Saturday, June 26, 2010

big brother

oh, the sine wave that is my life has thrown me all around today. but as i get ready to fall asleep, i feel okay at last. i was up earlier in the morning; went to class, got some studying done, all is right with the world. but of course, as always happens on the weekends, the evening rolled around and it slowly started to dawn on me that i had no plans. i should be at a point in my life where a friday evening in isn't a problem, and yet i always get this sensation that i'm the least popular kid in high school when this happens.

enter my beloved big "brother." i am an only child, of course, and so is he. but this guy and i have grown up together, literally. as in, knew each other before puberty grown up together. through thick and thin, no matter what, he's always had my back. it's almost like he can sense that i've been on emotional tenterhooks for the better part of the month, and unbidden he came in and said, "hey, let's all go to dinner." excellent. it doesn't take much to get me settled down; all i need is some place to go and i feel human again.

the weirdness that was dinner was another story. it's almost ancillary; i'll get into it another time. we said goodbye to our other friend and big bro and i went to hang out at his apartment. slowly, surely, he worked out of me all the crap that's been clanging around in my head. and, not only did he listen, but he offered feedback. solutions. things to think about. strategies to consider. y'know, like any good friend would. not only that, but it was so personally tailored to me and how i operate that i instantly felt a weight lift off my shoulders.

that, my friends, is a "brother's" love. and i wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Friday, June 25, 2010


we are such creatures of habit when we want to be, aren't we? today was just a case study in repeating behaviors, both intentionally and unintentionally. i started my day like about 600,000 other people in this country: in line for my shiny new phone. (which, can i just tell you, is AMAZING. LOVE.) it was either going to be a smooth process or a total debacle. it was the latter. total wait time: five hours, 42 minutes, from start of wait until receipt e-mailed. i am totally insane for doing that. but that's not the repetition, nor will it EVER be repeated again. the repetition came when we all started chatting in line together. i mean, if you're going to be somewhere with all these people, may as well make the best of it. i spent the morning talking to a guy, average height, average looks, amazing clothes and clearly brilliant. it's like i'm a magnet, though, because yet again, we see the species homo pedantus. this guy was my usual type - snarky, not-quite-condescending-but-pretty-damn-close tech-boy know-it-all. i swear, i conjure these boys from some celestial storehouse where they mash ego and intellect together. and what did i do? i e-mailed him. of course i did. repeat the cycle, yet again.

and then, on the other side of the coin, i find myself repeating behaviors in other contexts. once more, into the breach; i find myself problem-solving for people i shouldn't be. i am the one who can fix it, right? yeah, no. i need to stop, i need to let it go. the only saving grace i've found in THAT little vicious circle is that i am a little more impervious to emotional displays than i used to be. when everything falls apart, instead of rushing in with duct tape and soothing words, i am now the cold voice of reason. i think that answers a lot of questions, to be honest. it answers questions i didn't even know had been asked.

it also gives me hope - a little, anyway - that all these cycles will eventually have an end. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


i've been thinking a lot about heroes these days. it's a human instinct to look up to people, i think. we all start off, at least on some level, looking up to the people who raise us. in my case, i idolized my daddy as a little girl. even when he got strict and overbearing (in my mind), i still adored him. but then when i got into my teen years and started noticing popular culture and local boys, i picked other admirers. i loved don mattingly (still do), eddie vedder, all those typical early- to mid-90s touchstones. you name the gen-X reference, i ate it up. (ben stiller circa reality bites, looking at you.)

i also started finding boys to admire. i dated some of those boys, stared at others. but a couple in particular took up permanent places in my pantheon. it's a bewitching setup, when you're a smart but naive girl and you first get your hands on intelligent male company. you tend to freeze it in your mind and hold it there, squelching all of its negative sides and shining the brightest light you can find on its positivity. it feels SO good to relate to someone, to be comfortable with someone, that you don't care what's on the other side. sometimes, the other side can cause you serious problems: abuse, violence, psychological degradation. been there. (who hasn't?) but then there's just the fact that sometimes those guys you think are so perfect are just so, so incredibly... human. they aren't the gods you made them out to be. and sometimes that realization is a long time coming.

i've made a few references to dexter lately. i just finished season 1 tonight. (for those who haven't yet, just go watch it. seriously. so smart, so good.) you ever wanted an archetypal antihero? well, you've got one in dexter. he's solid, reliable, and he has a strict set of rules about good and evil. if it wasn't for that whole serial killer thing, he'd be the perfect man. he's up on a pedestal in the lives of a lot of the women in that show, and they have no idea what he's hiding.

funny how it takes an example that ludicrously stark to really make me see what's been in front of me all along. it does people a disservice to worship them, not to mention what it does to you. bring the gods in your life down to the floor and look at them, long and hard, as equals. you'll be surprised what you find. it's not always a bad thing; it may even make you appreciate them more. hell, worked for me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


as it happens, old habits die hard. my old life came shrieking into my new life with a vengeance tonight; i've spent all day dealing with problems 1,100 miles away from my double-sided little haven in the mid-atlantic. on the one hand, i love solving, doing, thinking and applying. but on the other hand, this is the same damn thing that got me in this mess in the first place: handling all the business.

when you have relationships that last a long time, they just have this way of twining themselves around every fiber of your being. it's really like kudzu, which any good southern kid will tell you has a way of covering everything in its path with no discretion or mercy. the vines just grow and grow, and it's basically impossible to do anything about it. so this is my challenge. i need a machete or something, just to slash and burn and regain myself. i mean, with all the clarity i've gained in this short little time i've been alone, to suffer a setback now would be...

no. we're not even going to contemplate that possibility. one day at a time. i am not going to let the past bowl me over and swallow me whole, digging up vulnerabilities and hurting me. not even close. i didn't come this far to let these dusty vines define my life. it's a new day, and that's all there is to it.

Monday, June 21, 2010


i think about the way things have gone over the last couple of years, and it's a weird feeling. i know i'm doing exactly what i need by spending time here by myself, figuring all this out and getting my head on straight. but lately, and especially in the last couple of weeks, the feeling i got wasn't anything like i expected. i was lonely. that much i knew about. but more than that, being by myself, even with people i love in close walking distance, compounded that loneliness to such a level that it was hard for me to bear. so i hid from it. i spent copious amounts of time hiding from my mind state with my friends, leaning hard on their (let's face it) charity to get out of my brain and into a "normal" head space. i have good people in my life. i appreciate the hell out of them. but i was starting to annoy myself with how clingy i was getting. i knew something had to give.

but then this weekend happened. i had a saul on the road to damascus moment about, well, a lot of things in my life. and another bit of perspective that i got is the realization that i really do need something to do, somewhere to go and someone to talk to at least once a day to get by. so i took charge of it. i'm joining. i'm exploring groups and things to do. (i am also still spending 50-60 hours a week working on bar exam stuff. i haven't forgotten.) and, yes, it helps that i am not sitting in this apartment alone right now, even though the new roommate (who's perfectly nice) isn't hanging out with me. it's not that i don't cherish this time to straighten out, get myself together, etc. it's just easier when i know what i need, and it's even easier still when i get out of my own way and go get it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


this will not go down as one of my favorite weekends ever. and yet, after all the insanity, the curveballs i was thrown, i don't feel beaten up, or even all that angst-ridden. quite the opposite; i feel more at peace tonight than i have in months, if not years.

a lot of stuff came to a head this weekend. i finally decided to cowboy up and confess a bunch of things to a bunch of people, things that should've been said years ago. there was a lot of tragedy in these conversations. there was a lot of letting go of pretense, copping to weakness and failure, and there was more heartbreak than i ever saw coming. i did get down; i mean, who doesn't in that situation? it's never easy to do the dirty work of life.

but i did something intelligent this time: when something bugged me, i actually (GASP!) spoke up. i unloaded. i vented. and i was honest, 100% honest, about how this felt. it's easy to 'fess up to y'all out in blog-land; i don't have to look you in the eyes while i write this. but i've always had issues being straight with people who are close to me. well, no more. the things i said, the truths i finally copped to, they really did set me free. so i woke up this morning for the first time in forever with a sense that things really will be OK. i mean, i knew this intellectually all along, but when you live as i do, there's sometimes a pretty big disconnect between head and heart.

so that's good. there's a sense, finally, that i really am on the cusp of getting everything i wanted out of my life, after a long pause for silliness and emotional stuntedness. it's going to happen. and i'm going to make it happen. i don't have to be scared, or hold back, or any of that other defensive foolishness i've built up over the years. and all it took to get all this insight was to open up and TELL THE TRUTH. it's amazing how that works.