Category Archives: Law School Life

Living Alone

This meme summarizes my entire living alone experience. I love it.

#funny #funnygirl #funnymemes #funnyvideo #funnyfaces #funnycat #funnyshit #funnyvideos #funnyposts #funnypic #funnydog #funnymeme #funnyday #funnytumblr #funnyface #funnypics #funnypictures #funnyquotes #funnyaf #funnypost #funnystuff #funnynotfunny #funnycats #funnytime #funnytextpost #funnyisfunny #funnyasf #funnyquote #funnydogs #funnybaby

(My sister informs me this meme applies to everybody regardless of whether or not they live alone and it certainly isn’t a habit I picked up since moving out. She’d know, she had to share a room with me.) 


Unhappy v. Depressed

I live in the default emotion of Happy. You’ll notice it is not the more low-key happy, but neither is it the super hyper HAPPY. I can get to HAPPY. Similarly, I can get to happy, and maybe angry or sad. (Rarely ANGRY or SAD, though.) Generally, though, I am a Happy person. So when I start feeling unhappy, it really freaks me out. Because if I’m unhappy, well, the world is obviously coming to an end. No other plausible explanation exists. (Usually I know I’m being melodramatic.) 

But I’ve been learning lately that even if I am being melodramatic, I need to be careful with the words I use, even to myself. It is far too easy to say ‘I am depressed’ when what I really mean is, ‘I am unhappy.’ And that is a dangerous correlation. The words you tell yourself become how you think about yourself. 

Law school is hard and often makes me unhappy. But if I keep telling myself ‘law school makes me depressed’ I place myself (1) in a category I don’t belong and (2) in a dangerous mental place. Unhappy changes with the flicker of my mood. Depressed easily becomes an identity. 

Maybe it is our society, maybe it is the nature of being human, but we live in a world where people expect you to be happy. We don’t deal well with sadness or anger or melancholy. We don’t know how to react to it. So if you feel those emotions, you automatically label them ‘bad’ and try to move on. Now in saying this, I don’t want to belittle true depression. Nor do I want to imply that trying to move on is bad. What I mean to say is that in my own life, whenever my mood shifts from Happy to Literally Anything Else, I feel like something wrong happened and I obsess until it changes. 

But life is not always good. Stress is not always healthy. ‘Happy’ is not everybody’s default. And even if it is your default, that doesn’t mean you don’t experience other emotions. Sometimes, I think it is okay to just be…unhappy. 

Unhappy may equal unhealthy. But if every time I feel melancholic I jump to, ‘Oh no, I’m in a really unhealthy mental state!’ I fail to appreciate the power of melancholy. Or sadness. Or happy. Or unhappy. 

Emotions play an important role in shaping who we are and how we view our surroundings. But our surroundings are not always happy, and it is okay to acknowledge that and live in unhappy for a time. Unhappy may become depressed, but in my life it hasn’t, and if I keep telling myself it has, I lose the power to appreciate unhappy. Or respect true depression. When I think only ‘Happy’ with occasional ‘happy’ is okay, I lose the wealth of nuance and emotion that comes with being human and having emotions.

God gave us emotions for a reason. He experiences emotion. When Jesus was on earth, he wept. He grieved. He got angry. He rejoiced. He did not remain happy all the time but embraced a range of feelings. If Jesus embraced his emotions, why do I feel like I cannot?

It is not that I like being unhappy. It feels heavy and empty. But unhappy will change. My identity is not unhappy. Neither is my identity Happy. My identity is human created in the image of God.  Which is easy to say but hard to live. 

Law school often makes me unhappy. And sometimes it makes me Happy. Even, upon occasion, I’ve reached HAPPY. But law school is not me. The emotions are not me. This is what I want to tell myself when I’m sitting in my messy apartment staring at the paper that seemed so brilliant yesterday and makes no sense today. This is what I tell myself when I realize I forgot to send that follow up e-mail, thank you card, or reimbursement request. Or you know, do the reading for class in an hour. 

This is stressful. This is frustrating. This is growth. But stress and frustration and growth all exist apart from my happy or unhappy response to them. So what I really need to do is pour myself another cup of coffee, re-write that paper, and do the reading for my next class. Not wallow in misery because I’m not reacting to the stress with my usual Happy. 

To summarize: Amy, be unhappy and get stuff done because eventually you’ll be happy and have stuff done. Don’t focus on unhappy because then you are simply unhappy. And don’t tell yourself you’re depressed because you’re not. You’re just not Happy and there is a powerful difference. 

Auto Parts & My Writing Support Group

(My last post celebrated hitting 200 followers and then I promptly lost 2 of them. So we’ll get to celebrate 200 again sometime!) 

If you’ve read my post about being a verbal processor, you know that writing is a verbal process for me. Or sometimes not so verbal. I usually bug some poor victim (aka, friend) with constant Facebook messages asking, “Does this make sense?” and “What if I tweaked it some to say…” 

While their feedback provides invaluable assistance, I really just need a sounding board to get the idea out of my head and onto paper. To that end, yesterday I gained not just one sounding board, but a whole store full of them. 

One of my old roommates works at an auto parts store. I was trying to simplify a tricky legal concept so I kept bugging her to see if her smart, but non-legal brain understood it. She assured me she did. However, to make sure it really was understandable, she would then read my sentence/paragraph/analogy to the guys working her shift with her. Her logic was that if they understood it, anyone could. 

I wish I could say my writing passed remarkable muster and I’m a genius at simplifying complex ideas. I don’t think that is the case. However, there is now an auto parts store in Tennessee with workers who know a lot about administrative law. Or at least they pretend to. But I’m going to pretend my baseball analogy is just that clear. 

Cooking Fails

I do – upon occasion – attempt to cook. Tonight I tried just such a feat. It went…badly.

Chicken nuggets and asparagus. That’s it! The chicken nuggets went off well enough. It was the asparagus that proved my ruin! I carefully followed the instructions I found on Google. I chopped the ends off. I laid them flat in a pan and went to find some olive oil to pour on them. Except, apparently I don’t have any? So I figured coconut oil must do. Except my coconut oil is still quite thick. I scooped a couple spoonfuls into the pan and assumed it would melt in the oven.

Then I grabbed my Himalayan pink salt, a full grinder of it. I turned the top to grind and the whole cover fell off, dumping ALL the salt on my asparagus. 

Never mind. I picked out the clumps of coconut oil, rinsed off the asparagus, and laid it all out in a new pan. Good as new. Into the oven it goes! The coconut oil did melt but the internet was a little too enthusiastic about how long to cook the greens (or else my oven is a little hot.) They got…very cooked. 

And tasted horridly salty. And like coconut. You’d never guess it was asparagus. So I rinsed it off and tried again. Still terrible. I rinsed again. Finally, it tasted somewhat edible. I turned to place the asparagus on the table…and the entire plate flew from my hands, splattering the contents onto the wall where it promptly fell to the floor, sending asparagus and coconut oil everywhere. 

My friend says to rinse it off and stick in a pan to kill the germs but I. Give. Up. 

Image result for not meant to be

A Day in Bed

I caught the stomach flu just starting to go around. I opted to not do anything today and stay in bed and sleep. And so I did sleep, a full 8 hours past when I normally wake up. And now I’m laying here, idly perusing the numerous e-mails and messages going unanswered. 

I forgot how much you don’t care when you’re sick. 

Is this a forced day off? I don’t know. I thought I had a forced day off this weekend with my friend visiting. You still get stuff done on days off. I barely have the energy to make myself a cup of broth.  

But it is kind of nice too, this forced not caring. I don’t have the energy. I can panic about everything tomorrow. 

I think I’ll go back to sleep now.

Buy ALL THE BOOKS (just kidding, Mom. I didn’t buy any books. Today.)

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Hyphen, En Dash, Em Dash

Did you know there are three types of “dash” and each one represents a different way to punctuate? So hyphens (-) are only for hyphenating words and multi-part numbers. En Dashes (–) are for pages and year ranges. The Em Dash (—) is for strong breaks in the structure of a sentence. 

I just spent the last hour going through every sentence of an academic paper making sure the proper hyphen/dash was used. I’m mentally shot. I meant to write out a nice post about my visit with Hope…but instead enjoy the actual thought that popped into my head and made me laugh while sitting here. Alone. With my dashes.

Me: “My! I use the em and en dashes a lot in my writing. I guess you could say I’m quite —dashing.”