I am spending my last day as a 25-year-old working on a Law & Information Technology final for a class that ended in May. It feels oddly symbolic–and utterly depressing.
I also work today. This too feels symbolic. I spent most of the first half of my year in this office crafting my law review note and trying to squeeze work hours in while juggling twenty other commitments.
Neither memory leaves me feeling particularly joyful. 25 is not a year I would willingly repeat.
Colorado, Madison, Thailand, Madison some more. The real takeaway I see from 25 is that the second year of law school is somehow more terrible than first year. And I didn’t even think that was possible.
I suppose I grew as a writer and traveler this past year. I overcame a lot. I think I also failed a lot. Or at least I fell flat on my face more times than I care to count.
I am not sure what hopes to have for 26. It will cover one more year of law school. It feels a bit like one more year to ‘get through,’ which I don’t want to be the case. I love birthdays because they mean a new start. But with 2L year still nipping at my heels and 3L year looming ahead, I feel more braced than expectant.
But you know what? Here is to 26. As my favorite poet, Tanner Olson, says: hope doesn’t let the story end.
And another year of law school is not the end of the story. So, that is how I want to approach 26. Hopeful. Even if I am not really sure what to hope for. Because it represents a new year and a new chance to kick law school’s butt. Or at least try not to let it totally kick mine.
My friend Hope is visiting me from Iowa! We are going to a comedy club. Details tomorrowwww
If I had a word for 2017, it would be unexpected. At this point last year, I thought 2017 would be the year I got my wisdom teeth out, paid off my student loans, and read 200 books. I didn’t imagine much else. Well…I did get my wisdom teeth out. I paid off my student loans. I read 119 books. I also spent a summer in Idaho being a camp person (Whhhhaaattttt!) and then moved to Madison for law school. It all seems kind of crazy and impulsive, and it was.
Yet on paper, it wasn’t. I have wanted to go to law school for 18 years. I planned to go after I paid off my student loans and naturally I applied to law school after paying them off. But…Unexpected. Picking Madison after years of planning to go anywhere but there. Unexpected. Discovering that I actually hate living in the city. Unexpected. The social isolation of law school. Unexpected. Learning I don’t love law school. Unexpected. Realizing I’m okay with that.
This was a bumpy year for me. I’m grateful for it. I am grateful for all the uncertainty and confusion and failure. It sucked and left me drained and anxious but it forced me to grow and rely more on God. It reminds me of Romans 5:3-5. “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Hope. What a wonderful word.
Thank you to all the friends and family who kept me sane this past year ❤ I am so grateful for you all.
Goals for next year? Read 118 books and live more gratefully. Hold me to it!
So this weekend I am in Iowa visiting my fried Hope! Today was a chill shopping day and we got froyo…
I am looking forward to a restful few days before work gets super busy!
Today I finished reading Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. In it, Millard weaves together the brief presidency of James A. Garfield, the egotistic insanity of Garfield’s killer, and the ineptitude of the doctors who surrounded him. Alexander Graham Bell played a role in this drama, as did the ideas Joseph Lister, whose warnings about germs were unfortunately ignored.
I knew very little about President Garfield going in to this book and was pleasantly surprised by how readable and informative it turned out to be. I have a greater understanding of him as a president and era he lived in. Highly recommended.
However, what stood out to me most from this read wasn’t Garfield’s assassination, but the political machinations that surrounded him during his presidency. The political world he lived in was remarkably like our own. I think it is easy to assume that mud-slinging and politicking are a recent phenomenon, maybe something introduced after WW2. However, humanity hasn’t changed that much over the past few hundred years. Political parties were divided and divisive. Ambitions reigned and many men fought tooth and nail for the prestige of becoming president. Corruption was rampant and positions were appointed based on political connections and favors rather than merit.
It has often been noted that President Obama entered the White House with very little experience. However, Chester A. Arthur, who followed President Garfield, arguably wins that competition. Prior to becoming Vice President (and then President) of the United States, his only public position was Collector of the New York Customs House, a job he was later fired from!
I really appreciate reading Destiny of the Republic. It reminded me that as dreary and depressing as this political season has been, America has weathered worse. As a country, we’ve dealt with corruption, assassinations, and Civil War. We’ve had great and lousy presidents. No matter how bad a single election might look, it isn’t the end of the story. It is only another chapter.