[the inner circle]

It's late (well for me, anyways) and I'm tired.

Like, really insanely tired.

But that's my life these days.

Wanna know what I do?

I wake up at 5. I eat. I drink coffee. I shower. I get in my car and drive to work. I work from 7-4. I eat while I work and I run over my lunch break because I have to move. I have to do something and I actually do not have any other time to do so. I go home. I study for 4ish hours. Somewhere in there I eat dinner and finish studying with a glass of red wine in hand. I hurriedly get ready for the next day. I pass out. I wake up and do it again.

Mondays are good. This is the week I'm going to crack the code. I just know that this week I'll figure out the secret to staying well-rested even on Friday.

Tuesday isn't too bad either.

By Wednesday, I'm tired. By Thursday? Exhausted.

Come Friday I'm running on empty. Totally, completely empty. The last of the fumes fade around 10 pm and I sleep for 11 or so hours.

It's boring as all get out but it's life while studying for the Bar and working a full time job.

The legal profession can fit nicely into Dante's inferno. You start out in law school, in the outer circles. You think it's hell and it is. But you have no idea.

Then comes the bar while not working. That's the middle layer.

Studying and working full time? Inner circle. I'm talking the part with Satan actually in it. It's just you and the other people in this position, wondering what the heck you did to deserve this torture.

It never ends. The studying never ends. That's true in general. But when you have to work 8-9 hours a day on top of that, finding time for everything becomes an exercise is masterful balancing. Everything must run on schedule or it's game over.

Or so it feels.

The reality is, you find the time no matter what happens.

Thursday I'll sit for the foreign service exam (again). That means I'll miss tonight's lecture.

But that's okay.

A month ago I would never have said that.

Now I've come to realize that with some rearranging on the weekend, I can still get everything done. Sure I have to get up and start studying earlier, take shorter breaks, and spend more time upstairs but I get it all in. I even make time for other activities, typically limited to church, one "fun" errand, and grocery shopping. By fun errand I mean buying new makeup or clothes or some other excuse to leave this silly house and go out into the world.  Opportunities to go places besides work and home are limited now so I'll take what I can get. If I need to go to Ann Taylor, I'll drive to the mall instead of down the street.

But I'm okay with all of this. I may actually miss it.

No I won't. Not even a little.

I will miss the structure though. The knowing that I have a full day planned is a wonderful thing. So I'll find other activities. Hopefully soon I'll move. Hopefully to Baltimore/DC. Maybe to New York or Chicago. We'll see where life takes me. I really don't know that much right now. It all depends.

And I'm okay with that too.

I like a little of both in my life: a little structure, a little fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure. I plan my daily activities to the minute but leave the big decisions up to chance. It's weird, but it works for me.

So where do I go once I finally, blessedly, escape the innermost circle of hell?

I don't know. I really don't. I want to stay with my company long term. It's an international company so I know I won't be stuck in Atlanta forever. But at the same time I want to do the foreign service or something similar. It's a quandary that I'm responding to like I respond to any such quandary: throw both at the wall & see what sticks.

It's gotten me to some pretty amazing places so far.

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