Remember back when I did weekly playlists? It’s been a while. Frankly, I stopped doing playlist posts because I felt that I had nothing to add to the conversation. My taste in music is pretty main stream, and I’m not the person to look to when trying to find new artists. Here’s my list of things to listen to anyways! Maybe you’ll find something new. Maybe you’ll rediscover something old. To each their own.
Here’s a short list of things that have helped me wrap my head around this pandemic. Hopefully they’ll help you too.
NY Times article about remembering the little spots of light in the darkness.
How are we today? Are we doing okay? It’s okay to not be okay.
There have been a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head about how I wanted to write about the corona virus on my blog. I’ve had a lot of time to process these thoughts, and I still haven’t quite made any sense of them. And that’s okay. There isn’t much of a protocol for my generation when it comes to a global pandemic. I have nothing to look to for guidance, other than the Spanish flu. And I keep reminding myself that that’s okay. Not having guidance is okay. Not knowing what’s coming next is okay. It will all be okay.
I am very type A. My family and friends joke about my OCD tendencies and about how much of a control freak I am. This time has been incredibly hard for me because all my schedules have been disrupted, all plans cancelled, and all semblance of control has been thrown out from under me. I’ve been using this time to learn how to be okay when everything I use to stabilize my life (order, organization, schedules, events) is gone. This also means creating a new schedule, which looks a whole lot like “move to living room at 8:15 am for class; at 9:55 take a break to sit outside on the porch; at 10:45 come back inside for class; move from the kitchen table to the floor.” I miss the regularity of my law school classes. I also miss being with friends, even if we were stuck with each other starting at 8:30 am every day (I am not a great morning person…).
If you know me, you know I do not do well with change. This period of my life has been nothing but change, and that’s also been difficult. Leaving Athens, moving to Macon, starting law school, leaving all my friends behind and making new ones, trying to be comfortable with essentially “starting all over” with my professional life, and now the pandemic. Sitting here, counting all the major life changes that have happened in the past 10 months, brings an embarrassing amount of panic. I’m talking about it because I know there’s someone else out there that needs to hear that it’s okay to freak out a little. It’s okay to wallow in your discomfort for a little while before moving on; healthy, even, to do so. The important thing is to move on eventually. Keep moving forward a tiny bit each day. Take a step back if you need to, but always remember to keep stepping forward.
Change becomes comfortable with time, and right now it feels like we have an endless amount of time before us, but also a nagging fear that our time might be cut short. It’s a strange paradox to be in. But we’re in this together.
I read an article from CNN on a Californian veterinarian who treats the pets of the homeless for free. I sent the article to my dad because we’d been talking about unconditional love on the drive home from dinner the other day, when we saw a homeless man and a dog crossing the street. The dog looked to his owner before crossing, during, and after. He didn’t stray more than a foot or two from the man. It was amazing to see the loyalty they had in one another.
Humans are social creatures by nature, and dogs are pack animals, so it makes sense to me that the two would stick together out on the streets. Dogs are, after all, man’s best friend.
Reading the article got me thinking about what I perceive other people need. I learned a lot about homelessness when volunteering in San Francisco, and my mom has taught me a lot through her involvement with Room at the Inn. If I were to pack a ziplock bag with things to give to someone living on the streets, I would pack a water bottle, granola bars or trail mix, socks, bandaids, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer or Lysol wipes. I’d pack that bag thinking of someone that functions like I would function: a mouth full of good teeth, conscious of my need for protein and carbs throughout the day, and always cold (hence the socks).
That’s not the reality of most homeless people. They don’t have access to good dental care. Some of them have never been to a dentist in their lives. If you don’t have good teeth, eating crunchy food is painful. And here I was, thinking that a granola bar or trail mix would be the best option for someone because of its fat to carbs to protein ratio.
Maybe bandaids and sunscreen would be helpful, but it’s barely even a dent into the medical care they actually need. As for socks? I hadn’t even thought about cotton versus wool.
Another thing I hadn’t taken into account is the need for companionship. I had seen people living on the streets with animals, most commonly dogs, but it never occurred to me to help them while helping their owners. Kwane Stewart, the veterinarian from California, saw and met this need when he set up a table at a soup kitchen after the 2008 economic recession. His mission is to keep people with their pets, rather than separate them and put the pet in a shelter.
For myself, something I need to work on when volunteering or doing pro bono work in the future is to ask “What do you need?” rather than assume. No matter how many social studies people run, no statistics can tell people what a stranger needs in that moment.
How do you go about helping others?
There’s been a running joke between my friend Zach and I that I am just like the main character from Fleabag and should therefore be the owner of a guinea pig. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Fleabag is about a girl living in London who co-owns a guinea pig themed cafe with her dead best friend. Her life is a mess. She has a hard time making friends with people because she’s a bit of an acquired taste. Oh and the guinea pig’s name is Hillary. Personally, I think I am the main character’s older sister, who has a professional job, married an art guy (does he sell art? does he look at art? does he make art? TBD.), and has a very nice wardrobe that is mostly neutrals. Needless to say, Zach disagreed and I ended up with a guinea pig to complete the joke.
Walter is your average, run of the mill Petsmart guinea pig. He’s probably five months old. I say probably because the pet store misjudged his gender and he is actually a she but because I’ve already named him and he responds to him better than her, I am going to continue to refer to Walter as a he. And just in case anyone thinks I have offended my guinea pig by misgendering him, it’s okay. I have asked him. He is fine with it so long as I continue to feed him grapes.
Walter enjoys long naps, eating, and burrowing into my clothing so he can nose his way into my armpit and then bite me when I try and pull him out. His favorite foods are grapes, clover, hay, and his own poop. He’s a very classy guy.
He goes in for a second vet visit tomorrow, where I will be confirming his gender and getting him weighed again. So far, he is a chonker (which is perfect by guinea pig standards).
Before turning 21, drinking was this weird thing I considered very grown up, but also youthful. Alcohol was surrounded by a gauze of mysticism. How would it make me feel? Do I want to risk getting into trouble? How much is too much? How does one make a mixed drink? Honestly, before college, I thought a mixed drink was 50% vodka and 50% juice. Thankfully I have learned my lesson, and that lesson only took one “mixed drink” to figure out.
Now, almost all the social situations I find myself in outside of school and work have alcohol involved. Coming to talk at a law school reception? Grab a glass of wine. Going to a birthday dinner? Have a beer. Want to watch a movie with friends at home? Someone bring on the White Claws!
Having a drink in my hand when I’m standing around chatting has become the norm. I spent January making a more conscious choice of when I drank, what I was drinking, and with whom I was sharing a drink. Why was I reaching for a drink in a particular moment? Was it just to feel like a normal person and fit in, or was it because I really wanted a glass of wine? I found that most of the time I drank, I drank because I wanted people to think I was “normal.” Having a drink with friends while chatting about life made me less of a prude, or so I
While going through the notes on my phone, I stumbled upon a piece from Medium called The Unifying Theory of Alcohol. I remembered reading it about a year ago, and only clicked on the link to read it again because I’d just been to a Super Bowl party where a handful of people peppered me with questions about why I wasn’t drinking, if I wanted a drink, if I was the designated driver, etc. The truth was, I didn’t want to get drunk with them, but I didn’t want to say that because I didn’t want to sound lame. I also didn’t want people to continue to try and get me to drink. So I told them I was driving.
I ended up getting a drink an hour later, after relocating to another party with close friends. But I wasn’t drinking to get drunk or because I felt I had to. I wanted something sweet, so I made myself half a drink and nursed it all night long. The weird thing was that as soon as my group migrated back to the old party, no one there asked me about drinking. As soon as I showed up with a cup in my hand, the questions stopped. It was an eerie moment because it seemed like I had to drink, or get pestered all night.
Reading the article from Medium over again, I wished there was an easier way to say “I’m not drinking” that would get it through other people’s heads. “I’m not drinking” doesn’t mean “ask me again to make sure I’m sure” or “check again in a few minutes.” Alcohol is no longer mystical or weird. Sometimes it’s a burden. No one wants to explain their reasoning for not drinking a thousand times in one night (and by a thousand, I mean more than maybe once).
I guess what I really want is for society to normalize not consuming alcohol as much as it showcases drinking in any and all social situations.
I don’t care if you drink. I don’t care if you want to get drunk every night of the week. But I do care if I get asked about alcohol so many times that I eventually feel pressured to lie about being the designated driver or fill a Solo cup with water so people stop asking.
Perhaps I need more of a backbone. Perhaps I should just drink water and pretend to be doing what everyone else is doing. Perhaps I should just get over myself and have that glass of wine. Who knows. But I do know that The Unifying Theory of Alcohol really hit the nail on the head for me after that party, and it’s definitely something to think about.
I am currently enjoying A Life in the Law: Advice for Your Lawyers, Legal Ethics Stories, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Supplement, Contracts…kidding. I’m definitely not reading those for fun. But I am ~technically~ reading them for school. But that’s not why you’re here. You’re here for the juicy romcom, sci-fi, young adult weirdness that my Goodreads account is usually full of.
I hit my goal of reading 15 books last year. Usually I read close to 30, but there was no way I was going to have free time to read as prolifically as I usually do during law school. I set my goals lower and hit them, with help from a few audiobooks at the tail end of December.
Here’s a list, and rating, of all those books:
- The Princess Saves Herself in This One Amanda Lovelace 3/5
- Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte 4/5
- Call Me By Your Name 4/5
- Donna Haraway and Genetically Modified Foods George Myerson 2/5
- Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction David Sheff 5/5
- It Stephen King 5/5
- Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand 3/5
- The Great American Whatever Tim Federle 4/5
- The Contemporary American Poets Mark Strand 4/5
- The Nightingale Kristin Hannah 3/5
- Emergency Contact Mary H.K. Choi 4/5
- Fates and Furies Lauren Groff 5/5
- Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens 5/5
- Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant To Be Rachel Hollis 3/5
- The Secret History Donna Tartt 5/5
- Wishful Drinking Carrie Fisher 4/5
- Bossypants Tina Fey 3/5
- Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between Lauren Graham 4/5
And a few I didn’t finish reading:
- Lyotard and the Inhuman Stuart Sim
- Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell With Your Coven Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman
- One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School Scott Turow
What’s currently on my nightstand:
And what I’m looking forward to picking up in 2020:
- Little Fires Everywhere Celeste Ng
- Ninth House Leigh Bardugo
- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil John Berendt
If there’s any book in particular you’d like me to write a full review on, leave a comment with the title below!
Since starting school I have been super busy! Obviously I’m not surprised, but I’m still a little shocked at just how busy I’ve been. I feel like this semester is much different than last semester in that I’m spending more time on homework but getting less of an overall understanding of what’s going on. Go figure!
I haven’t done a “what’s on my radar” post in a little while, so here’s what’s been on my mind recently! From Instagram posts to weird Youtube rabbit holes, get ready for a wild ride.
I’ve been obsessed with guinea pigs recently. I actually adopted a little baby boy earlier this month! His name is Walt and I love him to death. In doing my research on how to care for him, I found the BEST guinea pig account on Instagram! @officialpigdad is hilarious. The pictures where the piggies are wearing sunglasses are my favorites.
I’m also starting to apply for summer internships. Many of my friends are applying to all the places they can, some are only applying to a few select places depending on the type of law they want to practice later on in life, and I’m somewhere in between. I’m applying to all the “cool” sounding jobs, the jobs that have something to do with family law or anything at all related to art, and all of the jobs open for Macon, GA and Asheville, NC. I am going to be so happy when the job search is over!
This article makes me laugh a whole lot – I am a Trader Joe’s Parking Lot and I am Here to Destroy You from McSweeneys
I set up my 2020 bullet journal using a Karst notebook and wow I am disappointed! I’ll try and make a whole post on this later, but sheesh the quality of the paper was not at all what I expected for the price of the notebook. Especially when the paper is made of stone!
My favorite weekly spread (so far) has been this one! So many sunshines! It all just makes me smile 🙂
I’ve also been so obsessed with my Relax – mint leaf and mandarin two wick jar candle. I got it for my birthday and wow! It smells amazing! Not only that, the scent truly is relaxing. Once lit, it’ll make your whole room smell like a spa.
On the Youtube side of things, my favorite Youtuber Amanda Rach Lee is taking a break. I totally get why she’s doing it. Her video explaining everything is a little long winded, but I empathize with every little bit of it. If you’re pushing yourself so hard that you start having extreme anxiety over every little thing, take a break. It’s not worth it.
On the happier (and guinea pig obsessed) side of things, I’ve found a channel devoted to learning all about guinea pigs, their keeping and care, and the LA Guinea Pig Rescue! Getting to see guinea pig babies, piggy adoptions, and sick guineas being nursed back to health just warms my heart.
One last thing before I go: Silli Pint! My mom has been obsessed with this company for a few months now. They make silicone cups, which they’re unbreakable and eco-friendly! They mimic all the cup shapes you know and love (like your pint glass, wine glass, shot glass, you get the picture) so they’re easy to use. You use them exactly the same way you’d use a regular glass, only they won’t shatter if you drop them! Plus they come in some crazy fun colors. Mine is a glow in the dark 16 oz pint glass with a travel lid so I can take it on the go.
That’s all for now! See you next week!
Today is the first day of my second semester at Mercer Law! While I’m not necessarily looking forward to being back in the classroom after such a nice break, I am ready to take whatever challenges come my way.
Here’s to struggling my way through semester number two!
2019 was a wild year for me. I applied to law schools, accepted a full scholarship to Mercer, graduated from the University of Georgia, had an internship with the UGA Performing Arts Center, mentored a group of freshmen, gave tours of my favorite school, traveled out of the country, moved to Macon, and started my fall semester at law school.
I am so thankful for all the opportunities 2019 brought me. From new friends to new experiences, I’ve learned a lot about the world and about myself. Here I am, ready to do it all again.
I set some small goals for myself in 2019: go to law school, read 15 books, run a 10k, do yoga every week, learn to meditate, etc. I didn’t meet all of them. I still haven’t run in an official 10k race, and I haven’t done yoga since the summer. Life happens, ya know?
This year I’m setting some new goals, similar to the wishlist I wrote about in my 23rd birthday post. Here’s what I want to do in 2020:
- Getting onto Law Review at Mercer
- Get into the top 25% of my class
- Trying out for mock trial
- Finish the novel I started writing ages ago
- Buy one piece of art from a local artist to hang in my house
- Fill up three journals
- Learn how to needlepoint (or some other artsy thing I haven’t done before!)
- Take a pottery class
- Run in a 10k race
What do you want to do in 2020?