Saturday, July 31, 2010

always be my baby

"you'll always be a part of me, i'm part of you indefinitely..."

pop music and i are not on the best terms in my adult life. i find most of it, well, juvenile and ridiculous. but last night/this morning, i sat on a bar stool belting out the lyrics to mariah carey songs like it was my job. a large part of it was the wine i drank (oh, and we drank a LOT of wine, don't get it twisted), but it was also the security of being with someone who cares for me through and through, only judges me in jest and indulges my ridiculous side. hell, who participates willingly in my craziness.

so i sang my heart out, and in that moment, it was 1994 all over again. it's funny that the songs we used to dance to in eighth grade have a weird resonance in our thirty-year-old lives.

"and we'll linger on, time can't erase a feeling this strong." 

we didn't realize we were prophets. people who i couldn't live without as, like, total BFFs in middle school still form the fabric of my life today. and thank the gods for them. as i remember what it's like to be me, they're part of the answer to the question. these people will shepherd me through my renewal, as i awaken the old memories and slip back into the skin i wore so well back then. i treasure you more than i can ever say.

"ooh, don't you know you can't escape me; yeah, darlin', 'cause you'll always be my baby..."

Friday, July 30, 2010

cool blue reason

there's a time in the middle of every big life decision when the fog of fear, pain, confusion, etc. parts, and for one brief second, the cold light of rationality shines on you. the road becomes clear. consensus may even be reached in a bitter fight.

i woke up this morning in a very bad head state. things had escalated way out of control, and every answer i thought i'd reached had been replaced by a hundred questions. but for once, my instinct to overthink, overanalyze and generally obsess myself into a serious problem held itself in abeyance. i sat down on the couch, picked up a leisure book, and simply... started... thinking. it almost felt like my process during the bar exam, weirdly: i felt myself looking at the fact pattern of my life, issue-spotting, and applying the law to the facts. well, not the law, but more like the truth of my emotional life.

and strangely enough, i started to come to some realizations. things became clear again. for the first time in probably two years, i feel like i'm at a place emotionally where i can function normally. there's not this weird, clamped tension in my heart when his name comes up. there's no longer that desperate, pinched neediness to the interaction. instead, i look at him and i see, well, him, sitting across from me. i see a way to a peaceable future. maybe not the one we'd imagined, or even the one i'd imagined, but a good, pleasant co-existence.

there's hope. there's a chance. and by god, that's all i need.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


one benefit of this insane week has been that i've had a rental car at my disposal. as much as i love walking, metro trains and the urban lifestyle, there is precious little in my life that i enjoy more than getting behind the wheel of a car. i've had a license for 13 years; this is the second extended stretch of time over that entire period that's found me carless.

the first time, i was a freshman in undergrad, seventeen years old, and living in a teeny little mountain town in virginia. alone for the first time, i thought i had everything well in hand. but then the walls of the teeny little mountain town started to close in on me. my world, which had never really been that big (i mean, there's only so much you can see in small-city alabama in the mid- to late-1990s), suddenly shrank to about three miles square. and there was no. way. out. i was stuck. every little problem became massive, and with my adolescent coping skills being, well, stunted beyond all belief, i reacted about as well as you'd expect: i freaked out.

so here i sit again, on the other side of over a decade of life experience, carless. this time it's different; i'm old enough to attain several means of escape, and i have a tight web of close friends and family to support me should i freak out again. but tonight, i took to the roads of my city, cruising around with no real agenda. i let my mind wander far and wide (the results of this wandering, by the way, will be seen later on this week; i'm brewing up a nice writing project which will debut here in pieces in august), and it was simply heaven. i've always thought so well while driving. it's one of the few places in my life where i know i can think clearly and without interruption. i used to go on long drives with my cell turned off. there was a freedom in being completely unreachable.

behind the wheel, you are 100% free to do whatever you want. i realized driving back last night that, if i so desired, i could have gone anywhere i wanted. there was nothing holding me back. in my new life, i miss that feeling. it's one to be savored.

bonus post: thank you!

still kinda wired, but i am in bed at home now. blog-land friends, y'all have been smashing throughout this torture session known as my bar-exam summer. now that it's over, i want to thank every single one of you for how supportive you've all been. it's been hugely reassuring thinking about my little band of buddies out here in the world rooting for me. (i did, with no exaggeration, think of y'all at one point during today's testing, and it gave me a boost when i was struggling.)

so thanks. it means a lot to me, more than i can express. :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


just a quick check-in from the road. on my way home now. it was a long two days. i feel... well, it's hard to say. not awful. i did what i needed to do. now, we wait. and now, for four glorious weeks, my time is mine.

bring it on. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


oh boy. not much to say tonight; my hand hurts from writing. it went OK. i rocked a couple of questions, muddled my way through others. i didn't walk away feeling like i wanted to die, but i didn't feel like a million bucks, either. so tomorrow is the last day. the multistate bar examination. 200 multiple-choice questions. what multiple choice has to do with being a lawyer is beyond me, but whatever. it is what it is. so back to the books for a quick read-through one last time, making sure i can remember the tricks and keep my focus. i can do this. i will do this.
and now, a little self-congratulation. for those who haven't seen this, i have written my very first guest post as a blogger. i'm kinda proud. check it out for yourself at secret society of list addicts. i'm even capitalized for once. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

game face

"this is it. don't get scared now." - macaulay culkin as kevin mcallister, home alone

we're now less than 12 hours from the bar exam. one more brief refresher read-through, then it's to bed with this little girl. of course, i had to have chosen the hotel full of not just harley riders, but high-school cheerleaders. it's a touch noisy. but i mean, would i really have slept the sleep of the just in any hotel? this is serious nerves time.

or is it? to be honest, i am not that freaked. oh, don't get me wrong; i am nervous. but it's mostly about tactics, gamesmanship, etc. i know i know this stuff. i went through three years of law school. i also went through two months of concentrated preparation. seriously, when i wasn't in someone else's bed, i was at the kitchen table, poring over essays and outlines. it's been a very binary summer in that regard. the knowledge is in my head. it's just a manner of getting it to flow from my brain, through my pen and into those blue books. (no, i'm not typing the exam; though i might look like a prolific typist, i am slow and inaccurate. it's longhand all the way.)

so it's time to get psyched. head down, eyes up. like knights of old, let's fight to hold the glory of the purple and gold. let's carry through. let's die or do. to win the game for dear old... well, for me. for my future. for everything i've always wanted. this is the last test, the final boss. time to slay the dragon...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

out to stud

i sat on the edge of his bed and chatted blithely with him until he was awake enough to drive me home. i would've walked, but it's too damn hot, and besides, he offered. usually, these moments are shot through with some form of wanting, hoping, wishing he'd see more to me than he does. not this time. i just took him for what he is for once in my life: the friend who knows my ins and outs, who respects me and cares for me the best way he knows how.

racing animals have short careers. elite racehorses are put out to stud shortly after their fourth birthdays. why? because it's tiring beyond belief chasing a nearly unattainable goal. some of these poor animals run themselves into their graves with exhaustion. others retire peacefully. knowing when to say when is the difference between life and death. so i throw up my hands. i'm no longer willing to exhaust myself this way. i've made this declaration before, and i swore i meant it those times, too.

but i sit here tired, pushed to the brink from stresses internal and external. i am at my weakest right now. these are the times when my resolution fails, when i get sad and lonely, when i seek comfort and start imagining a future that will never be as perfect as my mind can create it. even in this weakened state, i think about him and, finally, don't feel that old pinch around my heart. i just don't want to go there. not now. and hopefully that means not ever.

i care so much about him. but he's not for me. i know it intellectually. i think, at LONG last, that's starting to seep into my emotions. i think i've managed to convince my heart to listen to my head. not a moment too soon. i won't chase him anymore. the race is over.