Breaking the Habit…. Or Getting into It?

I’m going to start writing my thoughts out more. That’s it. End of thought. Thank you for reading the post.

Ha!

I would like to contribute more to this blog and treat it like a repository that it was originally intended to be. I’ve been thinking more about Baby Leandra and wondering if I’m an example of a cool adult that she would look up to.

I went on my parent’s computer over the weekend and found an essay that I wrote six years ago. It was bad. Like stream of consciousness bad. Like stream of consciousness while being sleep-deprived bad. Like stream of consciousness while drinking 2 cans of pineapple flavored energy drinks while being sleep-deprived bad. Yeah, it was… a lot.

But I enjoyed writing the essay at the time. As I look back, I can appreciate the effort that went into it. As much as I’ve learned over the years and refined my skills, I’d like to take a dip into stream of consciousness Leandra. While the ramblings were all over the place, she felt free enough to write what she felt without the desire to over correct or consider the audience until her own voice was muted.

I don’t want to go back to the sleep-deprived ramblings, but I do want to go back to simply exploring for exploration’s sake. Recently I wrote about a TV show that I liked and a work session about burnout. I enjoyed writing those. I’d like to write at least one post a day about things that I enjoy!

While I was in college, life felt slow. It felt like I could savor every last honeyed drop of happiness from the everlasting fountain of dopamine. Then 2020 came. Yes, there were so, so many terrible things that happened, my cup still managed to overflow with joy in certain precious moments. I want to write more about those moments. Those experiences that seemed to last forever in the moment passed by so suddenly; I wish I would’ve taken time to thoroughly grasp each emotion, hug it tight, and gently release it while giving thanks.

In writing my thoughts out more prolifically, I’m hoping that I get the chance to say thanks…fr th mmrs… to myself.

Severance: The Show, The Thoughts!

Apple TV+ has recently come out with a show that challenges the meaning of work-life balance. It’s creepy, addictive, fascinating, and plain funny. It bridges the worlds of technology and psychological thriller in a harmonious convergence of endless opportunity! At the end of the season, all I could think was Zoolander made this?!

The main character, Mark, is part of a program called Severance, which is a surgical procedure that literally splits his ‘personal life’ mind and his ‘work life’ mind. His office mind never leaves work, has no memories of growing up or life outside the office, and can’t even perceive the start and end of the day. Imagine walking into a revolving door and circling right back around. At that moment of rotation, you went home, probably enjoyed some time with friends, slept, then came ‘back’ to work.

Work You knows nothing but work. Outside You knows nothing about work.

There are so many moral implications that Severance seeks to pick at and unpack. How do you know what you are doing at work? Work You could be a vicious murderer, while Outside You has no idea. When you quit your job, Work You dies! Is it okay to, in a sense, kill yourself so that… (Outside) YOU can live? If Work You is a sentient, productive being, then don’t You deserve human rights? Don’t You deserve even a smidgen of knowledge that Outside You has a family, friends, people who love You…. Them?

At first, Severance seems like the perfect solution for people who don’t want to carry the weight of the world into work and those who don’t want to bring work home with them. If I can do my 8 hours, then enter my leisure activities or studying with a clear mind, I can be unstoppable! But then I think about how many mentors I have surrounding me at work, the work friends I’ve made who’ve become friends (sans delineation), the growth that I’ve had in my personal life as a direct result of the things I’ve learned at work. It’d be a sad world. A dull world. A stunted world.

I am part of a small group of people who actually take joy from work when the stressors of the Outside world don’t weigh me down and stress me out! Work helped refine my voice and the way that I approach new, foreign things. Outside Leandra could talk to anyone on her level with charm, skill, and wit. She was magnetic— when she wanted to be! But Outside Leandra, while confident, was wary of talking with people whom she perceived to be higher up on the totem pole. Sure, Work Leandra had her moments of wavering confidence too, but she decided that there were more important places to focus her attention.

Work Leandra took on more projects, stepped in when she knew what she was talking about, showed her face and spoke up more. Because Work Leandra became more confident in her abilities, Outside Leandra took note and realized she could do the same Outside and speak to people at all levels. And that’s just one example of the symbiotic nature of The Leandras.

So yes, the idea of Severance might seem grand, but Work Leandra and Outside Leandra add pieces to the Venn diagram that form Me in the center. I wouldn’t want to cut that bond.

Plus, again, the moral implications!

I am grateful for my job. I am grateful to work. I love challenges. I am happy.

I am grateful for my job. I am grateful to work. I love challenges. I am happy.

I am grateful for my job, and… I am tired.

When I logged into my work laptop, I was surprised to see that I had signed up for a mental health session called “Battling Burnout” scheduled for today. Maybe Past Leandra was worried about Future Leandra. Present Leandra would’ve been so caught up in projects and regular work that she would’ve missed it if it weren’t on the calendar. Past Leandra cares, which is very rare. Present Leandra is grateful.

Anyway, I might be experiencing burnout.

Being someone who has many firsts in my family, it feels like I’m being ungrateful when I admit that I have burnout. Burnout is inconvenient. It serves no purpose other than to remind me that I have limitations and I need to listen to my body when it speaks. At this point in my life- LSAT preparation, law school admission, work projects, potential promotions, taking care of my heathens charges niece and nephew, friends- I don’t have time for burnout. What frustrates me the most is that regardless of whether I have the time, the tiredness takes over and clears my entire schedule for a nap-turned-deep-sleep. And that continues the cycle of anger and feeling like I don’t have a grip on anything around me.

This Battling Burnout session at least helped me admit to myself that this isn’t normal tiredness. It’s not normal for me to be bored at work. It’s not normal for me to feel constantly overwhelmed. It’s not normal for me to come back from a vacation and feel like I didn’t even leave.

I don’t know how I’ll get over this. I just know that I will. Regardless of the obstacles in front of me, I am still Leandra. The headstrong Leandra that only needs to know that she’ll make it out just fine.

But I’m still tired.

And I’m still frustrated.

And I don’t know how to jump the hurdle.

But I’ll go ahead and get my sneakers laced up.

Being tired doesn’t mean I’m ungrateful. It means I’m human.

Class of 2020: Graduating while Social Distancing

I turned in my last final exam. Our grades came out today at 5:00pm. I excelled. I graduate in 3 days.

The adults in my life know to avoid certain questions…

What are you doing after college?

Any job offers lined up?

Because I keep getting emails that begin with—

Unfortunately, due to the Novel Coronavirus

They try to sympathize…

You worked so hard!

At least you get to eventually walk across the stage!

Think of the high school students who won’t go to college or ever experience a real graduation.

And it always starts with—

Are you excited?

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The Week The Scotties Meowed

Agnes Scott College would mean nothing without its traditions: Senior Investiture, Ring Ceremony, Peak Week, Black Cat Week, Pancake Jam- the list can go on. To an outsider, these names are meaningless. To a Scottie, however, these names are fun, nostalgia, memories, family. From donning one’s class colors, to coming up with a class mascot, to rushing the quad, to finally singing together at the bonfire- zipping through an excruciating four years- to donning one’s class colors, to screaming out the first-years’ not-so-secret mascot, to singing at the last bonfire a senior Scottie will experience with their class, the tears flowed.

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Remembering France: Reflecting on My Study Abroad Experience

-Vous parlez le Français?

-Oui, un peu. Mais doucement, s’il vous plaît!

As I sit here at 1:03 am, I think back to a much simpler time. A time before I was awake past midnight trying to prepare for a presentation and exam the next day. A time before I tested my limits to see how far my body could take me without proper care.

France, how I miss thee.

This past summer, June 2018, I was afforded the great opportunity to spend a semester abroad (summer session) in Caen, France through Agnes Scott. I was to spend almost one month at the Université de Caen in Normandy taking two classes: Battle of Normandy and a French language course, which appeal to both my major and minor. Being able to study French history in France was a luxury that most people are not able to have, so I had to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Continue reading “Remembering France: Reflecting on My Study Abroad Experience”