I’m lucky to have several close friends who are there for me through the good and bad. A gift arrived for me this weekend from two friends who apparently wanted to send me a gift to try and cheer me up for failing the bar exam twice. Another close friend also sent me a gift. I had sent her my PMBR CDs so she could start studying for the February 2008 bar exam. I didn’t want her to pay me for them because she is one of my oldest and closest friends, and she has done so much for me over the course of many years that I wasn’t about to take money from her. I can’t use the PMBR CDs anyway since I can’t listen to audiotaped lectures, so they were worthless to me. She sent me a extravagant gift and her card said she knew I’d be mad at her for spending the money but she wanted to do it anyway. I wish she would have used that money for herself since I know she needs it. I have such sweet and considerate friends! Of course I can’t leave out yet another close friend, who has been extremely generous with her time and CO bar prep materials and the dispensing of advice.
I have a sister who is 18 months younger and I am extremely close to her. On the day I found out I’d failed the bar exam twice, my sister rushed to talk to me for hours to try and console me. She too is extremely generous and encouraging, and the same goes for my parents. They were so supportive of my law school pursuit that they kept sending me checks all through law school even though I told them to cut it out and use the money for themselves. I didn’t feel right accepting my parents’ checks especially after having supported myself for several years prior to law school, so I ended up ripping up their checks.
I never told my parents and sister until after my graduation how difficult law school really was for me, and about the fact that I had flunked out after my 1L year. I didn’t want them to be disappointed in me. My father is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and was a decorated career Air Force pilot, so as you can imagine he is a very motivated man who has always gone after his dreams, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps from the time I was very little. As a matter of fact, I grew up wanting to go to the Academy and become an Air Force pilot just like Dad. I eventually applied to the Academy, passed the physical fitness exam, obtained a nomination, and so forth, but I didn’t get in because of medical reasons. That was a huge lesson to me because I learned that I needed to create my own dreams instead of following Dad’s dreams. And so that’s how I ended up in law school.
Dad once told me that he had spent most of his time at the Academy scared out of his wits that he was going to flunk out, so I really related to that while in law school. He was a very poor kid growing up in a very impoverished area in the 1950s-1960s, so there were insurmountable odds against him from the very beginning, and he has defied them all the way. I feel the same way about myself.
I’m extremely lucky to have all of you, and your support and encouragement, in my life. It helps to put things in perspective, particularly the bar exam, when I stop to think about how fortunate I am for everything I have.