Sunday, January 13, 2013

Back to School

So, blog readers, can I tell you a secret? I am pretty nervous about starting school tomorrow, and I can't really pin down why. I am not scared of the subject matter - I am sure it will be challenging, but in a good and welcome way. I'll finally be studying something I'm interested in, and I truly feel that going back to school at age 30 will make me appreciate the educational experience even more. And I'm not worried that I won't be able to handle the workload. I'm pretty sure that after surviving law school and, more miserably, the bar exam and big firm law, I am prepared for just about anything. So what's my problem? I really don't know. This is a change I've been wanting to make for years. I've daydreamed about it and thought "man, I wish I had the guts, but I will probably never do that." Well now I AM doing it. And I AM excited, but also nervous. It's a big unknown looming right ahead of me. For those of you who know me or read this blog, you know that in the past couple of years, there have been some life-altering changes in my life. And here I am about to step off the cliff and into another big one. And it's incredibly exciting, but also a little scary. Particularly because I'm a "real" adult now - I guess you can't help but feel that way at age 30. A real adult who is about to have zero income until I find a part-time job that will work with my school schedule. That's a little intimidating and feels like a pretty big step back compared to lots of people my age, to be honest. But I do have to remember that in reality, it's a HUGE step forward to pursue something that will make me ultimately make me happy. And I will find a way to make it work.

As silly as it sounds, I honestly think that one other thing I'm nervous about is having a student schedule again.  How many of you just rolled your eyes and thought "yeah, tough life, POOR YOU?"  But really, let's just think about this for a minute. It's been about 6 years since I've had a student schedule. That was in law school, where my roomies (Cat and Rachel) and I would sleep till noon, lounge in PJs watching Grey's Anatomy in the afternoon, and rush home from a BUSY DAY (2 hours of class) to take a much-needed nap. Last time I checked, that's not socially acceptable for a 30 year old! Since that time, it's been kind of non-stop...gone are the days of true leisure time. In the past 6 years, there hasn't been a free moment when I haven't felt like there's something I needed to be doing. When I didn't have a job, it was searching for a job. When I worked contract, it was still searching for a full-time job while sometimes juggling two contracts at the same time. When I worked at a big firm, it was constant pressure to bill more, travel more, work more, do more, more, more. And since I've left that job, it's been getting my life together and figuring out the next step....which is this speech pathology program I'm starting tomorrow.  So when I look at the large chunks of free time in my school schedule, I can't help but wonder how I'll fill those hours.  Hopefully I'll find a part-time job soon so I can continue to fund this next chapter of my life. And I am excited to spend a little more time working out and possibly teaching spin at some gyms around town. I know I'll settle into the groove and end up loving every second of it, but I guess right now it's just hard to imagine such a huge departure.

Tomorrow I'll go up to campus for orientation. I'll get my student ID (yay cheap movie tickets and other student discounts!) and my parking pass. And I'll jump back into life as a student. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Welcome, 2013!

Well, I suck! Clearly one of my New Year's Resolutions needs to be to blog more often! Now that it's 2013, let's just do a quick wrap-up of the past few months and move on with the new year!

Let's see...a LOT has happened since my last post! Last time I checked in with my 2.5 blog readers, I had just quit my job at the big law firm I'd worked for over the past 13 months. Since October, I've been doing contract legal work and loving all the extra time I've had to spend with friends, family, and myself now that I don't have to travel every week. But even that big change wasn't quite big enough for me, I guess! Before I quit my big firm job at the end of September, I applied on a whim to a Masters of Science in Communication Disorders at UTD. For those of you who know me, you'll recall that speech pathology is something I've been interested in since high school and always said "man, I wish I'd done that instead." Well, I finally decided to stop saying "I wish" and give it a shot. With zero background or experience in that area, I figured I had less than a snowball's chance in hell to get admitted. But with an incredible stroke of luck an about a week of cramming for a last-minute GRE I took on the day my application was due, I got in! So...on the Monday after next, I'm going back to school! WHAT?! That just seems crazy. Last week I went up to campus to check out the lay of the land, and let me tell you, walking by the Student Union plastered with butcher-paper signs for frats, sororities, and other campus organizations made this 30-year old feel pretty ancient! I have to buy books! And a parking pass! It hasn't quite hit me yet that I'm about to be a full-time student again. I'm excited and nervous. I'm planning to still do part-time legal work during school so that I can avoid having to eat ramen noodles for the next 2 years!

Ok, so that's my big life change for 2013! Let's see what else I can catch you guys up on. My holidays were great - I got to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve in Tyler with my amazing family. In between, my sweet boyfriend Steven and I hosted an Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl here in Dallas. So if you were in Uptown on the night of December 14, you may have seen approximately 20 idiots stumbling around wearing some of the tackiest sweater vests, sweaters, and sweatshirts you've ever seen! Here are a few pics from holiday festivities:

My family at Thanksgiving - we never manage to get nicely posed pics, so this one out on the driveway between the cars will have to do! 

The Tyler Goodwill shop really came through on ugly sweater vests for all my friends! 

Oh yeah...I got bangs! They were fun...I kept them about a month and then started growing them out to be side-swept bangs so I don't have to get them trimmed as often! 

Steven and I in our lovely sweater vests - I died laughing over his's just so dorky! 

 Bella participated in the ugly sweater party (somewhat unwillingly). 

Some of the girls at the ugly sweater party before we headed out for the pub crawl! 

Family pic from Christmas - too bad at least half the family wasn't there! 

Mom and her BFF Marilyn toasting to the new year. We had the best meal - Elk tenderloin dad got from Wyoming, red wine mushrooms, scalloped cheddar potato casserole, green beans, garlic bread, corn casserole, and cherry cream cheese pie! Ugh...bring on the New Years resolutions! 

Happy New Year, everyone! I definitely plan to keep up with this blog more - I should have a lot to post about in 2013!