Friday, December 24, 2010

Warning: Sad Christmas Post

Like a bad winter cold I’ve been trying to ward off a bout of sadness this week. I think that for the first time since I was 15 years old, I have no one special in my life to share Christmas with. I enjoy the holidays: the baking, the decorating, the buying of gifts. I really do. Somehow it’s not the same when I’m living alone, had class and finals right up to the last minute, and only bought gifts for my parents. When I opened the Christmas ornaments this year right on top was a giant “M” (for Mo) and “A” (for me), the ornaments that we had bought last year to be our first for the tree. I almost didn’t decorate at all. I mean, no one has been in my house in months. What/who am I decorating for?

And at the same time, part of me thinks I should be thankful. Last year Mo told me I couldn’t spend Christmas or Thanksgiving with my family, but we’d be spending the entire time in Ohio sitting on his living room floor and smiling at the family I’d never met. There was no compromising, no Christmas Eve with my family, nothing. And on Christmas Eve he wouldn’t answer his phone and left me wondering if I had anywhere to go at all. My family opened all the gifts I had picked out (they all come to me for ideas), and I missed Christmas basically.

Then there was the year the asshole (sorry, I don’t have a nice name for him) dumped all of my gifts in the middle of the bedroom floor unwrapped, told me I had ruined Christmas, and drove off for New Jersey leaving me sitting there with no flight and no way home.

Or how about the time the same idiot called me after how many years together and told me that he no longer wanted to marry me, then proceeded to disappear off the face of the earth, and I never heard from him again.

One year I worked until two a.m. in Gainesville and slept through my early morning flight, not making it home for Christmas. I’ve spent Christmas after Christmas crying, sad, alone, and struggling to make it through. Shouldn’t this one be better? I’m here in my parents’ home with a brand new saddle (my Christmas gift that I picked myself), ate a great dinner tonight, and have the day tomorrow to play with the horses and relax. Why choke back tears every time I allow my brain to stop and think? How do you learn to be thankful for the things you have?  How did I get here?  And where/who can I be tomorrow?  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How I Learned to Be Wrong

My brain is full.  I mean full to the point of losing important skills like walking and talking out the back door.  Why haven't I blogged in the last few months?  The easy answer: law school.  The funnier answer: my brain was so full that I forgot my login and didn't have two free minutes to go through the process of recovering it.

I've taken two law school exams so far, and I have three more to go.  I've also finished my legal research and writing paper.  As I was sitting waiting for my 25 page of ridiculousness Property exam to start, I had this crazy thought.  What in the world am I doing?  Last year at this time I was giving my own final.  I was baking Christmas cookies and shopping.  Sure, I was busy...  but now I literally live law.  The law school is open 24 hours these two weeks, they feed us pizza, baked goods, and candy to keep us in sugar shock and from revolting at all times, and I'm falling asleep at night with my head literally in a textbook.  What in the world am I doing?  At the same time, yesterday evening I was in downtown Pittsburgh in Market Square with the beautiful lights, the limos, and the expensive restaurants, and there was Reed Smith (one of the biggest law firms in the 'burgh) overlooking my life as I'd like it to be. 

It's amazing how far expectations can fall in a semester.  I started out wanting to be in the top ten.  Now, I want to survive.  And everyone keeps saying, "Oh you'll do fine.  You always say it's hard."  Why won't anyone listen?  This isn't hard.  It's freakin impossible and based on luck!  A whole semester of hard work comes down to one three hour exam.  Did I mention I'm not a good test taker?

Do you know the best thing that happened to me all semester?  On my practice exam I got a "nice paper" comment.  Honestly, that's the nicest two words (or only nice words) I've heard all semester.  It's mostly, "Wrong," "No," "Absolutely not," "Bad law student....BAD!" 

What have I learned this semester?  Humility?  New stress management techniques?  The best caffeine for the least calories at Starbucks?  Most of all, I've learned how to be wrong every single day, and yet still keep coming back for more.