Here's a confession. I haven't really been keeping in touch with all the people who have helped me along at the lawschool. Who advocated for me when I fought with the LSAT administration for disability accommodations. Who then supported and encouraged me to get the word out about how it turn taints the whole admission process. Who then pointed me in the right direction and showed me where to start. And often just cheered me on when I was running out of steam. Years later, these were the same people that were there for me when my immigration status for a hot minute there got pretty messy. For someone with virtually no relatives in this country save some extended family, having someone who'd listen, send good vibes, pray for me and then actually be happy when it all worked meant the world. I live in the same city, yet I rarely go back. There's never a good time or good enough of the reason, so since I graduated, got my green card and passed the bar, I haven't really visited my law school a lot. And it's the secretaries- those quiet, kind ladies who knew everybody and everything there, though rarely spoke out loud- that helped to navigate the maze that can be an academic institution. I guess they liked me. I was always polite, greeted everyone with genuine interest, I cared about people and what they had to say and at the same time I was determined, ambitious and strong. I was on a mission, I was driven and I had conviction that everything will work out in the end. But- as it is always the case- we all move on and focus on other things. I fight new battles, often for other people and I stress over a new set of things, such as relaunching my nonprofit and making it successful so it can do what we envisioned it doing. This Sunday I saw one of the ladies I used to speak with a lot (did I mention I love to talk and I love people?) as we got in the checkout line. She was surprised I was still in town. For some reason she had assumed I moved back to Poland- I guess she hasn't seen me in a long while. She told me that she just retired last year but she still keeps busy and most of the other staff was gone too. The law school is now searching for a new dean. I joked that if they needed me they knew where to find me. . As I told her that I now practice law, that it's been nearly five years already since I got my green card and I run the non profit, she said: "God is good". "It has been trying"- I replied. "I remember"- she answered- "God tries people". And it made me think about how much too often when looking at what I've been through trying to get my point across, fighting for what I thought I deserved I focus on what the road here was like. How I felt exhausted and powerless and lost at times. How on occasion it seemed like I was going to scream with frustration. I remember those emotions well. But I rarely think of how I was able to overcome it. How it took a while, but I emerged victorious and I came out on top. I'd say that stands for something and it shows character. One thing I'll say for me- I dealt with it with humility. I told her that had anyone told me ten years ago that I'd be running a nonprofit I would have not believed them to which she said, "God found you a new path". I was out of my business cards so I couldn't give her one, but I wrote my number in her notebook. We promised to stay in touch and we went about our own ways.
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