So what happened this month?

A lot. So much that I had to use a wall calendar to keep track of it all, and my phone calendar wasn’t enough. 

Here is an overview:

  • Moot court tryouts 
  • Interviews for two different judicial internship programs
  • Birthday 
  • Informationals & applications to my school’s clinical program 
  • A scholarship celebration
  • Application for a higher E-board position for the publication I’m on
  • Conference I’ve been planning for 3 months, happened
  • ADR tryouts

Let’s begin. 

The first week of February was just working on projects and classes. The second week and onward began the clusterfuck. Between applications, classes, following up on things, I was somehow organized and a mess all at once. 

I didn’t get on to moot court. I really wanted it, but I was so busy that I did a shitty job on my brief and I didn’t even fully understand the question, it was so complicated. Disappointment

I had so many interviews this month it was ridiculous. At one point the thougt crossed my mind, “I’m getting really good at this.” Seriously. I got past the first round application cut for two judicial internship programs, aced the screening interviews for both, and went on to the last interview for one of the programs – aced that too. The second program was too slow in moving through applications and didn’t schedule the final round in time (according to the coordinator). So, I have now secured a 10 week judicial internship at the court that was my number 1 choice. Success

As you know I was also on a juice fast this month. I’ve never lied to you guys, I’m not going to start now. Once I caved, I didn’t look back. I had my birthday brunch, then there was pizza…chinese food…Portuguese food. Lol I still kept off the pounds I lost, but it was only 6 pounds total. *shrug* I don’t actually care. I’m still finding my balance. But either way, I had a nice birthday celebration. Success.

I applied to my school’s clinical program. Basically you get to be a lawyer, while you’re a student. It’s apparently very competitive but I don’t know for sure. I think they try to accept as many rising 3Ls as they can, and match them to their preferences. I had to attend an informational meeting, do this long ass application with a story and extra essay because I was interested in a specific clinic. I of course had a #2 preference, a clinic I had worked with during my summer of 1L. Well… I got in to the clinical program. Success. BUT. I didn’t get my #1 preference; I got my #2, the one I worked with before. It’s also only one semester versus the whole year. Sigh. Disappointment. I tried to brush it off with the consolation of “at least I got in.” My best law school friend, who so badly wanted to get into the same #1 clinic, didn’t get accepted at all. I felt bad and kept my mouth shut. I feel like it would be rude for me to complain about getting my second choice to her, when she didn’t get in at all. So let me show thanks and count this one as a Success

I won a scholarship in December 2014 and was invited to a little celebration to meet the donor. It went well, and I gained a new mentor. Kind of. He’s old and retired and clearly looking for shit to do. But whatever. Success

Now… This next one is major and still pending. Elections for new E-board positions began, and I submitted an application and interviewed for 5 different positions, two of them being Editor-in-chief and a position that is like second in command. I really want to be editor in chief. Unfortunately so does my best LS friend. I didn’t tell her that I ran for that position. Now, I know you’re probably thinking that I am hiding quite a bit from the LS friend. I have good reason. One day we were talking and she told me that she chose our school specifically for the clinical program and this publication. It is/was her goal of getting into the clinic and being editor in chief of this publication, and even being speaker at graduation next year. Well… She didn’t get into clinic. I did. Count one of stealing her dream. We both ran for editor in chief and to be perfectly honest, she doesn’t appear to have the experience needed – but maybe the board will feel different. I don’t know. We are waiting on the decisions to be handed down. More than likely the board will take their sweet ass time in sending out the email and I won’t hear anything until 9 or 10pm tonight; that’s what happened last year. This year the waiting is more intense because I really want to be EIC. I have moved up the ranks and I want it. I also ran for my current position because in the event they don’t choose me to move up, I want to have SOMETHING and I’ll take another year in current position than nothing at all. So.. Waiting is agony. Pending

The conference I had been planning, for the same aforementioned publication, was a total hit. Complete success. Everyone is probably still raving about it. The EIC was very pleased. Success

Finally, since I didn’t get on to the moot court team, I tried out for ADR. I don’t know what it is but I’m beginning  to feel like maybe I wasn’t meant to be on an honor society. The problems are always so fucking complex, I am amazed that anyone figures them out. Seriously. But then again maybe that’s the point. I competed and got the feedback that I didn’t speak much but when I did, it was clear, concise, articulate, and very good. Maybe I’ll get on, but it’s still up in the air. I would really like to get on though because learning to negotiate and mediate is crucial to my future goals. Pending

So in all, we have:

1x disappointment

5x successes

2x pending 

I’ll let you know the results of the Board when I find out but overall it was an insane month and im glad I came out in one piece lol sort of, anyways. What about you guys? Did you accomplish any of your goals this month? 

Stay tuned!

Xox

How to: Network, Part 3

Originally posted on Lawyer in the Making:

The whole purpose of networking is to be able to use your connections when you need them. Networking in the legal community is critical to getting a job offer after graduation and being successful as a lawyer. Now, I’m not an expert on using your connections to get a job because I haven’t been in a position to need to get a job yet. I’ve used connections to get help with something specific or to get advice on something, but never for an actual job.

Figuring out the best way to use a connection is highly dependent on who it is and what your relationship is like. If you have a close, personal relationship with someone, asking about jobs available isn’t necessarily a bad idea. If you have a professional only relationship, it may be a little bit odd to just point blank as about a job. For example, two…

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Telling Mum, “No.”

I just sent this message to my mother, since I needed to get this weight off my chest and a phone call would have led to her voice pissing me off:

Mum, I’m sorry. I’ve been thinking about this all weekend. And as much as it pains me to say this, you can’t stay with me right now. I can’t afford it right now. For time being, you’re going to have to renew your lease or find a different apartment that has a cheaper rent. I’ve been sending out your resume to more hotel jobs. I need to get through this last year in one piece and I will do my best to help you. But none of us can deal with the stress of a relocation right now. It’s too hard.

At least now I’ve said it. But there’s a heaviness still in me. A headache. Trying not to cry because I have to leave for class and don’t want to screw up my makeup.
Hoping I get through the rest of the day in one piece.

Monday Morning and … budgeting?

So after a rather tumultuous weekend, ending with a comedy show where I got glammed up and felt better, I woke up this morning and made my budget for March.
There’s this saying, that if you live like a lawyer while you’re a student, you will live like student when you’re a lawyer.
I honestly don’t know what the fuck that means because either way you’re living on someone else’s money – loans, parents, whatever. How you budget someone else’s money doesn’t really effect how you will live after graduating because it’s not your money you’re saving.
Anyways.
My budget, when I pare everything down, is $1,280.
That’s with a $200/month food budget, no cable, no money put aside for fun, nada. Why is it so high then?
Because I have a $300 monthly car payment, credit card payments, loan payment, gas and parking, insurance, etc.
I called Sprint this morning about lowering my phone bill ($82/month) and found a different plan that will get me down to $72/month but I want to upgrade my phone after the 1st so I have to wait a week.
Internet… Is a different beast all together. I have Comcast. I HATE comcast. There is not enough fire in the depths of hell to burn comcast alive that would satisfy me. I hate them that much. Their prices are outrageous, their service is shitty and there is no customer service. Every time I call, the call drops. Every. Time. The only reason I don’t have anyone else because there are no other companies in the area that offer wifi. It’s either comcast or get a dish installed. In DC, I had RCN and it was amazing and I loved it. One of the reasons I want to move back to dc is RCN. But I digress.

My goals for March are to lower my food budget ($200 is a bit much), lower my internet bill SOMEHOW and lower my phone bill. I can’t shed much of anything else except my brazilian waxes and I’m prone to ingrown hairs so I’m not pro-shaving down there. I’ll drop the $68-76/month for grooming, and that includes eyebrows. So yeah.

I’ve also been sending out job applications for part time weekend jobs. Here’s hoping I can find something that won’t interfere too much with school.

That’s all for Monday. This is about to be the most hellish week of this whole month. I can do it though… With coffee of course. Lol

Xox

[Warning: Extremely Explicit and Personal]

Hi.

Let me tell you a little about my life.

I just turned 25 years old, and for the past 7 years I have been struggling and coping with my life. Somehow I seem to keep moving forward. But it’s a miracle I haven’t turned out like my parents. Let me explain.

I was brought into being in Washington, DC. I say brought into being because the word “conceived” makes it sound like it was a joyous occasion, either by way of pleasure or the knowledge that someone was pregnant. That would be a lie.

My father raped my mother. My immigrant, alcoholic, uneducated, manipulative father raped my uneducated, immigrant, non-drinking mother, and then lied to her – telling her that she wouldn’t end up pregnant because he had had a vasectomy. He even showed her a scar. Lol

I don’t actually laugh out loud at that… it’s more of a chuckle. As I got older, I learned that most of the time, vasectomies don’t leave scars. But my mother didn’t know any better. She believed him. Until she started getting morning sickness and went to the doctor to discover she was 6 weeks pregnant with me.

Me. Her last child, the youngest in the family, the only child between these two individuals, born, almost in irony… on valentine’s day. Did I mention he was married at the time and had already had my two half-sisters with his wife? And mother… still married to her husband she had eloped with when she was 21, had come to the United States hoping to make a new life, because that husband? He screwed anything with a skirt on it, yet refused to grant her a divorce. She’d gone to secretarial school after supposedly getting a high school diploma, but the high school (“academy”) had either burned down or washed away, and there is no proof of either diploma. She was a homemaker who had started a business from the ground up with her philandering husband, and left it all behind… to come to this country, and be raped.

Excuse me while I mutter to myself, fuck you, Life. Fuck you.

… The day I knew I loved my mother but would always be better off with a long-distance relationship with her, was when I was 12. I’ve always been mature for my age. I was a nerd growing up, under the wings of an over-protective mother who was raising her first and only girl, she feared the same thing that happened to her would happen to me. So, I had books and Arthur and the Simpsons and Disney movies as my companions. And then soon musical instruments and dolls. And then a computer. I hate to admit that I’ve always been drawn to the computer, the internet, the possibilities. I got into trouble with it as a child, which spawned the knowledge that a long distance relationship with my mother would be best. Why? Because at that age, I made up my mind that I was biding my time to get the fuck out from under her roof. I had dreams: college. A car. Traveling the world and just being happy.

12 turned in 14 then 15. I went to high school in Florida, a state of the most ungodly bullshit that its a wonder I even graduated from high school and made it to college. I lost my virginity at 15, to a boy who I rarely keep in contact with but has always been an asshole. And almost as if to start shedding my first layer of naivety, it was in a classroom in a building behind the high school. We both thought we were doing normal anal. My naive ass didn’t realize what had happened, even when I went to the restroom to clean up and saw a bloody piece of tissue. I went off on him, thinking he had hurt me back there; little did I realize what it really was.

I should have realized that was just the beginning. But I was just a kid with hormones going wild.

My mother and I, single parent home of course, became homeless. Twice. Though I wholeheartedly admit that it could have been worse, it was still homelessness. She plucked me up from MD when I was 14 to move to Florida because she thought people were working witchcraft and voodoo on her at her job that she had held for over 10 years. … Yeah, you read that right. And for a while, as a kid, I believed it too. I mean what else could it be? She made me read Tarot cards and things seemed to come true. We heard things on the roof of our apartment, and people seemed to treat her horribly, and so from 12 to 14 I thought, it must be voodoo. It didn’t occur to me that maybe people were just assholes to her because they were jealous. So we moved to Florida, moved in with some woman she considered a sister from the islands. She turned out to be a bitch too. Mum cashed out her 401K that had been started, to get the money so we could move out of the lady’s house and get an apartment of our own.

We moved. We also lost the apartment too because as Life would have it… she could never hold down a decent paying job in Florida. She worked at Wendy’s, temp agencies, got unemployment… it was never consistent enough or enough money in general to pay the rent. She constantly asked my brothers, three of them all older than me and by her husband, for money. I remember when we had to switch apartments before being homeless, I dragged a bed someone had thrown out, off the garbage receptacle outside our door. We cried that night, but at least I didn’t have to keep blowing up the blow up bed. I was fine with sleeping on the floor; I genuinely credit it for giving me good posture all the years I was in high school.

We lost the apartment. By some insane set of circumstances, we met a woman who is still very much a part of my life, and she helped us get another apartment. I was 16 now, starting a new high school after eating nothing but gas station food for a month and taking 2 buses to get to school every morning on time. My grades never dropped. No one at the old school knew. To this day, the woman who helped us and others claim that as a star of glory. “Two buses to school, up at 5 am, and never missed and day and grades never budged. She’s such a trooper.” I knew, even then, there was nothing but school. No way out but school. It was all I could hang on to, the only piece of stability in my life.

I graduated. Obviously. Won scholarships, and prepared for college. It wasn’t until last year I discovered that the woman who helped us, who had become my mentor.. mom had begged her not to see me off to college. Mom didn’t want me to go to college. She saw it as 4 years of unearned income, because it didn’t occur to her that people work and go to school. I went to college and graduated. Obviously. But not without more scars. More pain.

Right before I started undergraduate college and during freshman year, I was dating a man who was several years older than me. Let’s call him the Jamaican. The Jamaican was my first brush with reality in college. With really hard choices. He had 2-3 kids already, claimed he loved me. He got me pregnant right before I moved to college dorms, and I cried when I told him I needed an abortion. He said he would support me, no matter what my decision was. I took the pill, and somehow we still maintained a relationship…. until he got me pregnant again. I was about to turn 19. I thought I was older then, that I could swing college and a baby with the man I loved.

I was shockingly corrected when not only my mother urged me to have an abortion, but so did he. He threatened me. “If you have this child, I want nothing to do with it.”

I had the procedure done this time, and almost as if it was a third slap in the face, I cried on the table, and for some reason said, “I wish I had brought a teddy bear.” The doctor responded, “If you had slept with a teddy bear, you wouldn’t have been in this situation in the first place.”

I reported him to the manager of that particular location of Planned Parenthood, and as a nurse squeezed my hand in the recovery room, she spoke to me. “He’s the best doctor in town, but I wouldn’t trust him with my mother’s life because of his mouth. Honey… make this decision worth it. Make it worth it and don’t look back.” Oh I made it worth it alright…

I graduated from college with a bachelors degree and two certificates, a study abroad trip, several jobs of experience, a long-standing prescription of birth control and a few broken hearts under my belt. When the university counselor told me I was, essentially, too stupid and ill equipped to go to law school, I ran from her office and had a meltdown in my car. …and then I got to work. And well, we all know where I am now. Did I mention I just won a scholarship the other day for my chosen field of law, am interviewing for another judicial internship next week, and am organizing an entire conference from the ground up? Suck it, college counselor.

Let’s pause. Why am I telling you all of this? Because throughout this ENTIRE story, my mother has been there. Jobless. Dramatic. Stressing me out. In college, when I was working 2-3 part time jobs with a full time load of classes, she was in an abusive relationship while I sent her part of my refund money every semester. I’ve always justified it; “When I’m down to my last penny, she sends me her last dollar.” Yeah. That justifies it right?

I remember the time I sent her $1k to file for divorce. She spent it on rent and food and a sale at Kmart. She always claimed that she was living in fear: fear that someone was trying to hurt her, trying to work witchcraft on her, that she couldn’t live her life because she needed a green card. The one she’d had, had expired. I ached for all 4 years in college, wishing I knew how to go about the process of getting her a green card. But it’s always been like this: her leaning on me, me having meltdowns, me not being able to cope and so I brush it under the rug and keep it moving, continuing the only way I know how – school, sending her money, wondering how to fix it, wondering what it will take for the situation to change.

I got to law school, and things changed. Slightly. I took out a loan from a credit union, got her the green card. I’m still paying it off. Occasionally I gripe about still having to pay it off. Why?

Because not a fucking thing has changed. I thought it would. I really did. I thought if I got her the green card, she would get a better job. She would make friends. She would live her life. Lol… no.

She has called me every day for the past week, including today, to bitch. To bitch about how horrible her boss is. How her lease is up in April and she was hoping she could come live with me because she might find a job up here. The funny thing is, a month ago, I was all for it. I had been sending out her resume to every job in her field I could find. She asked me to stop sending her resume out to jobs up here, to stick to sending it out in Florida. The cold would be too much for her, she said. I stopped sending it out all together. And now she wants to come stay with me.

… It’s a miracle that I haven’t turned out like either of my parents. I am the exact opposite, I think. Educated. Non-alcoholic. I’ve certainly shed a few layers of naivety. But not this. This I cannot shed.

I don’t drink excessively. I don’t do drugs of any sort, or smoke anything. The hidden part of my life… I hide it for good reason. I have one more year in law school. But how I cope with this… I do not know. I have meltdowns, anxiety attacks, I vent to friends, who, God bless them somehow have the strength to deal with me. Some of them know the entire background; some of them don’t. And consider it a testament to the fact that I am too logical, that the only 2 reasons that I have not committed suicide is because (1) my student loan debt would go to my next of kin, which would be her, and she would not be able to handle it AND (2) I’d like to believe my friends would be really sad and I don’t want to put them through that grief. Student loan debt crushing my mother and not inconveniencing my friends – those are my reasons for not committing suicide.

Maybe I’m more fucked up than I thought.

Wait. I forgot one more. #3 is that I’ve spent 90% of my life in school. It would be a little ridiculous to have gone through all of that for nothing.

After my meltdown today, after my mother interrupted my workout with her phone call and bitching, I messaged my older brother. I went off. I screamed into a pillow, and cried and called a friend of mine in law school in new york, who believe it or not, I have never met. And yet, he is one of my closest friends.

I tried to explain to my brother, and then told my friend in new york… school is all I have. I am doing this for all of us, so that I can make a life for myself and for mom. That she cannot take care of herself and that right now I cannot cope with the bullshit of having to explain to her that she shouldn’t have gotten an iPhone. “iPhones require you to have money; you need an iTunes account and a bank account because God forbid what you will tap to download, and it charges your account.” I told my brother I legit could not cope with anything extraneous right now because this has been the worst month of my life, a major project or assignment or event going on every week. Sometimes two to three in a week. I don’t have it in me.

And that brings me to right now… if you’ve made it to the end, I appreciate it. I took a shower and as I stood under the water, I bowed my head. I always make this comment.. “Why doesn’t anyone make a movie about my life?” And then it hit me in the shower. No one would ever make a movie about my life and make any money off of it. People don’t like the truth. People want happy fluffy distractions and romantic comedies where the ending is happy and it takes their mind off their own shitty lives. I may write a book, just so people can know.

I’m sure there are people out there who have it worse than me. Fuck. At least I made it through college and and 2/3 of the way done with law school. I have no kids, no nagging husband. At 25, I am making my own life, pushing along on a path I did not chart, but that seems to unfold itself with every step I take – like a map or a brick road, bricks floating into place as I reach my foot out for the next step. The early parts of my road… being created by rape and born on an ironic birthday, growing up with all kinds of bullshit, still dealing with all kinds of bullshit… most of it, I try to put behind me. It haunts me all the time though. In times of silence when my mind wanders. The other parts, mainly my mother, I cannot put behind me.

Because you see… I am a fixer. All my life, I have had to make split second decisions that have very drastic end results either way I go; I decide, in that moment, if it is worth worrying about or solving. If it is, I solve it and keep moving. If it’s not, I brush it under the rug. I don’t deal with it. But this… this I cannot fix. I cannot solve. And though many assure me it is not my fault or responsibility, the standing fact is that without my mother, I would not be here. She taught me to read, to speak, to understand, to love. She put food in my stomach, I’m sure going hungry herself sometimes; she clothed me, she did what a mother was supposed to do. I’d like to think she did the best I could. And yet I resent her because I cannot comprehend how someone can raise children… and yet not raise themselves. This, I cannot fix. I also cannot cope with it. And so I cry… I scream into a pillow… I finish my workout, and I shower and clear my head. And while she is probably upset at herself for upsetting me, all the way from Florida, I turn my mind to the homework and assignments ahead of me. I turn my mind to the fact that I probably come off as a bitch despite my motivation for being here being her; I just want to provide for myself and buy her a house.

this, I cannot solve.

Maybe I will write a book one day. Maybe people will read it. But now you know.

Welcome to my life.