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Sunday, May 29, 2011

There Go the Sands of Time

It’s funny. The classic college graduate, or normal 22-year old, is supposed to have their life figured out by the time they graduate. If only that were true. I find that cliché very ironic when considering how many college students change their major and graduate with no clue as to what they want to do with their lives. Maybe I’m a lucky one, knowing what I am doing for the next three years, or maybe I am unlucky.

I don’t think that enough respect and understanding is given to those people who are unafraid of taking their time to figure things out and decide on the next chapter of their life. I know two sassy Jersey girls who are doing just that; taking their time before jumping into a career. I would definitely say that it fits their personalities, but it is also their outlook. Their view is that they have their whole life ahead of them and everything will work out if they don’t know what they want to do today or don’t have a job by summer’s end. Their inner faith and strength allows them to approach each day as its own and work to make the most of every moment. They are both working for their respective family business off and on for now, but that isn’t necessarily what they want to do. They have dreams and aspirations just like people with a plan, but their approach is different. In recent days I’ve discussed this outlook with a number of people and everyone has a different opinion on what they should do. I understand the argument that the sooner the better. However, is that always true?

It isn’t the means to the end that matter. Sure, going into finance or graduate school are safe and smart plans, but safe doesn’t always suit everyone. My hat is off to those who buck conventional wisdom and are willing to take a few risks along the way. Taking the summer to relax from college and then using the next few months to move to a new state and begin figuring things out is just as wise.

We are in too much of a hurry to move from one thing to another. I am thankful to have a few months to put everything in perspective and spend time with my family before my life really begins. We have to value the time we have and do what makes us happy. There is no sense in doing something because everyone else says to do it if you aren’t going to enjoy it.  That’s foolish. I’m not going to say carpe diem, because seizing the day isn’t what I really mean. Yes, that’s important, but it isn’t the most important thing. Too often we join the rat race and forget about ourselves and what makes us happy. It seems that almost every person I talk to who has worked for 30 or more years tells me to find something that makes me happy. That’s my plan, but it isn’t that easy. We have to work hard to do that and work even harder to keep the in perspective and cherish it if we find it. That is what my friends who are taking the time to live life and not worry about what they are doing five years from now, a year from now, or even tomorrow are doing. They get it. They are in no hurry to start a new chapter. Instead, they are valuing each day as its own and using that to their advantage. They know that one day they will be parents, writers, business leaders, and inspirational women. To their credit, they live in the moment each day. Give it a try if you can, I know I am between now and law school.

Now that I’ve lectured you, I would like to just say a few words about Memorial Day, our veterans, and all of the men and women who protect this country: I’m fortunate to personally know two young men who graduated from the US Naval and Air Force Academies respectively in the past week. As I told them each congratulations on their accomplishment, I also thanked them for their service and commitment to the United States of America. Take tomorrow to say thank you to any service men or women, past and present, you know or encounter for all that they have done and will do for us. Don’t let their service be in vain.

Before we part, here are some songs that I think will help you celebrate Memorial Day, enjoy the summer, and if you let the music wash over you, you’ll reflect on your time and what is most important to you. (I love country music, as you’re about to find out.)

Have You Forgotten - Darryl Worley

American Soldier - Allan Jackson

Summertime - Kenny Chesney

Summer Nights - Rascal Flatts

Moments - Emerson Drive

Thursday, May 26, 2011

First Blog Post: Hope and Promise

I’ve never been one to slowly edge into unknown waters to test the temperature. I prefer to jump in, both feet first, and today is no different. This is my first ever blog post, so bear with me, but here goes nothing:

On Saturday, May 21, 2011 I graduated from Georgetown University. I am incredibly proud of my friends and all that they have accomplished and am excited to see them succeed in the professional world. What I am proud of about my college experience is how I took advantage of all the opportunities presented to me to learn from everyone and develop into who I am today. That sounds incredibly vague and common, but it is how I feel.

I am a firm believer that the power of knowledge is only truly achieved through the help of others. It is possible for someone to study their entire life and master subject after subject, but if they have no one to share their knowledge with, what is it worth? It’s funny, the convocation speaker was a young alum and he had five distinct points he thought every graduate should know and strive to live by. The one that stood out to me was his first point to maintain and develop strong relationships. He’s right. Without strong relationships, life becomes much harder to survive. I am not fearful of what is to come because I know that when I face trials and tribulations, I will be surrounded by my friends and family, on whom I can lean. This fact does not elude me because during my four years at Georgetown I participated in numerous groups and met a countless number of people who have all lived unique and special lives. They were always willing to share their experiences and I tried to be a thirsty sponge and absorb everything they had to offer.

As I look forward, I am filled with hope and promise. That sounds cliché, and it may be to some, but there are few times in life where you can be truly filled with these feelings and know that there is only opportunity awaiting you. Graduating college is perhaps the ultimate moment of hope and promise. I know that that is true for me as I prepare to start law school, not knowing what the future holds.

Tonight I attended a forum on the lack of compromise and bipartisanship in Congress moderated by Sam Donaldson and highlighted by Cokie Roberts. She has an incredible insider’s perspective on how national legislative politics have broken down in the past 50 years. Her stories and insights paint a bleak picture of American politics and strip any hope one can have about Republicans and Democrats working together in the near future. However, the event ended with a number of awards given to current and former, young and old, New Mexican politicians who are well known for their efforts to collaborate with members of the opposite party to benefit the state and in one case, the nation. Their stories provide hope and promise that there one day can be change for the better and a resurgence of American politics for the greater social good. I think I put it best when in conversation I described Congress today as having no respect for the marketplace of ideas, a philosophical concept that the more we share ideas the better it is individually and for the collective good. It’s sad, but currently that isn’t the case.

What gave me hope and promise from the evening was the politicians and individuals who filled the auditorium and regularly put aside their differences to better New Mexico. After law school I will put my degree to good use and practice law, where, I don’t know. There is no point in denying it, but part of me tonight contemplated what it would be like to return to New Mexico and become involved in state politics. It doesn’t help any that a family friend described my attire as looking “practically political”. I don’t know what my future holds, but I am hopeful for its promise.

I’m not a writer or even someone who pretends that others really care about what they have to say, so why in hell am I creating a blog? I am creating this blog because I want an avenue to express my life in law school and hope that what I go through and how I learn from it can benefit others. I have my reservations about doing this and am sure there will be doubters and this may simply turn out to be a flop, but I have hope, and am praying, that it will turn into something good. That’s where you come in. If this blog interests you become an active reader and pass it on to friends. My plan is to write at a minimum once a week on average, but I hope to be more active than that depending on my schedule and work load.

Right now, I have two months and a few days before I will move from Albuquerque, NM to Miami, FL and begin law school orientation. I hope you won’t be remiss that my posts over the next two months will have little to do with law school and instead with my life and my law school preparations. I wish all of you the best of luck and I hope you enjoyed my first post.