This weekend David graduated from Law School. And while I’ve written a lot about our wedding, and very little about law school, on Friday I David and I were exhausted cuddling on the couch, and I said, “This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done together,” and he agreed.
And it is.
It’s not that I did law school, because I didn’t. In fact, for the majority of the last three years, I was so stressed out that I didn’t even listen very hard when he talked about criminal procedure or California’s second degree federal murder rule. But.
When David and I started dating, five and a half years ago, we were 23 and 24, broke, living in New York, and both working in Theatre. Actually, the exact day that we started dating we were both unemployed, but I digress. Over the next two years, David tried to figure out what he wanted to do, and moved from a professional theatre job to a legal job. And he loved it. And then we discussed law school, and we discussed where we both might be willing to move for law school, and we discussed LSAT courses. And then we moved into the action phase – LSAT course taken (him), LSAT weekends spent making solo plans (me), law schools applied to (him), hands held and anxiety soothed (me), law school acceptances and rejections received (him), breath held – prayers said – tears shed (us), law school selected (him in theory, but really, us).
Then boxes were packed, jobs were quit, Penske trucks were rented, toasts were made, decade long friendships were cried over, cross country trips were taken, new apartments searched for, new jobs were found, new friends were made (us).
Then studying was done, tests were taken, grades were given, accolades were earned, new law schools were applied to, transfer applications were accepted, tears were shed, friends were missed, the-smartest-decisions-for-the-future-we-think-but-man-it-hurts were made, daily commutes were commenced (him).
And did I mention? The economy collapsed. Things got sh*tty, fast. I was stressed, I didn’t always love my job, I worked all the time. But I had the benefits and the earnings, and as savings got eaten up by law school tuition, the burden of paying rent, keeping on the lights, keeping us fed, and keeping us insured, increasingly fell to me. And it was really hard. It turns out being the sole breadwinner is unimaginably stressful, especially when you are watching the economy collapse in slow motion around you. But I did it, and it also turns out that being the breadwinner as the economy collapses in slow motion around you gives you a tremendous sense of pride and self worth. Almost as much pride and self worth as a well earned prestigious degree.
And now we’re done. We both, in our own ways, worked our asses off for Friday. And in the past three (or really four) years, we both learned a lot, both about ourselves and about the world. And when the words, “I now confer on you a JD, with all the rights and privileges therein” were said on Friday, I cried. When we walked from party to party in North Beach on Friday, looking at the moon on the bay and Coit Tower by night, the air crackled with possibility – not just the possibilities of the future, but with the possibilities achieved. And when we attended our friends’ graduation in downtown city hall on Sunday, even more tears were shed, and hugs were given. And what had just happened felt enormous.
We didn’t plan a wedding kids, we started a life. Together.
Pictures: #1 – After Sunday’s Graduation, taken by me; #2 Us at the end of the weekend, taken by a friend. Yes. They are real Polaroids.