I had intended to post earlier this week, but my only real blogging time (the evenings) has been usurped each night by a baby who suddenly hates sleeping, so I’m a few days behind.
I passed my boards.
I passed the accompanying law exam.
I have taken my last exams. Ever. Unless I get crazy and decide I need more initials behind my name, but this is unlikely.
I am 29 years old, I have been in school since I was 4 with one semester off. And I am finally, completely finished. I don’t have to prepare for another class. I don’t have to organize notes for another test. I don’t have to buy and read books, plow through highlighters at an alarming pace.
I sort of don’t know what to do with myself because I’ve never experienced this before. That one semester I took off was spent as a new teacher, writing lesson plans and finding a way to register for evening classes the next semester because I already knew that teaching was not for me. I wasn’t taking classes, but my mind was burdened. It was as stressful as if I had been.
Now there’s none of that. I have a job, a job that I start tomorrow. It’s my last first. My first day of work in my new career. There are no more first days of school for me. No more first day of clinicals. I have reached the end of the benchmarks and am proceeding forward into the vast future. This feeling is both so tremendously wonderful and also, so curious.
I have always had goals. First it was June 2001, graduating from high school. Then May 2005, college. Then August 2009, starting graduate school. And finally May 2012, graduating and July 2012, my board exams. And all those goals have come and gone, accomplished, for better or for worse.
I have no more firsts and just one last, but that won’t come for decades.
What I have now is work and family. I can enjoy my evenings. I can read books. I can snuggle my baby without having a study guide around in the background. I’m starting a new phase in my life, one I’m not entirely sure I’m completely equipped for, but one I’m ready to give a good shot anyway. If we’re being completely honest, I’m not at all ready to return to work, but finances are dictating otherwise and I guess this is a part of growing up. Doing something before you feel ready, for the good of your family.
And so tomorrow I will tackle my last first. I am thrilled to finally be to this point. I feel at peace in a way I haven’t ever been in my life. I feel like for the first time I just get to live without constantly looking years into the future and feeling like I just need one more step, one more degree, one more thing.
I am finished for the first time in my life. And it feels incredible.