Taking it to the bar

I just dropped off Z for Day Two of the bar exam. Today’s portion of the exam is called the MBE (multi-state bar exam, I think). He’ll have six hours of testing: 3 hours for 100 multiple choice questions in the morning and the same in the afternoon. He’s not allowed to bring almost anything with him. And what he can bring has to be in a large, clear zip lock bag. Today he brought something like six No.2 pencils, his driver’s license, school ID, and an admission ticket. I’m recording these details for posterity. Zach will appreciate it one day when he forgets he ever took the bar exam.

Speaking of forgetting stuff, he forgot his watch. I bought him a watch for his birthday so he’d have a reliable piece for the bar exam. Oh well. Anyway, UH is providing lunch for him, so that’s nice. I don’t think he’ll have too much of an appetite though. On the plus side, Zach is very good at the MBE. I think he’ll feel great once it’s over.

I got an e-mail from a law school friend yesterday. She picked up on the fact that I’m not taking the bar exam with the rest of my class. She said she was intrigued and wanted to know what I was up to. She knows she doesn’t want to practice law and she certainly doesn’t want to take the bar — but she’s doing it anyway. I told her I’m not taking the bar because I don’t want to.

I hate disappointing people. I don’t know why I carry around this sense of guilt, but I’m pretty sure I was born with it. Sometimes it’s a good thing — it pushes me to try harder and achieve more. Sometimes it’s crippling and the anxiety it brings makes me feel like my lungs are collapsing. Intense, I know. It is what it is. But two moments in my life overwhelm my guilt and are more powerful than any anxiety I feel about letting down my friends and family:

The first was when I went to visit Shy before she died. Her brain tumor had consumed her and she didn’t look anything like herself. She was home and waiting. The second is actually a series of moments with Megan in which she assured me that she was here to stay. My brain is so full of memories of Megan that I still think about her almost everyday. They both had so many plans. And I often think about what they’d be doing if they were still here.

I could get sick tomorrow. Lightning happened to strike twice — once on either side of me — and I see no reason to think it couldn’t strike again. I don’t want to take up any time feeling less than full. So that’s it. That’s why I’m not taking the bar exam. Life’s too short.

Tomorrow is the last day of the bar exam. Z still has to take the MPRE, but that will be a cakewalk compared to this bar nonsense. I’m so proud of that guy. I cannot wait to celebrate.

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