An open letter to the first boy I fell in love with.

To the first boy I ever fell in love with,

You broke my heart.

You broke it a million times, then all over again. I guess you know that though, right?

I used to replay thoughts in my head about what could have been. Imagined if the timing were different that things would not have ended the way they did. If maybe we risked it all things would have ended differently.

I no longer feel this pain deep enough not I write about it. You played me.

I was a pond in your sick game. Even with so many other girls, you were never fully satisfied, were you? You knew exactly how to manipulate me to be there for you.

No matter what other boys had somehow you felt better—even if you weren’t. It was from the moment I had met you with that first conversation I knew you were going to be someone special. You had so much light and what I believed to be a beautiful soul.

That is what I always saw, and this illusion became my greatest destruction.

I spent a lot of time trying to be there for you because I saw the hurt in your eyes. I wasn’t trying to fix you but stand by you as you brought your pieces back together. I think you expected otherwise.

I thought things would be different some day but, that day never came. I spent a long time waiting for your letters. I re-read your words and your poems for more. I tried to puzzle my way into your thoughts but found myself entangled in my own.

Your writing was enticing and it felt enough sometimes but, it was never enough. I thought I was never enough.

More than heartbreak though, I was scared. Scared to have you, scared to lose you, scared to exist.

The worst part is, I think I hurt you too. For this, I am truly sorry.

“You say you’re not special because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me. I know about you.” – The Fault In Our Stars

You did know me. At that time, more than anyone else. So, I forgave you time and time again. I forgave your selfishness because I saw where your hurt came from and I gave you the permission to hurt me.

I didn’t deserve that.

I made myself small for you.

You told me you were not good enough, and the tragic truth is that you were right. That boy, in that moment, was not good enough.

I guess I thought that if I made myself smaller maybe we could be together.

My heart ached for a long time. I always wished it would have been easier to let go. I wished the beautiful memories we shared could disappear. You hurt me in places I didn’t even understand until I saw the wounds years later.

I loved you but, I loved myself too much to hold on any longer.

  • It is because of you that I no longer make myself small for anyone.
  • It is because of you that I found myself being who I always wished I were.
  • It is because of you, that I no longer fear to be alone.

I am no longer broken.

I am longer hurting.

Thank you. You showed me I could myself beautiful when I didn’t feel that way. Thank you for letting me move on, even if I fell apart soon after. Putting myself back together was the absolute most difficult and astonishing thing I ever did for myself. Thank you for letting go even when I wished you hadn’t. I truly believe you were a part of my life for a reason bigger than heartbreak. You and I know that.

You were right, I was light even if I never had believed it.

I was never scared of falling for you. I was scared of falling in love with myself, but falling in love with myself became the reason I healed.

If it worries you, don’t be worried I don’t talk about what we had because I like to keep it ours. I will always love you even if I am not in love with you. I will always care, even if I am no longer there. I will always root for you, even if I am no longer rooted with you. I will always remember you, even if I forget all the small details we shared.

With love and compassion,

Ciriac Isbeth.

Let’s Talk Law

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I have been thinking a lot about what this post would be about but after some time realized that I should write about what I have been preoccupying myself with for the past couple of months, but more than that the last couple of years.

In 5th grade, I read a book about lawyers and became fascinated with the idea of becoming one. It was a silly book that got me excited about the possibilities of law. I always told my counselors I wanted to become one. They laughed and thought my dreams would fade and this was “just a phase.” Unfortunately, they were right. The dream did fade.

I decided not to pursue law for a long time, from high school up until college I was never sure what I wanted to do. To be honest, though, this notion or idea of knowing what you want to do is bogus. I have never known exactly where I see myself in 10 or 20 years and that is okay.

I don’t believe our lives are linear nor should they be dictated by a plan with one dream. I think we’re allowed many dreams.

I can go to law school to pursue policy or public service while simultaneously pursuing my passions and dreams as a writer and social content creator. That’s the thing, I want to go to law school and possibly become a judge or work in to change laws and policies.

I don’t want to do it for the money. Here’s the first piece of advice: if you’re considering going to law school to be rich, that is understandable. However, know that it may not make you happy. The money and the work you do will not be fulfilling. At the end of the day whatever career you choose, you should do it because it will make your life meaningful and joyful.

So now what? If you’re thinking about going to law school or wanting to do a grad school program here are THREE tips that I want to share with you.

#1: Don’t rush your decision to attend law school or graduate school.

I decided to take two gap years before going back to school after I graduated college. I graduated with a B.S. in Political Science and Honors Sociology May of 2017, worked for a year, and this year I am taking the time to prepare my applications, write my statements of purpose, and take the LSAT. I took the time off to research the schools I wanted to go to and take a break from studying. College was pretty draining and I felt exhausted after. I decided to take time off but with a purpose.  I had a goal of going back to school Fall 2019. If you take time off, make sure you have a goal of going back by a certain year or by a certain point and define that.

Additionally, don’t let others dictate your decision or pressure you to go straight into a program. Take the time you need to decide whether that’s your junior year so you know what to do your last year in college or your last year in college to go back the following year, etc. Just remember, it’s your choice. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone, take their advice, or decide because of someone else.

#2: Take time to study for the Law School Admissions Test or LSAT (or if you’re doing graduate school the GRE).

It is “just a test” but to have the least amount of anxiety on the test day and to make sure you did the best you can then you should put in the time. The time depends on what score you want and realistic expectations. The LSAT is scored from 120-180, the closer you get to 180 the better of course, but schools take into consideration more than this score. I can’t say don’t be nervous, because I am nervous.

I will be taking it on September 8th so I’m taking a couple of months to really prepare. I also have a full-time job and other things, so I don’t spend day and night studying.

I think the best advice is to study at least 5-10 hours a week, an hour or two hours max at a time. Take a bunch of practice exams both timed and untimed. If you’re like me, taking a class is really helpful or if you like self-studying Magoosh or Powerscore are really great online platforms. Do the best you can and know this is just one part of the whole process.

#3: You decide what you want to write in your statements of purpose or personal statements.

Whether you are applying to law school, graduate school, or even scholarships you will be asked to write about yourself. As people of color, women, low-income students, etc. we are often pushed to write our traumas or expose all of our barriers. You do not have to. Write the story that defines you whether it’s a moment yesterday, two months ago, or ten years ago. Write about your victories during undergraduate or your job. Choose how you want to portray yourself and don’t let others dictate that.

If you want to write about how an event or growing up in poverty changed you or informed your decision, do it! Just know you don’t have to do it because it’s expected from you.

Make sure you write it up and edit it a couple of times yourself. Re-read it and then share it with three people who you trust to help you make edits. Take it to an advisor or pre-law counselor if you feel comfortable! Just make sure you have others help you because sometimes we miss things when we have looked at our writing for too long.

Congratulations, it is a huge step to go to law school or graduate school!

It’s exciting to be working towards a goal of mine and I am so excited if you to be doing the same. It’s not easy and sometimes we may feel inadequate or like imposters in these spaces but remember that you are capable and deserving of pursuing your dreams. If you have any questions for me send them! I’m sending my applications late fall/early winter so I will keep you all posted with the process.

Until then, I’m off to study for the LSAT and drink an iced vanilla latte.

ciriacisbeth.

A Letter To My Future Self

Dear Ciriac,

It is July 8th of 2018 and today I have committed to become the best person I can be. This blog is not for anyone but for you. In one year you will love yourself more, take care of yourself more, and do what you love more. You are worthy and deserve so much more from yourself. For so long you have put others in front of you, your needs, and your dreams. Today is the beginning of a year for you and a launch of a new project. By June 8, 2019, I am not sure how different life may be or what turns life has taken but there are three things that I am certain of.

  1. You’re worthy
  2. Your time should be spent on what you love
  3. You have a purpose that goes far beyond anything you imagined

So, for this next year, I promise you, that I will do everything in my power to put myself first with goals that highlight these three things. This blog is for you, to document the difficulties, the successes, and the effort it takes to really dedicate time to yourself. This timeline is partially self-imposed (okay, mostly self-imposed) because I decided two years ago that I’d go back to school by August 2019, which is roughly in a year. I also decided to take a one-year fellowship position that ends around the same time. It just so happens that the 6-month mark from today is my birthday, and my LSAT exam is September 8th, so now it feels meant to be.

This is to show your process and progress. To love yourself. To take care of yourself and following your passions—and truly sticking to it. Be unapologetic. Keep pursuing the very things you love.

So yes, this blog is for me but, also for anyone who feels like they may not feel like they are enough or feeling overwhelmed by life. As a woman of color, it is often difficult to live in a world that is constantly telling me that I am not worthy of love, acceptance, and allowed to be myself freely.

I hope that this time next year you are on your way to law school, your poetry and writing has become an unbreakable habit, that you are taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. I will do everything I can to focus on my health, my future, and my art. This is the year of Ciriac.

How you ask? Well, I am going to do some of those self-help “challenges” but really stick to them. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Writing 1,000+ words a day
  • Waking up at 6 a.m. every morning
  • Working out four times a week

There are more but, you’ll see how they went by the end, I may hate it or I may love it. The whole point though is to do things for yourself.

So, for everyone else, if you had one year, what would you do? What would you change? Who would you want to become? Pick three goals. Pick three things you have always want to do and have made excuses and join me. Let me know if you are up for the challenge of one-year with yourself and for yourself. Even if we fail, at least we tried. So pause for a moment from all of your excuses and reasons not to and live.

Every week I’m trying something new so Future Ciriac, I hope you love waking up at 6 a.m. by June 2019. Watch out for that next Sunday!

Con mucho amor,
Ciriac Isbeth.