Thursday, September 22, 2011

except replace dollar with 170 on the LSAT

i need a dollar, a dollar, a dollar that's what i need.
if i share with you my story, would you share your dollar with me?
well, bad times are comin' and i reap what i don't sow.
well, let me tell you something. all that glitters ain't gold.
it's been a long old trouble, long, long troublesome road.
i'm looking for someone to help me carry this load.
well, i don't know if i'm walking on solid ground, 'cause everything around me is fallin down.
and all i want is for someone to help me.
what in the world am i gonna do tomorrow?
is there someone with a dollar i could borrow, who could help take away my sorrow?
maybe its inside the bottle...
i had a good old friend but his name is whiskey and wine...
if god has plans for me i hope it aint written in stone
cause ive been working myself down to the bone 
and i swear on grandpa's grave that i'll be paid when i come home.
come on, share your dollar, give me your dollar.
-Aloe Blaac, I Need A Dollar

Every great work, 
         every big accomplishment, 
has been brought into manifestation through
                                     holding to the vision
and often just before the big achievement, 
comes apparent failure and discouragement. 
                                                   -Florence Scovel Shinn 

Monday, September 19, 2011

just keep doing what you're doing

i think i am turning from someone who never cries to someone who cries easily. and im actually a little terrified of being labeled a "crier." i've just never been that girl. but, i sat down to watch The Emmy Awards last night and all of the sudden, I had teared up after listening to about five speeches during this woman's speech- shown below. The thing is, actors are real people. Even though they're celebrities to us, at one point, they had these big dreams that they never thought they could reach.

in case you didn't watch it- the best part was "i'm sorry i'm a crier. my mom and dad, who supported me forever and shouldn't-of and said just keeping doing what you're doing. i'm from plainfield, illinois and i'm standing here and it's kind of amazing."

Just think about Colin Firth saying to his dad when he was little that he wanted to be an actor.
Telling his friends that he was going to be in movies one day.
Believing that he would be in a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FILM.
That one dream alone would have alienated friends. And surely, his support system said, "yeah, you can do it!" but I'm quite confident they probably wouldn't have bet their life saving's that he would be cast in a big film... much less be cast in A LOT of big films. Much less become a household name. Much less, be nominated for an Oscar. Be nominated for A LOT of Oscars. Oh, and then win one. For best actor.
And that's why I love watching Award shows. Maybe they're all about the glitz and glam for others, but I love watching people be honored for hard work. And I love watching them say, "hey, i chased this dream that use to seem crazy and intangible and really extreme... but now it's REAL. it's not only REAL, it's my life. it didn't turn out how i wanted. it turned out better." 
I'm thrilled for Mad Men, one of my favorite shows. But watching last night made me realize, there is a lot of good TV out there. Though I proudly stay ahead of the movies, I am behind in TV. If I think Breaking Bad and Dexter are excellent and other shows took home Emmys, I can't imagine how good those shows must be. Especially these shows I've never even heard of! I better start watching Modern Family....
maybe when Award season comes back in February, you will catch a few minutes of it.
Until then, check out The Voice or So You Think You Can Dance or Project Runway- two other inspiring shows where people with exceptionally raw talent get recognized and get a chance at actively chasing and pursuing their dreams.
It takes my breath away.
More importantly, watching these people inspires me to get up in the morning and suffer through all the little steps I have to take to get to "there."
If that doesn't inspire you to survive stressful work, maybe this will. - When work feels overwhelming, remember that you're going to die
what? a fluffy post was LONG overdue.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

zebras don't exactly change their stripes

"with every sun that sets, I am feeling more like a stranger on a foreign shore with an eroding beach disappearing from under me... i always fall in love with an open door
with a horizon on an endless sea as i look around at the ones who are standing right in front of me. "

Turned onto this amazing blog by a sorority sister, I have been enthralled with this random stranger's journey.
I cannot help but feel envy as I search the pages of photos and stories nor can I ignore the similarity between myself and this person who I will never meet. My lust for travel cannot be matched, must less understood by a majority of the people that I know. But it goes beyond that. It's not exactly something I can describe with the limiting conventions of language. I stumbled upon a page asking, "How do we know when it's time to go home?" And for a solid hour or two, I pondered this exact question.
The concept of home, however strange with an ever-changing location and perhaps evolving definition.
Where is my home? Is that where I am, home? In a large suburban house full of nothing except junk, antiques, multiple china patterns, stuff and lurking memories around every corner of tears, drunken escapades, hugs, conversations lasting until after sunrise, nights spent sound asleep and nights spent tossing and turning without sleep at all.
Surely, I am still in search of home. I could find and make home out of anywhere. Home is where the heart is and my heart is fractions across the entire world. Part of it is in Vienna. Part of it is in California. Part of it in Alabama. Part of it has to be saved for wherever I end up in the future. Won't where I attend law school, where I practice law, where I work, where I raise a family all be considered, "home"?
Or maybe, I am just confused and little do I know that my suitcase heart is just a girl waiting on a slow-pony home? Back to here.
It is my intention to spend the next year answering this question. When it is time to go home versus when you cannot take it with you. Although, I liked one response that said something along the lines of, it is time to go home when you are more inspired and thrilled at the thought of comfort and stability than of the next adventure or new experience. Will that sentiment ever fill my body? Certainly, at this moment, the opposite is true. And I suppose that is why I am on the front-end of a year of travel instead of on the other end.

As the day of my departure back to a country where I believe I left a small portion of my heart encroaches, more and more people are asking, "what are you afraid of?" or "are you starting to freak out?"
I could not answer it better than my new best friend, Daniel elegantly expressed here.
My favorite part highlighted in blue and Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V'ed below:

“Daniel, I’m so excited to see where you will go and who you’ll meet and what you will eat. But to be honest, I’m also really curious to hear about your fears. I want to know what they are and how you’ll navigate them.”
When it comes to questions posed to me about my trip, the popular inquiry is about my destinations or my trajectory, which makes perfect sense considering a travel-based project such as mine. But for Ashley, as she admittedly jostles with her own big life decisions, she simply wants a reference point from someone else who is in the flux of reconfiguring life.
                                                                             How does one deal with the fear of change?
There shall be no shame in asking this question.

he goes onto say this: 

There are certain fears that one might infer when pondering the idea of long-term international travel. Many of these fears I recognize, but for one reason or another do not resonate on any sort of debilitating level. For instance, I’m not specifically afraid of being lonely, for loneliness has been present when I was not traveling. I’m not afraid of having my camera or computer or personal items stolen, I have mentally prepared myself for this to occur at some point during the journey. I’m not afraid of being hungry or without shelter, as I have a general faith that my fellow humans will provide for me at my most vulnerable moments. I’m not afraid of being hijacked and murdered by disgruntled Columbian terrorists because, well, I’m not planning on going to Columbia. I generally believe that anything tragic that could happen to me on the road could also happen to me (in some form or another) crossing the street in my hometown.
So what are the fears?
My greatest concerns revolve more around what will happen to me after my travels. These fears are most relatable, I feel. Such as, how will I financially support myself in the future? Who will take care of me if I become permanently ill? Will I ever reestablish the wonderful and illusive trifecta of employment, apartment and friends I had somehow been fortunate to obtain in Montreal before leaving? How do I deal with all the unknowns of life?
I guess what I’m arriving to is the idea that travel is not that scary. But life is.
And if I am forced to really focus on travel-related fears, I suppose there is one great concern. It reads like this: In the “me-centric” pursuit of this dream, I fear the dynamics of my relationships with family and friends will change. I’m afraid that this absence is asking too much from them. 

then, he ends with this:

So, I move forward. Putting relationships to the test. Prioritizing “individual” over “community.” Wondering who will still be cheering me on after this journey. Breaking my mother’s heart, once again. Feeling intuitively guided, and making few apologies for my decisions.
And in my moments of self-doubt and wondering if I’m making the right life decisions, it helps to bring out the old “scale of life.” Each time I balance the concerns of leaving versus the potential personal profits, when I weigh the prospective gains against the conceivable costs, the scale keeps pointing to a simple (minimally fear-laced) sentiment:
Go. For. It.

and excitedly, this marks the end of my alphabet challenge. in case you missed it, the last 27 posts have begun with a letter of the alphabet starting with A and ending with this one, Z. it was not an easy task, but it was done. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

young heart and i never wanna get old

personally, i don't blame Ponce de Leon for spending most of his life dedicated to finding the fountain of youth. I'm not quite sure what would happen if anyone ever did discover such a thing, though with medical technology and all our advances in research in the past several generations, we've certainly created ways to prolong life. Like the Pirates in the latest movie, I would certainly make some sacrifices to go in search of a way to find that fountain. Especially if I knew for a fact it existed. The thing is, I don't want to get old. I don't really want to go back in time either (remember?) but I'm just not so sure i'm ready for all the responsibility that I've got headed my way associated with growing old. Budgeting, paying all my own bills, worrying about insurance, the inability to do everyday things without experiencing some pain from arthritis or some additional ailment.... i don't want wrinkles or gray hair. i don't want diabetes or a heart attack at age 45. i don't want to really have to watch what i eat. ugh, the thought of my arms getting flabby makes me cringe. ooh and after a baby? forget it.
and we think we should be allowed to sit around and complain now. ha!
i was just talking the other day with a friend about how we always took for granted the ease of college. the days wasted doing absolutely nothing. now, if i have a day like that, i feel guilty because i recklessly abandoned so much responsibility.
the dermatologist asked me last week what am i doing right now to prevent wrinkles? uh, a healthy diet of white wine, organic food, occasional chic-fil-a and multiple double vodka sprites? i wash my face at night and in the shower? uh.... thankfully, there are anti-aging serum commercials, drugs you should immediately talk to your doctor about commercials every few minutes and a plethora of advertisements on the radio about laser-hair removal, plastic surgery and all that.
i'll take the wisdom that comes with age minus all of its bullshit.
do you think if i sit here long enough staring at Pinterest, I will miraculously be motivated to do anything?
maybe i'll go back to mindlessly watching tv and ignoring everything i should be doing until motivation literally hits me in the face. chances of that happening?
ugh, i know 0.
i just need some soul-resurecting on this monday afternoon. hopefully the gym, starbucks combination i have planned will do the trick.

"help me to forget about the lions chasing me.
if a man among us has the notion that he's free, i entreat you to the challenge, stand on up and let's see you get old.
the hardest part has always been to resurrect my soul.
you try and you try, but you can't try enough.
but you keep fighting, you keep on fighting me. you keep on fighting.
don't you know, you already won?
its summer in the city, we were hanging on the lawn, talking all the time about where the time had gone.
its not the way i thought it'd be, it's not what i was told.
i got a young heart and i don't want to get old.
old, old, i NEVER wanna get old. so i'm never gonna get old."
-Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers, Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts

Friday, September 9, 2011

X that, let's do this instead

one of my new years resolutions (which i happen to take very seriously, unlike the average person. see here) last year was to be more spontaneous. i  succeeded in doing handful of spontaneous activities, but by no means did it transfer into a personality trait. as much as i love being organized, planned and scheduled, it's shocking how much i love being surprised. tonight, i had plans to get dinner with a few girlfriends from high school. in the five minutes i got on Twitter today, i happened to stumble across a tweet that The Weepies were playing in Atl.
I am obsessed with this dynamic duo.
They define the word musician. They're simply incredible with inspirational, powerful lyrics and producers of seriously quality music. Check them out here.
Then, let these words sink it. Its what i need to be reminded of today and catch a glimpse of the concert I saw tonight.
This venue has some more great shows planned, so if you're in the Atlanta area, work one in. Going to concerts of singer/songwriters and fantastic musicians is certainly one of my favorite things to do and I cant wait to be rich so I can go see all my loves.
What a fantastic day from start to finish!

"Yesterday, when you were young, everything you needed done was done was done for you.
Now, you do it on your own, but you find that you're all alone. What can you do?
Walk on, walk on. Cause you can't go back now.
You know there will be days when you're so tired that you can't take another step.
The night will have no stars and you'll think you've gone as far as you'll ever get.
But, you. and me. Walk on, walk on.
Go where you wanna go.
                    Be what you wanna be.
                               If you ever turn around, you'll see me.
I can't really say why everybody wishes they were somewhere else.
But in the end, the only steps that matter 
are the ones you take all by yourself."
-The Weepies, Can't Go Back Now

Thursday, September 8, 2011

wake me up when September ends

"A southern girl with a scarlet drawl. I wave goodbye to Ma and Pa 'cause with the birds I'll share this lonely view. Soft spoken with a broken jaw. Step outside, but not to brawl. Yeah, autumn's sweet. We call it 'fall.' I'll make it to the moon if I have to crawl. Scar tissue that I wish you saw, sarcastic, Mr. Know It All." -Red Hot Chili Peppers, Scar Tissue

I spent a decent amount of time the other day dedicated to reading basically all I could get my bear paws on regarding varying strategies, methods, myths and everything out there on the LSAT. I don't know how many readers I have out there that are interesting in taking the LSAT, but let me just tell you a few things about it.
It's a beast. Actually, that's more or less all you really need to know.
I was reading a suggested time-line for studying and under the "one month til test date" link, I read a statement that said something along the lines of this: It's time to crack down. Get serious. Put your social life on hold. Do you think that the highest scorers were caught up on the most recent episodes of Teen Mom? Yeah, right. Put everything else on the back burner and focus exclusively on the LSAT. 
Alright. The LSAT is a gigantic percentage of my stress and my life right now. No doubt about it. That pesky little three digit number will almost solely determine where I am enrolled in law school a year from now. But, put the rest of my life on HOLD for the next 25 days and do nothing except eat, sleep and breathe the LSAT? Seriously??
What about my friends that I am leaving when I flee this country?
What about the few shows I love indulging in- Dance Moms, my new obsession?
What about reading the news, reading books?
What about working on my personal statement, recruiting recommenders, researching schools, requesting information from potential schools and gaging which schools in which countries have the programs I am interested in?
What about working on the house repairs, basic cleaning maintenance and other daily chores that demand time?
What about the fancy gym membership and training I am paying a pretty penny for?
What about running errands like a chicken with my head cut off getting ready to move to Spain?
What about journaling, blogging, Facebook-ing, Pinterest?
What about calls to friends to check in, for them to check in on me and to unwind and laugh together?
I'm not really up for putting ALL of those things on the back burner.
I didn't realize just exactly how much I juggle, how closely I keep my schedule. And how incredibly poor I am at asking for help when I really could use some.
Yet, simultaneously for the exact sentence I just wrote, I AM ready to say "see ya" to all those other responsibilities. Because this is what I want and I'll do whatever it takes to get there. So some sacrifices have been and are going to be made. Time to get serious. Focus in. So, for the last week, I have been really LSAT-intense. I have been so LSAT-intense actually that I dreamt about it on the two days I didn't study very much because I was in the great city of Tuscaloosa.
Can you imagine if we just wore our "scars" like they do in the music video for the 90's classic, Scar Tissue? If you didn't have to read someone's status, tweet or blog in order to learn what's actually going through their mind? Thank goodness we don't, or we couldn't afford to stand in line at Kroger and say, "hey, how are you" all nonchalantly confident that the response will assuredly be, "I'm fine, thanks, how are you?" even though, you could care LESS about how that woman is. But sometimes, don't you wish you were a little better at boldly saying, "hey, help me out here." or "hey, this is what i've got going on and i need you." i'm an expert at the being needed part (see my above list) but i really suck at being NEEDY. which I am. Because I am human.
I've been wanting to include Scar Tissue in a post for several months since I read the book. I'd highly recommend it. And I'm really looking forward to listening to their new album. Whoohoo.

Ugh, and did I mention its September, my second least favorite month of the year? At least it's starting to cool down outside.I feel like I am running a sprint marathon STRAIGHT uphill. 
One thing at a time.
Breathe. LSAT. Breathe. Repeat. Got it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

vestiges, vituperate, viscous and other V words to incorporate into your vocabulary

I caught myself correcting someone's argument in everyday conversation the other day. When I was reading a magazine, I was picking out formal logic and felt inclined to circle keywords as I skimmed through the pages of LUCKY!!
Oh my God.
What is happening to me?!! I almost started arguing with a police officer on Monday... thank goodness I didn't word vomit that he committed a classic flaw- equivocation- by using the same term in two different ways, therefore his argument to write me a ticket was invalid.
Instead of focusing on the section that is my strength, I've been focusing on some of my weaknesses the past week. Any second now, I'm going to begin to shake because i haven't worked any of my favorite practice problems. Seriously.
If I am beginning to see a transformation in my thoughts, reading style and argumentativeness already and I'm still a year from even being enrolled in my first law school class... I may just be in really big trouble.
If change in T & RS & A -> big trouble. Oh, my. It may be worse than I thought.
Time to get back to the vicissitudes (a change or variation; ups and downs) of my ridiculous everyday life, hopefully withstanding any vituperating (to abuse verbally; berate) from anyone about anything. Sometimes, words can have more strength than the most viscous (thick and adhesive, like a slow-flowing fluid) liquid and stay in my head for days.But if I don't get back to my variegated (varied; marked with different colors) study guides, I will be carrying around the burden of vestiges (remnant, trace) of dead dreams as expressed by these brilliant artists. Most sincere apologies for such a verbose (wordy) post, it feels like a high-school vocabulary homework assignment. Perhaps, you learned something new to utilize in your everyday conversations, like nerds like me.
But, very strange changes are occurring with my mind. Consider yourself warned for when you catch the first glimpse.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

umbrellas rendered useless when it actually rains

"she may be young, but she only likes old things.
she loves the natural light, captured in black and white.
she sees mirages and mountain ranges, within a blink of her eyes it changes back to the open plains.
                                                                     oh no, she can't explain.
i cry out love, 'keep your arms around me. 
                                 i am a bird that's in need of grounding.
                                                        i'm built to fly away, never learn how to stay.'
the night is gonna fall and the vultures will surround you.
when you're looking in the mirror, what you see is gonna to astound you.
but all these lines and grays refine, they are the maps of our design of what began on a Monday morning.
and all the glow of you from inside the room, is burning on inside of you."
-Death Cab for Cutie, Monday Morning