Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the bittersweet between my teeth

If you are sick of the start-with-lyrics-then-post or post-then-end-with-lyrics typical layout of virtually every blog, well then, I'm sorry I'm not sorry. This one shall not disappoint. Here it goes. A song that's been on repeat and I didn't know why until today. Then an epiphany that had been formulating for days, weeks even completely crystalized. As I was walking down the jagged sidewalk trying to avoid stepping in something a dog had left behind, watching my breath vaporize in front of my nose and listening with a grin to Tina Fey's BossyPants, I stopped and let it sink in. What had just made itself clear to me. Here's the song. I'll attempt to hold your hand through why I'm so obsessed but I'll leave other secrets to reveal themselves as they please or don't please (yes, that was a Lady & the Trap reference).
"We're only young and naive still.
We require certain skills. 
The mood, it changes like the wind, hard to control when it begins.
The bittersweet between my teeth, trying to find the in-between... fall back in love eventually.
Can't help myself but count the flaws
claw my way out through these walls
one temporary escape, feel it start to permeate.
promises, swear them to the sky...
as it withers, brittles and shakes, can you whisper? as it crumbles and breaks.
count up all our mistakes.
pair of forgivers
let go before it's too late.
can you whisper?"

Around 1 am approximately 7 hours before this moment on the sidewalk, I was crawling into bed feeling defeated and like I hadn't gotten enough accomplished. Convinced to accept defeat by what-is and always-is Monday, I decided to go to bed. I am incredibly happy here and in no way do I think I made the wrong decision to come here. In fact, I do not think I will EVER feel that way. But things are beginning to get a little tense and stress is building (one temporary escape, feel it start to permeate). I am no longer in the "honeymoon" stage of thoughts like, "Wow! A new and exciting city!" or "can't wait for an email back on what happened at work yesterday." I feel like promises made in my last few days from certain people whom I love deeply have been sworn to the sky and that the fears I shared with them could come true. This frightens me deeply. We had laid with our hands gripped tight and now I'm all the way over here- an ocean and miles of land away and maybe the distance is overwhelming.
Things are beginning to become real. This is becoming life.
I am torn substantially between hanging onto everything and everyone from 3 weeks ago and so desperately wanting to include them in this new phase and diving into things going on here.
                     From home, the baggage I managed to pack included friends of all shapes, colors and sizes and varying degrees of quality. I also loaded the plane with my desires and intentions to go to law school in 2012. I am now nose-deep in applications and answering the most absurd personal questions along with intellectual essays that require sessions of genius followed by writer's block and procrastination again accompanied by genius. These applications are overwhelming me, to say the least. And without the support system that I had cheering me on through my battle against the LSAT, it's even more tough. Unbeknownst to me, all the things on my plate when I boarded that direct flight to Madrid is stuck there like when you use Wal-Mart dishwashing detergent and as soon as you open the dishwasher, its apparent that off-brand just couldn't quite get the job done. This is just one example.
                Additionally, I gained new wonders and stressors simultaneously. Things like opening a bank account, signing a lease, obtaining a temporary foreign residence card and moving into an apartment all within a few days, overlapping with starting a job that I have absolutely no training in and incredibly rusty Spanish posed quite a challenge. I love it so far. The chaos hasn't yet caused a complete anxiety attack, but my OCD self can only handle so much so it's only a matter of time before a complete hostile-takeover begins and I attempt to start running the place. Color coding, lists, file folders, schedules and nicely typed Word documents included. I've met some really amazing people here so far. I've also encountered some sketchy people that I feel like I cannot trust at all whatsoever which illuminates loneliness I don't even know exists until the moment I am reminded of it. I've also had students that I have contemplated risking an Amanda Knox trial, thinking no one would notice if I just slapped them square across the face... On the other hand, I've had students that remind me of the nerd I was, and still am, with this glowing eagerness in their eyes that reminds me of the potential I hope others see shining equally as brightly through me.
       As I am navigating what I escaped to that's managed to become permanent, I am feeling things crumble, break and shake. Not at all in a bad way.
I am here to enjoy this time. To soak in whatever adventure comes my way. To do whatever the hell I want (and I don't care if you fucking like it). To escape. To relax. To learn. To stay focused on what I want to be doing. And I'm realizing that I'm not sure I can do all of those things at once. I feel like the pre-October 4th Stephanie and the post-October 4th Stephanie has partially lost her ability to understand the balance between who she IS, who she WAS and who she WILL or WANTS TO BE. I am trying to find the in-between but I am young and naive.
As I've said 1000 times on this blog, I have literally no CLUE what the future holds. As I marked through pages of research regarding schools realizing which ones I still know nothing about and which ones to mark as "reach" or "match" or "safety" I thought to myself for the first real time: I AM GOING TO LAW SCHOOL. I have a score that I am proud of because I worked my little white, pale ass off for it. And that's what I want. Above nearly anything else right now, what it comes down to is that's what I want. This leaves me with an eery bittersweet realization of the sacrifices that I am going to have to continue to make in order to ensure that this law school dream is realized.
Everything else is going to have to fall into place afterward.
And I finish this long-winded blog with begging you to read this epiphany with a grain of salt. For now, can you  whisper and assure me that I am and have been making the right choices instead of counting my mistakes like tallies on receipt paper lining the ceiling of an elementary classroom counting down the days until school is over. I don't have it figured out, at all, not even almost maybe.
So there it is, devoted readers, Mastering The Balance of "In-Between:" Still Very Much So A Work In Progress.
While I am young, naive, with bittersweet between my teeth, putting love under a stack of other paperwork, counting up mistakes and requiring certain skills, plotting my nearest escape in fear of this place becoming permanent, bear with me. Live this ever-so-strange life with me or one of us better let go before it's too late.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

what's your excuse? that's right, you don't have one.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because people actually take the time to slow down and thank others whom they depend on greatly. I rely on numerous people so heavily, I am beginning to feel the hole from lack of communication with them growing and expanding. I'm starting to see people tweeting about Christmas and that's one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate how every year, without fail, people get so excited about Christmas, they forget about Thanksgiving. This year, I have challenged friends, family and strangers to do something different. To think about Thanksgiving in October and write a letter thanking the troops for their service. I posted notes on Facebook, Tweeted, and emailed to around 200 people hoping that everyone would write a letter.
They have around 40,000 letters and they need 400,000. I took two days and wrote 100. You can take 5 minutes and write one. Do it. Thank someone else for a sacrifice that you could never make. Thank someone for protecting your country and your freedom.
Here's all the information: http://thebertshow.com/the-bert-shows-big-thank-you/

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

have you got it in you?

it's hump day. i've had a tremendously frustrating week. it feels like "tides that i tried to swim against have put me down upon my knees, oh i beg, i beg and plead. singing, come out of things unsaid..." is the perfect line to describe my emotions. but i just decided that i'm going to get over this hump. i am going to triumph. in the following ways, i have resolved to succumb to change for the rest of the week. these are my 10 theses of sorts for not just this week, but for the next few weeks. perhaps my self-proclaimations will strike you, something you needed to be reminded of also.

1. one asshole (student or elsewhere) will not ruin my mood or allow me to be phased for more than precisely 60 seconds. not a second longer.
2. i will maintain a fairly normal routine. no more staying up until 4 am, even if it is to finish an incredible book that i could not manage to pry from my own hands.
3. in no way will a list dictate my stress level. a list exists to do the opposite- manage and control the stress level. i will not be overwhelmed by the idea of a never-ending to-do list. the to-do list is ALWAYS never-ending and never will be "complete". this week's tasks are no different.
4. i will consistently breathe.
5. i will force myself to express frustration and emotions to friends to provide them with a window of opportunity that i have not thus far given them.
6. the tight rope hung between allowing an obstacle to challenge and inspire me versus overcome and consume me will be better balanced by combating it with optimism, sleep, a clear mind and with the help of others. i will seek to prove the phrase, "you can do anything you set your mind to." i will refuse to forget how far i have come and how much i have already accomplished.
7. no more rewarding myself with food. i am not a dog, after all. 
8. i will be more cognizant of my own expectations and aware when they are unrealistic. my mental timeline is imaginary. this includes my insatiable desire to predict the future. which, i repeat to myself, i am incapable of doing. i cannot predict the future. more importantly, nor would i want to.
9. since i am missing daily exercise, i will cave and purchase new tennis shoes. i will go running in the park just a few blocks away to clear my mind when i want to do so.
10. nothing of significance occurs overnight. i will remind myself of this more regularly. take one day at a time; certain things are only worth face value and others are worth nothing at all even when considered with a grain of salt.

"it takes a lot to be always on form. it takes A LOT.
i maybe not, all the time, all i've got. maybe not.
it's been one of those days.
safety first, don't push. what's the hurry?
'cause one nerve remaining... have you got it in you?
let me have it all, let me have a battle on.
have you got it in you?"
-Imogen Heap, Have You Got It In You?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

who can say where the road goes

if enya is not on your ipod, it should be. i always bust out her albums when i am on the plane, when i am trying to sleep and cant or when i just need to breathe. i have had many of the above listed moments in the last few days. not only did i need her to put me to sleep, i needed her to soothe me. and she's right, only time will be able to answer my questions about the future.

Who can say where the road goes, 
Where the day flows, only time.
And who can say if your love grows, as your heart chose, only time.

Who can say when the roads meet,
that love might be in your heart? 
And who can say where the road goes 
Where the day flows, only time? 
Who knows? Only time.
-Enya, Only Time