Monday, April 30, 2012

A Really Happy Day

Ok, so yes, May starts tomorrow, but today is Monday and even if it's not the beginning of a new month it feels like a new beginning for so many different reasons. So with that, I wanted to talk about something that happened this weekend. My really happy, full of huge relief weekend.

If you remember, a few months ago I was stressed out beyond belief because I was taking the Washington state bar exam (my second bar exam - I'd taken and passed the Oregon exam back in 2008). I mentioned that I wasn't feeling quite as stressed earlier in the process, but I think it just took a bit longer for it to really hit me. I was going to be sitting in a big hall writing essays for 2 1/2 days straight. Basically spitting out all the black letter law that I could remember for 18 different subjects (but staying within the very strict character counts for each essay). 

And then I was going to have to wait for two months for my results while they graded 24 essays for each person who took the exam. 

I got those results on Saturday.

I passed.

My name will be on the list of passing applicants that's published on the Bar's website today. 

I am incredibly happy, but most of all I feel relief. I'd been getting scared that perhaps I hadn't done enough studying. That maybe I didn't know those subjects as well as I thought I did. What if I hadn't explained something as clearly as I could have? What if, what if, what if.

Thankfully, I don't have to dwell in that rabbit hole anymore. There are still a few things that I have to do before I'm officially licensed to practice in this state, but the big hurdle is behind me. 

And I've already told B that we are never moving anywhere that will require me to take another bar exam, ever again. Once was enough. Twice is way more than enough. 

But I passed.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Month of Happiness

Ok, so Google still hates me, but I'm getting used to it at least. That doesn't mean I have to like it though.

However, on that note, I've been realizing just how down I've been lately. Both in this space and in my head. And I'm getting tired of it (and I'm sure you are, too, even if you've been kind enough not to say so). So with that, I want to try something new for May. Instead of complaining about everything that is going wrong (or at least isn't going right), I want to spend the next 31 days focusing on all the good that is in my life. Because there's a lot of it. And reminding myself of that is a good thing (see, there I go, starting already!).

My friend Marisa did this last year (I think?) where she specifically focused on a month of being open to happiness (I might be getting this wrong as I didn't go back and find her posts. Sorry if I'm mangling this, but I appreciate the starting point!). So for the month of May I'm going to be posting about the good things and what's going right in my life. 

And the best thing that I could leave you with? A picture of my ridiculous dog (thanks to B for this shot!) (I should also note that whenever we find him like this our modus operandi is to laugh, take a photo and then kick him the hell off the bed. But c'mon, how can you not laugh???).

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Google hates me

So I'm pretty sure Google hates me today. My main gmail account was finally forced over to the new look for good this morning (of COURSE it happened on a Monday), and then I come to blogger to write a post and wtf is up with the changes over here? 

Seriously Google, what's up with taking things that aren't broken and trying to fix them up so that nobody wants to use them anymore? I may not be a genius, but I'm pretty sure that's a fantastic way to lose users. Are you really that convinced that this is the way to roll out changes? Yeesh. Also Picnik closed last week. Which I'm still bummed about. (Yeah, yeah, I know those features are going to be in google plus, whatever, I don't care. Picnik was cool.)

B keeps telling me that change is good. I keep telling him that he's wrong, but apparently the world agrees with him.

So no, I do not like these changes, but apparently I have no choice. And that right there might be the new motto for my life.

At least it's sunny out. Time to walk away from the computer and live in the real world for a bit.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dealing with Disappointment

Do you watch Biggest Loser? I'm watching this week's episode and (spoiler alert) the contestants staged a mutiny and decided that they didn't want to play anymore because the show kept throwing twists at them. In this instance, the twist was that an eliminated player was going to have the opportunity to come back to the ranch and compete for a spot in the finals. 

First off, hello? Have any of these players ever watched the show? They do that every year. I'm pretty sure that's how Ali won (right? Wasn't she an eliminated player who came back and earned a chance to come back to the ranch?). And two, even if they haven't watched the show before, presumably they know how to read contracts that they sign. And in the agreement that they all signed (including all of the eliminated contestants), it specifically stated that the eliminated contestants would have an opportunity to come back. I'll admit, I kind of enjoyed watching the attorney explain that and then ask the contestants exactly why they were so shocked about this twist. And no one could say anything beyond "It's not fair." Life is not fair. Get over it.

I find it a little bit interesting that I'm watching this show after the day that I just had. Nothing really bad happened, but I faced yet another disappointment. And I feel like I've faced so many disappointments big and small over the last couple of years that it all just hit me. And after nearly breaking down at work over it, I came home and could barely even talk to B. Which I hate. It's not his fault. It's not my fault. But it is our situation. And things have been tough and there's no end in sight. And that's the disappointment that I've been dealing with. And I don't know how to handle it anymore. 

So while this was not the post that I had planned to write today, apparently it's the one that I needed to write. At some point I do want to have conversations here about careers and how people choose what they do, but I don't have it in me right now. Hopefully soon though.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Working it out

Ok, so I got a nice kick-in-the-pants about some of the things that I was down about over the weekend which was actually really helpful. Big huge thank you to friends who email me when I'm down and go out for drinks with me and remind me that things really are all right.

One of the things that I figure out was bothering me (which I realized during my wallowing-sort-of-self-reflection time this weekend) was that B and I don't get out as much anymore. When we lived in Portland, we did a great job of discovering the various neighborhoods that we lived in, whether by grabbing a drink for happy hour or going out to dinner or breakfast on the weekends. It was great and I felt much more connected to the city in a lot of ways than I do right now in Seattle. Which is sad since I love Seattle, and I'd be perfectly happy living here the rest of my life.

So, clearly one answer to that is to get out more. And that is something that we're going to try to do, but we realized just how much we were spending when we lived in Portland. Which is why we've cut back so much on going out to eat since we moved up here. And yes, that's a good thing, but what I realized is that we need to make more of an effort to discover new places instead of simply getting the same old takeout on the days that we do decide we want to eat out. Which is why this week is so great!

It's Restaurant Week in Seattle!

For $28 a person you get a three course meal at a ton of different restaurants. And sure, this still isn't necessarily cheap (our pho takeout comes to $12 for both of us!), but it is a great way to explore different areas and have some fun for not a ridiculous amount of money. So I'm meeting some friends to try a place tonight, and then B and I are going out with my parents and aunt tomorrow. 

So anyone who's in Seattle (or been to Seattle) where's your favorite place to go? We need suggestions!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday slump

Yesterday was a pretty great day. Gorgeous sunny day in Seattle, Sounders game with friends (where they won AND I got to see my first Sounders goal!), dinner out with my husband, and just overall one of those great days that make me remember how much I love my life. I was supposed to finish the day off by meeting some friends downtown, but promptly fell asleep on the couch entirely too early and missed that. Whoops.

Today has been... different. I have a few things going that I'm not quite prepared to talk about publicly yet, but it's definitely a down day. Luckily by virtue of it being Sunday, that means I can curl up on the couch with my dog and watch some fantastically bad television for a little while as I work through these feelings. I know intellectually that things will be ok, and tomorrow will be better, but today I'm going to wallow just a bit.

Any other suggestions for getting through days like this?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I was thinking the other day how life right now feels a bit like it's drifting by me (and yes, I realize this is a both relevant to and at odds with my last post). But it's as though things have flattened out for me a bit in the last month or so - the highs are not as high and the lows are not as low. I say that because I was re-reading some of my posts from a few months ago, and especially after my grandmother died, wow was I in a low point. And it still surprises me just how hard her death hit me, and how bad of a head space I was in.

Thankfully, it didn't last long. Not to say I'm over the moon joyful and excited about everything now, but that I feel like I'm back to my "normal" (while there may be no true normal out there, I do believe that we each have our own version of normal which I'm happy to say I've found again). Sure there are lots of things in my life that aren't going how I want them to, but at least my head is back to a point where I can deal with them.

But that brings me back to thinking about how different my life is now then what I imagined when I was a little girl. Does this happen to everyone? To think about what your life will be like and wake up one morning and wonder what happened? Again, not that my life is bad in any way - I quite like my life and the direction that it's gone. But the reality is fairly different from what I imagined it would be. 

I've learned to be ok with that. And I'm (still) learning to understand that since this is the only life I get (no matter how much I joke about what I must have done in past lives, I don't actually believe in reincarnation), I need to make it count. I'm not entirely certain how best to do that as I drift along right now, but I do know that I need to be more purposeful with my life. Figure out what I want and go for it rather than feeling as though I'm only reacting to outside forces.

And realizing that even though I may not have what 10-year-old me thought I would want, what I do have is pretty darn spectacular. And remembering to be grateful for it every single day is just as important as anything else I do.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

On being present - or the lack thereof

It's always bad when you wake up on Thursday morning SO excited for the weekend, only to realize that instead of being Friday like you thought it was, it's actually Thursday. Sigh. 

But that actually leads me to my point.

I've been feeling like we've been on the go a lot lately, and to some extent that's true (travel to see family over Christmas, in North Carolina in January for my grandmother's funeral, various activities going on at home keeping me busy, and then a wedding in Georgia last weekend). But I think the bigger issue is that in my head I haven't been very present recently. Looking too far forward or back always means I miss what's going on right now and then feel like I'm scrambling to catch up.

When I'm present, I'm able to focus on the day that it is, rather than looking forward or back. I'm pretty sure I've been doing far more dreaming about what the future might hold, and looking back at what I've done in the past than focusing on the present. After all, the past is done and the future will wait - it's only the now that we have.

Or something like that.

So today, I'm going to focus on the day that I have in front of me, and tonight when I get to spend time with some wonderful friends who I see all too rarely, I'm going to focus on the time with them instead of worrying about what's next. What's next will certainly come, but I'm tired of waking up and wondering where the past 4 months have gone. If I'm not able to pay attention now, when will I ever?
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