Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Balancing Act

Had an absolutely wonderful New Year's party at my place last night. It was so good that I am still happy from it all. Just reminded me how important the people around you are. I was not drink, but still ha what was quite possibly the best night of the year. Good god I love having creative passionate friends! I would describe it all, but others seems to have documented most of it in video and pictures more than adequately.

So yes, the New Year has rung and it is time for me to reminisce about the past a bit and look to the future (that is a New Year's blog obligation right?).

This time last year I was (where): not entirely sure. I was probably still in Vienna with my family or on the train with them to Prague. New Year's in Vienna was quite spectacular (the whole city was taken over by Italian tourists) and there were concerts and fireworks everywhere (well the center of town seemed a bit like a war zone with all the people setting off illegal fireworks and fire crackers).

I was worried about: Admittedly I don't entirely remember, but most likely law school, I had applied to my first choice school and been deferred and had a quite a few more applications to get together. Well I have to say compared to last year this certainly is an improvement. I mean, I am in law school now. I was also having a tough time finding my scene in Vienna. I am not sure I ever did, though in the end I liked the people who I met through fringe theater and the Slavic languages department.

This year I feel very excellently socially adjusted (does a world of good for my view on life). I have law school friends, Austria friends, college friends, and high school friends. For me though it really isn't the quality it is the caliber. That is where my friends come through for me. People who are pursuing their passions, struggling with what life gives them instead of ignoring it or just accepting it, and with an energy for life. Passion is passed like light from a candle.

I was excited about: Travel mainly. Both the short term trip to Prague and hoping to get to Ukraine and Moscow. I did a lot of travel last year (quick list: Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Turkey, Ukraine {3 times}, Luxembourg, France, Russia, and Belarus). Huh, that really is a lot. It was great especially making it to Kazan when I was in Russia. I do like traveling, but for me I am most excited when I am going to make use of a specific skill, usually a language. It is sort of like the testing phase when you go and try and apply it all. Quite exhilarating.

At the moment I don't really feel the need to travel. Oh sure, I'd like to go to Morocco, but I am really very happy to be in New York and with everything that has been coming my way. I do very much hope I make it to Ukraine or somewhere Russian speaking for the summer though. It is nice to use my languages on a more regular basis now and again and feel less like a a parlor magician with them (i.e. pulling them out to do cheap tricks at parties.

Some things I have learned: Most people aren't that bright or intellectually engaged. In college it was quite normal for my friends to have intense academic passions along with extracurricular ones (i.e. improv, arts, building mode airplanes for competitions, photography, and who knows what). There were plenty of pretentious asses, but once you found a good person they had something going on upstairs.

Generally not the case in the world.

I like making fun of pop culture, I like a good party, but if that is all you are interested in and are living for then I am out. Most people's goals are to find a better apartment, get a better job, have a hot(ter) boyfriend or girlfriend. That isn't enough for me either concerning my own goals or the people I am going to spend my time with.

I first realized this last year when I was studying in Vienna. I thought it was an American/European thing, but apparently it is really just a people thing. Generally just makes me realize how important it is I keep reading non-law text on my own and continue to seek out interesting people.

Some goals: I'd like to be a bit more secure in myself in general, and specifically in myself as a lawyer. I have made a lot strides with all of that and just want to keep on that path. The law element is new and I am quite inexperienced with it all, but I suppose the goal I am trying to verbalize (textualize?) is to have carved out a bit of a legal specialty by this time next year. To have a bit more direction with my legal studies.

Things to have done by this time next year:
1.) Started to learn Ukrainian
2.) have gone to the French conversation group and be actively improving my French in some way
3.) Pretty much the same with Russian.
4.) Have expanded my circle of friends by actively having sought out new and interesting people (sounds a bit like Star Trek that one doesn't it).
5.) Have a regular occurring artistic outlet (probably improv, but I'm open).

That's all folks.

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