By Jessica Chinnadurai • December 21, 2016•Ms. JD, Writers in Residence, Law School
Let’s face it: goodbyes are rarely good in the moment. They’re hard. They force us to change, to grow, to move on – and none of that is ever easy, no matter how necessary it might be. You’re supposed to get better at saying goodbye over time, it’s supposed to become easier the more that you do it, but I’ve found the exact opposite to be true for me. Perhaps I’ve just become a “softy” over the years, but I used to be pretty tough about goodbyes, using a very minimalist approach. I remember my swift decision in 6th grade to transfer from the public school in my hometown to the private one, without so much as a second look back. I didn’t say goodbye to a single friend I’d be leaving. I’d grown up with some of those kids since pre-school, so it really didn’t make any sense why I just moved on as if it was casual or easy. But I was a mere twelve years old and I didn’t shed a tear. I wasn’t like those kids in the movies who threw a fit and were angry at their parents for making them move or switch schools; in fact, I made the choice to do so. But looking back, my twelve year old self was probably just wise beyond my years – maybe I found the goodbyes unnecessary because I knew the change itself was actually necessary; maybe I just knew I wasn’t really leaving anything behind but rather just moving on to something new and better.
The point is, whatever is bound to happen for each of us in the next step of our lives, we should realize that even if the goodbye doesn’t seem good at the time, it will be one day.
I know you’re probably thinking “What exactly is she saying goodbye to right now?” But it usually doesn’t have to be a huge monumental occasion for me to sit down and say “goodbye.” In June I wrote about being Pensive About People because people are the most difficult to say goodbye to, no matter how, why or when they had an impact on your life. In August I wrote about The End of (Another) Chapter as I was leaving a summer job in Chicago, saying goodbye to an opportunity and a city I didn’t think I could learn more about. And now, with 2017 right around the corner, we’re all saying goodbye to the trials and tribulations of 2016. But on a simpler personal level, I just finished not only another semester but am half way through my law school career!
Lastly, as I sit here writing my last post for Ms. JD, in a sense I’m saying goodbye to something that’s been my saving grace this year. I’ve used my blog posts as a creative and emotional outlet in a way that I hope has been beneficial to my readers as well. I have been able to appreciate my own writing more, and have gotten valuable feedback from friends and family, allowing me to connect with them more over my thoughts. Just as I do with photography, constantly viewing the world through the angle of a camera, looking for the next best shot, I now approach the world and remember things people tell me and how little moments made me feel so that I can put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and never forget them. The entire experience of law school thus far has had its fair share of those moments, a full year’s worth to be exact. Some of them were good, some of them were bad – but even the bad ones will one day be good.
This past year, I’ve learned that law school truly does require you to be fearless: fearless when it comes to studying, classes, building personal and professional relationships, and pushing forward. The last one especially so because cherishing and growing from the experiences you have outside of school, which will end at one point, is what matters more. Life after law school will be full of its own unique challenges, I’m sure, but the lessons I’ve learned and continued to learn here will always help me remember that being fearless is more important than being fLAWless.