Home > 2L, just me > these late night musings are getting a little old

these late night musings are getting a little old

December 17, 2006

I woke up in the middle of the night again last night. I had been dreaming about the exam I’ve already taken–strange dreams that muddle my brain all up–and suddenly, I was awake.

At 4:45 am, I was thinking about the exam. I know, like other people, I am almost guaranteed to obsess over some sentence or paragraph for the next month. I’ve done this in the past–it’s nothing new. Except this time, I’m actually afraid all my obsession actually means something. Yes, folks, the fear is back. At least it’s in time for my other exam.

By 5:00 in the morning, all I could do was beat myself up. I told myself I slacked off this semester, I was lazy this semester, I didn’t bother to do the work this semester. And maybe all of those things are true. They certainly seemed it in the dark, under the covers. The (not quite) light of day hasn’t exactly chased the shadows away, either. It’s probably true that I didn’t read as carefully as I should have; nor did I pay as close attention as I could have in class. But I did the reading! And I went to class! And, honestly, I have a good grasp on the subject matter! But I’m still pretty sure I blew at least some portion of that exam.

Near 5:30, all this post-exam angst turned into something of a personal attack. And that’s when things got ugly. Suddenly I worried about my ability to do the job I’ll be doing when I get out of law school–after all, if I can’t manage to work hard enough in one semester, how will I ever manage to work hard enough to bill my hours? Or to not screw something up? Practice is much different, after all–real people get screwed out of real money if I forget something. Maybe this was all a big mistake. Maybe I really can’t hack it.

By 6:00, I was desperately trying to think of anything else. ANYTHING. What to wear today. How early I needed to get up to make it to church on time. I even tried thinking about my other exam. But my thoughts kept circling back to torture. I rolled over three times, flipped onto my stomach, and then back to my right side, and then onto my back. I tucked my hands under the pillow. I kicked off my flannel pajama bottoms. I curled up because I was too cold.

Somewhere after all of that, I fell back asleep and dreamed about apartments and computers and my family. Strange dreams again, but a relief and a respite. The morning makes things look different; I know I can hack it, even though I might not have spent as much time on my classwork this semester as in the past. The exam is over, what’s done is done, I can’t do anything about it–and I can’t afford to dwell on it anymore, because I have another exam to prepare for and, after that, a second draft to finish.

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