Thursday, March 1, 2012

I can't believe it's been a little more than a year since I last wrote in here. I completely forgot about this blog. But now that I'm feeling weary and a bit defeated, I needed a place to turn to. Hence, here I am. Writing helps. It always does.

2L is seriously proving to kick my ass. That whole thing about "First year, they scare you to death; second year, they work you to death; third year, they bore you to death" is definitely true so far. I'm working, studying, writing, and getting very little sleep. I use my time well--I'm writing this when I have a midterm to study for, a draft to revise, an article to edit, and surely some cover letters to write. Nice.

Speaking of cover letters, why do I NOT have a summer job lined up???? This is driving me insane. Hopefully the small-firms fair (conveniently on the same day as when everything else is due) will give me something next week. But seriously though, please don't give me something at a personal injury firm. Accidents happen. Get over it.

Emotionally, here is where I'm at right now:
1. Tired
2. Stressed
3. Drained
4. Scared
5. Sometimes sad

Not really the greatest things to be feeling, especially at once. I'm tired, stressed, and drained for obvious reasons. These are all emotions that I'm sure 95% of my classmates are feeling right now. I'm scared because of a few things, and sad for some of the same reasons. But really, I think they're just being magnified (probably not the right word...but I can't even think right now) because of the first three, although they still would exist if I weren't so tired and drained. I need to stop thinking about things.

I need some motivation. I feel so uninspired.

*Edit* Oh, well...I guess I wrote in here during the summer. But it's been a year since what I was thinking. Ha.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Can we please fast-forward to mid-July?

Monday, March 21, 2011

I don't know why I just can't be satisfied. I just got offered an amazing opportunity that I've only dreamed of getting, but there's still this constant gnawing that just won't cease...

It's all routine...I've got this.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Repeat, repeat, repeat

Today was supposed to be a craze-filled shopping day with my mom. Despite getting only fours of sleep the night prior, I was alert and excited. I love the mall. I love shopping and buying things—it’s my materialistic/girly side that I just can’t rid of. But as we turned into the parking lot, the mood subdued as my mom recounted a small gathering with my stepdad, his daughter, and his daughter’s husband.

“And how many kids do you have?”

The context of what raised this simple question doesn’t really matter for the purpose of this note, but it set the scene for the rest of our day. While we oohed and ahed over a ridiculously expensive jacket that was just so tempting, that simple question lingered above us. It reminded me that perspective is everything. The saying “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” is a tired cliché, but like a lot of clichés, it’s entirely true (at least in my view). Many people throw around clichés aimlessly, but they don’t take the time to truly appreciate what they mean. "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger" is an example. 

Whatever that doesn’t kill you only creates perspective—it sets the stage for the other events that are waiting to unfold in your future. If you accept it and if you allow it to, it can contribute to your life for the better. It can be a huge backdrop that deemphasizes everything else that might come in front of it. With something that huge, everything, of course, just seems miniscule and immaterial. They simply become tiny specks.

Whatever that doesn’t kill you opens up so many perspectives that other people just might not have access to. It’s kind of like having a secret view of the world way up high above ground that only you can get to—unless, of course, there are others who have been through the same that you have. With this view, it’s like everyone else is trapped in a straight and dark tunnel with only one view forward, while you're on a plane with an aerial view of everything else surrounding them. 

Having perspective is something that takes practice, especially because a lot of the “what didn’t kill you” moments are the painful moments that you’d rather forget than remember. It's hard to be grateful for the things that brought pain. But even when you accept those moments, amidst this crazy thing called life, it’s easy to forget a lot of things, perspective being one of them. Being in law school and pretty much dedicated to casebooks and studying, I lost my mine. I almost forgot why I’m here, and how incredibly fortunate I am in the first place. After today, perspective started floating back to me. I felt disturbed that I had even lost it in the first place. I’m grateful for my hardships; although sometimes I wish certain things had never happened, I embrace them—or at least I try to. After all, what's done is done and you can't change it. 

My mother is the strongest person I know and I write this note because of her. She has been through a combination of things no one should ever have to experience at the same time: loss, fear, betrayal, harassment, and one hell of a messed up court system (seriously). Not many would have put up with what she has, yet here she still is, solid, strong, and happy, albeit somewhat very unforgiving and sometimes very bitter. She complains about certain things that make absolutely no sense to me, but we both know that really, in comparison to everything else that has happened, this stuff is complete bullshit to worry about. These things might seem glaring by themselves, but with the backdrop otherwise known as perspective, they fade and disappear.

Nothing I write here is new. That saying “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger,” after all, is an adage that people say whenever others need support. But every now and then, I need a reminder. Having perspective, I feel, is one of the most important things to have in order to make life a lot easier. A drastic past and life story aren’t necessarily requisites for being able to keep things in perspective, but if you do have them and let them, they will work in your favor.

-Written December 20, 2010

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The past few weeks have been yet another emotional roller-coaster. I've tried to take my mind off of things by focusing on schoolwork, applying for internships that I have absolutely no chance of getting, and just telling myself none of this matters. I mean, seriously, in comparison to the stresses of law school, this shit is nothing. Not only in comparison to law school in general, but in comparison to the first year of law school--supposedly the most important year of a law student's career. I shouldn't be wasting time thinking about things so trivial. My best friend told me that I've become a person that she doesn't recognize anymore. Honestly, I like to think that I'm the same, rational person that I always have been, but just confronted with a new situation that I've never before encountered.

Flipping through a journal that I had splurged on before I started law school, I read all of the quotes that I had gathered and promised myself that I would read whenever I found myself in a difficult situation.

"Ask yourself this question: Will this matter a year from now?"
"Life is just one damned thing after another."
"...just another twist in the plot...everything is perfect."
"What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."
"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's way."

The above are just a few from the top of my head. These quotes, however, as well as all the other mental coaching that I have put myself through in the past few weeks, only provide a temporary relief. After bouts of self-assurance from psyching myself up for potential internships, upon remembering the smallest details of what was once there, waves of disappointment and sadness just abolish all of my attempts to move on. I find myself right back to where I started.

"Move on."

Like so many things, it's easier said than done--despite all the work that I need to get done and that are more important than this. Last week, I looked at one of my classmates who had interviews lined up nearly everyday of the week and was barely getting any sleep. As she complained about how much work she had to do, I glanced away, completely ashamed and embarrassed.

"Move on."

It's easier said than done, especially considering that I got attached, that it was the first of many, many things for me, and especially considering that I was so happy and then all of a sudden, it was just torn away from me in less than an hour. Initially, I was more shocked than anything else. I had spent so much time overcoming my doubts and forcing myself out of my comfort zone. I ignored my friends' opinions, entirely convinced that while they could be right, it was more likely that I was right because they didn't have my perspective on how things really were. But as it turned out, all of my time ignoring my own doubts and suspicions was for nothing.

But, as one of my friends questioned, wouldn't the end result have been the same anyway? They were right--I knew that at some point in a few months, this all would have come to an end. But in my view, it still would have been a different situation. The only difference would have been that I knew what was coming. I would have had time to prepare myself and brace myself for the end. Of course, being prepared doesn't necessarily mean that I would've been completely fine and unaffected, but at least then, I wouldn't have felt betrayed and disappointed as I'm feeling right now. Naturally, taking this risk wouldn't have been entirely my decision. But at the time, taking that risk was how things were looking to be going.

I had already been preparing myself. Little did I know that my preparation was going to be futile. I didn't know how to react when things ended the way it did that night--there was just too much to process, given everything that had happened the night before. But the more that I thought about it, the more surreal it all was. It was as if I was having a delayed reaction to everything. I still can't believe it even now--how was it possible, that when I had been preparing myself for another five to eight months, that it had all ended right then and there?

At the time, I tried to encourage myself that all of what had happened wasn't for nothing. I tried to encourage myself that it wasn't all ending, especially given the amount of trust I had put into this. My friend told me "Well, he's from the area, so it's not like he's going to be gone forever." We could still be friends, sure. Also, and what I thought was most important, it wasn't as if it was going to be a one-sided situation where I was going to be the only one struggling and hurting. I thought that I wouldn't be the only one missing the other. Naturally, we both had our busy schedules, filled with everything else that life had to throw at us, and I didn't expect for this whole situation to consume our days, but really, given everything that had happened the night before and with all these feelings at stake, wouldn't it have to come up at some point?

I waited for it to. While my friends were shocked and disgusted by the nonchalance and douchebag-esque behavior, I waited patiently, thinking that there had to be some sort of explanation. I placed so much trust into this whole situation, and I wasn't just going to let distrust ruin everything, especially if it was just my imagination running wild. But while I thought this, the doubt that I tried so hard to fight off in the beginning began to creep back again. I told myself I was being selfish and was turning things into a pathetic "what about me?" situation, so I waited some more. It didn't help that I was missing everything that we had and that I desperately wanted things to go back to how they were.

In the end, my doubt and suspicions overpowered my patience. I felt extremely betrayed. Sure, maybe you had gone through this type of thing before and knew how to handle things for yourself, but that surely didn't help how I was feeling.


A few days later, we finally met in person. The meeting didn't go at all how I was expecting it to: the whole thing was a slap in the face. I was told that things never would've worked out anyway. Admittedly I had asked for straightforwardness, but I had never felt so betrayed and hurt.

Admittedly, things had only been going for about a month, but how does a 180-degree change just occur like that for such simplistic reasons? Given the emotions that had occurred that night, how does that just happen? Afterwards, I thought about it and analyzed the conversation: the coldness and the "because I'm really that analytical and fast-paced" explanation. Even if someone is that fast-paced and analytical, can emotions and feelings supposedly that strong just dramatically change like that? I thought to myself that the only possible way that they could is if those feelings and emotions weren't even there in the first place. The whole thing seemed like complete bullshit. My level of doubt continued to increase, and I practically concluded that the whole thing, starting from November 11th when we first met (yes, I do remember the exact date), was just an act. I was furious.

But again, I didn't want to let my distrust just ruin things. Maybe it was the truth. But even if it was the truth, then it was still unfair--I had worked so hard to let go and and put faith into things, yet in the end it was all thrown back at my face with cold stares and more than enough shrugs. I debated back and forth in my head. Was everything all an act, or not? If if was an act, I wanted it said to my face so that I could just move on and not waste my time on something that never even existed. If it wasn't an act, then the whole thing was still bullshit because it didn't make any sense to me.

I slept only three hours Friday night trying to analyze and rationalize things. I drove myself crazy. I knew at the time that I had the choice to let things go, that I had more important things to focus on, that it was just one person, and that one year from now, none of this would even matter. I knew I still had school going amidst all of this, and that I was risking my precious 1L grades. I was completely aware that I had two choices that I had the absolute freedom to choose between: move on and forget, or continue to dwell.

I continued to dwell. More importantly, I chose to dwell. My friends thought I was being irrational, but in my mind I was being completely rational because I knew how stupid it all was and I knew the reasons for moving on.  Yet despite it all, I still chose to dwell. Why? Obviously I wasn't ready to move on. I felt like I didn't have all the answers. Everything felt incomplete and I didn't understand a single damned thing. I needed to have answers and things resolved because that's just how I am. I needed to understand everything and why things happened in the ways that they did.

At the same time, I realized the impossibility of understanding everything, especially if my doubt was going to stay in the picture. While I was torn about whether the whole thing was an act or not, I gave the slightest benefit of the doubt and wanted to make things peaceful. I called truce, hoping to keep at least a close friendship. Honestly, at the time that I called truce, I was hoping for things to get back to how they used to be. Not necessarily close like how things were, but more like when we could just hang out and talk. But following that truce, I immediately realized that things were definitely different. It was like we were barely even acquaintances. It pained me, and I ended up missing everything that we had that much more. Again I started to wonder whether the emotions on the other side were ever really there at all.

Valentine's Day was bitter. I specifically remember promising to keep my evening open for a surprise. I should've cared less, but honestly, I was looking forward to it. It was perhaps foolish of me, considering all the other promises that had been made to me yet were never followed through with. But later that day, I received a text from an unknown number. The message referred to something that had never even crossed my mind. The timing was impeccable, given all the doubts and suspicions that were already lurking in my mind. I was shocked. It stayed on my mind for nearly the whole day before I finally told you, and it only added to my already escalating doubt, despite learning later that it was only a prank. Timing throughout this whole fiasco has been just astounding. Although I learned the message was a prank, and I kept wondering "What if?" Was this the only reason why things had ended? The idea reluctantly left my mind, but again, the timing of the whole issue was impeccable. As soon as we ran into each other, the idea of the message immediately rushed back. Rational thinking had gone kaput and I couldn't help wondering about it as you talked to me. It was only then that I decided to act "intrusive" and ask. I'm not sure how you arrived at your conclusions, but in the end, I was left as confused as ever, and angered that you could just cut me off so quickly without even fully explaining yourself and letting me explain in return. Is that really what friends do to each other? Or was that your excuse for telling me that you just didn't want me in your life, not taking into account what had just happened? And "Leave me alone from now on?" I'm sorry, but was I bothering you in the first place? Maybe I could've gotten the hint from your seemingly disinterested responses to my messages, but as you once told me, "Be straightforward please."

I tell people I don't care anymore. I wish it were the case, but it's not true. I do care. I've always known that I am a sentimental person and it's a side of me that I hate and don't like to reveal, but this whole situation has forced it out of me so that not even my friends can recognize me. I guess I'm not as strong of a person as we both thought I was. If you don't want to be friends anymore, then so be it. Perhaps it's better that way because maybe I'm just not strong enough for it. I only write this because I want you to know everything that has gone through my head during the past few weeks. And yes, with that clear text message you sent me, I know that you don't want to talk about this anymore. And yes, I've realized how annoyed you get whenever your exes come around to confront you. But I don't care because clearly it's affecting me more than you. And why should I care if we're not friends anymore? You told me not to be selfish. But right now I have to be. You told me to be more open with people (which I still don't understand considering how you were so drawn to my "mysteriousness"), so here I am, doing it in the way that I know best--through writing. You told me to "move on." But like I said, easier said than done. Quite frankly, I think it's selfish of you to even tell me that. How do you have the right to tell me how to feel, when you were a part of what caused me to feel this way in the first place?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Guest House

PS: A poem that one of the ladies at the conference shared during lunch:

"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."


The weather inside of me is...

Today I went to the Whole Person Leadership Conference held by the Center for Asian Pacific American Women. So many inspiring and successful women there who have such unique, yet totally relatable stories that I found myself nodding to. Amazing role models. We all had so much in common. I've never had such an experience where everyone was just so open immediately upon meeting each other.

Towards the end of the day we broke up into small groups and went around telling our stories. One of the things each person had to do was complete this sentence: "The weather inside of me is...."

Normally it takes me a while to think of how to respond to things like that. I don't know what kind of food I'd be or what color I want to be. If I chose a response it'd be just some random food or color with no real meaning. But I know how the weather is inside of me right now.

I said "The weather inside of me is foggy with beams of sunlight and warmth trying to break through. I can see the sun, but there's still fog everywhere."

It's been six weeks since I really started the law school experience. I feel like I'm going through this major identity crisis. I go through highs where I feel like I made this great decision and where I'm so excited for the future and what I can achieve. I'm excited to do externships, study abroad, network, and do internships. I remember the two reasons that led me to law school: international women's rights and health (coming from my Women Around the World course from Running Start), and intellectual property (from my journalism/communication background). Two VERY different fields, but the two fields that I'm the most interested in. I can't wait to learn more about them. These two reasons are the beams of sunlight inside of me. They're trying to break through the fog and help me see the way.

But the fog is just so DENSE. Among my times of highs, there are other times when I'm going through these major lows of foggy grayness. I look back and realize it's only been four months since I graduated from undergrad. I miss it and I don't know WHY. It feels like I'm the only one who does miss it. Maybe it's because I just had so much fun in my last year, especially the last quarter. When I compare undergrad to law school, undergrad was just so carefree and relaxed, though there were some stressful events along the way. Law school, though honestly a lot like high school, is fun, but there's still that pressure lurking in the background. Everyone in law school is obviously there for the same reason; we're all there to become lawyers and for many of us, it's one of the very last steps we'll take before we take on the professional world. I guess, for me, it's just scary. I remember e-mailing one of my TAs when I was a freshman, asking him about grad school. He warned me to NOT graduate early, that he regretted doing it himself. I didn't understand why. Now I do understand, though I don't necessarily regret it, if that makes any sense.

I'm also used to the anonymity I had in undergrad. During undergrad, I was just a number. Just a student at a huge institution. I could blend in and go through with my own business. No one, other than a few few people, really knew me. I liked that. That's just the kind of person I am. But in law school, it's a community. I'm stuck in the same building for the entire day with the same people. I see the same faces everyday and people know who I am. I have to tell people that I'm going to the library to study or that I'm going home. The anonymity is no longer there. You have to get to know the people you sit with. In undergrad, it didn't matter if you didn't talk to the person sitting next to you in the lecture hall. But now I feel exposed.

I feel relieved that beams of sunlight are starting to peek through. On some days, the sunlight is stronger than on other days. And when the sunlight is stronger, it just feels so good. But the fog is still dense. In real life, it takes time for fog to fade away as the day progresses and I guess it's the exact same within me. I don't regret graduating early. I feel like I SHOULD be here in law school right now. It's just a matter of breaking some ties...