When I studied for the bar last summer I wore a jean jacket every day. Every single day. I even wore it to the exam. It was my security blanket.
This time around it’s winter and I am in DC. It’s too cold for a jean jacket. Instead I am begrudgingly bundled in tights, scarves, sweaters, gloves, and coats. I hate the cold but I love this city.
Last week I tossed my study materials into a backpack covered with slices of multicolored citrus. An ode to home, to Palm Springs where the trees in my parents backyard are covered in the juiciest grapefruit, lemons, and oranges.
I bought the backpack the last time I lived in DC, for the same reason. It was winter. I was craving home and sunshine. It is the most juvenile and unfashionable thing I own. It would be adorable if I were ten, maybe even fifteen, but I’m twenty-eight and since last week I have been walking around with the damn thing every day.
My new security blanket.
Today I put on a patterned black dress, red wedges, and a lovely red coat with gold buttons. I admired the ensemble in the mirror and then picked up my citrus backpack and walked out the door.
It’s a fashion faux pas in a massive way.
But I don’t care. It fits all of my materials and at this point I do nothing but study anyway.
If you see a woman dressed impeccably but also carrying a hideous citrus backpack, stop and say hi. I can use all the positive vibes I can get.
Last November a dear friend called me moments before I was to receive bar results. We tend to miss each other so I answered intending to tell her I’d call her back. But before I could say a word she began talking. “Grace. I love you. You are amazing. No matter what happens with the results you are a wonderful and smart person. I’m not wishing that you don’t pass, I just want to prepare you if you don’t.” Her voice was shaking.
She spoke–encouraging me, consoling me, sympathizing with me–for over five minutes. At one point I put her on speaker phone while I drove. Another friend was in the car with me and his face shown with horror as he heard her tell me again and again that I would be ok if I didn’t pass. When I ended the call my friend in the car exploded, “What was that?! This isn’t the kind of thing you say BEFORE results!”
Except it is.
I have the honor of being friends with incredible women. They are smart, strong, independent, and compassionate people that bring immense joy and perspective to my life. These women, unlike me, think before they speak. When they have something to tell me I listen because I know it is done with care.
I don’t know how but somehow my friend knew that I was not going to pass. She knew that she needed to prepare me for that moment. She knows me well.
The night I received bar results one of my best friends called and told me the news first. For that I will forever be grateful.
As I begin another round of intense studying I think of her and know that she is praying for me. This time it is going to be different. This time I will be better and study harder. This time when I get her call in May it will be one of celebration.