Sunday, August 22, 2004

Closing that chapter: The Transition.

I drove all the way back to law school. I knew that I'd need some time in my house, in my neighborhood, in my town, with friends and all the comforts of home. Additionally, I needed to be at a wedding on Sunday. Originally I had planned to stay an extra week of my summer so I could interview in that area of the country, but friendship obligations arose.

My first evening back, I went with three friends to our favorite Mexican restaurant. My summer experience had re-established a confidence that law school had completely sucked out of me. I felt like I had the soft glow of a peaceful confidence about me. I was not irate, anxious, jittery, chatty, hurried, rushed, or aggressive. Just peaceful, comfortable, content. My three friends had spent the summer in another major city working for large corporate law firms. For the first time, I found it difficult to communicate with my own friends. It was as though we spoke different languages. The peaceful glow waivered. It's difficult to maintain the personal changes that emerge from such a unique experience, when everyone else's experience was so different from mine but so universally similar to each other's. I had nothing to share or contribute, the conversation and the experience weren't mine. Nevertheless, I had missed this town and these people, and I was so sad that I was going to be leaving, AGAIN. I wished that I hadn't decided to do an externship, I wished that if I had to do one, that it was back in the city of my summer, and not a new city, and certainly not with a prosecutor's office. I just wanted to be able to unpack my car into my room (which is now occupied by my sublettor), kick up my feet, and stick with what I knew.

The wedding on Sunday was beautiful, just perfect. By Monday, I was all business, I arranged meetings with professors, took care of paperwork, re-tooled my resume, paid bills. Tuesday was more of the same. By Wednesday, I was growing restless. By Thursday, I was bored out of my mind. By Friday, I decided that returning here for a week was a really good idea. I hadn't wanted to move on, thinking about how much I'd miss the town and the people. It's true, I will miss those things so much. But I had already grown as much as I could in that place with those people, and I was going away for a semester because I knew, both academically and personally, that things were growing stagnant, and it was time for me to seek a new and different experience. When I left on Saturday, I was ready to go. I'll miss my gym, my grocery store, my dearest and closest friends. I won't miss classes that don't interest me or the social life that's like the never-changing weekly menu of a school cafeteria.

Now I'm back at mom's house. Mr. Wonderful has now become Mr. Maybe. He hasn't responded to my email or calls this past week, after we exchanged a few emails in the beginning of the week. I let him know that I had booked a flight for a long weekend back in that city two months from now to take care of job stuff and visit with people that I met this summer. I particularly wanted to spend a few days of my 4 day trip with him. I haven't heard from him since. It hurts me deeply to think that this was an all-or-nothing situation for him. I told him that it would be important for me to continue to communicate with him, especially since I felt as though I'd need some support professionally, moving from criminal defense work to working for a prosecutor's office, and also since I intend to begin interviewing with public defender offices for a full-time position this fall. Perhaps Mr. Maybe needs time to chill out. Perhaps he isn't willing to communicate as much as I'd like to. Maybe I'll check in with him in another two weeks, after my first week with the prosecutor, just to debrief. Maybe I should rebook my flights so I'm not in town for 4 days, just wishing that I was with Mr. Maybe but instead just bumming around the city by myself. We'll see.

This week, I have to mail my resume to every public defender that I want to be hired by. There are quite a few. I'm stressed that I may be unemployed when I graduate, or that I'll be employed in a city that personally frightens me but offers great work experience, or that I'll just be all alone in this crazy world.

I'm still in a funk. Leaving Law School Town to come back to Hometown didn't shake it. The benefit to this funk, I suppose, is that I cannot wait to begin the next chapter on August 30th. Stay tuned for The Next Chapter: Woman of the Law Goes to Prosecutor's Office.

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