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I think most of the states finished with their bar exams yesterday. In one sense I’m Totally Jealous of those examinees for being done, but in another sense, I actually like the idea of having a few extra essays–it’s like a last clear chance doctrine. Maybe I was a little negligent in failing to learn commercial paper, but the bar exam is giving me one last chance to try to mitigate my damages (I don’t think that’s right; I’ve forgotten the LCD already!!). But mini freakout aside, day three is nice because simply by process of elimination, everyone seems to have a decent idea what subjects will be tested today (which thankfully doesn’t include torts!!).
So if you are lucky enough to be finished, CONGRATULATIONS!! I hope you spend the day filling your brain with cotton candy like activities (I’ve already purchased a bunch of gossip magazines!!) For those of you who have just a few more hours, good luck with your final studying. Just keep swimming, we’re almost there!!!
With two days behind me and only one more to go, I’m feeling pretty tired, grumpy, stressed and just plain burnt out! Today didn’t go so great. I still had six questions left when the proctor gave the five-minute warning during my afternoon MBE. I answered two of them the best I could and then just bubbled in “A” for the last four. I’m just hoping to win the multiple choice lottery here!
I keep thinking about how terrible it will be if I fail. And so embarrassing!! I think in general, I’ve been putting out a lot of negative vibes lately, so I have decided to put together a list of the positive things about the bar exam:
1. I got to spend a lot of time with my dog
I have a little Yorkie and she is really special to me. She’s getting old–she will be fifteen in August–and I know that she won’t be around forever. Because I took an online bar course, I worked almost entirely from home and so we got to spend a lot of time together. It was really nice and I am grateful to have been able to spend so many hours with her.
2. My house was really clean
Like most people I know, the only way I can procrastinate and not feel terrible about it is when I am doing something productive. Somehow I can rationalize taking an hour to clean the cracks between the couch cushions, but taking 30 minutes for some TV is a big no-no. Procrastinating is okay, but only if it’s for stuff that HAS to be done. Starting around mid-June, I found a lot of things that HAD to be done. My house is crazy clean right now and it’s nice. It feels like a grown up lives here.
3. My boyfriend was so great during all of this
A lot of people say that the bar exam is really hard on relationships. And I can certainly understand why that is. Studying for it is so stressful and time consuming and even the most rational and calm people are bound to snap. The bar exam has this ability to bring out the “crazy” that most of us keep hidden away. It’s just such a long and drawn out period of uncertainty and that anxiety and stress that you feel everyday just starts to compound and it really adds up after a while! And for me, I’m already a little crazy, so that is a big problem! I’m neurotic and worry and am very insecure. I certainly wouldn’t want to date me. But for some reason, my boyfriend seems to like me and despite what might have been my craziest of crazy, he still stuck around. And not only did he not take off running, he was just so awesome. He explained a lot of the areas of the law that I didn’t understand and he never once made me feel stupid while he did it–a pretty impressive feat! I think these two months really reminded me why he is such a great guy and I am a very lucky lady!
4. I lost a lot of weight!
Depending on how you deal with stress, the bar can be a great diet! I’m sure I will gain it all back in about five days, but I feel pretty good right now!!
5. The bar exam had the opposite effect on the girl who was a total Mean Girl in law school
“You can’t sit with us!”
When I woke up this morning, I felt pretty good. I was ready. This is how I felt:
When I approached the giant warehouse where I would be spending the next three days, my confidence disappeared. There was a huge line of cars waiting to turn into the parking lot and people everywhere. They all looked more prepared than me. It brought me back to reality. This is how I felt:
But I did not go home, instead I just had a quasi-public cry. On my way in, I ran into a classmate. He’s a nice guy, but I’m not particularly close to him. He was outside smoking so I said “hello.” He responded, “you look terrified.” I tried to laugh it off and said, “do I really look that bad,” but as the words came out of my mouth I could hear my voice cracking and tears were starting to form. “Do you need a hug?” he replied. I just shook my head yes, started crying, and hugged a classmate I don’t really even know all that well.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??
So then after my awkward hug/cry I dropped off my sandwich I had purchased at a gas station on the way to the test warehouse and then went inside the testing room. We went through the instructions, I opened the packet, and read the essay. I don’t know why I was surprised, but it was exactly the same as all the other essays I had practiced. I knew how to do this! I felt good again!!
Then we went to lunch and I made the mistake of talking about the essays to friends/eavesdropping on strangers’ conversations. This is how it made me feel:
Eight essays later, the first day of the exam was over. I stopped to get some Chipotle and the girl forgot my sour cream. I didn’t realize it until I was ten minutes away. This is how I felt:
When I finally got home, I tried to study, but I just couldn’t do it. Instead, I watched Bunheads and ate a burrito sans sour cream. Bunheads is this really silly show on ABC Family. I’m still not quite sure what it’s about, but it seems to focus a few ballerinas and a woman who speaks only in puns and talks far too much and far too quickly. It’s not really that good, but it was exactly what I needed!
Today was stressful, but the good news is that I am only two days away from sitting by a pool with an US Weekly and a frozen margarita!!
Very rarely do I ever have any good advice to offer anybody. Like ever. Usually the only time I am even qualified to offer up any sort of advice is after I have made some stupid mistake about 100 times. And even then my advice is typically “don’t do that; it’s stupid.” But that is not the case today! I have good advice (unless you don’t have health insurance, then just quit reading here; you wont think the advice is any good).
So I have had to deal with a bunch of insurance stuff lately and I ended up getting out my policy and actually reading it. When reading it, I discovered something amazing: my insurance covers “alternative medicine.” And buried in the description of alternative medicine was massages.
So I just got back from a massage and I feel great! I had never had a medical massage before, but the guy who did it was fantastic. Normally I don’t really like massages. I find it really uncomfortable to have a stranger stroke me while burning incense and playing Enya in the background. But this was nothing like that! I didn’t even have to get naked. I told the massage therapist that I have been studying for the bar and he worked on all the trigger points and knots in my back. I feel like a huge amount of pressure has been relieved! And the best part, I’m supposed to come back on Monday for another one. And even better than the best part (is that possible?), it only cost me $11 out of pocket. And this isn’t a humble brag here.
My point is that I have pretty middle of the road insurance. There was no “Lexus Plan” for me and yet it was still hidden in my policy! So if you are stressed, have 45 minutes to spare and don’t have anybody to give you a massage, take a few minutes to check your insurance policy and see what you can get!
Also, I hope this is not Gwyneth Paltrow like advice (now that I’ve claimed this be “good advice,” I feel like I need to qualify it!). I understand that a lot of people don’t have health insurance and so if that is the case for you, I am sorry that my advice sucks.
Most of the time, when I am feeling negative emotions, I try to make jokes. I don’t know if those jokes are funny or not, but they tend to be a good coping mechanism for me. I think sometimes this maybe makes me seem somewhat callous or shallow. For example, when my father attempted suicide, the only friend I could stand talking to was the one who would let me joke about it. It was just easier. It’s hard in those situations. Nobody ever knows what to say and many times good intentions make things worse. There’s never a “right thing” to do or say.
And maybe I am shallow in a way. I don’t mean shallow in that all I care about is shoes and money (although I do like both of those things very much!), but in that I’m not great at dealing with emotions. I am not deep. I am not good at analyzing my feelings and what they might mean on a deeper level. It’s not that I haven’t “gone there” before; it’s just that I never really feel much different when I only know the “what” that I’m feeling versus also knowing the “why.” And honestly, sometimes knowing the “why” just makes me feel worse. I don’t know if this attitude is healthy, but I imagine that like most of the things I do, it probably isn’t.
And so today, I started doing what I always do. My appointment with the MS specialist is tomorrow and I am very nervous, but instead of confronting that fear, I did what I always do and started making jokes. “I’m sure the lesions are just from studying too hard,” I joked to my mother over the phone. She responded with silence and then said:
“Aren’t you scared?”
Of course I am scared, but I couldn’t tell her that. I don’t know why. I don’t’ know why I couldn’t admit it because the truth is that I am scared about a lot of things right now. I am scared that I am going to go to that appointment tomorrow and the doctor is going to confirm that I have multiple sclerosis. He is going to encourage me to take drugs that are very expensive and that will put me right back where I started financially: down a 10 foot hole with no shovel to dig myself out. I am afraid I am going to lose everything. I am afraid that my boyfriend will decide it is too much. I am scared that I will slowly lose the ability to do the things I enjoy. I am scared that this news is going to be bad and it is going to mean a lot of bad things. I am scared that on top of this, I am not going to pass the bar. I am scared that I will prove people right in that I didn’t belong here; that this was all “just very silly.” I am scared that I am never going to find a job. And I am scared that my best option may be to start working at Starbucks because at least they have health insurance and I am scared that I won’t even be good at that because I don’t drink coffee. I am scared that I am going to lose everything five feet before the finish line.
And people say you aren’t supposed to freak yourself out about these things until you know for sure, but I think those people only say that because they are scared, too. So the truth is I am scared. Life is scary and the harder you try and the more you invest in yourself and others, the more you stand to lose. And that is scary.
And because I simply cannot leave this post on such a negative note, I have included a list of other things that scare me:
1. Horses because I had a kindergarten teacher who only had eight fingers after a horse took the other two (something she probably should not have shared with her class);
2. Dying by guillotine because of this stupid movie I watched when I was eight years old that has haunted me ever since.
3. Centipedes. They are so gross and if one ever crawled on me, I’d probably die (and it’d likely be by guillotine).
4. Backseat attackers. I am so afraid of getting attacked by a man who has crawled into the backseat of my car that I have to check it every time I get in the car. It’s so silly, but one time I was driving alone on a long road trip and I forgot to check and I remembered about ten minutes after I got back on the freeway after I started seeing weird shadows and I got so scared I had to pull over to the next gas station just to double check that I was alone.
5. Eating spoiled food. I just can’t eat food that has expired even if it looks and smells fine and everybody else is eating it. I just can’t do it; I’m too afraid.