Firstly, anything by Nayyirah Waheed is amazing. Real talk. Everything she write strikes that chord in me that makes me close my eyes and reevaluate my perspective. There are so many quotes from Junot Diaz, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dr. Seuss (no shame), quotes from my mother, and so many different poets and authors.
I actually hate the question of “favorites” because preferences are always changing. However, there has been one quote that has stayed with me since I was in seventh grade.
“From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.”
– Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
Yes, it is talking about the end of the world, it’s possibly talking about greed… but I think it’s a little more than that too. It’s about passion and being so consumed with it that the passion leads to destruction. Outside of the fact that I am a fiery, passionate person, I have always wanted to feel that strongly about something. It’s like finding your purpose and I suppose I am still searching for mine.
I am Marcie. I am a naturalized citizen, with a lingering immigrant mentality. I am quickly barreling towards 30… but for all everyone else knows, I am 26 and have been for a couple years now. All I really want to do is give back and help other people and I chose to do it through law. I am a third-year law student (3L) with my graduation finally approaching in May. I have loved all my experiential practice and have hated every living second of being in law school. From what I understand, that’s… normal? I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing beyond that point, except the bar exam.
I know it’s January and not the beginning of January, but I’ve been wanting to do this challenge for some time. I never have much to write about since my life is basically law school, so I thought that a challenge would kickstart me into doing something with this blog. I got the challenge from a blog that I follow (enticing vice) and it seemed doable enough for my melting brain. 🙂
I’m not sure if this is a nationwide thing or just an Illinois Law thing, but each year has a hashtag. As a second year law student, I started to deeply understand #2Hell year.
I don’t have many amazing things to say. This year was hard and I only enjoyed about 50% of my classes. I took a whole bunch of classes that I got to choose all on my own. Some of them were mind-blowing and amazing, others were snooze-fests that killed me during finals. But I don’t think it’s the class load that necessarily kills you. It’s the job searching, it’s trying to figure out what you want to do after you graduate, it’s about having to think more and more about graduation (and post-graduation), it’s clinic, it’s extracurriculars and it’s basically like being the middle child of the family.
However, I became a mentor of sorts this year. It’s weird to think of myself as a mentor since I’ve always considered myself a mess, but it happened. They don’t need my mentorship now (they’re all excelling at their internships <3), but talking to them and helping them had a positive impact on me, and hopefully them. They made me think about the kind of person I wanted to be and the kind of mark I wanted to leave on people. My dark depression probably would have been darker if I hadn’t had my little baby 1Ls.
This year was hard in so many ways and it’s weird to think that it’s over. I had a few personal struggles. This year made me doubt whether or not I really wanted to be in law school. I would call my mother and she’d have to convince me to finish the semester, then just finish the year. I obviously did both those things, but it was a fight to not give up in the middle of the semester (or week) and move back home.
So how do you get through those moments? It’s easy to get lost and forget yourself when you’re overwhelmed by classes and can’t think of one good thing about school and hate every living second of it. I struggled and I found a reason to keep going.
In the words of my insane Civ Pro professor: don’t let yourself get so lost in law school that you forget why you decided to go to law school. Besides the outstanding amount of loans that I need to pay off, I thought back on my 1L summer at Immigration Project, I thought about my bosses when I was working as a paralegal, I thought about my friends who motivated me to go to school, I thought about my family and the opportunity that I’ve received.
I don’t say blessing often, but going to law school has been a blessing. I am unbelievably fortunate to be here. I don’t enjoy every moment, but I know so many people who would love to be in my position. These last two years have been a privilege and I have to make sure that I make the most of it.
I absolutely know what it is like to struggle through law school. I struggled through these two years financially, emotionally, psychologically, and I’m on the other side of it now. So for anyone who feels the same… I got you.
Last year, I made a list of my favorite Christmas movies. They were cheesy, they were terrible, but they were beloved. I thought, in honor of Christmas 2016, I would update the list.
I’m proud to announce that, while I do still love the horribly cheesy Christmas movie, I also now enjoy less horribly cheesy Christmas movies and have expanded my horizons. Again, I invite everyone to check them out, but to also keep your expectations very low. I have to stay true to me and me really likes cheesy Christmas movies.
2015 Xmas Movies:
1. Dear Santa (still on Netflix now)
2. Christmas Kiss (still on Netflix now)
3. Kinky Boots (no longer on Netflix)
4. Love Actually (still on Netflix–and watching as I write this post)
5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (was never on Netflix. Their mistake)
2016 Xmas Movies:
1. The Holiday (no longer on Netflix–those jerks removed it before Christmas). What’s not to love about The Holiday? It has Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Eli Wallach, and the music is amazing. I love me some Frou Frou. Also, I just find it to be relatable to a certain extent. Judge me.
2. A Holiday Engagement (on Netflix). This is a cheesy one, but I like it. It’s about a girl who is dumped by her fiancé and hires an actor to play her fiancé. Shenanigans ensue. It’s light, predictable, and even though it takes place over Thanksgiving, there are Christmas ornaments and trees in it.
3. The Last Holiday (on Netflix). This isn’t as cheesy, but I think it deserves to be on the list. The one-liners in that movie are hilarious. “That’s why they call it gambling and not crocheting!” Classic.
4. Christmas Kiss II (on Netflix). Surprisingly, it’s not as horrible as the first Christmas Kiss. I was surprised to see that. The acting is less horrible and the storyline isn’t nearly as cheesy. The characters spend more time together and they’re generally more likable. It’s an improvement.
5. A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale (on Netflix). I just watched this today. If anyone likes dogs, Christmas, girl power, and the popular guy from Mean Girls, then this is definitely a movie for you. It’s meet-cute with dogs and I’m all over it.
I’ve found myself saying one phrase in particular since the end of my 1L year: “My mama taught me better than that.” I started saying it because I had weddings to attend and no money for the wedding present. Everyone was very forgiving and understanding but my mama taught me better than that. Now I have been saying it because my mama did teach me better, but oh well.
I hate that I’m ignoring her lessons too. My mother is wise and smart and she taught me better. It’s probably all the stress and struggle of returning to law school, starting 2-Hell year (heard that the first day and, after the first day, know it to be accurate), but just because I’m sleep deprived doesn’t mean I’m the same bratty sociopathic child that I was. I clearly need a refresher course, so these are some of the things my mama taught me.
1. Obviously, you always get someone a wedding present, whether you attend the wedding or not. The bane of Summer 2016 (although shoutout to my boosk, Liz, at Baby Got B.A. for being a poor grad student with me and splitting the presents).
2. If someone offers to pay, you eat like you would if you were paying for yourself and/or you get a small drink. This is a lesson I’ve carried with me since she told me when I was in elementary school. I use it to judge my friends as well, so be warned.
3. Don’t waste your energy on pointless things or things you can’t change. In this instance, because it’s her giving me advice, it’s in regards to my “temper.” My mom is fairly non-confrontational, which sometimes drives me crazy. The funniest example of this is my current irritation with the U-Haul across the street from me. She shut down my ire with one sentence: “Are you really this angry at a U-Haul? Aren’t you in law school? Shouldn’t you have better things to worry about?” Yes, I do (but the U-Haul still irks me). However, the most legitimate example of it is with people. I had friends where their political views and selfishness made me so angry. My mom always said that either I learn to deal with it or you end it. There’s no point in wasting energy arguing with them. This may seem inconsequential or obvious, but it has affected how I am around people ever since.
4. Putting milk in coffee is for poor people. I feel like this needs context to not sound as weird (and possibly elitist) as it does, but all I can say is that my mother and I put either half and half or coffee creamer in our coffee. I once called her while I was in undergrad and told her that I put milk in my coffee (I’m not sure if it was because I was poor or needed to do groceries). She felt very sorry for me and said that she’d give me money to buy some creamer and then said milk in coffee was for poor people.
5. “It’s fine!” I’m a control enthusiast and I like things a certain way. Presentation means more to me than my mother will ever understand. She doesn’t sympathize with my plight. Every now and then, I’ll hear my mom’s voice in my head whenever I’m being over-controlling about stupid things, like what order the books on my bookshelf should be in.
6. “The money will be there.” This first popped up when I went to college. I’ve never been great at getting my own outside scholarships, sos when I was talking about loans and all these financial worries about attending the school I wanted versus the school that gave me aid, my mom would always tell me that the money would be there. Definitely applies today still.
7. The Art of Chill. I’m still learning this. Anyone who has met my mother knows and has said that she is the most chill person on Earth. The world could be crashing in around her and she would be perfectly chill. Life is easier when the stupid things don’t bother you and then you can focus on important things. This sounds like Lesson 3 and I suppose it’s along the same strain. She doesn’t let things bother her, even when they would bother any other normal human being. She doesn’t judge people, even though she should. I aspire to her chillness.
I’m stopping at 7 because that’s her favorite number. It’s also encroaching onto another post I want to do. I appreciate all that my mother has done for me. 🙂