Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Random Law School Update 44: An Era in Review

Last Locations:
Barcelona, Spain: August 26 – December 19, 2012
Geneva, Switzerland: December 19 – December 20, 2012
Chamonix & Les Houches, France: December 20 – December 22, 2012

Present Location: Washington, DC
Arrival Date: December 22, 2012
Departure Date: Undetermined

Next Location: Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Arrival Date: January 7, 2012
Departure Date: January 12, 2012

Happy New Years! 2012 has been, over all a fantastic year. I am presently in DC studying for the New York Bar. Last night, I watched the ball drop quietly on TV. Two days ago, I was watching the Redskins make it to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. A week before that, I was in the French Alps skiing for the first time since I was diagnosed. And three days before that, I was sitting for my final law school exam.

Then, going in reverse, I was exploring the Muslim fortress of Alhambra in awe and gorging myself on vegan tapas in the magical mountain town of Granada. Standing in Puerta del Sol, Madrid among 400 activists each holding the carcass of a small animal. I was caught in the crossfire between austerity-measure protesters and the police while riding my bike home from class in Barcelona. Getting news that my health has stabilized. Watching election results roll in from the official Democratic committee party in Washington, DC. Making calls on behalf of Obama. And before that, snapping pictures in Venice, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Castricum, Tossa de Mar, and Frankfurt.

Then it was summer. I was backpacking the Colorado wilderness in the rain. Waiting for my strength to return after removing my spleen. Laying in a hospital bed for days reflecting on what it means to take time off. Taking Spanish lessons. Visiting friends in New York and the Eastern Shore. Law journal work. Detoxing in the Caribbean. Watching my class graduate without me. Finishing up the Spring semester.

Studying, studying, studying. On a beach in Thailand, fasting, wondering why I couldn’t just cure myself with my mind. Competing in an Arbitration Moot in Hong Kong. Studying. Working. Learning how to meditate. Starting my semester internship at the SEC. Visiting the family in Tucson. Finding out, for the first time, that my pet tortoise since childhood had died…two years prior. And writing a note for my law journal in Tampa, Florida. That brings us to one year ago today.

But today doesn't just mark the beginning of a new year. It marks the end of an incredible period of time known as law school. The last three and a half years have been a rush of fear, excitement, profound sadness, and also complete happiness. 2013 feels, so far, like the moments after you get off of a really intense roller coaster and feel like you are floating suspended above the ground.

In 2009 I started law school, trading in an era of near complete freedom and global exploration for an era of self-discipline and intellectual exploration. Several months later, in 2010, I was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood condition. My good friend Meghan died of breast cancer a week later. I become a regular at the Georgetown Hospital.

I made it through my 1L year and took a summer internship in Mexico City. I went macrobiotic. And then quit gluten. I overcame my phobia of needles and developed a penchant for acupuncture. I returned to school, met two significant people, lost another, and took a role in the winter play. My good friend Bethany died of blood cancer in February 2011. I helped to organize a celebration of her life.

I accepted an internship at the Delaware Chancery Court and a Summer Associate position at Jones Day. I moved to Delaware and worked during the day while participating in the write-on competition for law journal at night. There were medical problems, but no time to see the doctor. I moved back to DC and learned all about law firm life and luxury. I donated half of my summer earnings to Compassion Over Killing.

Fall semester 2011 began. I was accepted by my preferred journal. I won the Georgetown International Arbitration Competition. I made it  into the SEC’s Spring semester intern class. Relationships faltered, were picked back up, and faltered again. It was a gloriously difficult time. I joined my parents for a ski(less) trip in Colorado and flew from there to Tampa where I watched the ball drop quietly on TV. That brings us to one year ago today.

Thank you all for sharing this era with me. I look forward to keeping you with me through the next.