Back to the Future

It’s 2015- the year that Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future II. We’ve arrived, y’all. But while everybody else is worried about self-lacing sneakers, hoverboards and flying cars, I want to know where my Jetsons-style conveyor belt automatic shower/groomer is. Anyway, going into a new year always makes people ripe for reflection and I’m no different. Last year I was mostly concerned with getting my law license. This year, I really want a full time job (or a clear sign that I need to be putting my energy into entrepreneurship).  Other than that, my goals are fitness related but I’d rather expound on that in a different post. So for my New Year’s entry, I’m giving you a list of 10 things that could have been blog posts but weren’t. Enjoy!

1. I’m deeply uncomfortable with this new TMI world we live in. There’s a difference between keeping it real and oversharing. Just seems like nothing is sacred or private anymore (people take selfies on the toilet, for God’s sake). The desire to be their authentic is eroding discretion. Example:  S.ex is wonderful, but I don’ care to hear about bedroom gymnastics, or anything related to it, from anyone but my husband. You can be gay, straight, or humping a goat- I’m going to figuratively stick my fingers in my ear and yell “LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” if you start spilling the details. Sorry, I’m a retro model.

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2. A lot of stuff gets lumped under the umbrella of shaming and intolerance. And I’ve lived long enough to know there is plenty of that out in the world. But there are times when it seems that folks just can’t handle it when others won’t  validate your life choices by agreeing with them. Part of being an adult is learning that

a) You don’t need the world’s approval for everything you do, and you won’t get it.

b) Sometimes the reward for living life the way you want, is simply living your life the way you want.

3. Freedom of  speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences. Sony learned that lesson when they got hacked and all the water cooler gossip they’d been emailing back and forth got out*. So did a bunch of people on this Tumblr when their racist antics got back to their employers. Some things are best kept to yourself.

 

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4. Being married is boring sometimes. But so is life. You don’t kill yourself out of boredom so why kill your relationship? I think part of the reason people divorce so much is that we’ve got too many options (Tinder, Snapchat, Match.com) and too much time to think about them. 100 years ago there were no washing machines computers, tv,  or microwave ovens. The US population has more than tripled (from 100.5 million to 320 million) in that time so there are quite literally more options out there. At some point, you gotta learn to be happy with what you got, and make it work. And if you’re bored, here’s a hint: try being interesting and see what happens.

5. Sometimes you just have to let  it go. Unless you suffer from a mental illness like depression, happiness is a choice. Stop doing things that make you unhappy. Step away from the computer screen and dance to your favorite song, call a family member, hit that tree pose, whatever. People make changes when they get fed up. If you’re not at that point yet? Shut up and stop lying to yourself and annoying everybody else.

 

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6. “Friend” isn’t a word I use lightly. Friendship means we have each other’s backs. We tell each other the truth even when it’s uncomfortable. We can make mistakes and forgive each other. But most of all, we reciprocate. I have never been popular, and I’ve had a lot of alleged friendships that ended badly.** So I want to know that my friendship is reciprocated. We all get wrapped up in our hectic lives. But if I can look back a full calendar year and my only  contact with you was when you’re returning a call/text/smoke signal from me, I assume we’re not that close. You think about the people you care about most. If we’re really friends, at some point you should think “Hey, I haven’t talked to Lecie in a while, let me see what’s up with her.” Folks who are married and/or a parent get more leeway but at this point, most people I know don’t fall into those categories.

7. If you can’t afford hired help, being a housewife is hard. Balancing a budget, meal planning and grocery shopping, the neverending drudgery of dirty dishes, calling the bank/cable guy/insurance company to avoid bogus fees and keep from getting the runaround….not sure how I’m going to juggle once I’m working full time. As for the dishes at least, I finally said “eff the planet” and bought paper plates. Totally worth it.

8. Why do plane tickets cost so freaking much for so little? The widest economy seat today is still narrower than the smallest economy a mere 10 years ago, and boarding times have tripled. All so they can nickel and dime you with stupid up-charges. You’d think since fuel costs (probably largest variable cost for any airline) are dropping, ticket prices would go down. Nope. F*ck capitalism.

 

I could go on (rants #onfleek), but my word count is long enough as it is. Ciao!

 

 

*PRO TIP: By this point everyone should really know that you just do NOT talk sh*t via work email. Honestly, for the purposes of plausible deniability you shouldn’t write down your sh*t talking at all, but if you absolutely must, do it on your personal email, on your personal device, on your personal internet connection. You’re welcome.

**Yes, I know the common denominator is me. But given that I have very honest friends and none of them has yet to tell me that I’m an extraordinarily difficult person to make friends with, I think I just had a run of character-developing bad luck.

 

 

Adulting.

Yeah…so today I realized that in about two months I’ll be 27 years old.

Where did the time go???


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The last time I was really aware of my age and could rattle it off without thinking was around 22 or so. After that, I kinda lost track. But now I am for real almost 30 years old. It explains a lot about why I have to work harder just to maintain my weight (uggghhh). But it’s only gonna get harder from here, so I’m going to suck it up and get it right, get it tight from now through 2015. This time next year I want to be down 30lbs and on autopilot with my diet and workouts. I’m getting there with baby steps, though. My knee that I had surgery on is doing worlds better; I still can’t run full out but I’m on the treadmill jogging and have made noticeable progress in just two weeks. My main motivation is that if I were to have a baby tomorrow, I’d be feeling more than the usual discomfort with my post pregnancy weight.Pregnancy is a lot of work for your body and it’s a good deal easier if you’re already in shape.  I don’t plan on having kids for another 2 or 3 years, but I want to be read. Speaking of which, somebody tell my uterus to shut up. Literally overnight I went from “Kids? Yeah, they’re all right” to “Oooh you should have a BABY!” Not. cool. Sunny was super excited to hear about me considering motherhood (and I’m sure my mother would be too, which is why I’m not mentioning it). Kids are just so much damn WORK. And time. And money. I need us to have a  house before we have a kid. I would not make it if I had an infant underfoot in an apartment. No ma’am!

In other news, the job search continues. It’s been 18 months since I graduated law school and I’ve had exactly one offer for full time employment that I had to turn down, and that just happened last week. It hurt my feelings too. The offer was from a private financial services firm to be a full time tax preparer. However, I was expected to work at least 12 hours a day M-F and 8 hours every Saturday during the 10  weeks of tax season. With no overtime pay for a salary that worked out to about $14 after taxes. I reallllly wanted to take it, but I had to be honest with myself that I would not make it. As much as I enjoy working with people, as an introvert I need time to recharge. 12 hour days, plus a 2 hr round trip commute and I don’t even get a full weekend? Shoot, I wouldn’t be even to be able to enjoy a quiet lunch & dinner in the break room because the schedule is so onerous, folks’ families come camp out at the office. Where they do that at? Plus, they still wanted me to work a full 40 hour week the rest of the year even though business drops off by like 200%. Come on now, I’m working slave hours almost 1/4 of the year and y’all can’t give me one Friday off a month? The pros and cons just didn’t balance out for me, especially since I’d be getting no more experience than what I’m getting doing taxes part time and on my own schedule.

I’m at the point where I’ve about had it with sending out resumes and begging people to hire me. I plan to form an LLC since my dad hired me as a legal consultant for his company, and I was thinking why not take it all the way and start my own firm? It will be a lot of work on the front end (I’d need like 3 business bank accounts), but one thing I do have is time. Not to mention, the legal landscape is changing and law practice is changing. So why not create a virtual practice for the 21st century? I’ve seen so many of my college classmates become successful entrepreneurs, and I definitely have a valuable expertise. I used to think that I would need 5-10 years of experience to run my own firm. Now, I’m not so sure. I think I may be underestimating myself. Most small business owners get in trouble over taxes/improper accounting and I’ve already got the jump on that. I certainly won’t be violating any laws. So why not take the plunge? I want a flexible job, where I can pick who I work for, get paid a living wage, and do the things that I’m good at and also enjoy doing. If there isn’t a job out there waiting for me, I just might have to make one.

 

I’m Every Woman

You know, when I turned 25 last week, the day didn’t really feel that significant. But nonetheless, something shifted in my mind. At 25, I will have completed two degrees and enter the workforce. In short- I can now say, without any qualifications, that I am a grown woman. It feels good. *cues Tony, Toni, Tone*

I’m fast approaching the end of my scripted life. From here on out, there is no predetermined path- it’s just me, doing what feels good and growing as a person. And all of a sudden, I find myself caring less and less and sometimes, not at all about what other people think, or about what disasters could potentially occur. Eff it. I’m going to do the best I can and let the chips fall where they may. In keeping with my new outlook on life, I’m doing a makeover of sorts. I’m out of the stage where jeans, fly sneakers, and cute t-shirts are all I need to get by in life. It’s time for me to start dressing like an adult. But what does that mean for me? I want to look powerful, elegant, sexy. I’m tired of being cute just being cute. I went to a potluck-turned-houseparty last week and danced like I was at home alone. In front of other people. I never do that! I guess I just have my own way of doing things. Up until this point, my goal was to graduate, get a job, and hopefully have a worthy male companion to share it with. Clubbing, drinking, worrying about looking sexy- they were all things that could deter me from my primary focus on academics. I come from a working class family, so I literally can’t afford to leech off my parents until I’m 35. I just don’t have that luxury.

Except now, I do. At this point in my life, all I have to do is not screw it up! So the pressure’s off. As long as I don’t slack off with my classes, I’ll graduate. As long as I continue to network and stay on my job search, I will find a position. And I’m with a man who loves me unconditionally and wants to spend the rest of his life with me, so what do I have to be scared of? I’m far away from the humiliation-laden hallways of middle school. I’m no longer a naive, insecure high schooler. I can let it all hang out, so to speak. Sexiness and sensuality are not reserved for the skinny girls, or the perfectly hourglass shaped Beyonces of the world. It’s truly a state of mind. When I lost weight my senior year of HS, I thought it would make me feel totally different but I had the same insecurities as before. And I don’t have to wait to lose 10, 20, 30 pounds to love myself and enjoy the body I have. Lately I’ve found that I can work out or not, eat a salad or not, without a crippling sense of guilt or obligation. I do it because it makes me feel good, and if sometimes what feels good is having a cheeseburger then dammit I’ll have one.

Let go and let flow.

Boldly Myself

Being your own person can be liberating and scary at the same time. The scary part is the lingering doubts. What happens if you don’t conform, take the safe route, do what’s expected? But that still pales in comparison to owning who you are and what you want. I realize that I’ve spent a lot of my life tip toeing around, trying not to make a fuss, and giving people what I thought they wanted while internally freaking out. I know now that a few things would have turned out differently if I had stood my ground and been more assertive from the start. But everything is a lesson, right?

I’m learning even more as President of my law school’s BLSA chapter. I took the position not just because I needed the resume boost, but because I knew I usually avoid visible leadership positions and I would learn a lot. Lately there have been some murmurings about a few folks finding me unapproachable and “hostile”. A couple years ago I would have either a) bent over backwards trying to seem friendlier and lost sleep over it; or b) dug in my heels and acted purposely ornery (as a Capricorn, I tend toward the ornery). This time? I did a gut check with my friends and laughed it off. You can’t please everybody, and I make a very conscious effort to be personable despite my desire to spend most of my time alone. Some folks are just over sensitive and I don’t have to internalize their issues. Their problem does not have to become my problem. How freeing is that?

My 3L year is also the test of me breaking away from the law school crowd, for real for real. There are networking events left and right but I’m holding myself above the frenzy. I choose very selectively where I do and don’t go based on who I want to meet, what I need to do, what I want to do, and how I feel. Tomorrow there is an alumni cocktail mixer but I won’t make it because I don’t want to use another skip day in class to beat the traffic and also–I just don’t feel up to it. It’s been a very busy, trying week for me so I know I don’t have the energy to “sparkle” in a room filled with 100+ people. However, next week I am volunteering at a community law clinic hosted by someone who has had a very nontraditional career path and also happens to be a graduate of my undergrad alma mater. I’m hoping to cultivate her as a mentor and I know that in that smaller setting, we’ll have a chance for productive conversation.

So, I’m being very deliberate and trusting that God will put the right opportunities and people in my path. Every event I’ve gone to where I made real connections, I was either more excited than nervous or I just had a feeling that I needed to get over my reluctance. I’m not getting that feeling about the event tomorrow so I don’t feel bad about not going. You know what else I don’t feel bad about? Taking the February 2014 bar exam. I’m so sick to death of law school and everything related to it. I just don’t see myself settling in for 6 weeks of law school on steroids a week after graduation. My mind is totally on getting married and finding a non-law job and I don’t do anything half-assed if I don’t absolutely have to. A 6 month delay won’t mean anything in the long run.

This right here is MY life and I won’t live anyone else’s.

Out of Sync

I feel like I’m destined to live my life in reverse order of everyone else.

I’ve been a big fan of astrology since I was younger. I put no stock in horoscopes–I believe that psychics exists but I don’t believe that anyone can predict a person’s day to day life based on his or her sign. When I was 11 or 12, I got a mini astrology book for my birthday. I’m a Capricorn, and most of the personality traits fit me perfectly. But none of that is what I’ve remembered from that book.

Sixth grade was a terrible year for me. I was being teased mercilessly at school, to the point where I spent the last two months of the year doing my work from home. I ended up attending a private school for the next two years–I learned that sometimes, just walking away from a bad situation is the best thing you can do for yourself. But I digress. Needless to say, I was feeling alienated from my peers. I just didn’t get why I was being singled out. Sure I loved school, and I cared about doing well–but I also liked *NSync, and playing with makeup, going to the movies, and all the other typical middle school pursuits. The little astrology book said something to this effect: Capricorn ages in reverse. As others grow more settled in their ways, Capricorn becomes more youthful and carefree. Capricorns truly come into their own in the second part of life.

Those lines stopped me cold. Finally, an explanation! Maybe it wasn’t my fault that I had trouble relating to kids my age–I was just ahead of my time. That stayed buried in the recesses of my memory until recently. I find myself branching out and wanting to do many of the things that I didn’t before, and taking life less seriously. My classmates agonize over class rank while I think “Eh, it’s just a grade.” I’ve never seen the appeal in parties but I want to go to a lounge for my  next birthday. But it goes the other way too. Most folks start dating & sexing in high school and don’t get married until they’re approaching 30. I started dating at age 18, and am engaged at 23 to the same guy I’ve been dating since I was 20. It seems that while everyone else is starting to care more and more about what other people think, I’m starting to care less and less.

This is purely anecdotal, of course. But I still feel like I’m destined to swim upstream.