Self-Care and Chaos

I am surrounded by chaos. The school year just ended, and it is time for me to move back home for the summer. Things are strewn about my apartment, and several moving boxes are tipped onto their sides, waiting to be filled. I need a break from the mess, and pour myself a cup of tea.

Tea is my happy place. It provides a quick ten minutes of relief, and reminds me that I am at peace with the universe. I am water, transformed, just like the tea in my cup. Nothing is impossible with a cup of tea in my hands, and harmony in my soul.

Yoga gives me the same feeling as tea, but lately, I haven’t been as faithful with my practice. School and life have both gotten in the way, and I’ve failed to take care of myself as fully as I should. Tea, on the other hand, is not something I will neglect so easily. One does not forget an absolute necessity of life.

I’m starting to realize that self-care, like tea, is an absolute necessity of life. Law school does not offer me much time to take care of myself, and it often feels like a battle between self-care and schoolwork. Unfortunately, schoolwork almost always wins. However, the more self-care I engage in, the better I feel about all aspects of my life. This reminds me of Audre Lorde, who once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Because of what I’ve experienced in life, and the field I’ve chosen as my career, I need to take time to care for myself. People are expecting me to fail or give up, and those are simply not options.

Tea is an important part that I didn’t realize I had incorporated into my self-care ritual. For me, just taking the time to slow down and live in the moment is enough to realign and reassert my priorities. Sometimes, just repeating to myself “I am enough” over a quick cuppa is sufficient to satisfy my restless mind. Taking the time to breathe, relax, and inhale the fumes of the tea reminds me that my troubles and worries are temporary, and I am powerful beyond measure.

The warm mug is very still, except for the spirals of heat coming off the tea. I am at peace, and I am happy. For this moment, life is not as daunting as it seems.

An Open Letter to Barbri Prep

Dear Barbri Prep,

As finals approach, I wanted to write a quick note (as I procrastinate for finals) about the services you provide and how they have helped me throughout my first year in law school.  While I am still prone to heart palpitations when the professor looks for a student to call upon, I am the basest level of prepared for any ridiculous question they might have due to those wonderful videos you have on your site.  It brings me immense joy when I am able to adequately answer a question that some other idiot student in the class was asked, but was unable to answer.  The extra five minutes I save from reading your outlines and watching your videos allows me to have the mental breakdown I deserve.  That being said, I understand that your company forsaking me in my time of need is a definite foreseeable risk.  Please be aware of your duty of care to me, as breaching this duty of care in the next two weeks constitutes adequate provocation.  All I want is an estoppel from failure, and a good night’s sleep.

Have the best day legally allowed,

Shelby

PS- betraying the relationship of trust that we have makes you a fidouche. Remember that.

Evaluate My Work, Not My Body Art

This post strikes home for me. Part of the reason I didn’t get my tattoos anywhere visible is because of how ultra conservative the field of law is. Ridiculous. My tattoos are very personal and show a lot of introspection. Just because I’ve decided to adorn my body a certain way does not in any way reflect an inability to do my job.

Ambika Kamath

When I was an undergrad, one of my reasons for wanting to continue in academia was my aversion to Western formal clothing. If I became a Ph.D. student and then a professor, I thought, I would hardly ever need to wear suits or dress shirts, and such a life appealed to me. I had seen academics of all stripes dress in all sorts of ways, and I naively believed that this signalled something very progressive about academia’s stance towards appearance: wear what you want, because you’ll be evaluated based upon your ideas and work, not how you choose to present yourself.

But a recent article in a column called Ask Alice (published on the website of Science, one of the most high profile scientific journals out there) confirms my naivete. In this piece, an anonymous academic who finds themselves in a “conservative place” for their postdoc, asks Dr. Alice Huang, “Am I crazy…

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My First Post

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Well, I’ve done it.  I’ve created a blog.  I created this at the worst possible time, with my finals coming up next week, so obviously I’ve reached the peak of my procrastination!  Yay!

Seriously though, why am I doing this?  I’m a 1L (almost 2L!) law student, working to get my law degree and practice Civil Rights Law.  Despite how boring law school is, some would say I lead a marginally interesting life.  While I did most of the fun stuff during my years in college, the more recent boring stuff has challenged me to grow in ways that have been incredibly surprising.  It’s taught me a lot about myself, what I believe in, and what I can offer to the world.  This tiny little blog is one of those offerings.

Why “The Feminist Pensieve?”  First off, I am a third wave feminist.  Google exists, so I’m not going to explain what that means (hint: something to do with equality and justice, and absolutely nothing to do with hating men).  A pensieve, as described in my favorite book series, Harry Potter, is an object used to collect and review memories.  Putting these two parts together, The Feminist Pensieve is a collection of my musings, rantings, and overall views on my feminist life and a place where people can look at it.  So there you have it.

Hope you enjoy!

Slainte!