Thursday, May 6, 2010

on your graduation.

{on your graduation from Faulkner, 2007}

Dear Jordan,

With all the finals, last minute Bar applications, job searches, late-night house-cleaning sessions, and party preparation, I’m afraid I’ve forgotten to tell you this one very important thing:

I am so proud of you.

Law school is something I never could have done. Too many ugly textbooks and arrogant attitudes. I don’t think I could ever have survived.

But you not only survived, you thrived.

You began your career away from home, from the people who loved you, from the comfort of your beloved Alabama. And you proved to me — and everyone else — you could do it. You could start some place new, where you weren’t known as so-and-so’s grandson or so-and-so’s nephew, and you could be excellent.

Granted, you had me worried. The long distance thing wasn’t easy, and our phone calls were few and far between. You were doing your thing, and I was doing mine. When I finally came to visit, I arrived at your box of an apartment to discover you’d been living there for eight months and never opened the blinds. It was a horrifying discovery, one that I quickly amended.

That anecdote, though, proves what I have always known: You are nothing if not focused. Once your mind is set on one thing, that is where it remains.

I’ve watched you as you study some nights, books strewn about the table. You never glance up, not even when I laugh at the TV or sing funny songs in my Louis Armstrong voice. You work hard, and your grades are evidence of that.

The truth is, though, that your focus, good grades, and hard work aren’t what I am most proud of.

It is your dedication to our marriage that continues to astound me, that provides me with an example of how I should treat graduate school this fall.

You have always tried to put our marriage first.

You left a full-tuition scholarship to support my work in Tallahassee.

Each night, you work diligently to put the books away so we can go to bed at the same time. (Even though sometimes, I fall asleep waiting for you. Sorry about that.)

You watch TV and go on dates and eat dinner with me at home, all things you probably wouldn’t be doing if you were single. We both know you’d be holed up in the library, probably with the blinds closed.

Your decisions, both big and small, to put us first have not gone unnoticed.

At the moot court banquet, you didn’t really fit in; you didn’t know many people, and you weren’t great at mingling with your classmates. Part of that is because you’re just not like everyone else; we both prefer smaller, more intimate settings where we can get to know the whole of the person.

The other reason, however — and I am confident of this — is that you have chosen to invest in our marriage instead of in law school. Neither of us has worked to carve a place for ourselves into the law school culture. I think that’s okay. Instead, we’ve spent the past two years becoming better for each other, and I am so very, very grateful for that.

Don’t misunderstand, though. You have friends. You are well-liked. (That accent of yours has always worked wonders, and probably is even more effective down here, where it sticks out like Andy Griffith in the Big Apple.) You are respected for your beliefs and well-loved for your low maintenance attitude. You will go far.

Just where you will go, I don’t know.

For now, we’ve chosen to continue along the path you have set for us. We both turned down big opportunities to stay in Tallahassee. I’m praying it’s the right decision for us as a married couple. I believe God will honor that request, because He is faithful to those who are faithful to him.

And you, my husband, are faithful.

The future is foggy at the moment, and I believe it is that way for a reason. God wants our focus not out in front of us, but right where we are, right now. He wants us to relish the blessings He’s given us, the success He’s given us.

It is time to celebrate.

It is time to honor your hard work and dedication, not just in law school, but in the bigger picture of our lives.

Your graduation marks another step further into adulthood, a step I have been hesitant to take.

This law school thing was hard for me at first. Remember the t-shirt you made me (the t-shirt I think could make millions if we only invested in its success)? It was the slogan I had coined for myself your first semester: “Law school ruined my life, and I’m not even enrolled.” (Clever, I know.)

But now, three years later, I am comfortable. I like this. We have gotten good at this.

And that’s how I know it’s time.

Because just when I find contentment in my place and purpose, God moves me. To a new town, a new job, a new life stage. I suppose it’s His way of telling me that true contentment only comes from Him.

And I think He’s doing that now.

Saturday, you will graduate from law school.

We will graduate from this stage in our lives.

And together, we will embark on a new adventure.

And we will not only survive.

We will thrive.

Congratulations, graduate!


Jordan Jones said...

Nice blog. One of my faves--probably because it's about ME ME ME ME!!!

Thank YOU for all the work you've done on my party. I don't have a blog, so I'll have to just tell everyone how great you are right here. Thanks for the party--and for countless days and nights of patience while I have been a law student. You're the best wife ever!

Linds said...

I read your blog regularly and love it :) I have seen all the people you have designed blogs for.. and I love them.. how could I contact you about working on mine?

mom said...