Muzzily Muddled

The life and times of a 30-something recent law school graduate trying to understand the past, figure out the future and scrape through the present in one piece.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On Friends and Friendship

I've always felt like I didn't quite have a knack for the whole interacting-with-friends thing the way other people do.  I adore my friends.  But, I am not an exceptionally social person.  I love to interact with people, but I am always a bit self-conscious, no matter my level of comfort with that person.

When I was a kid I was super, crazy shy.  I always had a book with me on the school bus because I was too terrified to talk to anyone.  The older I got the better I got about interacting with people.  Now, I can mix and mingle at a work function and not stress over it too much.  And I've been told that I come across as outgoing (which truly surprises me).  I've gotten good at meeting people, making acquaintances.  But developing real, genuine connections with people is still difficult for me.

I think sometimes I'm a homebody because it's easy to be one.  If I'm hanging out at home by myself, I don't worry about whether I'm talking too much, not enough, not being entertaining enough, acing overly needy, etc.  It's safe to be by myself.  Actually going out and spending time with someone is not safe.  I wonder whether I'm being annoying, whether I'm any fun to hang out with, whether I'm saying or doing the wrong thing.

I've been thinking about this lately because over the next few months I won't be working, I won't be in class.  I'll just be taking some time off.  And I know that my natural inclination will be to stay home 24/7, and to withdraw a bit.  So I'm going to challenge myself to reach out to my friends, maybe to invite people over for dinner (gasp), or try to schedule more lunches out.  Who knows?

I cherish the friends that I have.  I realize that they may not know that, because I am not good about making it known how important my friends are to me.  It's way easier for me to come across as self-sufficient, as though I don't need friends.  But I do.  And I know some truly amazing people, people that I would love to spend more time with.  It's just not easy for me to tell them that.  If you are reading this, it's a virtual certainty that you are one of those people.  So know that you mean the world to me, even if I've never told you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Break! For many months...

It's funny how one can agonize over a decision, only to later find that the decision made is universally applauded by friends and family.

Our little baby boy is due in March, and I've been EXHAUSTED the last few months.  No energy.  None.  I've got 17 hours left until I graduate from law school, and had every intention of powering through the spring semester so I could be done in May.  I also had every intention of taking some time off after that, and not taking the bar exam until February 2013, just so I could stay at home with the little guy for a while before starting work.

But, a few weeks ago I started to rethink the plan.  Discussed it with the hubster, with other family, with student services.  And I decided to take a leave of absence from school this spring.  I'll go back in the fall to finish things up.

Which means I've got a couple months coming up when I will be gainfully unemployed and can nest to my heart's content.  I am available for temp work, so I might do an honest days work or two.  But in general, I'm pretty darn excited about having the time to rest up, grow a baby, and then be able to fully devote myself to him in those first few weeks/months.  No running back to school right after he's born to take finals.  No worrying about walking around campus in the snow and ice.  No worrying about missing classes if I don't feel well, or if I am put on bedrest or anything of the sort.

The most surprising thing for me has been that everyone, and I do mean everyone, that I have told about the leave of absence has thought it is a phenomenally great idea.  I am so surprised!  I really agonized over the decision.  It means I'll need to find people to watch the little guy when I go back to school in the fall, and that I'll miss out on some of that time with him when he's older.  But still, everyone thinks it's great.

So, seems as though I made a good decision.  Nice to have everyone's approval for the fact that I'm going to be a bum for a few months.  :)