2018 has been quite a year. It started off unremarkably with a list of well-meaning intentions that were generic at best. At the end of January, my life as I knew it self-imploded with a five-year relationship ending not six months into moving in together and just finishing the design of an engagement ring.
I could not have predicted what would follow. Frankly, at the beginning of February, day to day living was a struggle. It’s one of the oddest things to go from talking to someone every single day, to never speaking again; but in hindsight, it was easier to start moving on by not lingering in my past.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still linger from time to time and wish him well…but I haven’t seen or spoken to him in almost a year. Fast-forward to the end of February and beginning of March, when I met a guy who half-jokingly asked me to join him on a work trip to Washington DC. Without hesitation, I booked my ticket the next day with him on the phone so that we could coordinate sitting next to each other on the flights.
During all of this, I somehow managed to get through my last semester of law school. To be totally honest, I think it was the most difficult of my entire time there, just because I was so close to being done and it was the first semester since my very first semester in law school that I wasn’t juggling classes from one of the two masters programs I did during law school.
In May, I graduated alongside my sister with our MBAs, and then a week later graduated from law school. The celebrations were curtailed by the bar exam – the magnitude of which I could not have prepared myself for. Those ten/twelve weeks were some of the most exhausting…and even after the exam, I had no clue if I’d passed or not. It was trying (to say the least) to juggle a new relationship and full-time studying, but somehow we slogged through. The top right and bottom middle photos are from bar study and the day before the bar, respectively.
The exam was one of endurance and muscle memory; you just hope you’ve done enough review to get through it by the time you sit for the exam. I spent the next four months waiting to hear back about how I did, and in the interim, a lot happened. A couple weeks after the exam, my grandfather, who lived next door to my parents, died. His death was unexpected and not without its own share of stressors. He grew up in a family of coal miners from the north of England. He was the first in his family to go to college, and at the time, was one of the youngest people to complete a PhD (in theoretical physics and mathematics, no less), completing his coursework in just under two years.
My birthday came and went, a day which had previously been spent in the hospital years prior for one health issue or another. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized it’s not the quantity of friends you surround yourself with, but the quality, because when life gets hard, fair weather friends take flight.
This year, I spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas with my boyfriend’s family. It was the first time I’d ever been away from mine for the holidays. I’d be lying if I said it was a piece of cake, but I’m glad that I spent time getting to know the important people in my significant other’s life.
Amidst the holiday celebrations, I found out that I passed the California Bar Exam. To say I was shocked would be an understatement, and sometimes I still have a bit of disbelief that I actually passed on my first try. At the beginning of December I was sworn in as an attorney. I think the most frequently asked question I get (other than for free legal advice), is what kind of law I want to practice. To be totally honest, I don’t have a particular firm or field in mind; I just want to help people, however that materializes.
All in all, 2018 has been a year of tremendous growth. The positive I’ve gained far outweighs the negative I endured. This blog has grown to lengths I never thought possible, and it’s something I am tremendously proud of. I started 2LWithIt on the heels of taking a leave of absence from law school, and it’s crazy to think despite leaving for a year, despite all of the health uncertainties and emergencies, all of it…I made it out stronger than I started.
It is my continued hope that this blog can serve someone, wherever you may be, as a silver lining that whatever you’re going through…it will get better. Scrolling back through the posts I wrote at the beginning of this year was tough. I was in a bad place for quite some time, but had I not gone through what I did, I don’t think I would have been able to persevere some of the things that happened later in the year, namely studying for and taking the bar exam.
In the moments I’ve found to be the most challenging, I remind myself that we’re never dealt something we cannot handle. You may not have the tools on your own to deal with it, and that’s okay. Sometimes the best solution to a problem is to give it time and/or to ask for help. In the wake of my breakup, I never though I’d find friendship with an ex-girlfriend to my now ex-boyfriend. She took me out on Valentine’s Day, and I think that was the first time in weeks that I saw a glimmer of hope that I’d make it out okay.
A year ago, I couldn’t have fathomed my present reality. A year ago, I was a semester back from my leave and still uncertain if my health would permit me to finish law school. It’s quite remarkable how much difference a year can make, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for 2019. I have a feeling it’ll be a good one.
All my love,