I Hope.


It just sort of hit me. We’re coming up on our year anniversary of being completely isolated from our family, from our community, from everything and everyone except just us. When I say we haven’t broken our bubble, I mean it. No family or friends in or out. No trips to the grocery store or pharmacy—not a single one. Everything has been delivered, no contact. The first building I entered since last March 4 was the Covid vaccination clinic for my first shot.

At this point, I have the hope of one (1) semester of law school in-person before I graduate. One. I spend 70+ hours a week alone at that desk. Learning the law is a hard thing, and I knew that when I took it on. But I didn’t imagine doing it in complete isolation. Unless I get cold-called in class, I don’t get to talk about the law with anyone. Jon’s wonderful, but he doesn’t care about constraints on federal jurisdiction, or whether a drug dog alerting at a traffic stop is a “search” under the 4th Amendment. I haven’t been in a library since February of last year, when I left school for spring break. I didn’t know I wouldn’t be back. No study groups. No libraries. No carrels and talking with the research specialists, no chatting in the hallways about the latest Supreme Court decisions. Nothing. Just me, reading alone and doing my damndest in a vacuum.

(Listen, I know I am privileged and fortunate. I have secure housing, enough to eat, and a space of my own. I can know all that, and also—because humans are social animals—feel really lonely and sad now and then. Today is one of those times.)

I’m in upper division classes now, and these are the smaller types of classes that really benefit from in-person interaction and lively discussion and exchange of ideas. But all the upper division students are remote at my law school so the 1Ls can be in-person safely. Knock on wood, strict protocols have thus far yeilded zero Covid cases at my law school. And I get that the hell that is 1L should get priority. But it takes a lot more effort and time for me to get concepts to stick and to remember things doing this alone remotely.

I know a whole lot of people are running into similar walls of fatigue and sadness right now. Even our isolation-exhaustion appears to be somewhat collective. We just can’t help it. We need each other. It’s been a very hard year for so many people. We have lost so many. We can’t even really grieve yet. And so we wait.

The family in my house is mostly fine. We have the usual ups and downs, and if we are doing anything well, its that we are learning how to really support each other through rough days, and enjoy the moments where there is laughter and goodness. I deeply and truly like these humans, and this is a very good thing. Our extended family has experienced some loss and difficulty, but again, this is literally everyone right now. There is nothing about our losses unique right now.

The good news is that both our parents have had their first dose of vaccine—Jon’s in Utah, and mine in California. Many other family members and friends are still waiting and hoping. We sure would like to see them again someday.

I hope you are well, whenever and wherever this finds you. I hope your losses have been bearable, and that the hope outweighs the heartache. I hope spring brings relief and vaccines and the arms of friends. I hope you are well. I hope.

4 thoughts on “I Hope.

  1. First, I love the photo with the cat babies.
    Hope – it is such a fleeting feeling at times, yet one we cling to. Especially now. It is my hope that you are given the things you hope for – peace in your home, the ability to learn law school at a distance, continued health for you and your family, sleep, etc.
    As you wrote, it has been an unexpected – and tough year – not one anyone would have imagined or hoped for. I am grateful that after 6 months apart, our family was able to be back together. I am grateful that because of school size and precautions, our kids are able to mostly go to school. I am grateful that the test given to Alex yesterday for Covid was negative – doesn’t change that she has bronchitis, but it isn’t worse. I am grateful that even though John cannot telework well (computer systems like hands on, crazy!), I have been teleworking for almost a year and will for the foreseeable future. We take the good with the bad – counting our blessing – hoping for our turn at vaccinations, and deep breaths in the sadness.
    Continued prayers my dear friend.

    • Kellie, I am glad you are mostly safe and sound and everyone is together-and that you can work remotely. As hard as it is to be remote for everything, I am also grateful that we have that option. Yay for negative covid tests, may they all be so. Sending love.

  2. Sending happy study thoughts with hope and cheer. I’ve been very discouraged lately with the pandemic and reading someone else’s feelings that mirror my own was strangely comforting. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you so much, Sarah. I think nearly everyone is hitting the wall right now. Its like we have just exhausted ourselves and our muscles are giving out. I know we have to keep going anyway, and I have no doubt we will. But holy cow, its hard some days. I am glad you found some comfort here.

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