Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thoughts on 26.

(photo courtesy of BYU photo—from that one time I got asked to take pictures and get interviewed for a donations campaign)

Somewhere leading up to my 26th birthday, I had a revelation of sorts. Instead of looking at my birthday as a gate further along the path leading to a gloomy unknown, I had the strongest impression—now is the time to set the course to make everything I've ever dreamed for my future a reality!

Carpe Diem Every Diem!

I embraced growing up.
I chose to celebrate my birthday quietly with a simple lunch of Greek food from the cafe in Lakewood that I had always admired from afar, but somehow never felt sophisticated enough to enter. (26 in my mind is the age of sophistication, I guess?)

Greek food. It just sounds like the kind of food adults get.
People who have things figured out choose to eat Greek food.

I'm learning to embrace all that the future wants to bestow on me.

A switch went off in my mind that week.
For the first time in my BYU history I wasn't excited to come back to see friends or plan parties or take mini adventures in Utah. I don't want to completely say "I've outgrown that," but it's as though I realized there was more to this grad school experience than THAT. Those aspects of college life are wonderful, but that period of my life <the hanging out period> has come to a close. Instead, I've become excited at the prospect of being, "anxiously [and utterly] engaged in a good cause."

I decided to register for law classes that appealed to my passions rather than Bar courses:
- Federal Indian Law
- The 14th Amendment
- Criminal Procedure: Adjudication.
I looked at almost the e n t i r e undergrad catalog and made a list of classes I want to take advantage of before graduating (so much nerdy FOMO).

This semester I'm auditing racial minority & group relations. I'm obsessed. How obsessed? I'm not getting a grade for the class, but you better believe I do ALL the reading and plan to write responses to the weekly writing prompts because I genuinely LOVE learning about the subject matter.

I've never had a busier semester.
I thought my last year of undergrad (21 credits, Living Legends, 20hr/wk job, three minors) was busy, but this semester (19 graduate credits, two jobs, an internship [with a nonprofit whose mission is my cause for life], editor on a law journal, calling that puts me on the ward council, oh & juggling two grad programs) takes the cake.

How do I do it?
Meticulous weekly planning sessions + major help from Heaven. My days begin at 5:30. I'm at the gym at 6:00 and I'm in bed by 10:30 on the dot. I have to follow this regimen to function. It's the only way.

Of course, I have my days where I just feel stretched too thin as evidenced by this beaut of a passage from a recent journal entry,
I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed. How do I make time for school work and scripture reading and work-work and the articles I have to edit for ELJ? I'm thinking about buying a plane ticket for Christmas and securing an internship for next summer, how I was supposed to call President Crawford today, and needing to register to vote, and how much I want to blog, and visiting teaching, and going to the grocery store, and how I haven't really talked to Mom. I have to edit three articles by the 21st, and be in bed in 40 min in order to function tomorrow.
I can only take a week a time, but I have to register for classes for next semester in two weeks, and I have to be applying to externships this month. Oh, and there's the project with South Jordan. I really want to read "getting to maybe" because I want to do better on my law exams, and that's due sometime next month. I need to get tires for my car and shoes for Daniela's wedding.
I wrote that on a day when I just needed a place to brain dump.

I've never felt busier, but I've also never felt more fulfilled (mission aside). I came into this school year with every intent to take of advantage of every opportunity BYU could provide me and every intention to develop the skills and talents I've been blessed with to better become a force for good.

I can't believe I've only been in school for going on two months.
In this short amount of time, I've been blessed to go to Oxford and Kansas City. I've networked with some incredible individuals from around the world, and I've gained a greater appreciation for the wonderful human beings that are my professors. I've reached a greater level of nerd than ever before and I'm not ashamed to love it!

Photos from Oxford! I was only there for a magical place, but all my Pride & Prejudice dreams were coming true at St. Hugh's college.
^^I love how much the English embrace the Harry Potter culture!
^^Elder Flowers soda. I mostly took this picture to send to my brother because technically, he is Elder Flowers. 

^^ We went to this pub which is known as the place where C.S. Lewis & Tolkien would have weekly meetings to discuss their writings.
^^Fish & chips, because when in England...
^^Most of the souveniery stores were closed in the evenings, so I decided to bring back candy with me. We went to a grocery store, and I called after these two British girls to help me pick out candies. Homegirls hooked me up with all the good stuff!
^^ I won a law school social media contest for the above photo. Just studying Federal Indian Law with the homies! The Herron, the otter, AND THE DEER are my friends ❤️.