Sunday, August 30, 2009

Shedding my summer skin

It is difficult to believe that 4 months have come and gone. So much has happened. Personal growth. Heartbreak. New love. New outlook on life. Even though I have had some very challenging moments, I can definitely say that they are all for the best. In June and July it seemed as though things were never going to improve. The landlords were awful. But now that I've moved, that is an (almost) dismal memory of the past. It's strange how things become irrelevant so quickly. My mind seems to be comprised of the present and whatever material entities that I can use to trick my mind into remembering. I look at the photographs displayed across my bedroom wall. A Ferris wheel in Seattle c. 2008. New York signage c. 2007. Aerial shot of Vancouver c. 2009. Mussels on a rock c. 2008. Landscapes from home c. 2007. I remember the places I've been through these photos. I feel slightly compelled to add past emotional states to this was as well. Joy c. 2006. Heartbreak c 2006, 2008, 2009. Fulfillment c. 2009. Accomplishment c 2005. Sorrow c. 2000. (note to self: self portrait project might be worthwhile)

Presently I would like to add anxiety to that list.

This summer has been defined by prospects of prosperity and happiness in solitude. I can't help but feel that school is a reminder of a burden that I must face - where I will be next year. I know where I would like to be, but nothing is certain. I won't even have an inkling of hint until April. It's hard not to be overcome by all of it. I reminded myself today that as long as I am doing my absolute best, I can have the luxury of faith that allots something good to come. Summer has acted a shell to comfort me from all that I must face come next week. I feel the warm embrace of long days, sunshine, and blossoming life. It has given me the strength to stand tall and face my life.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Some advice from a sales associate

Having worked 2 shifts at my *new retail job*, I have derived some new life advice.

1. Be opportunistic - If someone is in the fitting room, make sure you bring them other items that go with what they already selected. Half the challenge is making sure they try something on, and once they are there, they are usually willing to try on more. If they are on the fence about a piece, playing up the positives is key to making the sale. When you don't make the effort, there's no chance of succeeding. I've decided that the important thing is really knowing when an opportunity is in front of you; sometimes they are hard to recognize.

2. Assume people don't know a whole lot - You have to educate them. Show them how to wear that article of clothing. Bring them other things that they might not have seen because it's hard to take it all in. It's even if they know, you can at least demonstrate that you are competent and give them a reason to trust you. But in the event that they don't know as much a fashion, it's an opportunity.

3. Be honest in a positive way - Not only can you earn someone's trust but you are justifying what you think, which can be reassuring. Also, it's an important move in establishing your rapport among others. Even though things may not look good, there is always a way to spin it that gives us hope. Then you can find new solutions and inspirations to push you forward.

It's strange to me that everything is so intertwined. It's possible that all things in life, especially when it comes to goals. Every action, every step requires others that support it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The beret

There are times when I feel like I've got to escape from myself for a bit. Don't get me wrong, I love my life but sometimes I just need a break. I think it ultimately makes me more appreciative of who I normally am. I embrace my nerd self and all of my neuroses, as well as my slightly impulsive, creative side. Like Alice, I just have to follow something different, something unusual and take everything in. Regardless of what anyone tells you otherwise, there are labels attached to us, which those who know you forever use as a springboard when thinking about you. Let me diverge on a bit of story.

Every winter I am envious of the girls who wear hats, especially berets. My mom has always told me that I have face for hats but I don't wear them often enough to feel that I look good in them. In Vancouver, hats also seem to be reserved for a certain "type" of girl. One who piles on the layers. Pulls of the urban-chic look and generally looks as if she just walked out of an Urban Outfitters. Not where my style normally falls. My outward image is largely that of a hat-less girl, and all the inferences that follow. But last November I decided to wear one of my hats to a friend's gig. I was sitting there with Karoline and JM came a bit later. I waved at him and he looked confused. Apparently he didn't recognize me. When he reached me he said, "Oh I thought you were Gina's sister or somebody." Gina being one of those Urban Outfitters kind of gal. It seems natural that he might not have recognized me at first glance, but I couldn't help but feel a bit strange about it. It was as if hats were reserved for specific people. Like my wearing of one wasn't acceptable. I think it deterred me from wearing one for the rest of winter. That was a decision I now think was bad. I let other people dictate how I dress, which has never happened before.

What bothers me the most about that situation was that even articles of clothing have a predetermined wearer. Why can't I just be free to wear whatever I want? I think of clothing a bit differently than most people probably do. I see it as an opportunity to say something about yourself to the rest of the world. And if a beret happened to coincide with what I wanted to say then so be it. I am usually very independent and let very little third party smack get me down. So, as you might imagine, I found myself surprised (and bothered) by the fact that I suddenly took someone else's reaction to heart in such a way. Of course this beret was definitely off the beaten path of my usual wardrobe choices, but I felt compelled to wear it for a reason - it was how I felt that day.

In this particular instance, I can't agree with my earlier statement that this wardrobe divergence made me appreciate my normal self more. In fact, it made me reevaluate her. Had I become so monotonous and streamlined that even I couldn't believe in myself doing something different? Apparently so. I think the main problem with this is that we get to comfortable with one way of being and truly close ourselves off to other possibilities. If nothing else, I'd like to at least consider my options. I think there is also an inherent benefit to all of this as well. That you might be able to help others consider other facets of your being.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My on-going joust with time

In the past, I've wrote about my battle with time. For starters, there can never be enough of it. And even though I'm well aware of that fact, I'm still rubbish at using it wisely. I suppose part of it is that I am just so busy. Now I'm wondering how it is that now I'm aware of these things, that I have yet to use them to empower myself. You know, if you suddenly become wise shouldn't that go hand in hand with better, more informed action? Well it should but clearly that's not the case.

I know that I ordered my priorities (finally) but still I am not always accomplishing what I want to. I think is this mostly because I lack true discipline. I have lists and an insane day planner that I would be lost without, but sometimes I have to shed all of that for the sake of knowing what is right. I mean, if you were constantly living your life in one vein, then how can you know for sure that it is the right one? I'm a firm believer in that, but how many times does one have to repeat the lesson to get it? This is what frustrates me the most.

Today for instance I had work and then planned to come home around 8 and get in a bit is studying for the LSAT. When I finally got home at 8.30 after encountering some unexpected issues catching a bus, I was so exhausted that I all I wanted to do was sit and relax. And I did. If should have been a nice reward at the end of very long day, but I felt guilty about it. I have a lot of things on my plate and the idea of enjoying some down time signaled to me that I might not be working hard enough. This is diverging on a bit of tangent but the thing that intrigues me is, is this mindset necessary? Do I always have be uptight about myself in order to feel like I am getting things done? Perhaps I have to at least make an effort to appear busy, and thus useful, to feel good about what I am doing with my time. I'm not entirely sure that that means doing productive things all the time, but at least for the majority of it.

So, what do you do with your time?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Slippery Slope Away from Friendship

Obligation. How does it happen? What external (or perhaps internal) force suddenly compels us to do something that we are not completely comfortable doing? In my case, it may just be my nature. I hate disappointing my friends and family, which often times causes me to spread myself thin or do things I really don't want to. However, yesterday I suddenly gained consciousness to this feeling of obligation to my new friend.

I was in Yaletown enjoying an afternoon with my roommate from last year, Sarah. We had plans to go to the movies and then to dinner, all of which I was really looking forward to. On my way downtown to meet her, my phone rang but I didn't hear it. Suddenly I had a voice mail from Patrick. I would have called him back, except that it didn't record the incoming call's number (which has never happened before). He mentioned that he would try calling me later. This was around 2.3o. Around 4.30 the movies was over, and not only did I have a missed call from him but there were 2 and each had a voice mail. No one calls me that persistently unless it is an emergency or they are my mom. I listened to both of them intently, and there as a hint of stress in his voice, which was mildly troublesome to hear. He said in the second voice mail that he would try calling me around 5. Like clock work he did. And that puts the total number of calls up to 4. Too many.

I was standing outside of the skytrain station with Sarah when I answered my phone. He sounded relieved that I had answered my phone and I (of course) apologized for having missed his calls. He asked me what I was up to and I said I was spending time with a friend of mine. Then he asked if I felt like going for a walk and then he could take me to dinner. According to Sarah, I had a very freaked out expression on my face the entire time but this was the moment when I was fully aware of it.

Rob warned me to know where my boundary lines lie. Definitely at platonic friendship. Mind you I had had lunch with Patrick last week, but in my mind, it was a friendly gesture. I told him that I couldn't because I already had plans for the evening. I was overcome with relief that I has a legitimate excuse to dodge this and that is worrisome to me. I felt bad for saying no, even though his proposal made me a bit uncomfortable and was something that I won't have wanted to do under any circumstance. But while sitting on the skytrain a few minutes later, it dawned on me. Had I not been with Sarah, I would have felt obligated to say yes and more than likely would have. Not good news for me.

At some level I have a sense of obligation to anyone that I am friends with. But this felt different and makes me nervous. Like I could potentially be coerced into more compromising situations. I suppose the more fundamental problem is that I'm not sure I trust Patrick because he aims seem unclear. I want to believe that he is just being friendly and making a genuine effort to be my friend. I can't help but to pay attention to my instincts this time (also something that rarely occurs).

So what should I do? I feel like avoiding him altogether now, which seems a bit radical but possibly necessary. I think this is mainly because I anticipate myself acting jumpy and weird. It's possible that I should firmly establish the kind of relationship that we have (ie a carved in stone friendship). This poses a situation that could also be awkward. For example, he could be completely offend if I suggest that he was doing something that he actually wasn't. Though I don't think it would be necessary to insinuate anything like that other in order to say that I think our friendship is great and let's keep it that way. In thinking about this whole thing, I think it might be better to do what I can to keep myself mentally stable and hedge off any chance of this taking a turn for the worst.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just a country girl

I love going to the hair salon. My hairdresser, Sophie, is this adorably petite woman with an excellent sense of humor. We have great conversations every 6 weeks when I stop by for a trim. This past Friday I had an appointment. Our conversation started off about pets because her 3 year old son wants a puppy. She opted to buy him a goldfish instead. I was telling her that one of the things that I miss the most about home is all of the animals that my family owns. I mentioned that we owned horses and she was like, "That's so funny because last night I was just telling my husband that we should move to a farm. You know, live the simply life." Wrong. There's nothing simply about living where my parents do. There are a lot of amazing, good things, but it's not simply like people often think. My mom and dad very hard to keep our property in shape - gardening and very small scale farming. We own a lot of stuff that would certainly not put us in the category of the simple life. I have two horses. My brother owns dirt bikes and go carts. We might be frauds. (Previously) Spoiled children pretending to live the simple life. My goodness, does that mean I was like Paris Hilton? What a frightening thought so early in the morning.

Okay, honestly I am a bit of premadonna when it comes to physical labor but I have toughened up in the last few years. I am still largely materialistic, though I am working to change that. Anyways in talking to Sophie, I said to her that my family doesn't really live the simple life. But I am a firm believer that you can live a simple live in any context. The farm setting is merely a cliche. We talked about what it meant to live the simple life, and it all made me realize something. What I truly value isn't living a simple life. It's living a good life. Having an amazing family, spectacular friends, having beautiful goals that I am achieving and, above all, being in love with my life. I think that a simple life is probably secondary to all this, or maybe it naturally follows. I'm not sure.

It always puts a smile on my face whenever someone finds out where I'm from. I can only imagine the number of stereotypes that are ticking through their mind as they search for one to apply to me. So I let them guess and speculate because it is always more interesting to imagine someone's past. But I know the truth.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The feminist Virgina Woolf

I'm currently reading Virgina Woolf's A Writer's Diary. Like Hemingway, she is one of those figures whose genius fascinates me. I love it. Though, I think I read her works primarily because I am enthralled by her, whereas I truly enjoy Hemingway's writing. There is a point to this, I promise. Virgina writes about all sorts of things in her diary. Reflections on literature, her husband and family and a variety of things that happen to her. I have a favorite quote already. She is recalling her tea date with Katherine Mansfield, who brought along a male friend J. Middleton Murry. Virgina makes the observation that Murry sat there like a statue for most of the time and goes on to make a general comment on men.
The male atmosphere is disconcerning to me. Do they distrust one? Despise one? And if so why do they sit on the whole length of ones visit? The truth is that when Murry says the orthodox masculine thing about [T.S.] Eliot, for example, belittling my solicitude to know what he said of me, I don't knuckle under; I think what an abrupt precipice cleaves asunder the male intelligence, and how they pride themselves upon a point of view which much resembles stupidity. (22)

I feel that for all of time, there much have been the kind of know-it-all misogynist in existence. I mostly love that Virgina Woolf has taken it to task to shoot them down, even if it is only in her diary. It's clear to me that over time, very little has changed about human nature. There will always be the typical personalities that protrude the placidity of one's life. The over-bearing competitor, or perhaps the jock. It simply seems to be a fact of life - even for Virgina. But I also take a strange comfort in knowing that, despite a lot of uncertainty that I may face, on the whole not as much changes as I would like to think.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Plans for a dinner party

I am very excited to be hosting the first of many dinner parties at my new abode. Hurray! I'm looking forward to a lovely evening of conversation, nostalgia and close friends. My menu currently includes: Gnocchi in a pesto sauce accompanied by a spinach salad. Dessert will be the carrot cake that I just made a few minutes ago. I am debating the appetizer situation. Possibly bruschetta. Maybe just some olives and other antipasto sides. Oh I don't know. I know I'm fretting over these details and that by the end of tomorrow night, when the dishes are put away and the wine bottle is empty, these details probably won't matter. But they are things that will make the evening special. And that is what matters.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A little of this, a little of that

A few things that I am currently obsessed with
: bobby pins and hair barrettes
: studying for the LSAT (and possibly succeeding)
: peanut butter
: the lovely fall color of rusty, orange red
: olives, esp the ones at Pane E Formaggio
: yoga
: fruit salad
: These boots
: my calender, or maybe just time management (I'm not certain which it is)
: This pottery
: all that is good in my life, which is quite a lot

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On a strange aside, this afternoon I was at a street corner downtown on my way to my LSAT class when I was ambushed by one of those evil canvassers. If only I had had half my sense in that moment I would have kept walking. This man in a hideous neon green shirt approached me and said, "You look like a lady who liked to save money." I told him I wasn't interested but he insisted on talking until the cross walk light changed, which felt like a gazillion years. At first I felt sorry for this guy, especially since I'm sure I am not the only one who attempts to avoid him. But, then I thought about his opening line. What does that mean? That I look frugal? Well, that's nothing short of insulting. Even though I can think of ways that someone might look cheap, I don't think that that necessarily implies that they like to save money. Still I cannot even fathom how that definition could be applied to me.

I'm more boggled by the fact that I have become the victim of a backhanded comment twice this week. I don't know what has made me more alert, and I would hate to think that I've been naive towards that kind of slander for so long. I have a sneaking suspicion that I have also become more critical because of my LSAT studying - it is truly taking over my life.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The roots of my passion

I picked up my textbooks for next semester day and happily discovered that the Legal and Political Theory class includes many readings from the Philosophy of Law class that I took two years ago. Score! I'm excited to have another opportunity to revisit a lot of those readings. To make things even better, my contemporary lit class is reading The Sun Also Rises, my absolute fave! Another year, another chance to think and write about Hemingway. Classes are still about 3 weeks out from starting, but I am chomping at the bit for this class to start. It is extremely nice to have regained my enthusiasm. Although it ebbs and flows through out the year, I know that at the end of the day I do love school. I just hope that that is enough to push me through the LSAT. It's an emotional journey and I hope that I can stay strong through the finish line.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What happens when you realize that you're undervalued?

I volunteer with Girl Guides, which is an organization near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately my class schedule this year conflicts with our usual meeting night. Seeing as though I want to continue to run my unit, I thought, "this has an easy solution, switch the meeting night!" Wrong!! I figured that I would have to clear this with our district commissioner so I emailed her last night and explained the situation. I felt that I argued well for myself and showed that I am passionate and committed and felt that that should be accounted for.

This morning I received a call from her. She asked me what was going on, and I restated my email basically. Her response was that there was no way to move the meeting night because there is another unit meeting on the night that I proposed to move it to (so what?) and that it would be difficult to find a new place (I offered to look into this). She also mentioned that the girls who are in the unit expect that we meet at the place and time, so it would be inconvenient for them if we changed it (ie - girl retention is important). Well unfortunately what will be more inconvenient is that their unit will have no leaders this year! She ended this little monologue by saying that she was very happy to see my commitment and enthusiasm about the unit and if I am unable to volunteer this year, they will be sad to see me go. When she initially said this, I felt that it was genuine, but now I'm rethinking that. She is higher on the chain of command, and perhaps has different goals that I do, though they should coincide at some point. But what really rubs me the wrong way, is that it felt like she was just writing me off as though I am replaceable (which I am not!).

In one of my dad's many life lesson speeches he told me that I shouldn't work for a company that is not willing to bleed for you. You put in so many hours, and hopefully passion, into what you do he said, and it's imperative to feel that that does not go unnoticed. It's best if the company is willing to return the favor. Suddenly I find myself in this position with Girl Guides. They are totally not willing to bleed for me. In fact they are willing to cut me loose! Such a dilemma. I love what this organization is capable of doing and am proud to be a part of it. But now I don't feel like they value me in a similar way. So do I walk away with my pride, or should I suck it up and do good for my community?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Heartbreak

It is a known fact that if one has a friendship with an ex-boyfriend, it is bound to be strange. My relationship with Rob is no exception. It's been well over a year since we broke up and nearly a year since he told me that he was gay. I have certainly experienced a wide range of in relation to him. However, yesterday brought to light a strength that I didn't know I had - the ability to be a good friend to him once again.

I was on the phone with my aunt, who was telling me about her hangover, when I got a message from Rob. It said, "Matt broke up with me." They have been dating for eight months and I know their relationship meant(means) a lot to Rob. I was pretty stunned, and for a lot of reasons. First, it is never not shocking to hear of friends' relationships ending. It becomes a piece of their identity, who you know them as, and then suddenly that piece is cut out. Second, Rob and I didn't talk a whole lot about that new part of his life. But suddenly he felt compelled to initiate a conversation. I asked him if he wanted to hang out and he said yes, so we met up and walked down to the beach. Normally I feel like I have to walk on egg shells when a friend is in such a fragile state, but this was a whole new dimension of apprehension on my end. Not only is Rob a friend but he is an ex-boyfriend, who I was supposed to console. It was difficult and I really didn't know what to say. He told me what had happened and how he felt, and I listened, which is what I think he needed.

At some point, he randomly apologized for our break up and how he had handled things. But I told him that that wasn't necessary. He did what he needed to do, and even though it broke me, I now understand that it was what he needed to do. I firmly believe that in emotional moments like these, we can't ever make sense of what we are going through. In fact it took me many months and tissues to 'get it,' and in my case, I don't think it was a matter of getting over him but understand why. When I did it was like my mind and my heart were suddenly set free, released from all that they were subjected to. Now it feels like a distant memory. The important thing is that time has given me the ability to rationalize all that I experienced. This was all the advice that I felt like I could offer. Of course, in that moment of sorrow, it's not all too comforting.

What I found particularly liberating for myself, was that fact that I was able to act as a friend in the most genuine fashion. Had the circumstances been different, it's possible that I would have revelled in the karma of it all. But I can't bring myself to do that. I do truly care about his happiness, and felt the same way for him as I did the last time a close friend of mine got her heartbroken. I feel like this situation was test for my heart, which I have passed with flying colors. I also feel that everything about my relationship with Rob will forever change how I conduct myself post-break up. I have changed immensely in that respect and for that I am forever indebted to him.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Patience my dear

Live your life until love is found because love's gonna get you down


I am trying my hardest to be patient at the moment, something I've never been good at. I've found that keeping busy has allowed me not to think about what I consider a problem - my lack of romantic love. So here I am at the end of a long summer, throwing myself wholeheartedly into my studies, getting another job and filling out law school applications. All things that I feel should leave me fulfilled - and they do - but I am being greedy and want something more. My friend Aidan came over last night and as always we dished about boys. She told me that good things will happen when I least expect it and when I find the right person, I won't be so unassertive about it. The more I thought about that, the more I realized that she is right. I have dated plenty of unnecessary people just because I feel like I need to fill the void. But no more. I am going to take Rob's advice and Aidan's. I am going stand up for myself. I am going to make something of myself. And perhaps I will find someone to share it with when the time is right. Although that moment is not here yet, I have faith that it will be.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A week of good things

This has been a week filled with good things, all of which I am grateful for. I have persevered with my studies, despite the distractions from my social life. I also realized how much easier it is to keep your focus when you have less commitments, so maybe there is something to this whole simplified life philosophy. I love my friends dearly and it is wonderful to spend time with them, but it amazes me how a social commitment, even late in the day, can preoccupy my mind for hours before hand. This is something that I think I am going work on changing in the coming weeks. My dad told me that a focused person is a great force to be reckoned with, and I think he's right.

Contrary to my attempts at simplifying my life, I finally managed to get another job. Although this will probably be synonymous with more stress and less me time, I think it's going to be great for my time management skills, not to mention my finances. I am most proud of this accomplishment because it is a job in retail. You might be thinking that this doesn't exactly sound glamorous, but it is something that I have wanted to get into for a while. It's been challenging though because I don't have any retail experience, no has wanted to hire me. But now that's changed and I am very happy. I'm looking forward to reflecting on this new job, and I'm sure it will generate lots of stories.

Finally, this week I have been felling more in touch with my true self. I haven't let anyone push me around and I have discovered that I, well, different that I thought I was over the past few months. I am proud to see myself motivated and focused as ever, especially with such vigor. It's what I have always hoped for. I think it is also a sign that I am on the right path to doing what will make me happiest.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Setting out on a writing adventure

I am in the process of writing my personal statement for law school, which is proving to be challenging task. Not only do I have to write in a convincing manner to show that I am an apt candidate for law school, but I have to make sure that I don't do it in a condescending manner. I'm trying to decide what about myself I want to focus on as my selling points. At the moment I am thinking that I want to emphasize my leadership skills and my desire to be a leader in my community. I plan to draw on examples from work and from Girl Guides to support that fact that I am a leader. I think that having a law degree gives one the ability to have a great deal of power and influence, and I was to show that I am not someone who will let that go to waste. The other task that I have in writing this beast, is touching on the why aspect of law. Although I am beginning to think that that may not be as important.

I realize that it may be contradicting of me to be having such a difficult time with this, given that I write about myself on my blog all the time. I suppose the key difference is the audience. What do you do when you have write about yourself?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm beginning to trust (myself) again

I started off my morning with a few new yoga poses and have ended it with a conversation with Rob about several complex issue that are preoccupying my mind. But what helped me to work a lot of them out, was our discussion about how everyone we know has changed over the last three years. He said to me that I have become less afraid about voicing my opinions. I made some joke about being less neutral, and he told me that it wasn't so much an issue of not having an opinion, but being more confident about it. So we were trying to untangle one of my boy problems, specifically what I plan on doing about it. Even though I know what I want to do, I said (several times) that I had the feeling that I was just being delusional, at which point he stopped me and said, "there! you're doing it." And sure enough I was. I have been plagued with self-doubt for a long while, and now I beginning to realize what a damper it's placed on my life. I mean there have been so many things that I have missed out on just because I was unwilling to trust myself and take that leap of faith.

I am taking many steps to prove that I am someone worth believing in, but apparently this is different that trust. So what will it take for me to trust myself? Everyone makes decisions that may not pan out the way we thought, but how can we make up for that? Of course I don't want to dwindle on things that have gone wrong in the past and I am now thinking that what is important is adding your past like a flower to the grandiose arrangement. Admire it for what is it, a beautiful object, but also think of all the flowers that create this larger design, which is also something to be proud of. Keeping this in mind, I want to be confident that I can continue to create something good. The only way to know if a new flower will work in your arrangement is to try it out.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The simple, good life

At the out set of 2009, I told myself that everything was going to be better this year. So far it has been. The twists and turns of the last seven months have taught me a lot about myself, and for the first time in a long time I feel like I am standing firmly on my own two feet. I also told myself that it was the beginning of a simple, good life. I was/am single and have time to focus on pulling my life together. Especially in the last couple of weeks, I've realized the many perks of being single. Mostly that I am under no obligation to anyone else, it's a very liberating feeling. I'm getting off track . . . so besides this startling revelation, I have been working on simplifying my life. It started off with creating a short list of things that are important to me.
- Family & friends
- Academics
- Creating - mostly writing & pottery
- My health - esp running
- Being successful at work

I've thought a lot about what this list means to me. Essentially these are things that I want to make time for, the reasons why I am trying to untangle the messy periphery all the things I do. I believe this list reflects my desire to be well-rounded and touches on a lot of the long-term goals that I have for myself. Things like going to law school, having my own law firm, running a half-marathon, and being an amateur writer. Mind you these categories are pretty broad, encompass a couple of sub-headings each. But what I am finding more challenging than deciding what to put on this list, is deciding how to restructure the rest of life to make it all happen.

I think the biggest change for me is going to be using my time more wisely. Most people I know probably don't know this, but I procrastinate. Not in the sense that most students do, like putting off writing a paper, but just not focusing. However, as I've reflected more on why/how I have chosen what is important in my life, I have mustered up motivation that I didn't know I had. Suddenly seeing the bigger picture has already realigned a lot in my mind, which is exactly what I was hoping for. The next task I have is decluttering my life, literally. I've gone through tons of paper that I have held on to for the last three years, and I now have a pile about 8 inches tall that is ready to be recycled. I have also reorganized my desk drawers. Hurray! Next week I think I am going to tackle my closet. I expect that I will be writing about this more, as I will have lots to say about this uncharted territory.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Today has been one of those days that I have accomplished a lot and still feel that I have miles to burn.

Reflections on a Sunday

Today has been one of those days that I have accomplished a lot and still feel that I could go for miles. I got up at 7 am and got ready fairly promptly this morning. I wanted to go downtown and study before my LSAT class started at 12. I got in 3 solid hours of work before I enjoyed myself through the 4 hour lecture. It was great! Every time I leave that class, I feel like my brain has grown in size. I feel astute and studious, which is great motivation for the coming weeks. I never imagined myself enjoying studying for a standardized test, but I also think more surprising revelations have occurred. I am back on top of my game.

After my class, I met up with Frank by the Art Gallery. He mentioned that he wanted to go shopping, which was good because I was also looking for a new pair of jeans (which I picked up). We strolled down Robson Street in lovely sunshine, which was a stark contrast to the morning's rain. We went to dinner at Naam on 4th Avenue. It's a great vegetarian restaurant, and I love the community feel of it. Vancouver is a great city, but it's also large and consuming. I like it when I find these small sanctuaries that make the city feel intimate. We talked about everything. Boys, school, friends, 2008 and all the changes we've experienced in the last three years. It was settling to reflect on it all, but it reminded me of all the great things that are yet to come. So much has happened in such a short time span, and I am so eager to know what is next. I have big plans for myself, but they are nothing permanent. Maybe something better will come along, maybe I will be different. All I know is that I have my eyes open.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

To Hope

To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.
Prometheus Unbound, Shelley


This has quickly become a favorite poem of mine, and is a particularly good stanza. I was very excited to see it on the exam today. There is so much to say about it, I never know where to begin. It encapsulates an important lesson that I am still trying to learn - to hope is the most powerful thing that we can do. To hope means to have faith in what will happen. Simply believing that what you are doing right now will pull you through to something greater. Sometimes I think that the most difficult thing to do is to have hope in yourself, especially when you falter. But I'm trying to keep in mind the long term, upward trend, which is why I am going to hope.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Discipline

This morning while I was running I got to thinking about discipline. There are some areas of my life where I feel that I am totally in control, like my health. I run six days a week and have virtually rid myself of asthma problems. But then there is school, which I love, and can't for the life of me understand why my discipline ebbs and flows so irrationally. Well maybe not irrationally, just often. I think what I find frustrating about academics is a lot of it is out of my control. For instance, getting a B on paper that I feel extremely proud of and feel that it was a reflection of my capabilities is hard to take. It's one of those moments where you either get hung up on it or you let it roll off your shoulders. Unfortunately I'm not the type to let a bad performance go so easily. It usually eats away at me and probably affects anything else I do.

The other day I was sitting at my desk at home thinking about this school year and how important it is to me. I have goal that is less than a year from coming true and it's mine for the taking. I think this means not taking marking so personally. Of course getting high marks is extremely important to me, but I can't let one derail my mentality. I just have to dust off my shoulders and carry on. I think this is something important for me to keep in mind while I'm studying for the LSAT. I'm a bit frustrated at the moment with my performance in reading comprehension, but the good news is that I have well over a month to work hard and improve. I definitely can't get any worse, though I'm not sure that is a comforting thought. All I have to do is step up my game and kill this exam.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

More from the Romantics

"I loved not yet, and I loved to love; I sought for what I should love, loving love"
- Confessions of St. Augustine, Book III

Well if I wasn't sure I had fallen down the religious rabbit hole, perhaps this is another sign. I am studying for my Romantic Poetry exam this Saturday and read Alastor by Shelley this morning - lovely poem. This quote was the precursor to the poem commencing and I have been wasting time trying to untangle it. The poem itself is about a Poet who is so focused on finding perfection that he overlooks all the is good in his life. By over complicating his outlook on life, he places himself in a state of distress. This quote sets the stage for this lesson. Sometimes we lose track of what is important. In this case, the concept of love. The big picture is important, and if you lose sight of it, then what are you working so hard for?

Lately I've been finding myself sidetracked by things that I'm wasting my time worrying about. Sure I wouldn't been who I am if I am not busy being neurotic and up tight. But what is important about it, is that it is for the right reasons, which is what I'm trying to figure out.