Monday, August 30, 2010

Unpacking my baggage

I don't share much about myself. Not just on this blog, but in life in general. A conversation with T this weekend got me thinking about that.

We were standing on a street corner waiting for a bus on Saturday night. I was in a rotten mood, stemming from some news I had received earlier in the day that triggered some difficult emotions. I've been struggling with this one particular problem (yes I am being purposefully vague again) for a while now, but I don't feel like I can talk to anyone about it. Which is what I said to T.

"The worst part is I can't talk to anybody about it." T nodded his head in supportive silence for a moment. But then I guess he thought about it. Because his next words were, "Have you talked about it with your mom?"

That was an easy question. "No!" I scoffed without missing a beat. "Of course not."

Apparently the answer wasn't so obvious to T, because he asked me why not, and wouldn't I feel better if I did.

And that's when I reconnected with an old issue. "No way," I said to him. "Anytime I really open up with her, I feel like I have a bad hangover the next day. Like I drank too much and embarassed myself the night before."

So there it was in all its warped beauty. My Baggage. I've been thinking about it today. Why I feel like I can't talk to people about the things that truly weigh on my mind. It's a problem, a road block to intimacy, if you'll pardon the cheesy self-help speak. Of course I do not count T in this equation. I've felt comfortable opening up to him for as long as I've known him. And my best friend since middle school is also excluded. But, see, that's all part of why I have these questions in my head.

Why can I talk about my problems to my BFF but not any other people I consider friends? And why did it take me so long, and do I continue to avoid, talking even to her about this issue? More to the point, I wonder: What am I afraid of?

I have a gutteral reaction to feeling like my emotions are on display. I'm far, far better at analyzing my feelings than displaying them. One of my strongest memories of this tendency is from when I was a teenager, feeling very hurt or upset by something my mom had done, and yelling at her when she came to talk to me about it: "Of course I feel sad. Who wouldn't feel upset about XYZ?! You did XYZ!" Not exactly opening up emotionally. I would just kind of describe the emotions and the reasons for it in a very detatched way, at the same time being very angry that I had to spell it out (and be vulnerable).

So is it vulnerability? I guess that's probably it. I don't like the idea of people knowing that I feel deeply disappointed, for example, about something that I didn't get that I really wanted. (To be honest, this doesn't happen often, though.) I don't want people to tell me why it doesn't matter, or why it'll work out. I don't want people to feel sorry for me, or to treat me as weak, fragile. I don't want people judging my feelings, my fears or my desires. So I keep them all to myself. Which isn't a very healthy way to go, nor does it help in building strong friendships.

I have to learn to let go of other people's reactions to the things I say and do, and see others' reactions as reflections of their experiences, fears, desires, lifeview; not as a reflection of the worthiness of mine, or anything about me. I already know I can't control other people's opinions. But I haven't learned to accept that, and instead try to keep everything cloistered and hid out of sight. And this blog post is a perfect example of everything I've talked about here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So far so good

I'm liking this 3L thing! I feel like I'm finally allowed to not care! And, not that it was a high standard to beat or anything, but three days in and I'm already doing wayyyy more work than I was this time last semester. For one, I own my books. For two, I've done my reading. For three, I have six highlighters that are brand-spankin-new and in all the appropriate colors.

Things I'm loving about this semester so far: that my classes don't start until after 2 p.m. every day; that I have no class on Friday and only a brief clinical session on Wednesdays; that I'm not taking any statutory courses; that my reading assignments appear to be reasonable and syllabi seem focused; that I'm not taking any fancy trial advocacy course that forces me to plan entire trials instead of catching up on my homework (although we will be doing FOUR roleplays in my alternative dispute resolution class...); that I don't feel completely burnt out.

Yay! Now let's see how long I can keep this optimism burning...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back To School Cool

New school years. Fresh starts. This is the start of my third and final year of law school. My last fall semester ever starts tomorrow morning. I have my bookshelf cleared, old highlighters have been weeded out, my hair has been washed. I'm ready to begin again.

In the spirit of a new semester, I am making some resolutions, most of which have nothing to do with school. Maybe it's the 2 years of law school under my belt talking, but I just don't seem to care too much about grading curves or exam styles or anything like that. What I do care about is balance in my life. And taking care of myself. This may be the last time I have occasion to reevaluate those things, take a deep breath and Start Over, just because.

This semester, I resolve...
to stay off the internet during class.
to make a greater effort to cultivate real friendships.
to drink less.
to center my time around my marriage.
to put away the laptop when I'm at home.
to exercise more.
to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.
to work on staying mindful and remaining in the present.
to always refill my prescription on time.
to notice my feelings more and react to them less.
to love.

Monday, August 16, 2010


i am in durham:
a sticky summer breeze filled
with chirping crickets.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

One year of marriage down, one dress size up

I've now been married for over 1 year. Whoop! I'll write more on that when I finally (FINALLY, c'mon!) have our professional wedding pictures. We've been putting that off for, well, over 1 year. Suffice it to say that T & I escaped to the shore this weekend to toast ourselves at a beachside restaurant and draw love notes in the sand. We fondly reminisced about our Spanish honeymoon and vowed to go back again soon. My favorite part of the weekend was searching for seashells to complete the fins and eyes of a sea creature that T & I were constructing on the empty coastline of a wildlife reserve. Joint projects with T are always so much fun (and romantic)!

Um, but yeah. On to other things.

I vowed over the weekend, as I munched on floppy McDonald's french fries during our drive back to the Big City, that I would eat only fruit for the next week. Why fruit, I have no idea exactly. But it had something to do with the fact that over the past week I'd eaten two cheesecake slices in 24 hours, and over the course of one day had devoured cheesecake, cake, cookies and three types of cheese. Fruit just seemed like the opposite of that.

Monday rolled around and we didn't quite have the money to go grocery shopping yet. So I winged it. It is now Thursday and here is what I have eaten over the course of the last four day, in chronological order (more or less):

Blueberry yogurt
Roasted unsalted cashews
Fruit salad
A piece of fudge (from the beach!)
Fried oreos (no comment)
Spinach salad with gorgonzola, dried cranberries and candied walnuts

An orange
Roasted unsalted cashews
Half an avocado with lemon juice
A banana
Spoonful of peanut butter
Brown rice and bean burritos (we were out of food!)
A piece of fudge

Apple croissant (whoops)
Blueberry greek yogurt
Wholegrain crackers
Figs with cheese and proscuitto
Homemade cheese pizza (...)

A banana
Some free samples at Whole Foods...

And there ya have it. Believe it or not, this is the healthiest I've eaten in a long, long time. The trick is that when I slip up, I'm trying to get up and keep going. Onward and upward to a healthier lifestyle and just a couple inches lost around that middle!