The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Admitting weakness

Everyone has weaknesses. Well, everyone but me, right?

When I was a little Law-Rah, I played on a T-Ball team. At the end of the season, we had our end of the year swim party at Kelly Green's house. (Wasn't until much later in life that I realized the significance of her name. Her brothers were Shane and Hunter. What evil parents.) Anyway, the end of the year swim party doubled as an awards ceremony. A bunch of little girls sat there all wrinkled and tired from playing in the water all day. The parents had arrived to watch at this point. Coach Hebert was handing out trophies and fun gifts and such. When he got to the last award, he slowed down. It was a new award, one he had never given out. He began describing the recipient of this award to everyone. She was the shining star of the team. Even when we lost, this little girl had a big smile on her face. Not only did she make the best out of everything and keep that smile on her face, she was contagious...making everyone around her smile. I remember that he ended with "no matter what, Law-Rah always keeps smiling." I was shocked. Really? Is this how you see me? I didn't even mean to smile. I didn't even realize I was smiling. (Of course, I was pumped because I got a container of candy with my name on it.) But more importantly, I thought it was strange. I had never seen myself in that light and was surprised that other people had.

Most of the time, I like being that girl. I like living my life always happy. I like being the one to make everyone smile. Sometimes, though...sometimes, it gets to be more than I can handle. Twenty years later, I realize how hard it is to always be that person. Sometimes, I want to be the weak one. Sometimes, I don't want to smile and I just want to break down. I wonder if I am trying to live up to the expectations that others have for me, or those that I have for myself. Either way, they are some pretty high expectations. My friend looked me in my teary eyes tonight and told me he would love me no matter what. I know this. Why can't I accept this for myself?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Goodbye my Angel

I moved to Washington DC in July of 2001 with no clue what to expect. I was a southern girl with a so-so educational background and very little life experience BUT huge dreams of a great future that I was not willing to let go of. At the same time, I was in a new city all alone in a new job and terrified. Most people who know me are shocked to learn that I spent my first three months miserable. "No way, Laura, you can make friends with a brick wall." For whatever reason and a variety of circumstances, I had a really hard time adjusting. Every day I woke up and put on a fake smile for work. Every night, I went home and drank a bottle of wine (alone) and smoked a pack of cigarettes on my balcony. I would usually call friends back home. I cried every night. So many times I just wanted to go back to Louisiana. No one here seemed to notice me or care about me. I really thought I had made a mistake moving here.

When I started my first job here, I had no idea what to expect. I met a lot of people but most of them were not really very outgoing. I ate lunch alone on my first day of work. My first week at the office, I don't think I made a single friend. I overheard multiple conversations about "Steph" and "oh, you are right, Laura is just like Steph" but she was out of the office, so I had not yet met her. When Steph returned, she was the cutest, bubbliest, most outgoing girl I had met. She immediately took me under her wing inviting me out with her friends and bringing me into her world. God could not have sent me a more endearing angel. Over the next few months, Steph could feel when I was down and knew when to call me. (She also invited me to eat lunch with her;-) I left that firm after a few short months, joined another firm, began to make lots of friends, and things started to look up.

Steph and I have kept in touch for years now, doing dinners, birthdays, sausage po-boy nights, scrapbooks, Freddie Prinze Jr. movies and just good girl times. We have one of those friendships that I find so intriguing. (You know, the "pick up where we left off" kind.) To this day, I never understood how people thought I was like Steph. I could only dream of being such an amazing woman. She is strong in her Faith and her convictions. She is beautiful (even with no make-up on the elevator) and she does not even realize it. She has a contagious laugh. She understands how powerful a hug can be at a crucial moment. She is just so genuine...so strong in places in her life that I am so weak. I have looked up to her for four years now and I know that I will continue to look up to her when she moves.

Steph Bobb, my dear friend, I hope you know how much you have meant to me in my life. I hope you know how much I admire you and I hope you know that YOU are what got me through a few of the roughest times in my life. I pray that you have an angel or two in North Carolina to take you in and make you feel as loved as you made me feel. D.C. will be a little less cheery without you!

Small-town DC,
Ironic, at 7am…
The street lights
Casting eery shadows
Of early-morning preparations
In the dusk.

A deli-shop chain
Feels like mom & pop,
Bustling about with a friendly smile,
Delivery trucks,
And folk music.

The metro--
Quiet this morning…
The darkness
of a sleepy day
Not yet awake.

Not rushing;
Not “walking left”
Up the long escalator.

So much more to consider
Even time itself…
Not the frustration with
Slow passers,
Incompetent walkers.

Life isn’t about me.
It never was
Never will be.
And I know this.

PS. This is the first in a series of good-byes to my all my dear friends who have recently decided to pursue dreams outside of this city. Samer, so help me God, if you even think about leaving...I'll have to start smoking again to get through this!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wrong Blog...

go HERE instead!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

See, Mom, it is normal!!! (Click Me)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Gulf Coast Culture

The GW campus always hosts random groups doing random things. The anti-abortion folks once set up pink and blue flags all over campus signifying dead babies. I once passed up a condoms and cookies where the props could make a grown man blush. People often use the green space right outside the law school to stage things about the killing in Darfur with extremely graphic posters. Today, though...today, I passed the most disturbing thing I have ever seen. GW is hosting "Gulf Coast Culture" for Katrina relief.

In theory, I appreciate their thoughts, but they could have at least talked to someone from the gulf coast beforehand to see what our culture is actually like. With a few modifications, perhaps they could have actually come a tad closer to life down there. Granted, I cannot speak for all of the Gulf Coast, but I can surely speak out for my people. For example:

The Duck Pond - yes, we have ducks down South, but no, we do not walk up to a pond and try to "catch" them. Ducks fly...they do not sit in a pond and wait for someone to walk up with a net so they can swim away. In reality, we take guns and we shoot them. This is done after someone blows the duck call and before the dog is sent to bring back the dead duck that we then make into sausage or nuggets or burgers or anything else we please.

King Cakes - Let's begin with the fact that there is actually a season for king cakes and they are only available in the time leading up to Mardi Gras. Well, let's pretend it's Mardi Gras (which won't be hard considering the amount of beads that are strewn about.) The problem comes in with the whole "one who finds the candy inside wins." This just doesn't work. That concept fits much better with Pinata's. Although near in proximity, we are not Mexico...we are Louisiana. We put little plastic babies in our King Cakes. Candy? Really? Like still in the wrapper?

Cow Milking - Perhaps I was too far removed from the farm (growing up in the city of Baton Rouge)...but we did not milk cows, we tipped them. Yep, when cows sleep standing up, you can walk right up to them, give them a small push and over they go. We saved the "milking" for the people at the dairy or for those swedish maids from TV.

Lobster Bake - Yes, you did read that right. Lobster. The only place you find those in Louisiana is at Red Lobster. (I only know this from the TV commercials, as my father forbid us to go there growing up because their seafood wasn't "real", it was from the freezer.) Anyway, I think lobsters come from Maine. I assume they are confusing lobster with crawfish. However, I am truly confused as to how this can be done.

I do not think I will be giving my three bucks to milk a fake cow or bake a fake lobster. Thanks for the thoughts, though!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Depression Slump

I was talking to my mom yesterday about the "funk" I have been in lately. I will not call it a depression because I think that word should be reserved for special occasions. However, I have definitely been down more than usual ever. It could be rounding the corner into my second year of law school where no one seems to care anymore (including the professors). It could be all that is going on in my home state right now (that is STILL going on even though no longer a cnn.com priority). It could be that I am just completely burnt out from this summer and still have not had a chance to relax or catch up.

I am not sure what the reason is, but I seem to have little to NO motivation for anything. Not school, not my new project, not my future job, not blogging, not working out, not drinking (now you know something is wrong). No motivation whatsoever. This is why I tried to go into hiding for the weekend. I did not want to see or talk to anyone. My goals were to catch up on school work, catch up on house work, rent/watch movies I have been wanting to see, cook for myself, work out every day, not answer the phone, sort through some thoughts and not leave my house again until school on Monday. I miss having time to myself. Okay, one day later and this has been really nice and all, but there is still something missing. I am not sure if this hibernating thing really works.

Tonight, I got an email...well, an invitation really. It will mean I have to leave the house tomorrow. It will also mean catching up on school work will have to wait until next weekend and the "sorting through some thoughts" may get more difficult. On one hand, this may be just what I need to snap back into reality. On the other hand, as my best friend put it "well, you know you are playing with fire. So, just do not...just make sure...just be careful."

I'll keep you posted.