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Archive for May, 2013|Monthly archive page

The “he’s-just-around-the-corner” problem

In Encouragement, Love and Romance, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on May 30, 2013 at 5:27 am

It’s kind of like the Konigsberg Bridge problem. Tons of people undertake to explain it, and most of them fail. Yesterday, I talked about the need for women (and men) to more honestly discuss our feelings surrounding relationships, dating, marriage, and being single.

I recognize that much of what I am about to say is aimed at heterosexual women. This is not because I think that men and homosexual persons necessarily experience relationship issues differently. Perhaps because I am a heterosexual woman, it seems like a host of tweeters, Facebook pages, magazine columns, and books are also aimed at heterosexual women. The targeting is not coincidental. I think it has a lot to do with marketing, disposable income, and other graphable/chartable group characteristics of women.

At any rate…

I see numerous posts basically telling the reader to be patient; the man of your dreams is just around the corner; you just have to wait; you just have to be happy with who you are right now; he’s a-coming. LE SIGH. I used to think like that, and I busily threw myself into being happy with who I was at the time. I busily threw myself into waiting.

Then, I realized. Life was trickling through my fingers like juice from uneaten, overripe strawberries–and I wasn’t enjoying the proverbial strawberries.

One day, I finally had the guts to tell myself: this dude may NOT be around the corner. Then, I started saying it out loud. To other people–and I got a spectrum of reactions from agreement to anger. But, I felt a little free-er 🙂 I decided to do some of that stuff I was waiting to do. Instead of trying to be happy with who I was in pause mode waiting for someone, I decided to put myself into motion. I realized that if the man of my dreams (side note: what does that phrase mean anyway?) NEVER showed, my life could and would and should and must go on.

So, I laughed. I cried. I spent less time doing things I didn’t like. I spent more time with people who I did like. I had crushes. I had dates. I took care of my mental health. I cut my hair. I grew my hair. I quit teaching. I started law school.

The problem with saying someone is just around the corner is that the phrase encourages you to wait in some fashion. Your happiness with you HAS NOTHING TO DO with someone around the bend. Patience is useful beyond waiting for someone who may or may not be there. You know that piece of lingerie you’ve been waiting to buy? You know that movie you haven’t watched yet? You know that trip you’ve not taken? Go ahead. Relish. Enjoy. Life is happening right now, and you can be happy with who you are, who you were, and who you will be!

Single ladies: What’s the real feel?

In Love and Romance, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on May 29, 2013 at 4:33 am

Looking over my Facebook newsfeed and my Twitter timeline (or newsfeed, or whatever), I noticed lots of statements by, for, to, and about single women. Some stuff is good. But, some stuff stinks. I mean, some of this stuff literally reeks of pseudo-psychology or hypocrisy or dismissiveness (and, in the worst of cases, all three). The worst thing is that we share and retweet that crap!

Single ladies (and guys, too–sorry, guys…I am not intentionally leaving you out, it’s just that SOOO MUCH of this stuff is directed at women), I think we have a right to feel HOWEVER we feel about being single. I’m not married, but I am dating. But, before that, I wasn’t in a romantic relationship for years. And, it bothered me at times. I was lonely at times. I wanted someone to share things with at times. At other times, I enjoyed the singularity of not having to explain myself to another person. I didn’t wake up in the morning cursing myself for not being married, but you get the picture.

There is not some hocus-pocus that will snatch the person of your dreams up into the skies the minute you honestly think or say that you feel lonely or that you want to be in a relationship or that you never want to have children or that your job is more important to you than romance.

I find it comforting and strengthening and empowering to discuss my feelings about relationships with other women. I like hearing how other women feel about relationships, being single, dating, breaking up, going out, and so forth.

Honestly, I don’t really have MUCH of a point besides this: be real about your feelings.

The beauty of rejection

In Encouragement, Friendship, Love and Romance, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on May 25, 2013 at 4:51 am

The title is meant to be inspiring. Positive. A definite sunny side statement.

But, the reality of facing rejection and–even worse–remembering and reliving it is like looking at the sky from the bottom of a pit. There is darkness and depth all around and you know that there is something better and beautiful at the surface.

I battle the memories and reality of rejection from time to time. I used to be consumed and paralyzed by rejection. I felt that all of my important relationships ended in rejection. In the end, I came to feel that why try? Why extend myself? Why allow others to extend themselves to me? I hated rejecting others as much as I hated rejection of myself. But, once I stopped extending myself….I became Me-Lite. Less of who I am. Less of who I am meant to be.

Therapy and counseling are hard work. I had to face the reasons for the rejection–and they were many and varied. Timing wasn’t right; relationship was abusive or manipulative; relationship wasn’t about who I am or who the other is, but rather what we hoped the other to be; relationship was co-dependent; divergent growth; the season was simply over. But, it turns out that none of these are reasons for me to back away from being me.

But, mostly I worked on focusing on the people who loved me and the people and things that I love. My parents, who made it their business to see to it that I made it through law school. My boyfriend, who made it his business to work with me and grow with me. My family–both blood and bond–who make it their business to laugh and cry with me. They deserve to know the real me, particularly because they show that they will love me because of and, sometimes, in spite of who I am.

At the bar (review): Day 1

In Law School Problems on May 21, 2013 at 2:21 am

Oh, no. The class portion of bar review has not started yet. Today was the foundation course start day (and I, as customary, have decided to do it my own way…more about that later). It was better than I expected; but, it definitely was not as awesome as going to Six Flags.

Lessons learned from day one:

1. Wake up by 9 am.

2. Each correct answer is worth a mini-celebration.

3. Drawing smiley faces by each correct answer is a mini-celebration.

4. Buy index cards. You will need them.

5. Having cute pens makes everything more fun.

More tomorrow. I’m off to cruise Amazon so that I can find some cute pens…maybe something involving unicorns.

Twas the night before Bar Review…

In Encouragement, Law School Problems, Lawyer Problems on May 20, 2013 at 2:58 am

Graduated on Friday. It’s Sunday night. Tomorrow, I start bar review. Bar review is a daunting thought. It is true that I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid; there are three final steps. I need to study for the bar, take the bar, and pass the bar. Studying for the bar starts tomorrow. I gotta tell you: signing into the online review site and looking at all documents and the schedule and the syllabus quite frankly overwhelms me. A lot. And there was a time in my life (not so very long ago) when that feeling of being overwhelmed would have sent me to bed (though, in the end, I am going to go to bed…and watch The Wedding Singer).

But, not today.

Today, I made myself proud. I pulled out my calendar and my flash drive and started organizing.

That, and that alone, is what I call progress.

Chasing your dreams…

In Encouragement, Law School Problems, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on May 13, 2013 at 4:10 am

Hold on to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

Hold on to dreams

For if dreams go

Life is a barren field frozen with snow.

 

Those are the words, as I remember them, of Langston Hughes. I didn’t look them up.

One of the most difficult things to teach a child is the importance of dreams–those loftiest of life goals. But, I was blessed. At a young age (that is, first grade) I took a huge interest in politics during the Bush/Dukakis Presidential elections. This early interest in politics led me to an interest in law-making, and the legal system. By the time I was a junior in high school, I had decided that I wanted to be an attorney with the ACLU. In a simple matter of days, I  will be leaps closer to fulfilling the hopes of that first-grader (who, coincidentally, tried to rig the practice ballots that she handed out–I have far more integrity now than I did then). Perhaps I am not (yet) working for the ACLU, but I could!

How refreshing and how surreal it is to be able to say that I am achieving a dream. It is honestly unlike any feeling that I’ve known before. Happy? Yes. Satisfied? Yes. Hopeful? Of course! But, there is also a sense of anticipation and lightness and power that I have never before felt in combination. I know my limits, and I feel fulfilled within those limits. That’s the new part, I think: I literally have been to my limits.

Chasing a dream is one human experience upon which I think all should embark. Achieving a dream is something that I will forever encourage others to do. Perhaps in achieving a dream, you meet your destiny.