Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The foundation of something good

Patience has brought be something good. Something very good in fact. A relationship with one of my closest friends has blossomed into something lovely. Many of my friends who know me as well as my boyfriend were less than surprised when they found out we are dating. The responses tend to be somewhere between, "it was a long time coming" and "it was meant to be, you're such good friends." It's funny how you can be oblivious to something for so long. Anyhow, hearing all of this made me realize something unique about our relationship - we have been and are close friends. This is something that has never quite been the case in any of my past relationships. Perhaps Rob, but we'd been friends for about six months, whereas this friendship is three years old. I think that having known each other for that long has it's advantages. For starters, we are still talking after all this time, so there is a fundamental like of the other person. I tend to find that this is a tricky aspect of a dating a total stranger because early on you must make a judgment call about them and whether or not to pursue a relationship. This also lends itself to something else important - I am not afraid to be myself. I think a lot of times when I've dated someone I don't know very well, there's a certain need to impress them which alters who you normally are, which causes you to develop a sort of bi-polar dating disorder. That is no good! What's the point of dating someone if you aren't really getting to know the other person? But the way I feel now, which isn't necessarily comfortable, but more like an odd shaped puzzle piece who had found a niche, is leading me to feel very good about how and where things are going. Although it's barely been two weeks, something feels, right, about this. I can't describe it other than to say that I have a totally different, and healthy, outlook on it. Normally at this point, I would be freaking out wondering what was going in, where my feelings lie, etc. But for whatever odd reason I have incredible clarity at the moment.

I have no doubt that as I continue to sort my head out on my blog, as that's what I usually do, that this will probably be a recurring topic.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reflection on a standardized test

I've taken my fair share of standardized tests, but the LSAT was definitely different. I didn't feel nervous. In fact I was almost too calm, which kind of freaked me out. I always feel that a bit of anxiety is good. What I was most surprised about was how I managed to stay focused for the entire 4 hours. I attention span usually lags, but today I was present. I was in the moment for the entire test. Nothing got in my way.

Now I get to wait for my score.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's the night before the LSAT

I have experienced a whole range of emotions today. Nervousness this morning, being scared this afternoon, and now, attempting relaxation. I had a good talk with my dad this afternoon. He told me that nervousness comes when we loose sight of our goal. "Just focus on what it is that you are trying to achieve." He's right, and I know that. In the past I've written about this exact thing - getting sidetracked. I suppose that in the moment when you need to perform, it is easier to get caught up in your emotions.

I know tomorrow that when I crack open the test book, I'm not going to panic. I'm not going to get discouraged. I'm going to use every bit of knowledge I have to solve all the problems in the test. I'm going to read slowly and understand everything. Language is the biggest barrier to doing well on this exam. I think that knowing this should give me an advantage tomorrow, especially when I have it narrowed down to two answer choices, I will run a fine-tooth comb through the words. I will be confident. I will take this test down.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Something new

Something truly exciting is happening in my life. Someone, who I have feelings for, has reciprocated them for me. Last Friday night sitting on my sofa, watching a movie, he clutched my hand. Emotions over came me that I've longed to test the truth of. As you may know, I've been in a strange place trying to figure out what my feelings really were/are, and of course it's difficult to know when all you can do is hypothesize. But it's wonderful to have tested it and definitely knowing that what you feel is right. In fact, it seems (so far) to be everything that should have been in my past relationships - trust, honesty, passion, communication (. . . well I'm working on that). Things have finally come together in one person, and that is special.

Monday, September 21, 2009

News Flash

Hello World.

I am happy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Have faith in the process." Some advice from my mentor at work. We were talking about all that's ahead of me. So much is out of my control, and I'm slowly accepting the fact that all I can do is try my very best. It's difficult to do that not having total certainty as to what the outcome of this will all be.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Meeting Point"

A poem by Louis Macneice that I am very fond of. 

Time was away and somewhere else,
There were two glasses and two chairs
And two people with the one pulse
(Somebody stopped the moving stairs)
Time was away and somewhere else.

And they were neither up nor down;
The stream's music did not stop
Flowing through heather, limpid brown,
Although they sat in a coffee shop
And they were neither up nor down.

The bell was silent in the air
Holding its inverted poise -
Between the clang and clang a flower,
A brazen calyx of no noise:
The bell was silent in the air.

The camels crossed the miles of sand
That stretched around the cups and plates;
The desert was their own, they planned
To portion out the stars and dates:
The camels crossed the miles of sand.

Time was away and somewhere else.
The waiter did not come, the clock
Forgot them and the radio waltz
Came out like water from a rock:
Time was away and somewhere else.

Her fingers flicked away the ash
That bloomed again in tropic trees:
Not caring if the markets crash
When they had forests such as these,
Her fingers flicked away the ash.

God or whatever means the Good
Be praised that time can stop like this,
That what the heart has understood
Can verify in the body's peace
God or whatever means the Good.

Time was away and she was here
And life no longer what it was,
The bell was silent in the air
And all the room one glow because
Time was away and she was here.

Fact - I like to keep myself busy.

If I'm not busy, I'm usually acting anxious or impatient because I want to be doing something. Relaxing has never been part of my vocabulary. This week, which was the first week of the semester, I kept myself very busy. Studying for the LSAT, going to work, studying for classes, going to my classes, meetings for work and occasionally having lunch with friend. I get a great sense of fulfillment knowing that I'm getting things done, which motivates me even more.

But there was a point during the week, I believe it was Wednesday afternoon, when I started thinking about why I keep myself busy. It's not that I stress myself out or anything, but what's the point? For starters, it keeps me preoccupied from having to deal with a lot of my problems. I'm an avoider, something that has plagued my life thus far, and constantly being busy is an excellent excuse. Terrible, I know. For example, a boy whom I was seeing earlier in the summer tried contacting me a few weeks ago. Luckily I was in my LSAT class when he called, so my phone was off. Had I not been in the middle of something, I might have felt guilty and picked up my phone. He also left me a voicemail. Considering that I don't have anything to say to him, I felt more than justified in not calling him back. I imagined it being one of those really awkward conversations that I didn't feel like having.

Perhaps a better example is how I usually throw myself into school work. As I've written about before, I experiencing a slough of emotions with regards to grad school. The admissions process is fairly uncontrollable, but I know that all I can do is work hard to do well. This was something I only realized the other day when talking to my mom. So long as I work hard, I know that I can say, if I fail, that that failure wasn't from a lack of trying. And that is a good feeling. There is nothing worse than not getting what you want, but realizing that you've wasted time or didn't do all that you could. I'm looking forward to finishing in April and being able to say, "I did all that I could and more than my best." Not only do I want that, but I need it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A few words will do

Campus is chaotic again and I can only think of a few simple, beautiful words to describe it.

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
- Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro

Image can be found here.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The problem with criteria

About a month ago I was having dinner with a friend of my mine, and we did what we always do - dish about boys. She'd recently ended a very committed relationship and I was in the midst of my slough of bad dates. We were at opposite ends of spectrum in terms of what we were going through. I was telling her about my recent dates, emphasizing my general hopelessness, and she said to me, "I think you need to re-evaluate your dating criteria." Such a simple solution. Why hadn't I thought of that? I had clearly not learned from my mistakes but having the root of the problem pointed out might be a good place to begin to remedy it all. However, I thought some more about what she had said during dinner and then it dawned on me. I don't have a criteria for dating. Well at least none that I ridgedly abide by. Could this be that be the true root of my problem? Do I really not have standards? Oh scary thoughts.

While Karoline and I were shopping for sofas this afternoon, I brought up this problem for further discussion. She said it's frustrating that the bad girls always end up getting the bad guys. A time tested cliche that might be true in the case. "Do we have be bad girls?" she asked. I said I didn't think so, even if we were I think we'd have an entirely different problem on our hands. But after a bit of conversing, I decided that it's definitely not that I don't have standards, I just can't seem to find the right person. I think in every guy that I've dated there have been hints of what I'm looking for, but it's everything has yet to be there all at once. I value intelligence and ambition in person. I like someone with a sense of humor, that appreciates sarcasm. Someone who loves their family and embraces their past. Someone who is comfortable with themselves. Maybe I'm too picky or perhaps demanding (though I'm sure my friend would disagree).

There are two central problems for me. The first is figuring someone out early in the game. Picking that pivotal moment when you decide to go forward with that person or spread your wings and go another direction. And that is where my problem lies. I usually hold on way past the expiry date and then find myself trying to make something work that wasn't meant to be. The result is usually me going mental, which Karoline can attest to. My other problem is not acting on my feelings, which I think is more serious. I mean if you don't do anything and keep it all bottled up, then you have no reason to complain when you don't get what you want. I've spent most of the summer trying to convince Karoline to go after a guy that she likes, and I'm now realizing that it's about time that I start applying my own advice. According to Kurt Vonnegut's faux commencement address, "Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth." My advice to Karoline is nothing more than the nostalgia for what I wish I would have done. Now is my chance to turn it into a different kind of nostalgia - the good kind.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Knowledge gained that will make this year better

A few things that I have learned in the last 3 years that I will (actually) use this year to make this school year a success.

~ I will no longer let dead end dating drag on. If I know it's not going anywhere it will end. Immediately. I will also no longer be casually dating anyone for more than 3 weeks. After that it either is or isn't a relationship.
~ I will be assertive. No more indecisiveness. I'm sure this will please all of my friends.
~ I will embrace my inner nerd. There's no shame in wanting to be smart and I'm not going to let anyone sway me away from that.
~ I am going to make time to relax and do non-school/non-work activities because I value my sanity.
~ I am going to be more positive. There are always so many good things in my life and there is no use in dwelling on the things that are bad. It's not going to fix them.
~ I am going to be true to who I am. No pretentious professors are to going to make me doubt myself or my abilities.

I feel good about plunging back into another school year. It's really the beginning of the end, which is so weird. I seriously cannot even believe that I've been in Canada for three years. Time goes by so quickly and now I am desperate to make the most of what is left.

Friday, September 04, 2009

A delimma of self-reliance

Self-reliance, or self-sufficiency, is a funny thing. I think that it is mostly associated with gaining a sense of fulfillment or pride from accomplishing something. I definitely agree that that is true. Having two jobs and managing to study for LSAT hasn't been easy, but I am extremely proud of myself for managing it as well as I have so far. I also know that the long term goals I have for myself are things that I have to achieve on my own terms. They wouldn't be as important if they were a group effort. Of course you can receive help, but ultimately you have to be the one calling the shots. What I am curious about is how meaningful it can be if you're by yourself through it all? (Yes, I'm well aware of how emo that sounds)

I'm sure that many people find it empowering to live on their own terms and without a significant other. The feminist in me is thinking, "boys are rotten," though that is exclusively based on my adamant independence, which is what drives most people away from me. Even if it is the case that being by yourself is grand, I almost always find myself wanting to share my good news with someone I love and who loves me. Usually my family or one of my close friends. I can't imagine not having them around to rejoice with. They understand how hard you worked. They know the backstory to the achievement - and that is what makes it special.

I guess what I am really trying to get at is, is being self sufficient all it's cracked up to be? I think that this question has come from my bouts of loneliness lately, so maybe I have a biased answer to it. I believe that accomplishing something will always have some personal significance, but what makes it truly special is being able to share the good news with someone else - and I always have someone to share with. So I've opted to stop thinking about myself in terms of being alone. I have tons of fabulous individuals surrounding me who will be there through thick and thin. Even it is not romantic, perhaps it's more meaningful than that.

On an aside, a quote for this school year - "If you're going to fail, fail spectacularly. Don't fail from lack of trying."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Around 5:30 today

I'm waiting for my LSAT class to being ad the building is playing truly bad background music. I should be doing some more practice questions. But I've been feeling off my game for the last week or so. All of my friends have returned and I'm realizing how distracting it is to be social. Even though they aren't in immediate proximity to me at the moment, I'm still thinking about them. It's unfortunate. Aside from them, there is a lot competing for my attention. It makes me realize how challenging being a student and an employee really is. It's been one of those days where I'd like nothing more than to resuscitate my strength.

I've been trying to imagine myself as a successful, multitasking superwoman, hoping that the power of visualization would to the trick. Tall in stature. Confident. Sharply dressed. Witty conversationalist. Effortlessly floating from coffee dates to meetings. All things I know I could be, but today I feel tired and beat down. Something tells me that I've bit off more than I can chew.

What frustrates me is how I end up all over the map. Several days of intense focus and hard work. Another day of good intentions that just don't seem to cut it. Does this happen to everyone, or am I especially blessed? I'm breathing in slowly hoping that giving life to my problems will mobilize me to push through them.

I'm going to get a coffee.

If I can't find the strength to perserve towards my goals, then what does that say about them? Are they now what I truly want? My mind is springing into crisis mode. How sure am I about law school? What else do I want? I am breaking down because I am afraid.

Being fearless has never been part of my repetoire, and now it appears necessary. I've never been brave and suddenly I find myself in survival mode where this characteristic is going to make or break me. Now is not the time to imagine it. It's the time to do it.