great expectations

every year of my adult life that I have lived on my own, I never owned a TV. School and work and relationships always occupied time. more than occupied. they fulfilled it. I’ve been laying around the house a lot this weekend, eating nutella and feeling sorry for myself, watching way too many Lifetime movies and overthinking. I think that’s the most harmful thing about TV. is that you get all these ridiculous expectations in your head about life, or men, or careers. Everything seems so mystical and perfect. Then you turn the TV off and realize you spend 8 hours a day sitting in a pleather chair and scrolling news feeds, that your boyfriend isn’t Jude Law and your degree will probably end of being framed on a fridge covered with your kids mustard stained fingers.

I’ve been thinking a lot about going to law school. I never thought I would say that, but I guess being surrounded by a bunch of perfectly ironed suits and convincing vernacular in the nations capital will do that to you. Everyone on the committee has their J.D. One of them, Micheal who they call Zola, sits next to me in the office. He is in his late 40’s, married with kids. Zola curses like a sailor and harasses everyone with sarcasm. I took an immediate liking to him. We got into one of these conversations the other day, the ones that start with me asking a simple question about jurisdiction or the motion to cloture, then an hour later he’s made some grand thesis about why Republicans are incapable of governing. Anyway, this one conversation turned into him convincing me to go to law school. Zola says everyone should have that experience. That those three years will forever change the way you think, the way you write, and the way you understand the world, justice, and yourself.

I have no desire of being a lawyer, but I have an unyielding desire to grow. One of my biggest fears is remaining stagnant or getting settled into a way of thinking. Plus, there are several careers that would benefit from a background in law besides being a lawyer.

That’s just this weeks thoughts. Eat, Pray, Love is on TV now, who knows, maybe tomorrow I’ll want to run off to an ashram in Bali 🙂

blue like jazz

I’ve been re-reading one of my favorite books, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Such a beautiful change of pace and thought from the constant hum of political warfare being thrown back and forth like bombs between the airwaves.

I really can’t stand one of my roommates. She might be one of the most ungrateful, self centered people I have ever met. And i’ve been focusing on my dislike of her for weeks. Each day, adding a new flaw to the list. After a while it really starts to bring me down. Just fixating on despise. It’s really very unhealthy.

Donald says sometimes it feels as though you are not in control of things, disliking people that is. And I thought YES! Yes, exactly, it’s not that I enjoy disliking people, but rather I cannot force myself to feel differently anymore than I can force myself to mayonnaise or country music.

Donald says our culture talks about relationships in this metaphor of economics. . . we invest in people, value them, call them priceless. And by doing so we treat love like a commodity. He says God doesn’t do that to us. He doesn’t use love like money. He has never withheld love to teach us lessons. And who are we, who am I to treat others in such a way? People will never listen to you unless they sense that you like them. I dislike my roommate because I think she needs to change. I think she needs to broaden her world view to ditch the white privileged ignorance. But how do I expect her to grow and change if all I convey is annoyance and disapproval?

Then he writes something to profound and true I should read it everyday,

“it wasn’t my responsibility to change somebody, that is was God’s, that my part was to communicate love and approval”

there is so much freedom in that. I feel like a weight of obligatory hatred has been lifted from, my heavy heart.

and I start to laugh at the absurdity of it all. at the fact that if I were to go back and meet my 21 year old self, I probably wouldn’t like me either. So I’ll let this girl journey down her path, and I pray that when she looks back on this time in her life, that she will reflect on me as someone who showed her love, who taught her true and beautiful things about life.

talking shit about a pretty sunset

On  a less bitchy, brighter note… my roommates and I went on a beautiful sunset cruise of the Potomac. My phone died halfway through, I cant even begin to describe the lavender skies that wrapped the city. It was breathtaking.

 

bitter is the new black

I think living on the East Coast has severely damaged my California-positive-care-free mindset. Everyone in this city is a drone. Like zombies they file in and out of metro stations, quickly shuffling past each other in silence as if they CANNOT wait to get to their cubicles where they will remain stationed for 8 government hours staring into an LED screen while being audibly bombarded with political rhetoric from news stations. i honestly dont know how they do it.

humans were not design to live like this .

i need a bit more.

i need community

fresh air

conversation

and fresh ideas.

I think what I don’t like about being on Capital Hill is that its a lot of talking about other peoples ideas. Combating them, researching them, debating them, and undermining them. Sometimes it just feels so void of originality.

I miss the coastal breeze. the east bay fog and diversity. i miss the way bus drivers greet each other on Ashby, the eclectic mirage of telegraph and sound of drumsticks beating against trash cans.

i dream about the golden gate bridge. our first kiss. holding hands. anticipation. and the way your eyes focus when you say my name.

i miss the way being in love makes you feel so alive.

tonight all i feel is numb from the cold, and a little rush of warmth from the wine.

A little Motivation // One Day It Will All Make Sense

an article posted by Larry Swisher at BNA explains a new study by Brookings that highlights the benefits of college as outweighing the cost of tuition.  

Although college tuition has increased dramatically during the past 30 years, the benefits of a college education in terms of lifetime earnings also have continued to grow, according to an analysis released Oct. 5 by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project.

“In most respects, a college degree has never been more valuable,” Adam Looney, Hamilton Project policy director, and Michael Greenstone, director, said in the report.

The study compared rising tuition costs over the past three decades to trends in earnings of workers with a bachelor’s or higher degree and those with only a high school education.

Although average tuition and fees at public and private colleges, excluding room and board, have risen 46 percent since 1980, the earnings difference between recent college graduates and high school graduates their age has grown 75 percent over the same period, the analysis found, based on data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Education.

$12,127 Per Year Premium

In 2010, workers ages 23 to 25 with college degrees earned an average of $29,164, or $12,127 more than the $17,036 earned by their peers with a high school but no higher education, according to the report.

In 1980, by comparison, the college earnings premium was only $4,578 in inflation-adjusted dollars.

In addition, recent college graduates in 2010 were nearly 20 times more likely to be employed than other young adults with only a high school diploma, the report’s authors said.

“While rising student debt and payments to colleges are a cause for concern, we have found that college is still one of the best investments an individual can make,” they said.

The authors said government has a role to play in ensuring all students have access to college by means of “a commitment to making it financially feasible at all income levels and a productive K-12 system that prepares students for the next level of education.”

Lifetime ‘Rate of Return’ Still High

The study said the claim that college is no longer a sound investment is not supported by the facts and that the lifetime financial benefits of a college degree have increased dramatically over the past three decades.

Even after accounting for the costs of a four-year college education, a student entering college in 1980 could expect to earn about $260,289 more over the course of a 42-year career than someone with only a high school diploma, according to the analysis.

In 2010, a college student’s expected lifetime earnings premium relative to a high school graduate was $455,614.

The estimates are inflation-adjusted after subtracting the full cost of tuition and fees for four years and the earnings foregone while attending college.

“In short, the cost of college is growing, but the benefits of college—and, by extension, the cost of not going to college—are growing even faster,” the report concluded.

The Hamilton Project estimated that investing in a four-year college degree would yield a return of 15.8 percent in 2010. Although that is less than the peak rate of return of 17.8 percent in 1998, the rate has remained fairly constant over the past three decades, it found.

“If attending college was a good idea in the ‘80s, it’s still a good idea today,” the report’s authors said.

sunday afternoons//vanity

I love gloomy Sundays. Sleeping in, running in the rain, sitting in coffee shops reading, writing, reflecting on the world and my part in it. I was doing just that today, from the second story window of the coffee shop, I watched rain trickle down the window, bodies scatter beneath umbrellas, and taxis round the roundabout like a carousal. The man next to me removed his earphones and asked if I was a musician, a writer, or both. I laughed and said neither. He was an older man, maybe mid 40’s, well dressed with sophisticated glasses. He was from Lebanon, had a thick book and a name I couldn’t spell. We start talking. Turns out he is a Cal alumni and moved to DC a couple years ago. I laughed at how small the world is and how comforting meeting people from the same path can be. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how people are so different out here. But have failed to out my finger on exactly what it is that distinguishes them. Lebanese man explicated it quite beautifully. He says people out here are vain. That they are all running around Washington thinking they’re going to be the next Obama. That they are driven by the desire to be acknowledged, for vanity. And he says behind all of that is a foundation of insecurity and loneliness. His eyes are genuine and green. He motions around the cafe and says “look at all these people, they come here because they are lonely. They come here and sip their coffee just to be around other people, but none of them bother to engage in conversation.” I smile in agreement. We talk about how being at Berkeley changes you. You start to realize the significance of talking to others. Even if its about the most frivolous things. You realize the absolute worth of other human beings, despite their career title, ethnicity or political affiliation. Because by doing that, you gain perspective. You broaden the definition of who you are. And I think that is so beautiful and true.