A Little Honesty Definitely Hurts

This year is sprinting faster than I could have guessed. It’s Easter next Sunday! What is going on?

I am reviewing my resolutions, so that I have sufficient things to feel guilty about leading up to real start of spring.

“Just A Taste” is still on the back burner, because I’ve been focusing on Blood And Bone. And that is going a bit more slowly than anticipated because I am really working hard to smash oppression and also get healthy. I am busting up personal lifting records like it’s my job, which is sort of a shame because, of all the things mentioned in this paragraph, it is the only thing not actually my job. I’m in negotiations with myself about this, and hope to have a resolution shortly. Maybe I’ll just become a professional body builder? Is 29 too late to start down that path? Won’t any of you just pay me to eat food and drop heavy things please?

No? How about reading other people’s books, because I’m crushing that, too. It occurred to me if I read at the fairly doable pace of two books a month for the rest of my life, I’ll only have time to read about 1000 more books, which made me so panicked about how few books that is, that I’m reading closer to four books a month. I’ll likely settle at three in the near future; right now I’m playing hardball with myself. My book selection has been good overall, but I keep finding again and again that popular things tend not to meet my (probably unrealistically high) expectations. But I remain an optimist. Come discuss books with me on Goodreads!

The real thing that’s been weighing on me is item four of my Resolved post. I retook the Pennsylvania bar in February, and I passed it as of last Friday. It was an immense relief to have that be over with.

This was a journey I never thought I’d have to take and one that I struggled with for the past year or more.

You see, in 2015 I graduated law school, took off from work, and drove myself crazy for two months to study for and take the exam in PA and New Jersey. Being a lawyer had been my focus for over a decade. I had given everything to that pursuit, sacrificing relationships and sanity for this dream of mine. This last leg was hands down the worst time of my life. I passed New Jersey. I missed PA. By one point.

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We adapted to that routine.

It was the most disappointed with myself I’ve ever been. I grieved, not just the time lost and the dashed expectations, but I felt like I had betrayed myself. I am pretty good at getting the things I decide I need. My failures in life had, to date, been things like getting B’s instead of A’s, or adding too much pepper to soup, and, okay, several years of fighting with my mental health. My family calls me the Energizer Bunny, because I tackle things, and love tackling them. I am queen of biting off more than I can chew, and willing my jaws to get bigger until they comply. And then this happened, and I was thrown into a tailspin.

Why am I telling you this? It was embarrassing for me and I hate the pity or sympathy that follows that part of the story. Passing now doesn’t change the fact that I will always, with some small part of me, feel like I let myself down.

But here’s the thing. I am a real human person. It is easy to feel proud of yourself when things are going well. It’s easy to feel like you deserve what you have when things move in straight lines. But this is life. The lines get wobbly. You can either bend with them, or shatter.

There were a lot of things that kept me from shattering, like the people I love. Even so, I was resistant to bending. I like those neat, straight lines, bruh. But in bending, I conceived a book series, I took over branding for a new product, I learned a lot in a new job, got physically strong, met new people, and took a dose of medicine that will keep me healthy for some time to come.

 

And here’s the thing. It could always be worse. So many of you in my world I have watched hold yourselves together through much bigger storms. Worse is always relative. But this was my worst, and I am now able to look back on that chapter and know that I can handle the next storm, because this one showed me what needs shoring up. Our bodies are not built for straight lines. They have curves, and skin that heals, even if our past experiences leave scars.

I know that I got better from this experience. I have a longer list of things crossed off my list than I gave myself credit for, and I imagine it’s the same for you. I hope we all have more to remember than just the injury, and that we find new angles to ourselves as we bend. Stay limber.

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