The truth is, no one will be at this graduation. They’ll comment on your Facebook, but that’s the extent of it.
The truth is, when you walk across that stage, it’s only for you. And that has to be enough.
You decided, four years ago, to go to law school. To literally sacrifice years of your life so that your talents can be best utilized. To sit alone in a windowless room, memorizing archaic rules from the 1800’s to the satisfaction of law professors. To go to class everyday only to learn to hate the sound of your own name and encounter egos larger than you had ever imagined. To come face to face with the absolute reality that you are not smarter than anyone else here. It’s hard, friendless, and you’ll travel through three states before it’s over.
You thought about how exciting it would be, to be the only person in your family to have a law degree. To have your still living great grandparents be proud of what they made possible. The truth is, the only thought they’ll give to you is that they think you’re talking to someone you shouldn’t be at your sister’s wedding. Your YOUNGER sister’s wedding. The shame.
When you see how proud they are of your brother, who stayed in that small town, who graduated high school at the same time that you graduated law school, it will hurt. Not because of what he did, but because he’s valued more because he stayed, and will stay. Because he’s a man. Because you’ve been a part of this family longer than he has, but not at all. Because you left. Because you’re 27, unmarried, and childless. In this culture, in small town west Texas, that’s the biggest offense.
You know better. You know you made the right decision. And when you walked across the stage, it was enough. Just for you. That everything you learned was hard, but worth it. That you couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Still a tiny bit of you wishes that you could have both. That you could chase what you’re meant for and still have the approval of your family. The truth is you can’t. The truth is, you’ve made your choice and you have to be happy with it.