you have friends that you respect, trust and celebrate with-even though you have no idea who they were before.

I came to law school thinking I was a good student. I have decent grades from both high school and undergrad. I thought I knew who I was, what I stood for and believed and that this would just be a quick two or three years of teaching me the requisite knowledge to become a legal professional. Read: this was a means to an end. And if I made friends, that would be great. If I managed to find people that I could enjoy coffee with-who also shared my passion, great. But if none of those things occurred, I would not be upset. 

My first month here has been, well, eye opening. I’m a good student-but I was not a good law student before. Now, I understand the change I needed to make. I’ve found that in the last few weeks, I’ve discovered more about myself than I have since my freshman year of high school. I have a new perspective and it shifts slightly every day, as I learn more. And friends? I have a group of them-5 people in fact, who I believe are the foundation for the best years of education of my life.

Life isn’t all about the expectation. You can plan and plan and in the end, it may not be the way you thought it would. And that was the biggest lesson of all. That no matter how much I thought I knew, how much I planned, some things are just gonna happen-without your permission. Your job isn’t to fight it, but to adapt.

Lawyered.

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Quit Asking For Easy

My oh my! What a lovely thing to take a break from the news and come back to find a spike in readers and followers and all around interest. You have my humble thanks, as always. To find value in what I have to say means that I’m making a difference, asking the right questions. 

So I want to address why I’ve been mysteriously absent. No one asked me where I was, but I feel like lessons can be gained from a modicum of transparency. Plus, it further illustrates the point that we are all connected in a much larger picture. (I mean, one of my favorite things to look at is the way humanity ebbs and flows. Sometimes I get to see it in my own life, sometimes in others.)

November 28. My university was under a lock-down for a good long while on the 28th because of an attack on students. 11 people were taken to the emergency room for injuries directly related to the attack. The attacker was brought down and ultimately died right outside of the building where I work and have my major classes. I wasn’t on campus that day, but all of the people I care about at the university were and I reached out to each of them to make sure they were okay. They saw the whole thing. And the response teams were cleaning blood off of the sidewalks for two days after the event. That was something I kept looking at, asking the questions that these events often bring to the surface.

The LSAT-Take Two. I was supposed to take the LSAT again on Saturday. In the building right beside mine, where the attacker was shot down. I withdrew my registration and sent explanation emails to the schools I applied to. I also decided I was not going to be retaking the LSAT before applications needed to be in. I accepted that the scores I had were the ones I would be judged on. The schools responded with understanding and well-wishes.

The Meltdown. I am a passionate person. When I am happy, I am happy to the fullest. I am invincible and giddy and on top of the world. When I am sad, there is no one who can lift my spirits. I am morose, I am depressed, I am wading through the depths of hell. And there is nothing to suggest that I would not feel confusion at those same extremes. And that is what happened. I seem to have come to a very rough crossroads. And it all has to do with what kind of person I am.

You see, I spoke with a friend a while ago and I was complaining that I was a “Watson trying to be a Sherlock”. Now, what I meant by this is that I am a supportive figure. I help other people find their passions and direction. But I want more. I want to be in the spotlight. I want to be the one people look up to. I’m tired of being used for what I can offer and having no one (with the exception of my husband) to see how much I care about others. And her reponse (goddess love her) was “There is no shame in being a Watson. Sherlock would be in rehab or dead without his.” I, of course, was not as responsive to this, as I could not reconcile the frustration I was experiencing. But trust and believe, that message came back to me several times over in the coming days.

The Resolution. To say that I struggle with who I am is probably the biggest understatement. Who I am, who I want to be and how to get there are all at odds with each other it would seem. What I think I know is no longer useful, as I am over-analyzing everything-to the point of insanity. The way this break from social media and whatnot turned out is that I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know who I am, where my life is taking me. I don’t know.

And that’s okay.

Because the minute I sit down and think about all the things I think I know, I cut myself off from all of the things I could know but don’t.

So my “resolution” is to experience-not know. Knowledge changes. Every science student knows (ha!) that what is printed in their textbooks is only good and factual for a couple years at most. And then something happens and the information becomes obsolete. So why am I so focused on “knowing”?

I adore the movie “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman. And it got me thinking. I have a bucket list (a list of things you want to accomplish before you kick the bucket). Why should I hold off on doing those things until I’m dying? That seems rather dumb to me.

Instead of waiting around for a convenient time to do things, I need to make time. So I will. It starts with graduation. And then, I take on the world. Maybe I’ll do a separate blog for my bucket list-so I can be accountable haha!

Playlist

Music just sometimes feeds your soul in ways you can’t explain. Sometimes it inspires, sometimes it destroys, always it gives you what you needed.

I’ve been listening to Disturbed version of The Sounds of Silence. (I have listened to the original, but found it no to my taste.) In fact, here’s the playlist I’ve had on repeat for about a month now.

The Sounds of Silence-Disturbed
Silhouette-Alquilo
Comes and Goes in Waves-Greg Laswell
Warriors-Imagine Dragons
Bloodstream-Stateless
Lost It All-Black Veil Brides
This is Gospel-Panic! At The Disco
Put the Gun Down-Andy Black
Hear You Me-Jimmy Eat World
Comatose-Skillet
Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop-Landon Pigg

I have a couple more, but let’s pick up on trends here. Songs about the loss of hope, the loss of purpose, being caught in the sea with a hurricane approaching. (Except for the last one-that song I just love because other reasons.) Which led me to thinking:

Be kind to yourself today. It’s a brutal, nasty world out there and well, don’t get sucked down into it, okay?

From Dust (Part Two)

Where were we? Ah yes, the pain of insecurity.

I’ve had a moment to think upon my thoughts, a little metacognizance if you will. And by that, I really mean I finally had a break down, got it pushed through my system and snatched a little help from my husband. We spent a decent amount of time walking, trying to get a new perspective on the situation, and while I’m not entirely sure that everything is honky dory, I can say that I am coming around to the understanding of all the things. So, with that in mind, let’s get to it, shall we?

When I think of myself, I think less along the lines of physical traits and more along the lines of character ones. So irrespective of how I look, I think of myself like a Disney villain-a little mystical, more than a little misunderstood. I volley between being reckless and being respectable. I’m a walking contradiction nine times out of ten and that’s simply my existence. I don’t mind it. I actually kind of revel in the chaos.

Anyway, I did a post about things bipolar people don’t want you to know (which got featured on The Mighty-read Here) and in it I speak of how those of us with bipolar often feel creative, but get distraught when we don’t reach the level of famous people with the same disorder. I frequently have that happen. And the past couple days were absolutely not an exception. I was listening to an album done by people with depression, anxiety and histories of self-harm while I sat in my room, wallowing in my own rejections.

I voiced these concerns to Ben, and I told him that just once I wanted to be a Beethoven (whose talent was appreciated while he was alive) instead of a Van Gogh (whose talent went under appreciated-and in fact not accepted as art-while he was alive). I kept saying it, each time I switched insecurities. I just wanted the all-important someone to point at my stuff and say: “Yep, that one. I want that one.” My novels, my music, my proposals, my applications. I just want someone to say something other than Not good enough.

And I know, I have the capacity to be that person. I mean, I sit here and tell people every day that they are more than the numbers on their scales, more than the way they compare themselves to others, more than the test scores, grades, life stories they have survived. And I am 100% sincere each time I say those things. But for whatever reason, when I say them to myself, it falls on deaf ears. And I asked my husband what was wrong with me.

He said words I didn’t expect, but we’re still exceptionally true: You’ll never be happy just accepting success. each thing you achieve, you’ll just say you were doing your job and brush it off. You just haven’t appreciated all your successes.

I can’t say that the moment he said it, I believed it. It’s been a day since, and I still am grappling with it. But the thing is, I can appreciate it differently now.

I still want to be a Beethoven. I want to be celebrated in my lifetime as someone worth knowing. I want people to look at me with more understanding than just “will that be all for you today?” And I don’t think I’m necessarily wrong for wanting that.

At 23, there are plenty of now-famous people who weren’t doing so great yet. And I know that. 

Some people are born with beauty and money and talent.

Some people must spend their entire lives fighting for what those people had at birth.

Neither path is wrong. 

I know one day all the little insignificant moments in my life will have led to somewhere. It may be awesome, it may be average, but only if I let myself think it is. I’m still struggling to wrap my head around things, but each time I keep trying, that’s the real form of success.

Time and Change

I needed a place to put my thoughts and could think of no better place than a blog-where I do just exactly that. What I have to say today is more on the border of “things which concern me as an almost-careered woman” but could just as easily fall under the category of “I hope I’m just worrying for nothing”.

Woman. Critical thinker. Thinks-for-myself. Pre-lawyer. Advocate for women. Advocate for mental health. Pro-choose your own life path. Makes decisions based on what is best for my family. Pagan. College educated. Pro-diversity. Pro-free speech.

I feel like everything I just listed is coming under attack this election cycle. And it will be under even more scrutiny depending on how this election goes. I’m not going to make this overly political, but this is after all, my blog, and I don’t have to apologize for my own thoughts.

Depending on November, I could face a variety of problems simply for being myself. And that scares me. I was not alive during the internment camps or the racial segregation period. I wasn’t alive during the Holocaust, where Jews, Gypsies, Handicapped individuals and more were taken, tortured and killed for being themselves. But I read about them.

I remember I had a teacher who threatened to send an entire class to detention because none of us knew what a swastika was. I was in 6th grade. You can bet that we had a lesson on it very soon thereafter. And in 7th grade, we had an entire section of our year devoted to WWII and the Holocaust-even built a memorial as a class. And I had a teacher in high school who drilled those events into our heads. And I remember immediately understanding why it was that we needed to know. So we wouldn’t repeat those mistakes and atrocities in our own time.

You cannot single out a group as the source of all your problems and then force them to carry the sentence you have passed on them as an act of retribution. Do you know why? Because you will have to keep singling out groups until everyone is to blame.

There is a presidential candidate right now who has singled out groups. And I am not (yet) in the direct line of fire. I’m still in the indirect (because I am a woman). But how soon will they come knocking at my door because I am poor? Because I am pagan? Because I am opinionated? Because I am any one of the things that I am?

Depending on the election, I may not be able to get a job. No one will take me seriously because I am a woman fighting for the rights of other women-of whom society has deemed not valid because they must be, in some way, guilty as well. My purpose in life will become a joke like that. Not because it will be funny, but because of who I am and who my clients are. And should I get past that initial problem, if I choose to have children, we face a host of problems directly related to my childbearing capabilities, along the lines of maternity leave rights.

Depending on the election, I might not be safe in my own home, and by extension my husband, and any kids we might have. Because we do not go to church, we do not hang crosses at our doorsteps and around our necks. We do not pray in the name of the same faith.

Depending on the election, I might not be safe. I spend a lot of my time now talking about individual liberties and personal decisions as rights of the individual. How long will it be before someone starts coming after not only the businesses and administrators of birth control or abortions, but the people who support them as well? Or the people who have friends who aren’t “white enough”? Or the people who do not fall prey to the garbage they hear on the TVs?

I can’t say that I know where the future is headed. I’m not pompous enough to assume anything. But these thoughts weigh on my mind, keep me up at night (along with just the usual stress about getting into law school in the first place). I’m concerned. And I’m brushing up on my government, that’s for sure. Because I need to know what my rights are and what can be done to keep myself safe if the time comes. It’s a scary place out there, and I hope it doesn’t get scarier.

June 19th

I wanted to stop in and tell any fathers who may be reading my blog that I hope they have a very lovely father’s day. I also wanted to stop in and talk to the people who have fathers, don’t have fathers, and others. First, let me express my hope of a wonderful father’s day to all of them. Second, let me covey my deepest condolences to those of you whose fathers have passed on from this life. Lastly, may I wish for blue skies and peace for those whose fathers are not passed on, but have simply exited the lives of their children.

Happy-Fathers-Day-On-Tumblr-223-5.jpg

My own dad and I are incredibly similar. We’re sarcastic, we’re opinionated, we’re hotheaded and we have a firm belief in what is right (even if it’s different between us). I spent many years not understanding the lessons he was trying to teach me, taking everything he said the wrong way and insisting that I knew best. On some rare occasions, that last part was true-especially when it comes to technology. But after my teen years, my frustration towards my dad, and actually both my parents has subsided. It turns out, that I got hit with our family genes pretty fiercely and the need to live freely and independently gripped me tightly. Now that I’m out on my own, I see things much more clearly.

I love my parents. They drive me crazy sometimes with their “backwards” ways, but in the end, I know they worked hard to make me who I am today and I respect that, I love that and I appreciate that more than words can express. So I called my dad up today and asked him if he wanted to grab food sometime. I’m gonna take him out to dinner and reclaim some of the time I missed out on while I was busy being a naive, opinionated teenager.

 

Mental Health Month!

I know I’m a little late. I had a lot on my mind, and it’s taken a while to get beyond my thoughts.

I’m not switching gears, per se, in topics, but I’m returning my focus onto a topic which will always hold a place in my heart. It is the one which gave me a start, and it’s the one that will always remind me of some fundamental life truths. And I guess that’s what I’ll be looking at today.

My “go-to” quote for each and every day is:

“The sun will rise again and so will I.”

It’s just 9 words, but in those 9 words, I find a delightful amount of peace and strength. I’ve used it to give hope to a few people, I have lived by those words as long as I can remember.

Your track record for getting through bad days so far has been 100%

That one is a newer one in my round of repeated sentences, but I think it’s one of my favorites. It’s one of those things that you know, but hadn’t put into words. I like it because it’s a gentle reminder that no matter how bad “it” seems, I can do it.

Just chuck it in the “fuck it” bucket and move on.

I use that one for humor. I take a lot of things pretty seriously and sometimes I have to remind myself to just let it go.

No great mind has existed without a touch of madness.

That one comes from Aristotle. It makes me feel like I have a greater purpose.

It can’t rain all the time.

That one’s from The Crow. I like to think it’s metaphorical, because I love the rain.

You’re a hurricane. But don’t forget to breathe or else you’ll drown in your own storm.

This one speaks to me, simply because I let everything affect me. I’m working on it, but it’s hard.

To quote Shakespeare’s Hamlet act III scene III line 87: “No!”

I love this one for two reasons. One, I deeply enjoy Shakespeare’s works. Two, I think as a young person, as a woman, as an individual with a mental illness, I find it hard (for whatever reason) to say no. It’s like the scene in 27 Dresses when Katherine Heigl is learning how to say no and she accidentally gives away her drink.

I know this wasn’t a super-serious-passionate-rant-about-troublesome-facts. But sometimes it’s important to appreciate life’s little moments.