My post-finals self-care consists of going to the movies and reading books at bars, so this image just felt right.
In the three weeks after I finished my 2L finals in May, I saw five movies. Some I saw with friends. Most I saw alone.
I started with “Long Shot” the day after my Criminal Procedure final. It’s the one where Seth Rogen’s goofy but loveable character becomes the speechwriter for the beautiful Secretary of State played by Charlize Theron. They eventually fall in love because of course they do.
I remember going to “Booksmart” on an absurdly warm Tuesday morning, and I was the only moviegoer for that showing, carrying my trusty blanket into the theater on a 90-degree, 100-percent humidity day (I swear it’s always cold in there). I saw so much of myself in Beanie Feldstein’s and Kaitlyn Dever’s high school good girls turned rebels (I was in the so-called “God Squad” in high school, so it checks out).
There was also “Aladdin,” “Rocketman” and “The Sun Is Also a Star.”
Going to the movies in those three weeks before I moved to Kansas for the summer helped me finally piece myself back together, helped me rediscover how to feel a full range of emotions, a range I had lost almost completely during the worst semester of my life. Continue reading
My sister says my apartment has ideal selfie lighting, and I look a lot more alive in this picture than I did a year ago.
I cried into a container of leftover stuffed pasta shells at my cubicle. It was a Monday, naturally. The kind of day that is both anticlimactic and life changing at once. I often expect major life changes to clamor in with a strange, upbeat tune like a jazz funeral.
But there I was, alone at my desk crying over bread, probably listening to “Invisible” by Clay Aiken. I’ve been gluten-free for a year, a bizarre statement that sounds trendy, almost, if it weren’t for the celiac disease that slowly sapped me of energy and frankly, body weight, for months before my diagnosis on March 28, 2016.
Today is much the same in its anticlimactic, life-changing dichotomy.
I clicked around on the computer this morning, tabbing back to Twitter a few too many times (follow me @TaylorOSoule). A few of those clicks led me to the University of Iowa student portal, where I paid my deposit and accepted my offer of admission in the College of Law. Continue reading
This is where I studied for the LSAT, where I write, where I read, where I eat and where I’m usually found at home. All my mail winds up here before it nests in different places around my apartment.
My mail nests in different nooks of my apartment. The glittery good-luck card on my refrigerator that reminds me I’m “Da Bomb.” The letters from my friend Kevin tucked by my bed, their Taiwanese stamps framed by striped envelopes. The Iowa Hawkeyes stationery my mom turned into a cute Future Tay checklist after I took the LSAT, peeking out from my makeshift study corner. The “This Card is 100% Gluten Free” mail a friend sent me during my weekly IVs.
The law school admission packets perched behind the framed photo of me and my sisters; sometimes I open the folders to confirm they’re real, that it’s OK to want things, that I’m good enough for those things.
2016 lives in the letters and cards scattered throughout my apartment, each emblematic of something — all emblematic of survival. Sparkles from my “You Da Bomb” card flutter to the floor each time I open my freezer, dusting my home in glitter and LSAT memories. Somehow, I survived studying for the test while I awaited diagnoses, while needles carved track marks into springtime skin that should have been showing off.
I relearned how to be a pen pal this year, graduating from the scratch-and-sniff sticker days of my letter correspondence with a friend from third-grade church camp. My college Tennis Club bestie Kevin taught English in Taiwan this past year, and we communicated exclusively by mail. Time stretched as we swapped the immediacy of texts and Facebook messages for mail that arrived monthly at best. We rambled about everything and nothing all at once; milestones and minutiae collide in letters more innocently, more honestly, maybe, than anywhere else. It was refreshing and soul-quieting.