I am DONE WITH THE BAR EXAM, and it sure does feel good to feel somewhat normal again. And to be able to wake up in the morning and do . . . whatever I want, instead of having to study basically 24/7. It will take me some time to decompress and debrief, because I am physically and mentally exhausted from the last two and a half months, but I don't start work till August 25th, so hopefully I will have time to do just that. The test itself was ok--I felt great about the essay day and pretty badly about the multiple choice day, but everyone I talked to felt the same way, so hopefully it will all even itself out. (Well, more accurately, I about had a little meltdown during the multiple choice . . . an "I don't know the answers to hardly any of these because I can't choose between choice C and choice D and don't know what to do" meltdown. But I stopped myself with the thought that I wouldn't want to be, now and forevermore, "that girl who started crying during the bar." Although I surely would not be the first.)
Oh, and in case anyone is wondering like I was before taking it, it's not like some super-secret future attorney hazing that you're never allowed to talk about goes down in that exam room. The bar was always covered in a shroud of secrecy from what older friends told me, but I realized that it's just another standardized test . . . and it's not as strict as I thought, either. The monitors don't even check your bags for "prohibited items" (although you do have to carry everything in a clear Ziploc bag), and all the ones I interacted with were very nice/ supportive. Several of the justices of the Supreme Court of Georgia came down on Tuesday morning to support us, which I thought was an incredibly nice thing to do. About 1,300 of us took it in a HUGE room in tables where we were seated in pairs (I feel like I have shared a life experience with my table mate, Courtney, after sitting next to her for two days).
Even though it's done, it's hard not to worry about it, because I have to wait until October 24th to get results and don't really feel like "celebrating" anything unless and until I get good results, even though everyone is telling me I should celebrate just being done. I'm definitely happy to be done, but I'll feel a whole lot more "done" if and when I get good results in a few months. I have definitely not felt great about it the last few days, but I expected as much since I normally don't feel so good after finishing even my law school finals; it's stress about results combined with exhaustion and a "letdown effect" of sorts . . . after you've worked as hard as you can for something, suddenly you don't have to work anymore for that thing, and you're left wondering what to do with yourself.
Yesterday I woke up wanting to relax on my first day home after the bar, so I lounged around in my pajamas for a couple hours, but then I just started wanting to get out of town. Like, right away. So I loaded up my car and an air mattress and drove up to my new apartment without telling anyone where I was going. (That in itself was liberating . . . sometimes it's just nice when no one knows where you are and you can just be alone and process things). I don't really know what my problem was, but I just did not want to be in my law school town or around law school people anymore right then. I just needed to get away from my law school life and start getting settled into what will become my working professional life, at least a little bit. So even though my apartment here has no furniture and almost none of my stuff and no Internet (writing this at a coffee shop), I just wanted to start getting settled in up here. I've been driving around a lot to teach myself how to get around, and I went to Trader Joe's for a few basic groceries and got a county library card this morning and checked out a bunch of books. I've picked up some apartment basics at Target, and am about to go find a Redbox so I can get some scary movies for my evening to have with my Trader Joe's coconut shrimp. I'm also glad to have a chance to pray over every room in my apartment even before the movers come with my stuff. That may sound weird, but I always do that when I get started at a new place . . . I pray that every single person who ever comes through the door would immediately sense the love of Christ, and that I would be protected and blessed while I live there. I was planning to go back today, but I want to go to church up here tomorrow, so I'll go back tomorrow afternoon.
And on Monday, it's time for Lauren's Annual Beach Retreat! So excited. I am going to the Georgia coast until Wednesday and want to do nothing during that time but walk on the beach, watch the sunrise, take beach photos, read John Grisham books, journal, go bike riding, etc. Then probably the next week I will be heading to Tallahassee to visit Catherine, and then coming back here to get the ball rolling on meeting people in my new city and getting truly settled in. Here's to some new beginnings and a lot of changes.