Memory Box Monday

Posted on | April 19, 2010 | 18 Comments

Forgive me for “waxing philosophical” for a bit. This is, after all, my blog. I can do what I want, right? 🙂
This weekend I had to pull out my massive box of old pictures to pour through for a … project… that shall remain nameless. I am not a good organizer so there is no rhyme or reason to the pictures, they’re just all haphazardly thrown into this giant cardboard box. Some are in albums, some are still in the sleeves they came in. They are a disaster.
I spent the better part of three hours pouring through the pictures (and a bottle of wine) and reminiscing about all the past lives I’ve lived. Because, yes, I consider them past lives. I can not seem to reconcile who I am now with who I have been over the years. Anyone else have that problem?
I feel like my whole life has consisted of trying on different personas like they were clothes or hats or shoes until I found ones that fit. But the thing is these? The ones I’m wearing now? They fit me like a glove. This is who I am. I am a mom, a wife, a dork, an attorney, and yeah, a “mommy blogger”… probably in that order. But in the past? In the past I’ve been many other things. I’ve been things I sometimes wish I couldn’t remember being.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? We’ll start in the 90’s when Law Momma was neither Law nor Momma. I was, instead… in high school. I wrote a column for the paper called “Naturally High.”Yes. You can laugh. I played basketball. I played softball. I complained a lot. I was laughingly voted “Most likely to have two good days in a row” in our Senior Superlatives. Every dance at my high school was formal and we had three a year plus a fourth when you were old enough for Prom. (or asked, but that wasn’t me.) I think I had a date to three dances in high school and at least one of those was a Sadie Hawkins dance. And Prom? I went to prom with a group of girls… no date. In fact, I didn’t have my first kiss until I was a senior in high school. On my 18th birthday, no less.

Then I moved on to college where I tried on several new identities. First, I was a bit of a party girl. Then I was well, depressed. Pretty annoyingly depressed. I joined a Christian group on campus… and then de-joined. I joined a sorority, then de-joined the sorority. I dated a few fraternity guys, then had my heart broken by one of them. I pulled hard for the basketball team. I even went to a Final Four. (where I met Kevin Costner… and then lost the picture to prove it.) I wrote for the college paper, I worked as a waitress, I brought home crappy grades, I took a few semesters off, I got mono, I cried, I laughed and then, finally, after five years, graduated. Much to my parent’s relief and possibly disbelief.
After college, I packed up my car and trekked down to Orlando, Florida. I lived there for three years and worked… well, pretty crappy jobs. I stayed up late. I danced a lot. I spent a lot of time at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. I drank a lot of beer. I ate a lot of late night hamburgers. And I dated some pretty interesting characters who will remain unnamed… and, for the most part, who I wish I could forget! In short? Orlando, for me, was another few years of college without the classes.
I worked as a waitress. I worked a brief stint at Disney World until I quit due to a misunderstanding of the word “reciprocated.” (I said if I ever fell in love it probably wouldn’t be reciprocated. My manager asked me if my boyfriend was Hispanic with a name like “reciprocated.” I could no longer work there for fear of what would happen to my intelligence.) I transitioned over to Human Resources and worked for a transportation company. It was there that I first started thinking about going back to school. I felt over-educated for the jobs I was performing and I hated it.

When I finally decided I’d had enough of that feeling, I opted to take the LSAT and see how it panned out. It panned out pretty well so I started applying to law schools. After some soul searching I realized I couldn’t stay in Orlando and get adequately prepared for law school, so I packed up again and relocated up to Richmond, Virginia, home of one of my bestest buds. I lived in an apartment just outside of Cary town. I ate a lot of Carytown Burgers and Fries. I fell in love with The Baker’s Crust. I visited a lot of bars in the Fan, and even started running every morning with my dog. I dated… no one, thankfully. And I spent a lot of time waiting on news from the various law schools I applied to, wondering where I’d end up next.

And where did I end up? Right where I was supposed to, of course, in the heart of Georgia. I went to the best damn little law school in America, in my opinion… Mercer University’s Law School.
Class size was small. The people I met were… amazing. We all liked each other. We liked… most of our teachers. I spent a lot of time in the library and studied hard. I spent a little time in the bars and partied hard. I made some of the best friends of my life. I laughed a lot. I learned so much it hurt my brain. And probably most important? I became friends with a group of girls and guys who made me feel like I was worth something. Who made me feel funny and smart and even, sometimes, pretty. And it was one of those guys who would go on to introduce me to Husband.
I was on Moot Court. I won a few oral arguments. I lost a few, too. I was Student Body Treasurer my third year. I worked summers at various law offices and wondered, yet again, where I would end up when my three years were over. I interviewed… a lot. I got rejected… even more. And eventually after taking and passing the Georgia bar exam, I got hired by the best little law firm in America. I work with some of the most laid back, funny, intelligent, awesome lawyers on the planet. They don’t mind when I have to take off time to take care of J. They don’t mind if I come in early and leave early, or come in late and leave… early. In fact, they don’t much care what I do so long as my work gets done and I make our clients happy.
So how did I really get here? How did I finally find this outfit that is totally me? I haven’t a clue. Luck I guess. Because I look at these old pictures and I can’t figure out how in the world that ridiculous looking girl managed to score a wonderful husband, a pretty stinking amazing life, and best of all? A son. I don’t get it. Anyone else have those moments? Moments where you look at your life and it’s like a Cars song and you think “How did I get here?”
One thing I know for sure is that I am thankful for every misstep I made along the way. I didn’t think I would be. When I was dumped in college by the guy I thought was my soul mate, I didn’t think I’d ever look back and think “Yes. Thank you for that.” I never thought I’d look at my time “playing” in Orlando as a real blessing and a means to finding myself. But I do. I am SO thankful for all those crazy ideas that didn’t pan out and all the bad decisions and not-so-smooth moves that lead me to the side of the road in Macon, Georgia, with a flat tire… and a funny guy with a great smile who came to help change that tire and eventually my whole life.
I can’t believe I’m as old as I am. Do I feel 32? Not on your life. I still feel 23. Or I do until I look at these old pictures and realize that at 23, I wouldn’t have come close to appreciating how amazing my life is right now. I can’t even fathom how I came to be this lucky, this blessed. I don’t deserve it, but you can bet your ass I appreciate it. All of the stupid things I’ve done in my life and I still ended up here. And here is pretty freaking phenomenal.

I’ve worn a lot of personas, a lot of different “clothes” in my lifetime but I honestly believe that the ones best suited to me come with spit up stains. They may be suits and they may be pajamas, but either way, they are stained with the love of my little boy. It really doesn’t get any better than this…..


18 Responses to “Memory Box Monday”

  1. Blair@HeirtoBlair
    April 19th, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    I love the person you are 🙂

  2. ~*Jess*~
    April 19th, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

    Very cool. Thank you for sharing 🙂 It sounds like it's been a good journey.

  3. Rebekah @ Mom-In-A-Million
    April 19th, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

    lived in Richmond too! On Grace St. in the Fan! I worked for a children's theatre on broad St. and spent my off hours at Mongrel in Carytown or that great cafe near VCU that I can't remember the name of now. Fun time!

  4. Mama Pea
    April 19th, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

    It sure is crazy how things turn out and how each little step – or misstep – along the way can have such a big impact on where you end up.

  5. Nicci
    April 19th, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

    Love this post! You are an amazing woman, it was cool seeing your journey 🙂

  6. Cybil
    April 19th, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

    What a wonderful wonderful post! I so enjoyed reading your life journey! You are an amazing woman, Mom, attorney, friend (even if we only know each other through cyber space!).

    P.S. Good Luck with your trial this week! I am sending positive thoughts your way!

  7. Sara
    April 19th, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

    Yes! I love looking back and thinking about how that girl in those pictures became me… one thing I remember my mom telling me is: embrace your mistakes, because they tell you for sure who or what you don't want for your life!

  8. MrsEAM
    April 19th, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

    Small world – I didn't think anyone else in the world knew about Mercer!

  9. Law Momma
    April 19th, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

    MrsEAM… I am a HUGE Mercer advocate! (at least the law school, anyway… don't know much about the ugrad.) How do you know Mercer?

  10. kris
    April 19th, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

    You do not need to scrapbook in the traditional way . . . this blog is all the scrapbook you will ever need! Just awesome! Thanks for sharing the memories with all of us.

  11. KLZ
    April 19th, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

    Oh, perfect.

    Put down the scrap book and stay online (unless scrapbooking leads to more list of Sweet Ass Folks_

  12. SugarPlumsMomma
    April 19th, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

    One if my best friends from UGA went on to Mercer Law – and she's an amazing attorney now!

  13. Diana
    April 19th, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

    I loved the glimpse into your past life. I would have never thought all that about you.
    (nothing bad, just different than I pictured 🙂 )

  14. Jen
    April 20th, 2010 @ 3:03 am

    Great post! I love seeing/reading these reflective posts. It lets, us the reader, see more of who you are, where you're from, what has made you who you are today. Love, Love, Love it.

  15. Momma K
    April 20th, 2010 @ 3:39 am

    Love this post…the best part is the photo of you guys at the very end. Amazing work momma!

  16. amy
    April 20th, 2010 @ 11:22 am

    naturally high? Seriously? How did i not know this tidbit??!!!
    Such a rebel, doodah 🙂

    see you and little munchkin before too long!

  17. metta1313
    April 20th, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

    Love this post! I'm thinking of "borrowing" this idea since I'm needing some post ideas since my brain is otherwise occupied these days. But seriously, love it!

  18. Jenny
    April 22nd, 2010 @ 4:43 am

    I just love this. I hope it's something you print out to make sure J has it in the future. It's full of sound wisdom.

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