Wednesday, May 25, 2011

All Over But the Bloggin'

Before I get to today's blog challenge blog, I must mention that it's finally over. Law school, that is. After three years that have tested me in ways I have never thought possible, it's over. Wearing-the-robe, choked-by-the-hood, walk-across-the-stage, Betsi-Nelson-J.D. OVER.

Day Eleven: A Story About a Past Relationship

One of the reasons I've been slacking in the blog department is this topic. It has become a tiny road block. And not because I couldn't think of a story about a past relationship, but because there are so many. I have spent time thinking of a thousand happy moments, a thousand heartbreaking moments, and a thousand moments that lie somewhere between the two.

First dates, first kisses, and that first break-up. Relationships that were calm and some that were explosive. Those with conversations that started at sunset and didn't end until sunrise and those with fights that started and ended the same way. There were some relationships that ran their course and ended long after they were through. And there has been at least one that ended abruptly and left everything unfinished.  There have been relationships where, in learning about someone else, I learned about myself. There have been relationships where everything made sense. And some where, no matter how hard I tried, they couldn't be figured out. There has been love shared, tears shared, secrets shared.

Zora Neale Hurston says that there are years that ask questions and years that answer. Relationships, certainly, work the same way.

"Passion is something you don't really miss, after it has cooled. It is like looking at an empty bottle on the side of the road and thinking, 'Boy, I wish I had a Coke.'  The loves you miss are the ones that go away when they are still warm, even hot, to the touch." -Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin'

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Don't Tell Mama What You Know

Day Eight: A Picture of Someone/Something That Has the Biggest Impact on You

Last Thanksgiving, I changed my Facebook status to this: "This year, I am thankful for my friends, without whom law school would not be bearable; my family, without whom law school would not be possible; and Beckett, without whom law school would not be worth it." I stand by this. Since graduation is a mere 2 weeks away, perhaps it is more appropriate than ever before.

My grandmother has this poem framed in her home. I think I've had it memorized since I was six. I'm going to post it, and maybe it will help explain why picking just one person who has had an impact on me would be nearly impossible.

Bits and Pieces

Bits and pieces, bits and pieces. People. People important to you, People unimportant to you cross your life, touch it with love and move on. There are people who leave you and you breathe a sigh of relief and wonder why you ever came into contact with them. There are people who leave you, and you breathe a sigh of remorse and wonder why they had to go and leave such a gaping hole. Children leave parents, friends leave friends. Acquaintances move on. People change homes. People grow apart. Enemies hate and move on. Friends love and move on. You think of the many people who have moved in and out of your hazy memory. You look at those present and wonder. I believe in God's master plan in lives. He moves people in and out of each other's lives, and each leaves his mark on the other. You find you are made up of bits and pieces of all who have ever touched your life. You are more because of them, and would be less if they had not touched you. Pray that you accept the bits and pieces in humility and wonder, and never question and never regret. Bits and pieces, bits and pieces.


But, I suppose I could try to elaborate.

Beckett, My Slobbering Little Superman: You would have had the biggest impact on me, no matter how you turned out, due to the nature of your arrival. Surprise doesn't even begin to describe it! You have, obviously, changed and impacted my life in a million different ways. Not that I always accepted these changes. We managed to grow up together. And while things have been unimaginably altered by your mere presence, the most obvious of these changes is this: In two weeks, I will have a law degree. And that, puddin' pop, is all because of you.

My Friends: To try to say something about each of you individually would take the rest of the afternoon, so I'll simply say this: "I get by with a little help from my friends." I have said for years that I'm one of the luckiest girls in the world. I have an army of people I consider best friends. You know who you are and I hope you know you are treasured, adored, appreciated, and loved.

There is another group of people that need to be mentioned as having had a great impact on my life, and one in particular. St. James School alums, feel free to make fun, but I have an English degree (which I could not love or enjoy more) because of one person: Dr. Browning, my senior Engligh teacher.  I have to give him (at least some) credit for this because of this story:  One day after lunch, I was leaving the Fine Arts Building to head to class. I was walking across the quad and who do I see, but Dr. Browning waving at me, trying to get my attention. He made a beeline for me and stopped me to tell me he had just read my personal narrative I had turned in 2 days earlier. And then he told me 2 things that pretty much changed everything: I was smart. And I was funny.  While I'm thanking one English teacher, I should probably thank a few more: Dr. Sterling, Dr. Kaufman, and Dr. Silverstein. And for good measure, Professor Baker (you taught me Law and Lit, which after 2 years of law school, helped me remember how much I love studying literature!).

Since today is Mother's Day, here's this:

                                                    My Mom, B, and me, Easter, 2007

Mom, our relationship has been, well, contentious for years. I think this is part of the complex mother/daughter relationship. I know that you think I try everything in my power to be nothing like you, and generally, we are very different. But then there's this:

I sit on the bathroom counter to put on my make-up in the mornings because that's how you do it.

My sophomore year of college, I bought the iron I bought because it's the one that you have.

I cook with a dish towel over my shoulder because that's how you cook.

If I love to read, it's because I watched you read voraciously my whole life.  (We do, however, have vastly divergent taste).

I have stacks of books everywhere, each with a pencil for a bookmark, because I grew up watching you read multiple books at once.

I'm particular about the way that t-shirts and towels are folded. They have to be folded the way you taught me how to fold them.

If I have a strong work ethic, it's because I watched you pour your heart and soul into your job, even when you thought no one would care that you cared.

I love dogs, but think they belong outside, because that's how you see it.

And I have an address book that, even though everyone's addresses and phone numbers are written neatly inside, every envelope with an address on it I have ever gotten is stuck inside in an delightfully unorganized, yet organized way. That's the way that you do it.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Howard Roark Laughed.

Day Seven: A Hobby That You Have

Since I suppose that gossiping and gin and tonics would not be an appropriate hobby to discuss here, I will find something else to write about.

Well, there's always reading. If you were to walk into my bedroom right now, you would find a biography of Alexander Hamilton, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and a collection of Pablo Neruda's poetry and my bedside table, all with pencils serving as bookmarks. I am reading all of these, and more. Schindler's List was put back on the shelf yesterday (I'll get back to it one day). I am always rereading Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and various Shakespeare plays. Basically, I read. A lot.

I also really enjoy painting. Now, I know you must be asking yourself, "Paint? Really?" And to respond, I am not claiming that I am good at it. But I love it.

Is blogging a hobby? Eh, I imagine I don't get around to actually doing it enough to consider it a hobby. But writing. Oh, writing. I love to write. Nothing super important and nothing for anyone but myself, but I love to write. And while some of what I write is cringe-inducing when read again years later, I have the privilege of reliving moments and remembering who I was all those years ago. It's depressing and amazing and thought provoking.

And there's always gossip and gin and tonics.

Other updates:
This week, I have decided to attempt to be vegan. This is decision has drawn a plethora of "what the hell are you thinking," "cheese is awesome", and "meat is delicious. Have you lost your mind?" Allow me to explain. I am not doing this permanently. It's simply something I thought I would see if I could do and I'm using this as sort of a detox period to kick off a healthier lifestyle in general. This week has been relatively successful. I started Monday. Well, maybe "started" is not the right word. I was going to start Monday, but Brandi and I went to watch a trial on Monday and went to lunch with the DA's office for lunch that day. Their pick for lunch? Mexican. Vegan at the mexican restaurant? Nearly impossible. So I guess we can say I started after lunch on Monday. But the rest of the week, I have managed to stick to a non-animal product diet. Right down to the Hot Garlic with tofu I had for dinner tonight at Thai Heaven. I'm not sure how much longer this will last, but I will admit that I am most likely taking a day off tomorrow. We are having a Derby party at the apartment, complete with Hot Browns, bourbon cupcakes, and black-eyed pea salad. Not a vegan day, to say the least.

Because I talked about reading as one of my hobbies, here's a quote from my favorite book:

“I often think that he’s the only one of us who’s achieved immortality. I don’t mean in the sense of fame and I don’t mean that he won’t die some day. But he’s living it. I think he is what the conception really means. You know how people long to be eternal. But they die with every day that passes. When you meet them, they’re not what you met last. In any given hour, they kill some part of themselves. They change, they deny, they contradict–and they call it growth. At the end there’s nothing left, nothing unrevered or unbetrayed; as if there had never been any entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass. How do they expect a permanence which they have never held for a single moment? But Howard–one can imagine him existing forever.”
-Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You Can Go Your Own Way

Hola, faithful blog readers!

Well, 30 days of blogging in a row has proven a difficult task indeed. I have been without the internet for a few days though, so I'll use that inconvenience as a convenient excuse for my absense. Now, where was I?

Day Six: A Picture of a Place You Have Been

Savannah, Georgia: The place I have been most recently. And not only that, the place I was born.  We went to Savannah for Spring Break and had an amazing time celebrating St. Patrick's Day!

So, day six: success!

With nothing to do for the next few days, I did a lot of reading this afternoon. Some of my favorites:

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.
-Pablo Neruda

Well, one of my favorites.

On one last, super happy, note, Glee is doing Fleetwood Mac songs tonight. LOVE.
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