This year was so many things - twists and turns, heartbreak, new beginnings, stress, feeling entirely inadequate and feeling on top of the world.
When I look back on 2021, I don’t feel like there were a huge amount of lows, but there weren’t a ton of highs either. There were things that should have been highs - passing the bar, getting my first job, buying my first car, but they were all overshadowed by things like a pandemic.
Regardless, it was still a year for the books and there were plenty of memories I’ll carry with me forever!
Got let go of my first clerk job: This was at the beginning of the year, when I was studying for the bar and terrified of what life would be like without an income while I finished studying and taking the bar. This was arguably one of the most financially stressful periods of my life. I was also fresh out of a break up, stressed out of my mind from studying for the Bar Exam, and stressed about finding work after the bar. My parents had my back for rent for a few months, and I dipped into savings and investment accounts to make ends meet. I was down to almost nothing when I got the call about my current job. I’m ironically very grateful for this, because I would still be at the firm I was at then if they had kept me, and I wouldn’t have gotten to practice family law.
Took the California Bar Exam: Speaking of stressful, don’t ever try to compare the Bar Exam to any other kind of test. The amount of pressure riding on potentially the most expensive test you can take with one of the lowest pass rates, the bar (and the California Bar, specifically) is NO joke. I was (and remain!) incredibly thankful for the people who supported me during that process and during those two days.
Got my first job as an attorney: After three interviews and what felt like millions of applications, I got my first gig with the firm I’m at now. I work with the best people and I have some of the sweetest clients. My work feels important, impactful, and interesting, and although it took me a few months to get the hang of it, I’m cranking in billables with the best of them. Ha.
Passed the California Bar Exam: May 7, 2021. What a day. A friend took me to the mall in the morning to get my mind off it. Real talk - what kind of special place in hell is reserved for the people who decided to publish exam results at 6 p.m. and not in the morning?
Moved into my own apartment: My roommates - both of whom I love very much - and I said goodbye to our home for the last 2.5 years in August, and I moved into my first real solo living situation (plus Captain). I have never loved my space more.
Bought my first car: This was a dream come true, although the timing was a bummer. My sweet Becca - a 2001 Lexus ES 300 that I have driven since the first day I got my permit - has gone to hospice care with my father once she sent herself to the mechanic three times in a month. I then purchased Admiral, my shiny silver-blue Subaru Outback. Owning an Outback has been a dream of mine since I understood that cars beyond my mom’s minivan existed. I’ve just always loved them. Getting behind the wheel of one every morning feels like a mental vision board realized.
Went to Boston for the first time: This was a trip I’ve been dreaming of forever, too. I’ve never been to the East Coast, and I made a promise to myself to start prioritizing travel. I saved up for months, made spreadsheets, pinterest boards, researched activities, and got to both travel with one of my best friends from college AND meet one of my best friends in the world in person and it was magical.
Wrote a complete book draft: This is probably the craziest thing on this list to me, looking back. In November, I participated in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and drafted the first draft of a complete novel. For 30 days, I averaged writing 1,667 words per day and have a manuscript ready for editing. I haven’t touched it since, but it proved to me that I can do hard things when I put my mind to it.
Not a bad list, reflecting on it.
Cheers to 2022. If it’s even half as good as 2021, I’ll consider myself lucky.