So it seems the little engine could. It’s official- I passed all my Bar exams. This part of my life’s path was the definition of hard. I learned that struggle was a lousy but consistent bedfellow and giving up has never tempted me more. Those closest to me can give witness statements (Lol, ok, lemme not)– can give testimony as to how much it took to cross the finish line. The last lap was the most daunting. But here I am, bruised but still together.
I did not do this by myself. Oh, I most certainly did not. I cannot express enough the gratitude I have for those who helped keep me together, for those who helped pick me up and put me back together when I broke, for those who said “hey, we’re all a little broken right now but we don’t need to be whole to get through; we just need to help each other get over piece by piece”. And piece by piece we did it.
I started my first degree at 17 and finished at 20. I started law school at 22, not quite sure it was what I wanted but going with what everyone else recommended. That last part came back to bite me HARD. But the dressing on the bite is that it led me to my amazing friends, a few of whom became family. It brought me to Nicolette, it brought me to Monique, it brought me to Mr. Bas, it brought me to Shenae, it brought me to Nas. It brought me to Alex, it brought me to Lianne, it brought me to Jacko. And while we were friends before I started law, a major part of my survival throughout the years was my friendship with Jeff. It led to many more awesome relationships but these ones…yea, these ones <3. I love you.
A special shoutout goes to Mr. D. I met my husband near the end of this journey but right on time. If he didn’t stay up with me those nights before exams, Lord knows the panic attacks would have won. I’d sometimes joke that he wasn’t with me shooting in the gym (if you don’t get it, don’t worry). But he was. My loudest cheerleader, even supporting me when I wanted to leave the game. I had no doubt before but he showed up and showed out; he’s the best partner– WHOLENER– I could have. And to my in-laws, who, just like their son, rooted for me no matter what decision I made, it meant and still means the world to me. I love you.
I didn’t plan to go on this long but I HAVE to thank my grandmother- who many hear of more than any other family member- my mother, my father, my godmother, my adopted families, my no-longer-a-baby brother, my cousin-sister, my Mini Me, my Ms. Chin, and my Shem. To the friends that were there before and stayed til the end (here’s looking at you Karen, Tracey, Jermane especially- y’all remember those convos from BBM days), thank you. To know that I’d be loved no matter the outcome was a privilege I never took for granted. I cannot name everyone who played a part. I won’t try to. Know that this doesn’t mean I only value those who were named. I love you.
Big ups to the lecturers/tutors who did their jobs, the ones who didn’t set us up (haha!). I can’t say many names because I was Marshawn Lynch to a lot of courses- just there so I didn’t get fined. But Yolande the gawd- big up thyself! To the legal aid staff- muchas gracias! You’re patient and gentle and I don’t know how you do that with hundreds of law students being cranky and nervous and burnt out around you throughout the year. To Ms Brown, the first one who really listened to me when I said this route is not for me and then replied “I get it. I hear you”. The value of our talk that day cannot be priced.
To my Twitter peeps, thanks for every word/emoji of support. Unu lawge!
The next step of my journey is sort of unknown. The route I’m taking is one I’m going to pave myself. I’ll have help placing the asphalt, of course, but I don’t know yet where it will lead. I’m scared, I’m excited, I’m confident I’ll be okay. Because as me and my schoolmates know- if law school didn’t crush you, you pretty uncrushable. To all my colleagues, wherever we go from here, congratulations on making it here. We made it! Clap yourselves. Celebrate. You earned it. Be gentle with yourselves from here on out and with each other. I hope to hear good things about all of you (except for the ones I will pretend not to know in the future :p). Cheers!
Until next post!