Thursday, November 14, 2013

take my hand, help me on my way.

Good Luck, Brave Readers...

It is hard to admit failure. In this age, with our curated Pinterest boards, our tailored Facebook history, our edited text messages, and our beautiful blog posts, it can be difficult to place our failures into the middle of all that cultured perfection. Surely, this is why I haven't blogged in a month, instead opting to rarely log into Twitter and shying away from all my regularly-scheduled cyber activity. And, while it would be easier to gloss over the gritty and become something of a Wizard of Oz character -- pay no attention to the man behind the curtain -- sometimes, you just have to admit your shortcomings, breathe a sigh of relief, and move on. 

In this case, I failed the bar exam.

I called the board of bar examiners last month at 7am, was told I was "not successful," and went back to sleep. And then, instead of rallying, I sunk a little bit deeper into myself each day and mourned: mourned all my hard work, all my energy, all that money, all those daydreams of success, all that support, all my future plans, and the fact that I would have to do it again. 


But, I printed out my re-application yesterday and realized that I needed to get over myself, because that's what needs to happen when life doesn't go "according to plan." This was, of course, an emotional and mental blow, but it is what it is. This may have been my first real instance of personal failure, but it is not the end of the world. Far worse things have happened and, sadly, far worse things will come in my life. This was and is only one thing: A TEST. 

And, you know something? If you fail the bar, it will be terrible, but you will also learn some incredible things...

1. who your support system is: After the results came out, I turned into a total "Carrie after Big left her at the alter." You know when she goes to Mexico and just sleeps for like, 4 days and Samantha spoon-feeds her back to health? That was me. I laid in bed until Boyfriend came over with frosties and "sorry you failed the bar" flowers and then, we sat there in bed and ate frosties together. And, even though I felt so bad, I also felt so incredibly lucky. Lucky that he was there and wanted to take care of me. Lucky that my parents were so incredibly sweet and supportive and have been every day since. Lucky that friends texted and were concerned but also gave awesome pep talks. Basically, even though my heart was in pain, it was also telling me: shape up, girl. look how loved you are. And, it was awesome. 

2. you are not a failure: The bar exam is not easy. Probably nobody really understands this unless you've taken the bar, but it is a legit mental marathon. And, once word gets out that you failed the bar, guess what? EVERYONE knows someone who failed the bar. These are smart, capable, intelligent people who failed the bar. Our current first lady failed. JFK failed. (for the love of GOD though, please stop telling this to people who fail the bar). HILLARY EFFING CLINTON failed her first time. It happens. You are still smart and lovely and many other wonderful things. You tried and maybe you have to try again, but failing the bar exam does not make you a failure. 

3. life moves on: I wallowed. Oh my, did I wallow. It felt so easy to wallow because, for a while, I had to muster my energy to get happy. But, life moves on and time shouldn't be wasted wallowing over this test. There is sunshine to feel and people to hug and books to read and roads to drive and life to live. Some tremendous things happened after I failed the bar -- I had some job interviews! I went to Indianapolis with Boyfriend to see a barbershop choir! I worked at the coffee shop and spent time with my family and bought some new yoga pants! Kim and Kanye got engaged! (what?! gross.) LIFE WAS HAPPENING. 

Oh, I've written a textbook. This was cathartic, but I need to close this somewhere. 
Here goes...

I failed the bar. I'm moving on. And, I'm back to blogging and will better than ever. 

gossip girl

Monday, October 21, 2013

michael jackson's, thriller.

This past weekend the stuff of fall dreams. Littlest Sister turned a whopping 18 years old on Friday. We celebrated with a nice dinner and cake before she ran off to her last home football game, leaving me to catch up on American Horror Story. The temperatures dipped and we had chilly days with cold nights - perfect for the first fire of the season. I took a stroll through the local Peddlers' Mall with my parents and bought a Roseville pie pan like the one my mother uses. Boyfriend planned a fall date that rocked my world. We put on our lumberjack shirts and headed to the pumpkin patch - complete with horse ride! - to pick the most sincere pumpkins we could find. He romanced me with Mexican food (is that a love language? i'm pretty sure mexican food is my love language.) and we headed home to drink wine, carve faces, and watch The Exorcist. What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man. 

Life at the coffee shop continues, and my legal fate will be determined here soon. Lots of anxiety. I am trying not to think about it but, being an always-thinking over-thinker, it is impossible. Is that all I have to talk about today? I think so. If you need me, I'll be chewing my fingernails, figuring out a Halloween costume, and prematurely listening to Christmas music. 

Yawn. I need to stop writing blog posts in the middle of the night. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

you can't just dream your way out of coalwood.

Happy Monday. Life post-law school is like that saying: If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, did it make a noise? Similarly: if nobody hires me and I don't go to work, is it really a Monday? I mean, yes, it's still a Monday, but I think you'll get the idea. I know I keep saying this, but I am struggling with this whole life limbo thing. What am I supposed to be doing right now!? The part of my brain that makes espresso shots is the not the same part of my brain that wrote immigration briefs and I'm afraid that my mind is going to get lazy and then I'll get lazy and then where will I be? I am re-learning myself and trying to stay upbeat but bar results come out soon and there are loans to repay and it's slightly overwhelming. I'm just throwing this out there into the interwebz in case any of my law ladies are feeling this way too. We can make a club, but I get to be the President so I can put it on my resume. (JOKING)

Life lately. Boyfriend and I drove up to Indianapolis last weekend to visit Brittany from over at Blogging out Loud. We went to the Children's Museum and played around - hanging out with dinosaurs and mummies. They had a neat exhibit with some props from "scary" movies and I actually ran into someone from my Wills and Estates class from 3L year; I JUST CAN'T ESCAPE. We went out to a fun dinner later and watched Miley twerk on SNL and lounged around in her new apartment and chatted. Fun times!

In other exciting news, Hallmark is filming a Christmas movie in my hometown (which you can watch on December 1st, if you feel so inclined). I mean, it's kind of hilarious but also really neat. Each night of shooting, about half the town congregates in silence and watches the filming. It's so funny to walk past the hay bales and pumpkins, turn the corner, and be on a fake snow-lined street. Someone had to pluck all the leaves from the trees on a few of our streets (probably some poor intern), but it is making me so excited for the holiday season. Nicollette Sherridan is the female lead and I've basically creeped through the town trying to meet her -- I FINALLY did this past week and she totally told me I could take a picture with her but then some LOUSY LITTLE KIDS WHO DEFINITELY NEVER WATCHED HER RELIGIOUSLY ON DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES nudged me out and she had to go back to film and I wanted to yell Edie Britt, why don't you looooove me, tell me Edie, why don't you looooooove me?!?!?!, but I refrained because I'm totally normal and she probably doesn't want to hear about that show anymore. I just sulked and drove home instead and bad-mouthed children because that's what adults do. So, I definitely have to go back and try again this week unless some member of production stumbles across this post and bars me from getting near her.

So, yeah. Happy Monday.

Monday, September 30, 2013

i will learn to love the skies i'm under.

Enter fall and exit September. I am not sad at all. You know in Father of the Bride when Steve Martin's character goes to buy hot dogs and he is so angry about buying 8-packs of hotdogs and 12-packs of hot dog buns and he is all: NOBODY NEEDS THESE SUPERFLUOUS BUNS. That is how I feel about September. NOBODY NEEDS THIS SUPERFLUOUS MONTH. It is a bridge month between the sweltering heat of August and the beautiful crispness of October and Now that it's over and through, we can get to the good stuff -- that best span of three months -- October through December. I LOVE IT. BRING IT TO ME. 

There is nothing not good about this time of the year. (except bar results but, ssssshhh.) Middle Sister goes to my alma mater and the family headed over there two weekends ago to tailgate and watch some football. It was so nice to be there on campus this time of year; it is the prettiest and makes me think maybe I should take a drive back over this week or next when all these leaves are bursting. Hometown hosted one of their many festivals this past weekend - AppleFest - and we all headed down for crafts and fritters and things before heading home and having a huge bonfire. Boyfriend and I have been cooking dinners lately, and he showed up at my door this past week with the prettiest bouquet of flowers. I lucked out on that one. More luck? The best wool blanket I scored at the antique mall down the road. I cannot resist a good plaid this time of year. 

All good, simple, happy things. It is nice to be reminded that life and the good stuff continues even in strange, transitional periods of doubt (aka. post-graduate, mid-twenties). I am excited for this week and this month - maybe a fun roadtrip or two, some evenings at the coffee shop, more job searching (yay?), and planning Halloween costumes. Me + Fall = 4ever. 


P.S. I traded in all my student research points and am going to upgrade my camera with them. Does anyone have a SLR that they just love (or hate?). Would like to know what people are using these days.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

mr. 152 insights into my soul.

Oh, September. I love this time of year.

Mom reminded me that I haven't blogged this month, but really I haven't blogged in about a month. oops. But, not really - with all that sitting around on my computer over the summer, I just haven't wanted to sit down and write. But, I'm back now and getting back to normal, so I should get back to blogging too. 

This stretch of time from September to January 1st is my favorite. There's just too much goodness, what with all the beautiful cooler weather and the chunky sweaters and my favorite holidays and fall happenings. I wonder, how much sweet-talking would be required to get myself some dates at the Renaissance Festival or a pumpkin patch (or both!?). These are important thoughts this time of year, along with apple pie recipes and knitting projects and things. I've decided I'm going to watch football this year - a first - and see what all the fuss is about so I can stop avoiding my Twitter timeline.

Without fail, I'm always drawn to You've Got Mail at this time of year. I go through a seasonal movie system, and that is my fall go-to. It's probably because the movie begins, in the fall, on the streets of NYC, plus that bit about wanting to send bouquets of newly-sharpened pencils. That movie just screams "fall" to me and I can't help but think that there's a niche in the market for people who would love a bouquet of sharpened pencils. (so, me. i am probably the only person in that niche.) I will file that business plan away for a rainy day and just continue to watch You've Got Mail and try to emulate Kathleen Kelly, because I love her.

Also, I am working (nooo. not in the legal sector. i have yet to get results from the test-who-must-not-be-named). I am slinging coffee a few days a week and super loving it. I drink milky way lattes in the mornings and my hair smells like espresso sometimes and, go figure, it is more fun than law school or studying for the bar which, you know, ranks below everything. 

No pictures today. I am sucking in that department lately. Maybe next time?

Friday, August 23, 2013

you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

Oh, I have a blog. Who would have thought? I've been all over the place lately, but the biggest thing I am over is the bar. It is done. It is finished. I guess I finished it three weeks ago yesterday, maybe? It seems like old news now, but it should be said that I took the bar and I survived, although I have no guesses about the result. I'm pulling a Scarlett O'Hara and keeping it far from my mind with a "I won't think about it now; I'll think about it tomorrow" mentality, only my "tomorrow" is really October 25. No little bar thoughts creeping in until then.

I've been keeping busy to make up for all the time I spent pouring over lectures from May-July, but busy in the best way. I helped Boyfriend move from Columbus to a few towns over, which marks the first August we've been closer than 4 hours apart. I went to West Virginia to spend a few days with my Grandma and we popped into antique stores together and cut out fabric and watched the deer prance by her windows. I started piecing together a new quilt inspired by one I saw on Pinterest. I've watched Mom and Dad can our tomatoes, and I've ate so many fresh tomatoes that I might turn into one before the summer ends. I decided I needed to educate myself in something and I thought chick flicks would be the best subject, so I tried to watch Doctor Zhivago but gave up halfway through and watched When Harry Met Sally instead. Does everyone know what I'm talking about when I say that Harry's little love speech might be one of the best romantic comedy love speeches of all time? It's the one where he tells Sally that he loves that it takes her an hour a half to order a sandwich and that she's the last person he wants to talk to before he goes to sleep at night, etc. That's some good chick flick right there. 

All in all, post-bar life has been fairly nice, although there's that nice little quiet nagging at the back of my mind offering sweet reminders that, for the first time in a very long time, my next step is not planned. Being in limbo is not nice to this Type-A girl, and I'm struggling to find the footing as to where I go next. As nice as it is, I'm sure my parents do not want their daughter living with them for the next 10 years, and I need to go somewhere and maybe think about making student loan/shoe money. 

Law school started this past week, and a small (and I mean SMALL) part of me got a little sad that I wasn't there; for the first time in 20 years, I won't be stepping into a classroom this fall. yikes. Chin up, missy.

Friday, July 12, 2013

come on with the rain, i've a smile on my face.

Seventeen days until the Bar.
I'm taking a break from my last lecture (OH Personal Property) to come here and verify that yes, I am still functioning, but also, whoa.
At this point, I am  terrified. I know that I tend to lean on the dramatic side just a little, so people are used to me making mountains out of mole hills and I've been hearing a lot of relax, you'll be fine, you've got this, you're going to pass, and that's all well and good because I thought I was going to fail out of law school and I didn't and maybe I've cried wolf too many times that it's expected for me to go into something scared and come out alright in the end.
But, this feels really different.
This test is a monster. I've listened to the lectures and I've taken the notes and I've practiced essays and MBE questions and written out MPT answers and it's just so incredibly overwhelming to have countless hours and years of planning come down to a three-day ordeal that decides whether or not I can plug ", Esq." behind my name.
I sit down at the computer and pep myself up and say okay, I did the three years of law school and I've taken the exams and I've filed my applications and I've paid all this money and I really need a job and so I should be able to do this, and then I do a practice MBE quiz and get a freak 20% correct and it turns into OH MY GOD, WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? and my heart feels like it's going to explode and I get teary for about the fifteenth time that day and I look around the library and people are smiling and children are playing and I want to yell why can't you feel that? can't you feel that pressure in your chest? what is wrong with you? there's a freight train coming and I'm on the tracks and there's no turning back now and you can't hear it? also, why can't you tell your child to stop screaming in the library?  But then, I realize that the world is still spinning and people are going about their lives and instead, I feel so disconnected from other people because my mind just.can't.stop. working through questions and outlines and worst possible scenarios of how this could go.
Someone told me, before I started studying, that there would be days where you just couldn't look at anyone else and wouldn't want to talk and you get so wrapped up in your mind that you feel like you can't handle it, but that you need to find some source that could bring you back to level within minutes. At those moments, I put on my headphones and watch Gene Kelly tap dance through the rain with his umbrella. Wow, Gene Kelly. Who would even be the equivalent of Gene Kelly today? I don't even know.  Lots of Gene Kelly-watching going on lately though.
When this thing is over, I am going to dance up and down every sidewalk and through every puddle.
Sorry for the freak out sesh, but I couldn't really have a blog during this time without at least one good crazy girl post, yeah? Maybe someday I will look back on this and read it over and be like, you go, girl. you were in that glass case of emotion and you got through it! Or something.
Also, big props to all you lawyers out there who have already done this, and to my buddies who are riding the study bus with me. holler.