Good Vibes

XCI: What Area Of Law Do You Want To Practice?

This is the one questions that I get more than any other, with a strong second being, “So, will you represent me if some stuff goes down?”

When I came to law school, I simply decided that my focus would be criminal law and I’d either get a PhD in Psychology along with my JD so that I can become a criminologist, or that I’d work towards becoming a district attorney.

The DA goal, of course, has changed over time mainly because of the work that I’ve seen people in this profession doing and because of the panels that I’ve listened to and the ways that I’ve seen DAs completely unable to answer simple questions from law students. Being a criminologist is still within my grasp, but REALLY all I want is to work at a job where I am not undervalued, unappreciated, used and overworked. I want to have a job that I can develop a real passion for and I want to have a job that I am proud to go to everyday.

I don’t know if any of you have ever had this experience, but I have worked for a law firm that literally only hired me to take the information that I learned at the firm that I came from before interviewing with his. I should have completely caught onto this when the only questions asked during the interview were aligned with whether or not I remembered things from and had templates from my former employer, but sometimes you’re just ready to work and don’t have the time to check if the person you’re interviewing with is a monster or not.

In completely learning from that experience, I can say that, ALL THAT I WANT IS TO WORK IN A GOOD WORK ENVIRONMENT.

Let’s gauge this idea of a good work environment by using something that I’m sure we can all relate to, MOVIES.

I mean how many of us have seen a movie or a television show and automatically wanted that job because of how it was shown on screen? I definitely have, but let me show you why:

 

SECOND ACT (2018)

Don’t you just love the feel-good movies that give you a completely glorified idea of what the workforce is like?

Because it definitely happens everyday that you get a job, with no prior education, no former experience, and a fake resumé that offers you amazing pay, a beautiful apartment, an allowance for clothes, and an office with a view.

This movie definitely made the working world look like a slice of heaven and to say I’m not mad at it would be a lie.

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THE OFFICE

What better way is there to learn patience than by working with a bunch of crazy people who only mean well?

Honestly, if you’ve watched The Office but never wanted to work there, then there’s absolutely something wrong with you. From the antics to the laughs, I would love it so much. Not to mention, the vending machine was never empty and honestly, what more could you ask for?

Although this work environment would be annoying at times, I think that I would like it nonetheless. I mean it’s a group of people with good hearts, for the most part, working in close proximity to each other! Good things were bound to happen.

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IT’S COMPLICATED (2009)

Okay, Jane (played by Meryl Streep) legit owned her own bakery!

She set the tone, the ambiance and the aesthetics of her space and I would have LOVED to work for her. Not just because of the chocolate croissants, but because of the way that she treated people and encouraged her employees to treat people while working.

This just looked like a beautiful and fun bakery to work in and although I can’t bake to save my life, I wouldn’t mind working in Jane’s French•esque bakery for a little while.

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WHAT MEN WANT (2019)

Although Ali went through a ton of trouble to break the boy’s club feel of her office, you cannot ignore the lavishness of her job. Also, she’s getting paid to keep up with such an entertaining industry as a sports agent in the first place, and that alone, is amazing.

From her office to her assistant to her perks, it just seems like a job that I wouldn’t mind having. Plus, I get along better with guys than I do with girls anyway, so I think it’d be fun.

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Overall, I think the idea is clear: if the job has good people with good intentions who come to work to work hard, and maybe a vending machine or two, then we are well on our way to having a good work environment.

I’ve seen plenty-a-good job ruined by a horrible work environment and I’ve also seen many jobs be great because of an awesome work environment.

So, all I’m asking is to be blessed with a job that I won’t be sick about going to and co-workers who won’t make me want to quit everyday. Whichever firm offers that will have the area of law that I’ll be great at, because all I need is the space and then I can master anything!

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! 🎊🎊🎊

L: ... Too Fly To Be Depressed?

Depression is the result of a chemical imbalance which, in me, manifested itself in the form of: staring at blank walls for hours; filling my hot showers with tears; struggling to get out of bed; dreading human interaction (more so than usual); and an overall disconnect from everything and everyone.

My depression was a culmination of everything that I let build up over the years, and it hit me at the worst time (because when is the right time for it to hit?)

Let’s Address The Perception:

When I initially decided to reveal to a select few how I was feeling, the reactions were either very supportive or very expected.

The way that people would receive this information is one of the reasons that I kept this information quiet for so long. The supportive reactions were just that: very soft spoken words of encouragement. The very expected reactions were those of selfishness: the ‘but you’re still alive, why are you complaining’; the ‘let me send you links to streamed church sessions’; and the ‘well, we all got problems [insert their problems]’.

I know that the movies and the extreme cases on the news have hardened our hearts to the idea that those surrounding you may be capable of suffering such an ailment, but please remember that it is very possible. And, whether or not you believe in it, if someone else is going through it and chooses to open up to you about it (1) feel honored that they thought that you were human enough to understand that they are not feeling “okay”, (2) try to tear yourself away from YOU for at least 20 minutes and hear that person out, and (3) do not assume that you know what is going on or what it is like. Everyone’s experiences are different and someone else’s depression is not yours.

The Feels:

Let’s talk about what a depression felt like for me:

The Loneliness:

Even though I wasn’t always alone, I always felt alone. I felt like I did not have anyone and could not go to anyone. This is the fault of no one, it’s just an effect that I suffered.

The Sadness:

There was a build-up that lead to my depressed state and it had to do with: my level of activity, the amount of people who rely on me financially, the way that I treat those that I am close to and the fact that I expect similar treatment in return (a bad habit that I am trying to break), the uncertainty about my future, and the negative feelings associated with opening yourself up to others.

This resulted in a bunch of me blaming myself for this continuing pattern in my life where I give my best (and worst) self to people only for them to take it, give nothing in return, and reap the benefit with one foot out the door. These types of things happened to me with past boyfriends, friends, family, and then when it happened again on top of everything else that I was feeling, it was just too much…

This sadness doesn’t easily go away. Mix this with the loneliness that you’re already experiencing and you’ve got one sad drink!

I still haven’t figured out how to deal with or get past this sadness just yet, but I am working on it.

The Denial:

Let’s not forget the fact that we don’t want to be going through this in the first place, so my initial thought was to just deny it.

I did not want to believe that I could experience something like this. But, once I got to the point where I really did not want to have to experience this anymore and that I wanted to get out of it, I was more willing to accept that this was happening. Once I accept it, I can start working towards getting better, was my mindset and it worked. I am now working through this ugly battle.

The Fatigue:

When you are depressed, you literally wake up feeling tired (if you get sleep at all). You often need a nap or a break in your day.

Little things tire you out, your days seem impossibly long (but also not long enough), and your feet weigh a ton anytime you have to get up and move.

So much weighs you down when you are “down”, and the fatigue is just another thing that you have to combat on the road to recovery.  

The Sleepless Nights:

Now, I experienced a complete lack of sleep when I was experiencing my “down time”. I just couldn’t fall asleep. I would lay awake and think, or stare at the walls, or watch “It’s Complicated” or “Living Single” over and over and over. As if those things would “heal” me.

The part that I dreaded the most was that, when the sun would start to set, I would just get sad because I’d know that I would spend another night laying awake and wishing that I could just go to some other subconscious world. I never have dreams but you have no idea how much I prayed for any type of dream to take my mind off of whatever else it was on.

Add to that the fact that I literally could not sleep in my own bed! I would begin my night in my cozy king bed but lay awake for hours. Once I finally got tired of tossing and turning, I would finally give in and move to the couch — the only place that I even have a chance at falling asleep. Hence, the sleeplessness. 

The Loss of Appetite:

As hungry of a state that I constantly live in, it shocked me that I could not eat!

I would find it being 1p.m. or 2p.m. before realizing that I hadn’t eaten a thing. Not because I didn’t have things to eat, but because I literally could not eat. Food would make me sick, but, I guess, to add to the drama of it all, my stomach would growl. 

No clue what the loss of appetite was about, but I didn’t like it when I experienced it. 

The Healing:

I don’t know what other people’s healing is like, but I know that mine is a long process that involves me getting back to my very routine lifestyle.

It is the fact that I decided to leave my very routine bubble that led me to this depressed state, so I am literally backtracking in order to get back on track (which means going back to a completely closed off state, as bad as that sounds). Unfortunately, this is harder to do than it seems like it should be, so I find myself constantly straddling the line between “okay” and “back in”.

My circle is not big, at all, there are probably 3 people that genuinely care about me and my wellbeing apart from family, but there are also people around my campus that make it a point to check on me.

I have so much love for those of you who saw me around campus, noticed I was down and talked to me (Josh and Ron); and those of you who randomly check on me (Corina, Em, Jason and Alicia); and NATHAN thanks for just being there to hug me. You guys have no idea how much those things have meant. You have no idea how far those simple acts go.

In short, the healing is harder than actually going through the depression itself. It’s a process that requires patience. And, it’s not easy, but believe me when I say, IT HAPPENS TO THE BEST OF US. So, if this is happening to you, embrace it, because this too shall pass, and I promise you ain’t too fly to feel it (because I surely thought I was).

XXIV: All About Energy?

en•er•gy

/ˈenərjē/

1. The strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.


Energy, something we could all use more of and something we could benefit from lessons in. I, for one, could benefit from lessons on the energy that I put out into the world and from lessons on how I receive the energy that others put out into the world.

I took a short trip this weekend and, leading up to the trip, I was surrounded by nothing but bad and negative energy. I was angered by it and saddened by it. I let that ruin my outlook on how the remainder of my trip would go and I let it ruin my outlook on myself, as I often do. I wondered why the people in my life act the way that they do towards me when I do everything in my power to be there for them whenever they need. These are things that I often internalize, but I am just now realizing the dark cloud that tucking these things away can place over my day-to-day actions and feelings. 

Although I cannot be conscious about this energy and the negativity for others, I can control my reaction to it. People tell me over and over to just accept the fact that the world is not full of helpful people, or honest people, or good friends, or loving family members. It's just not. People aren't being raised with those values anymore, so it is time to shift my expectations to reduce my disappointments. But really, it's just time for me to change the ways that I receive their negative energy. 

Now, regarding the energy that I put out into the world: I love to eat and I love to laugh. If I can do those two things, then I am as happy as can be. In-between those things, I am working or at school/stressing about school. This means that I am not walking around smiling and joking, but this does not mean that I am not happy. 

Because this is such a confusing area for some to understand, I have step back and consider whether or not I am putting out negative energy by having others question my happiness when I am not waltzing around with a smile plastered on my face. 

At this point, I feel as though it is important that I do not put out the same energy that I receive from many others in the hopes that it will influence or inspire one other person to do the same. To start a trend of caring for others, being there for others, and actual good vibes would be epic at this point. So, let's consider this an energy check and a call for action!