Friday, August 10, 2012

10 years: 2002

10 years. That is how long I have been in Houston, Texas. In October 2001, I was 25 years old. I had graduated from college in 1998 and moved back to my tiny coastal Oregon hometown in 2000 to work for the newspaper I had grown up reading. I had double majored in Journalism and Sociology and I was eager to start earning a real paycheck and put my degrees to use.

I was married to my first husband. We lived in a townhouse near my work. The marriage had its ups and downs and finally, in June 2001, it had its final down when he moved out and back to Washington State where his friends and parents lived. I continued on at the newspaper and made a pivotal decision. I was going to law school. And I was going to do it in Houston, Texas. 1800 miles and a world away from where I grew up. My father lived in San Antonio, but he was on the road for weeks at a time as a cross-country truck driver. Houston had been the hub of gymnastics when I was growing up, a sport I loved and still do. 

The law schools in Houston were very good. I was getting a divorce. I was living in my small hometown. I needed a change. I needed a goal. I needed a life.

In October 2001, I made the decision to begin studying for the Law School Admission Test. I told no one that I was pursuing admission to law school except those who needed to know – my parents, my best friend, my professional references for admission. This was a very small group of people who were there from the beginning.

I was hoping for admission to the Fall 2002 class. This was going to be daunting. Most of the time, you should have your file complete, including the LSAT, by December of the previous year at the latest. I wasn't even going to take the LSAT until February. I was praying hard that I would even be considered for the entering class of 2002. I received my LSAT score in March and it was good enough for both the schools I applied to in Houston. My application was complete and I crossed my fingers.

Every day was a journey to the post office, hoping for “the envelope.” Finally, in April, I received the envelope from South Texas College of Law: “Congratulations and welcome to the class of 2005.” RELIEF! I was in. I WAS IN! South Texas was my second choice, University of Houston Law Center was my first. But, no matter what, I was going to law school! I couldn’t have been more elated.

My best friend got married in May 2002 and I was her maid of honor. I was there for a couple of days prior to the wedding to help her out with wedding stuff. It was during that time that I received an e-mail from the University of Houston congratulating me on my admission. TWO FOR TWO!!

I returned from her wedding and informed my boss that I would be quitting to move and attend law school. I couldn't believe it.  I was moving to Houston, a city where I knew no one except a friend of the family and we did not know each other that well. But I was ready for the adventure. My divorce was final in June 2002, I called the moving company, packed up my townhouse, quit my job, and got in the car. My mother was driving me to San Francisco where she would visit with her sister and I would catch the plane to Houston. I got on the plane in July 2002 knowing that my entire life would change when it touched down in Houston...  

Stay tuned for the next installment of 10 years!


Thank, Q said...

What a difference a decade can make, eh? I got married 10 years ago and so much of my life has changed since then. It doesn't even seem like that long ago.

Lawfrog said...

Q - I know exactly what you mean. There are times that I marvel at the fact that I've been in Houston for 10 years or that I graduated law school 7 years ago. Seems like just yesterday in some ways and yet a lifetime ago in others!

Dauphyfan said...

Always thankful that I had the pleasure of being your best friend and to be a part of your journey. I still miss you though, Texas is just too damn far away!