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...