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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Keep Lookin' For The Ponies

So as you all know, I've been studying for finals and all that boring stuff.  Anyway, I was having a little trouble with one of my classes and a very kind 2L recommended a supplement that helped him tackle it last year.  Of course the actual course information was very helpful, but what I especially liked was this little snippet that the author included at the end.  Although he meant it to apply to law school, I feel like it works for so many other aspects of life and I thought I would share it here.

"It is the story of the parent who has two children.  One is an avowed optimist, happy no matter his circumstances.  The other is an avowed pessimist, miserable most of the time.   
The parent, trying to bring both children back to center, fills the pessimist's room with a host of toys, games and electronic gadgets known to delight even the fussiest child.  In the room of the optimist, although he hated to have to do it, the parent places piles of horse manure.  The child has to learn, the parent believes, that sometimes life just stinks. 
 The parent waits a short while, and then ventures into the pessimist's room.  There he finds the child standing in the corner, arms folded in front of him, scowling.  The boy says, "How dare you patronize me with these petty offerings?"  The parent shrugs sadly, and proceeds tot he optimist's room.  There, he is astonished to find his child whistling while at work, busily spraying room freshener and shoveling the manure into a corner.  The parent asks in amazement, "Child, in the midst of all this, how can you possibly maintain so cheerful and hopeful an outlook?"  The little boy replies with great sincerity and strength of purpose, "Papa, don't you get it?  With all this horse manure, there's got to be a pony somewhere!" 
Do you see the analogy to your present circumstance?  Amidst the volumes that you must shovel and store, there are ponies.  The rewards will come.  There will be joys and privileges in your chosen life's work.  No matter how jaded or cynical you may feel at times, the law is a most noble profession, and it will afford tremendous opportunities for you to do well and, most of all, to do good. 
In the days ahead, do not let anyone or anything, and certainly not an exam or a grade, diminish your capacity to feel enthusiasm for this craft and your place in it.  Your work will be everything that you have hoped it would be.  You deserve nothing less."

With your heart and mind wide open, keep looking for the ponies.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Finals? Where Did You Come From? Who Invited You?

It literally feels like just yesterday I was writing about first semester finals and studying on the beach.   To be honest, it feels like just yesterday I was all nervous and scared at orientation!  Somehow finals have managed to find me again and my first year of law school is almost over.  It has been one hell of an experience (but a good Hell) and now I'm in the homestretch.  I've literally been in the library almost everyday preparing and hoping that hard work really does pay off.

Since I've been feeling a little stressed lately, I decided to take this morning off and drive down to Santa Monica before going into the library.  I had a lovely breakfast by myself at this little cafe near Third Street Promenade.  It was really relaxing and nice to just sit down and have a good meal outside.  I literally felt so much happier afterward (but I love food so this shouldn't be surprising). 

I also stopped by Lush and picked up a few beauty items.  Exams can be stressful but I refuse to let it show (at least not on my pretty face LOL) so I had to make sure I was prepared to pamper myself.  I haven't been to Lush in so long and I haven't used any of their masks in probably two years.  You know how they say that your sense of smell is one of the strongest senses for triggering memories?  Well, as soon as I put the mask I bought on my face, it immediately took me back to my little apartment in Louisiana.  I felt like I was back at undergrad and it was the strangest but most amazing thing.  So in case you were wondering, I think that fact is true!  I'm hoping that everyone had a good week.  Please cross your fingers for me and keep me in your prayers as I embark on these exams in the coming weeks.  Talk to you all again soon!

Monday, April 14, 2014

'Dulce de Leche' Cupcakes

Baking cupcakes is one of my favorite ways to de-stress.  It's a great way for me to take my mind off of certain things and channel my energy somewhere else.  When I was doing my undergrad in Louisiana, I used to bake all the time because I had teammates and roommates that would eat all of the cupcakes for me.  It is a little bit more difficult for me to bake now since I live alone and cannot eat an entire tray myself.  In either case, I still do it from time to time when I really need some kind of release.

These are my second favorite kind of cupcake to bake from scratch (the first being White Chocolate).  They're 'Dulce de Leche', which is basically a caramel made from sweetened condensed milk, and they are so delicious.  I generally use a recipe from Joy the Baker that can be found here.  It isn't too complicated and doesn't require a whole lot of expertise, although it can be a little bit time consuming.

 (I always tend to add a little more vanilla than is required to all my baking)
This batch turned out great and I was particularly satisfied.  Although I ended up only eating a couple before giving the rest of them away to students at the law school.  I'm really going to have to start planning ahead and finding someone with a sweet tooth to indulge before I bake from now on.  Maybe I should just call in all of my Louisiana friends and teammates :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Quote Collector

Since I was young, I have always been a fan of collecting quotes.  I find them really therapeutic so I would write them in my agendas and keep some in my phone.  They're just a great way of helping me "get through" moments.  Today I was looking through some of the many quotes I've saved over the years.  I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes I like to refer back to depending on what I'm facing in that moment.

For Those Moments When You're Not Sure Whether Or Not To Keep Fighting 
  • "If there's just one piece of advice I can give you it's this: when there's something you really want, fight for it.  Don't give up no matter how hopeless it seems.  And when you've lost hope, ask yourself if in ten years you're going to wish you gave it just one more shot because the best things in life, they don't come free."
  • "Losers quit when they get tired.  Winners quit when they've won."
  • "Mistakes are proof that you are trying."

For Those Heartbroken/Un-requited Love Type Moments
  • "You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you.  I like my choices."
  • "And it always seems like there is just one person in this world to love and then you find someone else ... and it just seems crazy that you were ever worried in the first place."
  • "The best way to cheer yourself up, is to go cheer someone else up."

For Those Moments When Someone Is Just Driving You Crazy
  • "Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is facing some kind of battle."
  • "Try to find something to love in everybody, even if it's a small thing because there is always something.  There has to be."

For Those Moments When You're Feeling Just A Little Misunderstood/Mistreated
  • "Do not allow other to define your identity for you.  Do not allow them to write even a portion of it.  They can be a mirror that shows you who you are, but they cannot tell you who you are.  They will always, somehow, get it wrong. Nothing and no one can write that part better than you.  Define yourself and believe in that.  Truly."
  • "Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you, and treat you bad.  Let God deal with the things they do because hate in your heart will consume you too."

For Those Moments When You Begin To Doubt If It's Enough To Just Be You
  • "There is a reason for everything; Every mistake, every moment of weakness, every terrible thing that has happened to you.  Grow from it.  The only way to gain the respect of others is to show them that you respect yourself and most importantly do your thing.  Never apologize for being you."

These are just a few of my MANY MANY favorites.  If you have any good ones, feel free to share.  I'm always looking to add more to my collection :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why Not Getting What You Want Isn't Always A Bad Thing

A friend of mine from high school is working on a spiritual/devotional book for athletes and he asked me if I would write a short piece for one of the sections.  After writing it, I decided that I would share it here as well since I know that I don't normally share too much about my life besides the usual day-to-day activities.  So this is my personal story about a time when I didn't get exactly what I wanted.

"Eventually, all of the pieces will fall into place.  Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason."

Growing up, my mother always told me not to worry about anything because God had a plan for my life.  "If it's for you, then no one can take it from you."  The words sounded nice and they were comforting at times, but I did not always believe her.  These words always seemed like more of a consolation prize than anything else; no one ever wants the consolation prize.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Don't Quit

"It's so worth the fall when you land where you want to."

Hello all!  Lately I've really been feeling this song by Tori Kelly.  I love her as an artist and for some reason this song in particular just speaks to me and I'm sure so many people can relate.  Regardless of what our aspirations are in life, we'll never achieve them if we stop trying. This song is a nice reminder to keep pushing on, even when things get tough.  I hope everyone is having a great week (it's almost Friday, YAY!) Also, I had a pretty big exam this morning for my legal writing class and although it was a pain, I am officially done with that class for the year and one step closer to completing my first year of law school.  That is certainly something to celebrate, which I am doing right now with a big glass of wine.  Let me know if you've been up to anything interesting :)