Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bound for Santa Fe

Thank you all so much for your good wishes last week! It appears that all the positive energy we generated broke the internet (or at least broke blogger; most of your comments are gone, but I remember them in my heart!) for a few hours. When I got to work on Thursday morning I was still incandescently happy. I was wearing a bright yellow silk top and couldn't stop smiling, even as I dragged myself in two hours early after four hours of sleep to complete a truly awful assignment. I really had no idea how much all of this had been weighing on me. I knew how badly I hurt for JP and how much I wanted him to get good news, but the minute I realized we'd have another income, that it wouldn't all be on me, that I could have options and choices in the foreseeable future, it was like a 100 lb. weight was lifted from my shoulders. For the first time in months I fell asleep the moment I got in bed, with visions of shrinking grad school debt dancing in my head.

The happiness lasted even as I got staffed on another case- an interesting but crazy complicated tax case- and my already busy Thursday hit a whole new level of slammed. You see, I was flying out of town at 7 a.m. Friday morning to enjoy a reunion with three of my very best law school friends in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We'd planned the trip months ago, randomly picking a city where none of us had ever been to meet from our separate corners of the U.S. - Austin, NYC, DC, and Chicago. I hadn't made this known to many of the I work with. Friday is usually a slow day with lots of absences, so I was going to get all my work done Thursday night and then fly out under the radar Friday morning. But thanks to a whole slew of new assignments, most of which were given on the assumption I could work all weekend, I had to throw down boundaries all over the place and promise to get everything done either Thursday night or by Monday morning. I stayed up very, very late Thursday, packing my suitcase well after midnight, and I'll be up very late tonight, but it was totally worth it.

We converged in the Albuquerque airport at noon, rented a car, and drove out to Santa Fe. The views from the highway were just beautiful and so different from anywhere we'd been before. We talked a mile a minute, catching up on each other's lives, not at all surprised that it was like we'd just seen each other last week instead of many months ago. I've been blessed with some great friends in my life, but there's something really special about the women I became so close to in law school. They helped me through 1L, through Landon's time in the NICU, through our nightmare- they volunteered to babysit, they slept on the floor as DCFS safety persons, they threw me the most amazing baby shower I've ever attended-- and now with all of us as junior associates at large law firms, coming to terms with everything we'd hoped being a lawyer would be and everything it actually is, no one understands certain aspects of me like they do. Not my family and not even JP. Our conversations jump widely from high brow authors (I'm rather quiet for that part), to our 401k's, to sex (I have more to say here), to our secret fears about our careers and where they're going- I feel like we can cover topics I can't fully discuss with anyone else.

In between all the talking, we explored Santa Fe, indulged in an evening at an outdoor spa under the stars, toured art galleries, drove to Taos, roamed an ancient Pueblo, bought jewelry, drank four bottles of wine, and repeatedly impressed waitors with the amount of Mexican food four skinny women could consume. I missed the kids a lot. I don't give up weekends with them lightly, but it was a wonderful, rejuvenating 48 hours.

I'm paying for it now as I open up half-finished drafts of documents due tomorrow, but I'm already thinking of ideas for our trip in 2012!


  1. More yay! I wish I had girlfriends like that.

  2. Hi! I'm a married UChicago 2L thinking about the right time to have a baby, so your blog is of great interest to me. Thank you for making it public - it is such a beautiful read and a great source of information! I had just attended a lunch talk about work/life balance at law firms and sat myself down to work on a long paper at the library when I came across your May 13, 2008 post and recognized it as the same table that I'm sitting at! Anyway, thought that was interesting and thought I would share.

  3. haha, that's awesome! Good luck on your paper and baby plans!

  4. Great cities to visit:

    San Diego
    Charleston, SC
    Asheville, NC
    San Juan, PR

  5. Jessica, Seattle is at the top of my list! We actually almost moved there this month. I didn't blog about it, but JP made it through 3 rounds of interviews for a really awesome job in Seattle. In the end he didn't get it, which was probably good, but I admit I was a little disappointed we wouldn't be starting an exciting new adventure in a whole new area of the US.

    And Vancouver, Savannah, and Charleston were all cities we talked about at breakfast the last day!

  6. Honestly, I like portland better than seattle. much more accessible in a weekend. but go in the spring/summer!

    also, have you seen sheryl sandburg's graduation speech?