I woke up around 7 p.m. on the day of my last exam of the semester, convinced it was a new day. Soft evening light glowed from the kitchen window across my studio apartment, the way that not-yet-summer sun throws soft shadows.
I texted my mom, “I’m leaving soon!” as I had planned to visit my little sister at her college the day after my last exam. It took me several confused replies and a closer look at the time to determine that it was not, in fact, a new day.
My “What day is it, who am I, where am I” post-nap confusion captures 2L year as a whole, the way it bent time, the way it left me feeling unanchored from even the most familiar settings and things.
This past weekend, I visited friends in Minnesota, my birthplace. It’s one of the places I go when I need to re-anchor myself. Several of my past lives converged over that weekend.
I did happy hour with a former coworker from my first legal externship last summer in St. Paul. I got dinner with a friend I met at a YP event my first week in the Twin Cities before I had even started that externship. I spent the weekend with five friends from undergrad, sleeping on my J-School bestie’s living room floor. I caught up with someone I dated a few months ago and still care a lot about.
I hope there’s a future life for me in Minnesota, too.
This summer, I’m heading down to Kansas City to work as a legal fellow at the ACLU of Kansas. I’m excited to counsel actual clients, appear in court and do meaningful work for such an amazing organization.
My best friend in Texas reminded me that this summer is going to help me grow and will ultimately be a key step in getting me to where I want to be. There’s a strange sense of pressure 2L summer — to be exactly where you want to be doing exactly what you want to do. I’m not really sure about either of those things, so I keep reminding myself that I am where I’m supposed to be, for now, at least.
There is some comfort in that flexibility, I find, the lack of permanent roots or a forever plan.
Besides, I figure I’ll always have roots in Minnesota, in its power as an anchoring place, in the peace I feel while running around Lake of the Isles, in the veggie fried rice at the Thai restaurant in downtown St. Paul and, of course, in all the people I love and have loved there.