After a month of hiding in a cave of books, the average law student/mooter emerges, and blinks in the sunshine thinking “what was life like before this?”
Things have calmed down just a bit for me this week. We have a few days to breathe before moot practice goes back into full swing in preparation for Washington. And I have time to muse on how drastically my life has changed in the past two years.
Here’s how most of my friends thought of me in 2009:
(image by Arthur Tien who is an amazing illustrator. Known also to his friends as the Prince of Cake)
Before law school, I lived in Beijing and weekends were not for readings but for adventures. I went on long bike rides, stumbled across hutongs being torn down, climbed on rooftops and ran around with my camera.
Life revolved around travel and photography. No scheme was too insane to embark upon. Like the time Hubert and Karim decided to bike home: from Beijing to Paris. Or when Joel and Youngcall decided to start their own hotel. There was so much creativity, energy and optimism. Everyone was chasing after their own vision, which ranged from scaling Everest to being a business owner.
There are of course days where I look back with nostalgia, when I miss being on the road. When I deliberately avoid my camera or my portfolio for months, because the ache seems to make the pile of readings grow bigger and more insurmountable.
But what I miss most, is the variety and the feeling of being around lots of young, creative people all doing their own thing. It is interview season for first years, and as a second year student – I have much sympathy. Everyone is applying to the same firms, and chasing the same thing. The competition can be ferocious and draining. I’ve often said the key to law school is maintaining perspective. In the long run, we all find our place and purpose.
As for me, I sorely miss my life as a photographer. And though I might sigh or look back from time to time – there are definitely no regrets. There is not a shade of doubt in my mind that I was meant for the law. I’m just incredibly grateful for the chance to have had the opportunity to explore and travel prior to grad school.
Most of all though, I miss my Beijing family. Especially this girl: who is as wild and passionate about life as anyone could be, who never ceased to drive me crazy but also is one truly amazing friend.