Motivation

LXVII: What I've Learned, Thus Far, From 2018?

Here we are! Another installment and another year of lessons!

I’ve changed things up this year and entered into it feeling a bit more liberated than I was in 2017. I had decided early on that I was going to do what I wanted, when I wanted and try things. But, with that, I also opened myself up to people which is something that I normally steer very clear of.

Whenever you open up your heart, mind, and ears to new people, you’ll definitely be learning new lessons, however. Trust me!

So, here are a couple of the lessons that I’ve learned, thus far, this year:

STEER CLEAR OF THOSE WHO WANT YOUR RHYTHM BUT NOT YOUR BLUES

Wanting my rhythm and not my blues simply means that someone wants to be around me when I am happy and having fun, but when stuff hits the fan of life, they want to hit the road.

I’ve had this type of person in my life plenty-a-time!

The bad thing about me, however, is that when it comes to people who I have allowed into my life, I genuinely try my best to keep them.

BUT, sometimes in life you go through things, not to learn to work through them, but to learn to walk away from bad situations

This year has been one big lesson on walking away for me. It gets so lonely sometimes, but walking away from people who want to be around when all is well but leave when things get difficult is a very necessary reality. 

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

The way you view a situation says a lot about the way you view the world and the way you view yourself.

Now, I generally look at situations from a very realistic standpoint. I also use facts from the past that have created a pattern to assist with the way in which I view those situations. So, in short, when a situation presents itself, I’m an absolute realist through and through.

Now, this year has been filled with ups and downs, and I’ve worked at keeping my outlook on things upbeat enough to allow myself the ability to continue on in whatever direction I am attempting to go in life without letting things get me too down.

Changing my perspective on a lot of the things that have happened to me lately has seriously helped. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been so necessary. A lot of times, perspective comes through in the form of a glass being half empty or a glass being half full. 2018 has taught me to look at things with the glass half full which has allowed me the opportunity to fill it the rest of the way on my own.

WHEN SOMETHING IS FOR YOU, IT WILL ALWAYS BECOME YOURS

This is super important for me to remember! 

I oftentimes work overtime to keep friendships and relationships with people who have never even deserved my time in the first place. It’s in my nature, however, to nurture those relationships...

BUT, when a relationship is for you, it will be yours without all of the tug-of-war! I forget this so much and it results in me making people feel way more needed than they actually are by trying to keep them in my life.

This is a habit, in me, that needs to be left in 2018. Because, trust me, you won’t be forcing the friendships and relationships that are meant to happen!  

BE REAL WITH EVERYONE AT ALL TIMES 

Now, first and foremost, you have to be real with yourself! But after that, you have to be real with everyone else.

I met someone this year who was such a gem! A beautiful soul inside and out. But, if you asked me, now, whether or not I still know this person, then my answer would honestly have to be ‘no’.

This person was so good at pretending to be the great person that I grew to very fondly enjoy, but [as you’ll read below] people can only pretend for so long (and sometimes for too long) before their true colors show.

It turns out that this person was a complete stranger to me when they showed me who they really were. What a shock!

I can see from that situation that it is, a lot of times, hard for some people to just be themselves which, to me, seems like it would be more work to pretend to be someone or something else. But, I digress, …

People usually teach me the biggest lessons and from this person, I’ve learned that you have to be super mindful of who and what you are. Remain true to yourself no matter the situation.

Real will attract real, but you have to weed through a lot of fake to get to it.

PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT PRETENDING — WATCH FOR SIGNS

I have made the mistake of underestimating the amount of time that people can live while being fake and, trust me, they can go the distance. 

But, I’ve learned that, eventually the real will always come out. 

I’ve had two friends while in school that people have completely warned me about but I ignored it and instead defended them because I wanted to base my reactions to them solely on my experiences. In hindsight, I completely wish that I would’ve listened to those people, but I didn’t, so I had to eat that loss.

I didn’t believe these things because people are so good at pretending to be things that they are not. They immitate the things that they see being attracted by others. They become so good at the facade that it’s undetectable to eyes that want to believe what they see.

But, I’ve seen that faking it gets exhaustive and they will eventually show their true colors. Some people don’t last a week, others take months, and one took years!  

 My advice to myself and others would simply be to jump ship as soon as the first sign becomes apparent. We’re so inclined to ignore the little signs because we’re enjoying the bigger moments, but trust me, cutting these people off early on is always best. 


So, there you have it! 2018 has taught me A LOT about people and how I should approach the next batch that I meet in life.

But, most of all, 2018 has taught me to look at situations from multiple angles: yes, losing a job will hurt, but there are so many benefits to it; yes, losing a ‘friend’ will hurt, but I’ve gained so many more who actually seem good; and, yes, loving someone is difficult, especially when you’re on completely different wavelengths as far as life is concerned, but opening your heart to someone has the never-ending benefit of showing you so much about yourself!

So for that, 2018, I thank you! 🎊🎊🎊

LXVI: 8 Steps to Happy!

I don’t know who needs this post more than I do, so excuse this selfish moment, but this post is for ME.

Life is a constant stream of ups and downs. Some leave you feeling good and others, not so much. I have found that, when my heart is happy, it is easier to deal with those moments that aren’t so great. So, this post is all about keeping my huge heart happy, and, in true Brianna J. style, I am taking it in steps:

STEP ONE: BREATHE.

Honestly, when I am overwhelmed with work, or emotion, or anything, I kind of forget to breathe! I hold my breath over and over again, and somehow avoid dying. It’s not on purpose, it’s just a tensing up thing that my body does when stressed.

This has been happening a lot lately and it keeps me up at night! So, I am working on breathing my way through situations. I take deep breaths in and out and just try to refocus myself.

This is something like meditating because all of your attention zeros in on your breathe. It is a beautiful mind-clearing technique, and it also keeps me from giving myself heart problems later down the line.

STEP TWO: RESET.

Each person’s reset will look differently, but is equally important.

Again, for me, my reset is me simply getting back into a routine that works for me. Anytime that my routine is offset for one reason or another, I suffer.

Fixing my routine is not always as easy as it sounds and sometimes takes me months to do, but a month to fix my routine is much better than a year of being in and out of a depressive state.

STEP THREE: LET IT ALL GO. 

We can’t waste our lives trying to figure out where one situation went wrong.  We simply have to move forward.

Let go of all that is gone. You won’t get it back, so move forward. 

I am a strong believer in ‘What Is For Me Will Not Pass Me’, so if someone wants to leave my life, then so be it.  Let them leave. Let it go! They no longer deserve to benefit from your energy. Your energy is a blessing that not everyone deserves to enjoy.

If you didn’t pass that test, then let it go! That test is gone. It’s already been failed and you won’t get those moments back. Instead, focus your energy on studying to take it again, or studying for the next test. But, the focus here is letting it go!

STEP FOUR: WATCH YOUR ENERGY. 

Your energy is different than anyone else’s. Protect it!  

You get what you put out into this world, so, if your energy is off, you’ll continue to meet people who will make you wish you’d never met them. If your energy is good, then you’ll surely meet more keepers.

You know that saying, ‘how you get em is how you lose em’? Well, I’m 99% sure that that has everything to do with energy. You meet someone while your you’re in the trenches and you’ll get complete crap people, they’ll put you right back into the trenches because that’s what they know! 

If you reset after that situation and fix your energy, you’ll meet people who match that good energy, and better relationships will form. 

STEP FIVE: BE WILLING.

I’ve been to that place before where I wasn’t willing  to work my way up to a happier state. I figured that I was placed in that sad spot for a reason and  that I had picked myself up one too many times already, so I just wanted to dwell in the down for a little while. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you do  just need to feel it!

But, once you’re done with that, you then have to be willing to accept the happiness to come. Again, it’s about energy. Once you exude happiness, happiness finds you. Once you need for nothing, everything will become yours. But, above all, be willing when it comes... 

STEP SIX: CHANGE IT UP.

Something about what you’re doing is obviously not working. Maybe the foods that you are eating are weighing you down. Maybe your circle of friends is too toxic. Maybe your relationship has run it’s course…

CHANGE IT UP! You owe it to yourself to be happy, but happiness won’t come with complacency or with playing it safe. If studying indoors makes you feel gloomy and sad, study outdoors for a change! If the people in your circle bring you down with their ways, then let them go! Be alone for awhile.

You can keep your routine and change things up, so you basically have no excuse not to give a change a try.

STEP SEVEN: RELEASE THOSE ENDORPHINS!

This means getting rid of more toxins within yourself.

Work out.

Eat chocolate.

Get physical by doing yoga, riding a bicycle, longboarding, snowboarding, or whatever you do that gets you moving!

There are so many ways to get that release, so all you have to do is go for it!

STEP EIGHT: WATCH THAT CIRCLE.

You will always be a reflection of those who you decide to surround yourself with.  

Sometimes it hurts to have to get rid of people because, maybe you had a fun relationship, but that part of the person that brings toxic energy is not worth sacrificing your mental well-being to keep them.

Also, keep a close eye on those who are only around you when things are good. It is so easy to be there for someone when they have nothing for you to be there for them about. Pay close attention to those who are there for you while you’re in the trenches — those are the people who deserve to be in your circle.

Thanks for reading! I wish happiness onto you all. 💕

LXIV: Situational Self Worth?

I learned my self-worth long ago. No, it didn’t come from loving someone else. It didn’t come from being hurt by anyone. It came from being alone with myself.

I learned myself best while I was at my favorite park, running up and down my favorite trail that is a measly 2.1 miles coming and going.

I learned my self-worth around the year 2014. I learned that what I bring to other people’s lives is something that they don’t too often get. I learned that I am a type of loyal that many people cannot muster up the honesty to be. I’ve learned that my heart is huge if you’re ever lucky enough to get past the part of me that probably doesn’t even want to talk to you.

Honestly, I know that I’m flawed, but also know that I’m poppin’. I know that I am super impatient, but also worth whatever the wait is. I know that when I come into someone’s life, my goal is always to leave them better than when I found them.

SO THEN WHAT IS THIS POST ABOUT?

With each situation (whether it be a friendship or a relationship), you have to measure what that person gives against what you deserve to receive from them.

Situational self-worth is exactly that — making sure that, in each situation you’re pushed into, fall into, stumble into or put yourself into, the other person involved is giving you what you know you deserve and vice versa.

 If you both are empty cups trying to feed each other’s souls, you’ll both stay at the bottom where you’ve been. But if you have worked, over time, to fill your cup spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, then when you cross paths with that person who has as well it’ll be the perfect balance.

Where you lack, they’ll fill in. Where they lack, you’ll fill in.  

So this post is just a short note-to-self: in every situation you must measure; you must ensure that your cup is not empty; and, you must make sure that this new person is worth sharing the contents of your overfilled cup.  

Situational self worth is real. Check yours…

Know yourself, know your worth...
— Drake

XXXIII: Athletes vs. Ballet Dancers, Is It Possible To Juggle Them Both?

Many of you know that I am a ballet dancer and have been for quite a long while. I am also fairly athletic in that I work out and compete in a number physical activities and races throughout the year (although I’ve slowed down significantly this year).

I've noticed, however, that after a week of running a bunch, I suffer at ballet because my hips are too tight to give me any turnout. And, after a week of hardcore ballet rehearsals, my thighs, arms and shoulders just don't have the strength to make it through a gym session (even if I make it an easy one). These things have left me wondering if a balance between the two is even possible anymore...

Being a Ballet Dancer

Ballet is a full body workout. To even stand in first position takes full-on mental and physical discipline. I've worked at this for years and I still have days where I suffer given my inability to get my feet to do what my brain tells them to do. Or, my all time favorite instance of not being able to shut my brain off enough to actually get through a rehearsal while also looking like a functioning human being. 

I do, however, thank Heidi at The Ballet Studio here in Sacramento, CA for all of her patience and hard work at teaching me over the years. I'd also like to extend a huge thanks to my former ballet teachers at The Vallejo Ballet in my hometown, Vallejo, CA. 

I found an insane love for ballet because of these people, and although I don't have the ideal ballerina body (my hips are the least flexible part of my body and my feet are downright awful), I still want to be able to be both an aggressive athlete and an elegant ballerina. My other physical activities, however, make it difficult when my larger muscles are sore from running or lifting weights, and then I go to ballet and attempt to work my smaller muscles (which feels impossible when the larger muscles are already upset with me).

It is difficult to paint a vivid enough portrait of all that must be considered, body wise, during any given evening at ballet rehearsal. For this reason, I've found a couple of cute animations that lay out what must be considered with each below-titled motion, move or position. These do no lay out every ballet position or every leap or jump, but they do give you a minute taste of what ballet dancers have to keep in mind at every moment on the moment:

Being An Athlete

I don't compete as much as I used to simply because time does not permit, but I have goals of getting back to a competitive level soon. I honestly just miss the thrill of it all! 

I always flashback to my days as a wrestler because those were my best competition days, hands down! I lived for that mat time whether I won or lost. I trained long and hard for each meet and even though my diet usually wasn't where it should have been, I still managed to work out enough to maintain the weight that I was supposed to in order to compete (because God forbid I let Coach Jessica O. down for not making weight). 

Nowadays my competitions come in the form of the many runs, races, and obstacle courses that I sign up for throughout the year. That means that my training consists of running (a lot) and lifting weights/strength training. 

For those of you that know about ballet, the muscles that are formed from being a ballerina are usually a bit softer than those you get from going into a gym and just lifting weights. Don't get me wrong, you can totally get ripped from being a dancer! Look at Misty Copeland or Michaela DePrince, but these two are dancers that have found the balance between their athleticism (which is a part of dance) and their dancing. They seem to be able to workout and maintain their turnout and the right type of flexibility which is what I just can't seem to do. 

Even though I stretch after each workout, when I go back to ballet, I just can't seem to get any rotation in my hips (and therefore, any turnout, any extension, etc.)! I know that my stretches work because my Jetés and Grand Battements are becoming things of beauty, but I cannot help but to harp on the fact that my turnout is just abysmal because of all of the running. So, I wonder...

Is The Balance Even Possible?

The answer has to be 'yes'. I can see that the answer is yes in the dancers listed above. In order to adjust my methods a bit to see what helps my turnout, I've looked up alternative ways of running. I tend to run on two extremes: I'm either on my toes, or I'm flat footed. The position of your feet when they hit the pavement, track or treadmill determine how your body reacts (the tougher the medium, the harder the impact on your calf muscles, shins, knees, etc.). So, I am picking one and sticking to it! I am used to running on my toes, but will now make it a point to run from heel-to-toe. This change will certainly create shin splints until my body is used to it, but with this, I'll be able to adjust my stretches to where I keep the strength in my ankles for pointe, and can work on the rotation of my hips for my turnout. But, I figure that, if I keep switching up the way I work out/run, then I will continue to experience extreme muscle rips (soreness) and shin splints which keep me from getting where I want to be as a dancer.

My hope is that these little changes (the heel-to-toe running and different stretches) will assist in reaching my dancing goals, but we shall see! I will definitely post an update after a couple of months of this to see if I have to, once again, change my methods.   

XXX: Law School - What’s It Really Like?

LSAT Preparation:

Hindsight on LSAT preparation makes it very clear that it is in no way related to law school. And here I was thinking that the logic games would get me through law school...

But, because I had no idea that the two were barely related, I prepared for it like any other stressed out pre-law student would -- I hit the books! I spent days in the public library reading through every LSAT prep book that I could find. I checked them out. I took notes. I tried my best to talk about it out loud in order to make myself understand what I was reading. But, let's be real, the material on the LSAT is not material that you can pick up and just learn. So, I looked for outside help and found that there are LSAT preparation courses. I made that my graduation gift from my lovely grandmother, and I was on my way!

The prep course was by Testmasters and I found out that they are as amazing as they say they are. The course was created by Robin Singh, an LSAT guru who holds the world record for scoring a perfect score on the LSAT 12 times! They walked us through each section of the LSAT over a three month period that led up to the date of the LSAT. We spent our weekends doing practice LSATs so that we could get a feel for how the LSAT would go, and then we spent our weekdays going over what we didn't understand during our practice LSATs of the past weekend. 

Overall, I felt as though the course seriously helped me to improve my LSAT score. My score from when I started the course to when the course concluded had increased by 15 points which, to me, was enough to make me seriously believe in the program. 

1E

So fast-forward to me being in law school. All I can really remember about my first year of law school is the torture that was Torts. For some reason the topic just failed to stick, so I definitely did not do my best in that course. The Socratic method of teaching reared its very ugly head all throughout my Torts class which left me scarred for life. 

The Socratic Method of teaching is definitely a given during your first year of law school. It is a sort of cold call where you are stuck answering a ton of questions about the topics of the night's reading, so you'd better go to each class prepared or you will be embarrassed in front of your peers. 

Another unpleasant class that introduced what would become the new style of teaching for the duration of my law school stay was Civil Procedure. Now, I did not have a complete aversion to this class, but my classmates still complain about it to this day so I think that it is safe to say that it sucked. What sucked most about it was the fact that, unlike my Torts professor who used the Socratic method to get through classes, my Civil Procedure professor seemed to have a style of teaching and talking that was not as confident and kind of all over the place. This made it seem as though he had no idea what was going on the whole time and made him seem less credible, but I still liked him because he tried. I didn't learn much during that class but I appreciated his efforts!

Your first year will include classes like:

A. Torts
B.  Criminal Law I
C. Global Lawyering Skills I
D. Legal Profession
E. Civil Procedure

2E

My second year of law school was only memorable because I took Global Lawyering Skills II. This is the class where you write a brief and give an oral argument based on a case that you're given early in the year.

Throughout the year we conduct research and give mini oral arguments during class to prepare us for the final oral argument which is given in front of three judges and your opponent. This was the second year's biggest challenge for me. 

They say that during the first year, you're scared to death and during the second year, you're worked to death, and that is true! My second year of law school was more difficult because we weren't coddled as much as we were the first year. During the first year, we were our professors babies and they were just giving us tough love. But, during our second year, we had all grown up and were off to college so we were on our own. But, keep in mind, the professors are still available for office hours and they encourage you to show up for them! But, they cut you zero slack and really start to prepare you to be an associate during your second year of law school.

Your second year will include classes like:

A. Property
B. Constitutional Law
C. Statutes & Regulations
D. Global Lawyering Skills II
E. Contracts
F. Electives to fulfill simulation and practicum requirement

3E

Third year seems like a blur because you are burned out and ready to be done with law school already. For me, third year was filled with electives and a lot of work. 

I started each semester of my third year totally ready to be one step closer to being done with law school, but by around the second week, I'd lost the steam and I was ready to be lazy again. 

The biggest struggle of third year, for me, was staying motivated. It was hard to continue to go to  class after a long day of work. It was difficult to deal with the fact that you're burned out now, but you still have one more year to go. 

So my best advice for you during your third year is to work hard but also find your escape and visit it often. It will keep you sane.

Your third year will include classes like:

A. Evidence
B. Business Associations/Criminal Procedure/Community Property
C. Professional Responsibility
D. Remedies
E. And, you guessed it, Electives!

4E

I have only finished one class into my fourth year of law school (yes, evening students get four years of joy), but, so far I am just taking classes that I am interested in. 

Your fourth year will pretty much be shaped by your legal interests. This is the year that you get to either do a semester in practice, do an externship, or just take electives the whole time. You fourth year is essentially yours!

 

 

I cannot end this post without mentioning how great of a ride law school has been. I've bonded with the professors and administrators who have opened my eyes to my capabilities and to the amazing things that come for those pursuing law. And, I've had quite a bit of fun while doing it. 

I know that a lot of people are completely turned off to the idea of law school because of what they've seen on the television or in the movies, but the experience is really your own. You just have to get there.

Good luck to those of you studying for the July Bar. Congratulations to those who have been accepted to a law school and happy studying to those of you preparing for the LSAT!