Sunday, April 24, 2011

Random Law School Update 23

Last Location: Wilmington, DE
Arrival Date: March 9, 2011
Departure Date: March 9, 2011

Current Location: Washington, DC
Arrival Date: March 9, 2011
Departure Date: May 18, 2011

Next Location: Wilmington, DE
Arrival Date: May 18, 2011
Departure Date: unknown

I have had not one or two, but several 24-hour periods in the last three months that could compete with some of the very best in my life. Though, it is a silly game of the mind, trying to compare past happiness to more recent happiness. The memory of past feelings rebels conformation to a scale by which their relative values can be compared. I only pretend to compare in an attempt to wring more delight out of each moment. I think, "Before was good. Now is even better than before. Now is amazing. I must be at the peak of happiness." None of this is necessarily true. Before was also, often amazing. And I have caught myself, in the past, thinking about the future saying, "The future, it is going to be good. Now is better though. Now is amazing. I must be at the peak of happiness." But then it turns out that the future holds its own.

I struggle to remember which things were the best in the moment and which things simply seem to have been the best looking back on them. The human mind has a funny way of remembering things such that some of my most incredible memories derive from some of my most miserable moments. The things discontent inspires in me are often wildly exiting and retrospectively impressive. The memories created in the last few months, however, haven't been fraught by misery. I am developing the capacity to delight in my memories as they are being made.

I have been accused of being cryptic. My intent is not so much to be cryptic as it is to express what I consider to be the important essence of the experiences in my life. Describing my day to day routine is not likely to convey the excitement I feel for it. Not the same as it might have when I was traveling. I spend a lot of time in the library and it is hard to imagine that my comings and goings would inspire the average anyone to think that my life is anything but tedious.

It would sound something like this (please skip the next three paragraphs if you don't want to be bored): I wake up, eat oatmeal. I go to class, 5 minutes late, again, oops. I sit through class, class ends. I make myself lunch. I read for the next class. I go to the next class. I leave that class. I go to the library and study. I go to the gym, I spin or yoga or box or do plyometrics. I go home. I make dinner. I shower. I eat dinner. Sometimes I convince a friend to eat dinner and/or study with me. I put oats on to cook for the next morning.
I study more. I go to bed.

Twice a month or so, I go out, hopefully dancing, sometimes just to make an appearance at a dinner party or special function. Sometimes I go to see a play put on by the Georgetown Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Sometimes I go to an event hosted by a student org on campus. Sometimes I plan student org events to host on campus. Sometimes I run to the Monument or to the Lincoln Memorial with friends. Sometimes I get sick. Sometimes I procure a small cut and watch it bleed more than normal; I take a deep breath and remind myself that mortality was never optional. Sometimes I meditate or take a nap. Sometimes I go to acupuncture. Sometimes I meet a friend in Chinatown for lunch or dinner. Sometimes I go grocery shopping. I occasionally do laundry. I often clean my room. Too often, I check Facebook. I try to reply to emails as much as I can keep up with. Once a month or so, I write a Random Law School Update. Randomly, I'll call the parents or Jon, though I try to avoid talking on the phone. Every so often, I'll challenge myself to correct a flaw, like my near-obsessive addiction to chocolate. I decided that I would quit chocolate for two weeks. Yesterday marked my second month without it.

Every once in awhile something really good will happen. I will find out, for example, that I got my ideal summer internship at the Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington. Or, be informed, very unexpectedly, that I earned the top grade in a class last semester. But even these things, while relevant details in my current state of happiness, are really only small trivialities, mere inputs into a systemic form, a framework, of happiness that I have been working on building my entire life. A project, the completion of which is steadily coming into reach.

The best factor, currently, is that I am not alone in my appreciation of the intensities of my current lifestyle. I have recently acquired a small group of friends who get it, or at least really seem to get it. I hesitate to write about them for fear that they will, in my attempt to reveal them, show themselves to be imaginary and force me to return to the world in which I lived before them. A world made duller by contrast to the one in which they existed.

My life progresses not so much chronologically as according to overlapping and intertwining themes. These themes define and manipulate my experience and my memory of my experiences more than the temporal construct that I rely on to express them to others. Friendship has been a recent and enduring theme. It has come up many times in my life, starting in grade school when, at one point, the concept of a friend seemed like a sort of holy grail, the quest for which I would be lucky to survive. Many friends have come and gone since and I am left to wonder what it is that makes some friendships last forever and others fade out slowly like the end of a sentimental song on the radio that you expect you will hear again, but never do.

A few months ago, in a bout of manic inspiration triggered by a movie I had just seen, I confided in someone a vision that I have always had for my life. It was a dream to find myself surrounded by individuals on the cutting edge of society. The type of people whose vibrant ambition, manic enthusiasm and creative genius have borne the greatest innovations in art, literature, science and social progress to date. The type of people who defined the past and will define the future.

I envisioned myself up all night surrounded by these people, driven by an ambition to improve the world, having found ourselves unable to come up with a better way to make use of our talent. I envisioned us taking breaks every so often to bask in each other's epiphanies and to gloat in our smallest accomplishments, such as a clever joke, before returning to the task of reconstructing the world with our minds, delightfully shaping the future through the strategic implementation of impossible ideas. I envisioned us skipping in streets for lack of a better way to articulate the energy that binds us together and spending late nights and early mornings on rooftops marveling at the grandness and smallness of the world below. I envisioned this all many years ago. I had almost found it once before, in a certain high school friend, but that escaped me like being woken from a wonderful dream to a pillow soaked in tears. This may escape me as well. But I won't let the fear of a duller future world or a soaked pillow stop me from skipping.

For now, I return to my studies. My first exam is in 12 days and I will be riding a wave of intense through the end of May. Please find me in June.