Dear Diary, let me update you on my life

I haven’t done a “personal blog” style post in a loooong time. As much as I enjoy the challenges that get me writing, I tend to forget that this is a personal blog first and foremost. But today, I sat down with my lunch and thought, with no small amount of shock, that if I look back at my blog posts alone this past year, I will have NO IDEA what went on with my life!!!!

Now this is a thought I cannot stand, and I’m going to begin remedying it immediately. Starting right now. I’ll title the purely personal update posts with a “Dear Diary” in the beginning so you can ignore them if you want!

This past year, several major things have changed in my life. I procrastinated my LSAT. I procrastinated my law school applications. I procrastinated my letters of recommendation. I procrastinated TOO MUCH! I took the LSAT in October and could theoretically submitted my application anytime after September, really.  Instead, I submitted them all in March, and missed the deadlines of all the good schools. Not that it mattered, because I underperformed on the LSAT and lost all hope of getting into those anyway.

It was disheartening and my self-confidence took a pretty huge dip. It stayed that way for months. For almost the past half year, I was at a lower point in my life and I couldn’t even see myself getting into law school at all. Silly, irrational fears. They have a way of taking root and insidiously poisoning your entire mindset, and even last month, I was forlornly staring at my LSAC account and thinking that I wasn’t going to get into law school.

Well, I was wrong. I did get into law school. I didn’t get into a great one or even a spectacular one, but I got into law school. I got into that law school with almost a full ride. There are plus’s and minus’s. Logically, receiving this much financial aid made it a no-brainer. With the smarts that can only come with hindsight and retrospect, I am glad to have received this much money and feel like I am making a smart decision. I tell myself that even if I’d gotten into a better school, I probably would have picked the one I have chosen due to the money factor alone. How much of that is me trying to make myself feel better, I still don’t know.

With the stress and pressure of applying and getting into law school out of my mind, I spiraled out of control – in a bad way. We’re talking about eating unhealthy, constantly hanging out with my friends, and blowing money on food, entertainment, nail polish, and makeup like I had a job. At the end of January 2013, I no longer had a job. Instead of realistically planning to find one, I again took a procrastination route.

I convinced myself I deserved the time off and spent the next month in New Jersey with my cousin. After that, I spent a month sleeping in until 3PM, staying up all night watching movies or blogging, and frantically trying to sell off my extra makeup because I really did have way too much.

There have been several crucial points of change that have shaped my life and given me a more healthy perspective on things.

Getting into law school with the money helped. Getting into a regular blogging routine here and on NailSparks also helped.  But the most help has come from a single person, whether he knows it or not. He has motivated me to take charge and stop whining. To just grow up already.

And that’s what I’ve done, in a nutshell. I’ve grown up. Somewhere along the way, I have graduated college, started working full-time as a Paralegal, and made a meaningful relationship with somebody who only makes me want to be even better.

Isn’t this the best kind of growth?

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After College, Before Work

It’s an awkward interim – I have graduated college, but don’t yet have a real job. I am telling myself that this is not because I am lazy and unmotivated, but because I plan on higher education in the form of 3 years of law school to obtain a JD that will hopefully help me get an even better job.

But I am SURE I’m not the only one who’s found out that there’s this lovely gap of several months between graduating college and beginning graduate school. I’m not the ONLY one who graduated early, after all. Right? 

Right. Googling for things to do in this break didn’t yield much results beyond “OMG GET A JOB” so here I am blogging about what I think I would rather do in the time between now and September.

What should I do in all this spare time!? I want to go travel – I am planning to travel to India, hopefully. I’m VERY VERY psyched that I’m done with college, but I’m still very reluctant about entering reality and work and law school. It will happen, but it doesn’t need to happen quite yet….

If you guys have had ‘breaks’ in your life like this, what have you done with them?

Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish before I start law school in September:

  1. Travel to India – probably in March or April? For a month or two.
  2. Finish organizing and decorating my basement room/mini-apartment
  3. Get a proper medical checkup – gynecologist + endocrinologist AND figure out how to regularly obtain birth control without paying out the roof for it
  4. WRITE! I have so many unfinished projects on this blog
  5. Go on a cruise – with friends, not family
  6. Do something adventurous – skiing? Hand-gliding, para-sailing, hot-air-balloon, bungee jumping, skydiving…the options are endless. Pick one and do it!
  7. Find a part-time job as a Paralegal once I’m done traveling
  8. GET INTO LAW SCHOOL – preferably Fordham – and find an affordable apartment in New York City
  9. Save up enough money for a car – long-term goal, don’t really need a car for the next three years while I am studying in the city
  10. Save up enough money for a Euro-trip – long-term goal, this won’t happen until after law school as well. 

Rising out of the sadness

I’m HAPPY! I’m happy I’m happy I’m happyyyy.

That doesn’t sound like a very happy song, right? In fact…it’s a very, very sad one. But I want to focus on the part of the song where he’s so earnestly trying to fix you.

It’s that part where you know that no matter how down you are, somebody is there to lift you. I’m feeling lifted right now. I’m feeling happier than I have felt in weeks.

It’s the first time since I started writing Controlled Derangement that I haven’t been able to write about my sadness. Maybe I didn’t want to make you guys too scared of all my angsty poetry 😉 I’m not sure why I hid from my own blog. I promised myself never to apologize for anything I wrote. And for when I didn’t write, so this is not an apology. Just an acknowledgment that I avoided writing about sadness and I avoided talking about it with my closest friends too.

But, like I said, lately, I’m feeling a lot happier. Not because I “talked about it” or anything, BUT because I’ve found somebody that lifts my spirits. A voice that makes me happy. Even when we’re talking about completely nonsensical things.

I finally feel like I can conquer all things again, and honestly, ever since I got my less-than-expected LSAT score, I haven’t felt that way. I really haven’t. And as much as I know I have friends I can talk to, I just don’t want to talk about it.

I’m rambling again, aren’t I? I do that a lot here. I do that a lot in real life too – just talk and talk and talk. You sorta get used to it 😉

I guess what I am trying to say is, just listen to this song. And watch this video now.

I’m happy. Because having somebody paying me just a little bit of attention has revived my confidence a lot more than any amount of pep talks can.

Do you know I should have submitted applications to law school back in November? I SHOULD HAVE. Right after I got my October LSAT score.

Instead I’ve been SO demotivated that I did nothing. And now it’s nearly January. I know deadlines are rolling, but if I’m going to go to law school in September (And I will), then I need to get off my whiney ass and just apply.

Reality check? I mean c’mon, I have wanted to be a lawyer SINCE I WAS IN FIRST GRADE. Legit. Since then. My goal never wavered. I loved it. I’ve interned, I’ve worked in firms, I’ve done all the work a paralegal does. I WANT THIS. It was getting a little hard to remind myself of that for a while, but I remember again.

I will conquer all things.

Pressure

I’m trying to visit law schools this summer, because I know that realistically speaking, it is highly unlikely that I get into a good law school in New York State. Mainly because NYS only has 3 really good law schools – Columbia, NYU, and Cornell – and they rank #3, 6, and 14 respectively. So I don’t think it’s wrong to consider my other options, spend time with friends, and also explore other colleges.

It’s just very frustrating that every time I bring up the subject of….my plans after graduation, my parent’s just take it for granted that I’m going to get into and attend NYU Law School. My dad tells me “Oh you told us that NYU had a 6 year program, that’s why we let you go” and time after time, I remind him that I said absolutely NO such thing. And he’s just rubbing it against me every time and he’s like, “Oh you’re so unreliable”

My mom’s concerns are pretty standard – she doesn’t want me to leave New York because she doesn’t think I’ll be able to survive out there in the big, bad, world. I mean one of her arguments is actually, “How are we supposed to move you in?”

PEOPLE ATTEND COLLEGE FROM OTHER STATES. WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF ARGUMENT IS THAT? A WEAK AND FLAWED ONE. I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF, PACK A SUITCASE, AND GO TO SCHOOL. Other people do it. I’m a big girl.

She doesn’t get that.

As long as I stay within New York, she’s content feeding me bullshit about trust and freedom, but I don’t really have any freedom at all. The second I mention going somewhere else, she just shuts me off completely and feeds me one bullshit excuse after the next on why it’s an impossible idea. Not a bad one, but an impossible one. Completely dismisses me and just flat out says “NO” and stops listening. How am I supposed to reason with that?

I want to visit law schools this summer. I want to get out of New York for law school, and I want to travel regardless of where I end up going for law school. I want to spend this summer as far away from “home” as possible because I hate living at home for extended periods of time. I’ve hated it since about 10th grade. I’m sure I hurt their feelings when I so vehemently told them that I couldn’t wait to go to college, but the oppressive atmosphere at home is just really too much. I have to abide by their rules, and their rules are so old-fashioned and, as I said, oppressive..

It just makes me want to cry when they listen to me so dismissively. They refuse to acknowledge any alternate possibilities and I know that their dream reality is…probably never going to come true. So how am I going to live at home through the disappointment and pity  and anger on their faces when I don’t get in?

She actually had the nerve to throw Hofstra law at my face. Yeah well I’m not doing it. If that’s where I end up, I might as well abandon my plan of becoming a lawyer right now. I can’t end up there, I have to do well on the LSAT and escape. I just have to.

Pressure – Written in anger, unedited, probably complete crap but…words I had to get out of my chest.

There’s so much pressure
Pressure from my home, my family,
Their expectations are a crushing weight and
I’m just struggling to stay afloat.
They know I can do it,
BUT WHAT IF I CAN’T?

I’m smart, I just have to study hard.
Well fine, but it isn’t THEM that’s putting in the hours.
It’s me, AND WHAT IF IT ISN’T ENOUGH?

Where’s your optimism?
Have a little faith in yourself.
They say.

And my family’s expectations,
those heavy, heavy expectations,
loom above me like a challenge and
I’m foolishly standing under their shaky chandelier.

As if I don’t know that I need to study.
I do. I KNOW.
But they aren’t the ones studying,
They don’t know how hard it is, and most of all,
They aren’t the ones with all those expectations of success.

Motivation, stamina, perseverence, endurance.
Just suck it up and study,
They say.

Well that’s fine, but what if studying isn’t all I need?
I need recommendations and I need a good GPA
And guess what, I’m not as smart as they think I am,
Because I don’t even have a good GPA.

It’s just difficult, every time I speak to my mother and
Hear her talk about attending NYU Law. In her perfect
little dream world with all the stupid statistics
That don’t mean a THING. But no, in her world, they mean
That I’m going to NYU Law.

That’s ranked #5 in the nation. Maybe 6.
Either way, that’s a hell of a small number,
When I consider how many law schools there are in this nation.
How am I supposed to get into #5?

What am I, really?
I enjoy graphic design.
I write.
I read. A lot.
I express myself in poetry and
Sometimes in prose.
I have brown eyes.

I am short, not thin,
I’m not always funny, I’m sort of awkward.
Bossy.

Not girlfriend material,
I’ve been told time and time again.

I’m just upset and sad and
Under a lot of that pressure to
Do better than I think I can and
Try not to fail everybody in my family.

They just think we’re naturally good at it,
But I know I’ve slacked. I could have done better,
But let’s face it. I came to college and for the first time,
I wasn’t on par with everybody else.
PEOPLE WERE JUST BETTER THAN ME even when they weren’t trying.

How am I supposed to beat them and get their spot
In NYU Law, when they have gotten better grades than I
Every single step of the way.

This is stupid,
Who do I really think I am?
How am I supposed to achieve my goals
When my family is setting them for me,
Much higher than they should be
And I’m floundering and they don’t understand
And I can’t speak to them about it because
They just don’t understand and…

And they think that I’m throwing it all away.
If I just studied a little harder, spent a little less time with friends.

And that’s fine, I could have done that. It wouldn’t have changed my grades,
My papers would still be the same.
But I’m still just a B+ student
And a B+ doesn’t get you into NYU Law.

I just wish my parents could see.

Day 28: Erasing Social Boundaries

Day 28 — If I could do one thing that is socially unacceptable and know I would not be judged, I would…

Oh this is difficult! There are some things I wish I could do without being judged, but I know I would still be punished for them. In that case, I would not do them with or without the judgment of others. In fact, I don’t often care about the judgment of others.

This is a tough one. I don’t know if I would do it, but I want a chance to express my innermost thoughts. That is what this challenge is about after all.

I think if I knew I wouldn’t be judged for it, I would take some time off between college and law school and do some “inner exploring.” I’m not going to be cliche and say I want to find myself, because I think I know who I am already, but I want some fun. With no stress. High school was all about advanced classes and AP Exams and SAT’s and getting into a good college.

Then college was mostly about studying and writing essays and staying up all night to finish homework assignments. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun, but there was overriding stress. Throughout college, I have worked, interned, studied, attended classes, participated in extracurricular activities, managed club leadership positions, and now, studied for my LSAT. It was a lot of work.

So if I could do so without judgment (and if I had the means to do so), I would most definitely take some time off to travel. I would explore, I would learn how to paint and mold clay. I would paint a mural on the walls of my apartment and build a giant DIY nail polish rack. I would backpack through Europe and couchsurf my way around all the different countries. I would go on a cruise, perhaps around the Mediterranean. Maybe with a boy?

I know this doesn’t sound that crazy, but given present social norms, I would be the center of all the Indian Aunty gossip. I can just see their faces now, so scandalized that I was traveling alone or worse yet, with a boy.

xoxo,
Pryanka

List of rules and questions is here

Please take a moment to check out the other wonderful blogs participating in 30 days of Blogging Honesty with me!

A College Student’s Kitchen

What are some of the ingredients I’ve tried to keep stocked up in my kitchen? Lo and behold, the below essentials have kept me from starving when I ran out of my mommy’s home-cooked food 😀

1. Ramen – I have the normal Ramen + also Maggi, which is the Indian version of Ramen. I love this stuff. When I’m too lazy/busy to cook, this is my go-to. I try not to have too much of it in a week because it’s not exactly healthy, but it’s good, simple eats when you’re working on a paper and don’t have time for extravagance.

2. Tofu – Stir-fry is the second easiest thing to make for me. Since chicken is pricy, I try to keep stocked up on Tofu instead. It’s still healthy, it absorbs the flavors of the sauces I use well enough, and it still tastes great in stir fry. I prefer firm tofu so it won’t break apart when I’m cooking with it. One of these packages lasts me at least 4 timse..I use 1 piece per meal I make for myself, and the whole package is under $2 usually. Sometimes, I buy some fried tofu as well. That stuff tastes good but it’s sooo oily.

3. Eggs – I seriously love these things. Make omelettes for breakfast, put them into Ramen to make it slightly healthier, and scramble some into stir-fry when I’m making dinner. I also make omelettes and put them into sandwiches with some cheese and lightly sauteed onions for a delicious lunch sandwich that would probably cost 5x more if I bought it outside. I don’t usually bother with organic or brown eggs, and try to get the Jumbo sized eggs when I can. More for mah money!

4. Large White Onion – I usually just buy these 1 at a time because I don’t cook much. They’re pretty cheap/lb and the onions I get are huge and usually under $1 anyway. Honestly grocery shopping for a whole week’s worth of eats usually costs me under $15. It’s great. That’s the equivalent of 1-3 outside meals, but lasts me through at least 5-7 days instead of just one. Cheap!!

5. Bread – Necessary. Whatever’s on sale usually. Super versatile – I can make those sandwiches with egg & onion or I can just make normal pb&j’s. Or nutella & peanut butter or whatever other yummy combination I can think of to put on bread.

6. Nutella, Peanut Butter, Jelly – I’m smushing them into one thing. They’re great, any combination of the 3, on bread. I prefer  the peanut butter creamy not chunky though. And strawberry jam over any other.

7. Chicken Stock/Broth – This helps when making soup but also to make food I can have over rice without the whole thing being too dry. I usually buy just 1 can at a time, and use it over the course of the week making my stir fried veggies “wet” enough to have with rice.

8. Rice – Honestly, enough said. You should have some rice in your kitchen.

9. Frozen Peas – I prefer the rest of my veggies fresh but my peas – I always keep a bag of them in the freezer and defrost amounts as needed. They last pretty much forever 😀 And sometimes some peas thrown into ramen makes it a liiiitle bit less cheap feeling.

11. Coffee Singles – These are easier than going out and spending money on coffee.  My roommate keeps them around and I’ll make myself coffee if I’m staying in to study. You don’t need them if you’re not much of a coffee drink, but it’s an essential in our kitchen for sure.

12. Herbs & Spices – In our kitchen, this includes: sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper, oregano, basil, and whatever else you happen to find packets of in dining halls and cafes 😀

13. Milk – I forgot to mention this until now, but it’s super helpful. For coffee, with cookies, in cereal, or just by itself if you’re into that kind of thing. I buy a half pint at a time b/c I’m not much of a milk drinker. I get 1/2 gallon, 2%.

14. Cereal – I usually buy whatever is on sale, usually at least one that I like is reduced price. If it isn’t, I wait until it is.

15. EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Useful in cooking, removing eye makeup, baking, and everything. I love my oil, every kitchen’s gotta have some of this.

Everything else is extra and varies depending on sales, but here are some other things I frequently find in my kitchen

– Butter
– Cheese
– Vegetables – whatever I buy in Chinatown honestly. Bok Choy, Lettuce, Tomato, Mushroom, Green Pepper, Bean Sprouts, Green Beans, Broccoli, Snap Peas, etc.
– Pasta
– Pasta Sauce
– Lemon/Lime
– Ginger/Garlic
–  Canned Beans
– Tortilla
– Presliced/cooked Chicken & Turkey
– Uncooked Chicken breast
– Turkey Hot Dogs
– Chips
– Cookies/Muffins/English Muffins/Donuts/Croissants – some sort of breakfast-y thing

Yep. What do you usually have? Anything I forgot?

Dear Carolyn,

You complained I didn’t mention you in my blog, and I suppose recently, I haven’t explicitly dedicated anything to you, right?

Well then my darling, here you go. You get a whole entire post dedicated to you. Enjoy it. It will be cheesy and sappy and over-the-top. It might make the male gender gag a little bit. Hehe.

I don’t even know where to start when I write to you. If this was a yearbook entry, it would have teardrop stains on it already because a future without you as my roommate makes me want to cry.

I can say with pride and joy that you were the first friend I made at New York University. By that extenson, you were the first one who really saw the “new” me. Of course my high school friends knew me, but the change isn’t as drastic when you grow up with the friends, you know what I mean? But you met the new me and you accepted me and somehow, you liked me and we hit it off! And an amazing friendship was born.

You know how I mentioned kindred souls….lifetime friends. You are one of them. You are a friend for life – beyond college, beyond New York, and beyond even our career paths. Nothing can tear us apart, and I’ve grown to consider you one of the few people I know I can trust with my life. From the first moment we met each other and our eyes met in that elevator ride down to the lobby of Founders Hall (Which didn’t even have a name then) to begin our summer orientation session. Sure we’d spoken on FB a little bit before that and spoken online, but I was so scared that you wouldn’t like me when you met me. But you accepted me, flaws and all, and from that first awkward conversation to now, three years later, you’ve been one of the most amazing friends I could ask for.

I don’t even have words to explain myself. I’m at a loss…how can somebody fit into a limiting vocabulary the extensive emotions I feel? Emotions cannot ever be fully penned down, so just know that without your friendship to count on, I wouldn’t be the person I am. Without having your dorm room to crash in freshman year, I wouldn’t have even met Sara or Misha. Without having met Sara, I probably never would have met Christine? Or maybe other circumstances would have brought us together but honestly, who knows? I will just let you know though….we were destined to be roommates ❤ It may have been three and a half years in the making, but it was worth it. You and Misha made this semester unforgettable!

After this (college) though, I can’t help but tear up when I imagine how our lives are going to unfold. What will happen? Where will we all be? I don’t know, and it kills me. You’re coming to my wedding no matter what, no matter where. And I to yours. This is the kind of friendship that lasts and you’re the kind of person that…brightens and livens up everybody else’s day. I am PRIVILEGED to be your friend because you’re an amazing person. You’re a complete sweetheart, and the best kind of friend ever. You never judge, you trust and you listen and you’re right there when I need to rant. You even laugh when I try to make jokes and that makes me feel pretty cool too. You bring out the best in everybody around you and you seriously brighten our room up.

Watching you watch Tom and Jerry while eating….or coming home to a home that smells like sesame oil….these are just snapshots of the semester that I will never forget. Baking with you, devouring the Oreo truffles you made us, and even the late night roommate bonding outings and movies and talks…I’ll never forget them. Also the nail polish – you put up with my obsession, embraced it, and totally adopted it as your own. Without you and Misha to do my nails with, it just wouldn’t be the same.

You put up with my crazy and you still love me despite it.

You are spectacular. I love you. Totally homo 😉

 

xoxo,
Pryanka