With mixed emotions, this week I picked up my graduation tickets and registered for the July 2012 New York Bar Exam. Doing this prompted me to reflect on my law school experience, characterized both by academic growth and personal development. Around this time in 2010 — right before my second round of first year exams — I was praying to God for the mental strength and tenacity to fight (or just crawl) my way to the finish line. Now, the tune has admittedly changed — I’m praying for the will to give a damn at all ha! These days, I spend my time traveling, taking piano lessons, going to the gym, cooking, spending time with friends, and generally living a life of merriment. And, boy, is it awesome! (This, of course, will change in about a month and a half when I start studying for the Bar *sigh*).
As part of my exercise in self-reflection, I decided to distill out some important life lessons that were reconfirmed to me during my three years (aside from all of the legal opinions and journal articles that no one in the real world reads or cares about 🙂 ).
1. Be prepared — there is no substitute for hard work. This is self-explanatory. More effort doesn’t necessarily correlate with better results in the game of law school. However, you can be certain that minimal effort will yield corresponding results.
2. It is better to give than it is to receive. Outlines, notes, information about legal programs and job opportunities, you name it. It doesn’t pay to be stingy when you come across helpful information. After all, you reap what you sew.
3. When the chips are down, family and true friends will be around. Law school — and especially the first year of law school — can be an emotionally and mentally taxing experience. I could not have survived without the unwavering and unconditional support of my friends and family.
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Through major victories and minor setbacks, things always work out according to His design (as has been the case my entire life).
5. Life goes on. Put succinctly, yet oh so poignantly, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” — Robert Frost
There you have it!
This week I decided to do a throwback to the food that raised me and the inspiration for the title of this blog — soul food. Now, I know that — according to some — it is no longer socially and politically correct to eat food that is high in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. But I say, live and let live! Truthfully, I don’t eat this type of food everyday, and I work my ass off in the gym — so balance is the name of the game.
Fried catfish was the main entree.
Served with a blend of collard and kale greens and cornbread.
Candied yams with marshmallows.
Macaroni and cheese.
And banana pudding with Chessmen Cookies for dessert.
All in all, a delicious and unapologetically unhealthy meal! (There’s actually no such thing as “healthy soul food”; don’t kid yourselves 🙂 ).