Monday, May 25, 2009

Dear bar exam,

You're SO frustrating!!

I found my inspiration about 7 years ago. Almost exactly 6 years before we met for the first time. I was reading A Civil Action - wasn't even finished reading it actually when it clicked. In one moment, I KNEW I would be an attorney. I KNEW that I was meant to help people like the attorney helped Woburn. I thought about it after that moment - reasoned the decision to become an attorney as I did research on law schools - and the inspiration made complete sense. I've known since I was little that I was put here to serve. I don't know how or why I knew that so early, but I did. I care about social justice. I love to write-research-learn-and I don't mind a good argument. Becoming an attorney just made sense.

And it still makes sense. Being an attorney still feels right - despite the four years of trials and tribulations that was law school - despite the fact that I think most attorneys suck - I still feel like I belong in this profession. And here I am, ready to pass the milestone that is you. Ready, willing and able. But it hasn't happened yet.

I can't wait for the day I can look back and see you in the distance, a haze of blurry, stress-filled memories.

There's much that can be said about things happening in their own perfect timing, according to the schedule set out individually for me by God. When things are right, they're right. It wasn't right the first two times I encountered you. It wasn't my time to pass. This stuff about timing may be true, but the truth is that passing the bar exam isn't about timing. Based on my scores it appears that I actually knew enough law to pass. Maybe I should have practiced more essays. Maybe if I finished the MPT. Maybe I should have done more of Pieper's quizzes. Maybe I shouldn't have left my mother's house while studying. Maybe I shouldn't have worked until a week before.

Maybes aside - I did what I did. I made as much effort as I could have. The point is that it didn't work.

On July 28 and 29, 2009, it needs to work. Otherwise, I will have to move on in November or December (whenever the results come out), knowing that I'm meant to do something else with my life. There are many ways to serve. My talents can be used in ways that have nothing to do with the law. This experience of learning about the law in law school and in my job experience will always have value.

But I haven't given up yet. I can't. I won't. There are a lot of things I'm gonna do differently this time: not taking a class, exercising more, meditating, following a schedule, etc. I'm gonna manage my life better. I've always known my priorities and I'm learning how to work those priorities. The most important thing I've learned in this experience with you is how to Let GOD Lead my success. My relationship with God does come first. He's brought me to this point for a reason and I have to trust that.

Maybe I haven't passed because I needed to learn how to manage my life before passing.

Whatever. As frustrating and annoying as you are, bar exam, I appreciate the opportunity I have had to take you. So many like me - who come from circumstances like mine - dream for the opportunity like the one you present to me. So many like me - who come from similar circumstances, who have been where I am, who intend to be where I am in the near future - are invested in having me (and people like me) pass. I'm thankful for the opportunity to make my dream into a reality.

What's the most frustrating though, is to be this close to making my dream a reality and to be held in the same place for awhile, wondering when I'll get a break. But timing. This is for a reason. All of that jazz. As frustrating and annoying and time compromising as you are, you're just another step towards making my dreams come true. And so, I need you. I need to push through you.

I need pass this July! God be with me.

Today's post has been brought to you by inspiration from this. Brilliant.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Place your bets.

To make a jackpot in the future, you have to place your bets in the present.
- Carrie Bradshaw.

It's possible that I get too much wisdom from watching Sex and the City. Or maybe not. But I was sitting here watching a repeat - the one where they go to Atlantic City for Charlotte's birthday - and Carrie's seemingly trite metaphor about going for what you want (one that I've heard every time I've seen this episode but never bothered to consider) inspired this lightbulb moment!

If you have faith in anything - including yourself - then you have some sort of belief in that thing/person/being about something that you can't yet see. And the faith is there, in part, because you believe that one day, you will see what you believe in. If you truly have faith, then it's likely that you act according to your faith - you'll invest time, energy, emotions, money, etc. because you believe that you will get some sort of result from the object of your faith.

Acting according to faith is a gamble.

You don't know what you're gonna get from "placing your bet" on the object of your faith. There's never any guarantee. Still, you believe that the bet is worth placing, because the jackpot is of tremendous value. It's worth the risk. So you act according to your faith - not by anything you can see.

We live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

I feel like a gambling addict. I've been doing SO MUCH these past few years, basing my actions, often, on my faith. And that faith is in God mostly - but also, in me, in my abilities, in my untapped potential. Like any gambling addict I've found myself in many tight situations - times when it seemed like I had nothing to gamble. Actually, I'm in one of those tight situations now... a situation that makes me question my faith. All these questions, and yet, I keep on rolling the dice.

If I'm interested in the future jackpot, the time to place my bet is always NOW.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

28 Lessons Learned in 27 Years.

This is actually a continuation of a list of lessons learned that I wrote after I turned 25. Two years later and the life lessons just don't stop pouring in!

1. Anything worth having is worth working for until you get it. Even if you have to make multiple attempts, spend all kinds of money and time to get it - if it's worth having, it's worth the effort needed to get it. For example - I'm taking the bar exam in NY AGAIN. And it's totally worth the effort.
2. If I'm not willing to put in all the work and effort required to get something, then I probably don't want it or need it.
3. There is a distinction between what I want to do and what I have to do, but ultimately, I tend to treat them as the same. What I want to do is what I have to do, and what I have to do is what I want to do. This is an important part of how I stay driven.
4. Taking a step out on faith requires that you already have faith in place before you take that step.
5. Faith is all you really need to go for what you want out of life. Take a step towards what you want, even if you can't see the way towards it, and the way will be made for you.
5. Those who walk without faith will let you know about their lack of faith with their constant searching for earthly assurance.
6. The way to increase your faith is to stop looking for tangible, physical, earthly signs to show you the way. Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. - Augustine of Hippo.
7. People who seriously lack in faith (in themselves, in the universe, etc.) drain and frustrate me.
8. Trying is acting with the intent to fail. I am learning to eliminate the word from my lexicon and the act from my life.
9. You never know just where, or how, you will find opportunities. Be open to every possibility. (Word to twitter!)
10. It's totally possible to create great friendships without ever being face to face with your friend - communication is key (Word to HER!)
11. The key to giving someone a great gift is to be attentive to their needs, likes and dislikes. The best gifts will meet the needs of the receiver, or at least their likes.
12. Your focus shapes your reality - to an extent. Your actions make up for the rest.
13. Doing what you love (which requires focus and action) only brings more of what you love. Why not just do what you love?
14. Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal. - Vince Lombardi
15. When I look back at the past few years of my life and everything that I've done and experienced, I see where and how my accomplishments weren't my doing, but was God. I was never alone. God has always carried me through. (Word to Footprints In The Sand!)
16. It is totally possible to live without all the stuff I've accumulated in 27 years. I've always known that but I didn't know how I could. Recently I've had to actually live without being in possession of most the things I own and I've been just fine without them. I don't even miss most of them.
17. The way I have accumulated so much is a lack of mindfulness of my acquiring/spending habits. Mindfulness leads to freedom from possessions.
18. I enjoy organizing and planning. I should do it for a living.
19. I enjoy making people look nice. I should do it for a living.
20. I enjoy analyzing and writing and discussing the law. I need to pass the bar exam so I can be licensed to practice law!!
21. The object of life is not pursuing happiness - but growth. Happiness is merely but a result of growth.
22. Things are only difficult when we perceive them that way.
23. Actions speak louder than words, but actions can also undermine how we feel. People don't always act in accordance to their feelings - all kinds of other things can come into play to drive someone to behave a certain way.
24. Nothing exists but the here and now. As a result, I find that people who live bogged down in the past - who drag their pasts into their present and use it to determine their future - SUCK. I have no time for people like this.
25. Opinions are like assholes - we all got 'em and we all use 'em. No one's opinion on your life matters as much as yours, but there's nothing wrong with being impacted by another person's opinion on your life. Just gotta keep in mind the place of other people's opinions in your life (secondary!)
26. You can't hope for what you already have. And you shouldn't hope only for what appears to be in reach.
27. My friends are astounding people. ASTOUNDING. I'm always in awe.
28. The universe conspires to support you at all times. You just have to be open to receiving the support.

P.S. It's my birthday.