“Hi, long time no talk. How have you been?”
The email began innocuously enough. Standard how’ve-you-been stuff. But I should have seen the next sentence coming, since she works for a law firm here in Chi-town.
“Are you anxious to get the results this week?”
That’s right. The Results. The scores/results I’ve tried not to think about the last eight weeks. The ones which determine just what the hell I’m going to do with my life.
Oh, it wasn’t unexpected. I’d heard on Thursday that the results were supposed to be posted on the web within a week. And that started a rumbling in my stomach – the rumbling of nausea and nerves. I began to shake.
“I’m not going to think about that,” I told my friend on Thursday. “I’m going to just put it out of my mind, or else I’ll think about it all week. And what if the rumors aren’t true? What if the results aren’t posted? What then?”
“I don’t want to know,” she said. “I know I failed.”
“Neither do I,” the third member of our party chimed in. “I kind of like the not knowing.”
“I like ignorance,” I replied. “Not knowing means I haven’t failed. I haven’t passed, but I haven’t failed, either. I can’t be judged, because the jury is out. Until those results come out, I’m a lawyer. If I failed, I’m nothing. I’m back to square one, running from a clock, and trying to figure out what to do.”
What’s worse? The pressure of knowing the end is near? Or the thought of how will I break it to people if I fail? I can see it now:
Friend/Relative/Network Contact (with hopeful look in their eye): “Did you get your bar results? How did you do?”
Me: “Uhhh…..I did. I didn’t pass.”
Friend/Relative/Network Contact (casting their eyes away from my gaze): “Oh.”
And at that point, I’ll get asked if I’m going to take it again, or what I plan to do now that I failed one of the most important tests of my life. Either way, I’ll be a little lower in their eyes. After all, my friend Mark is convinced that the Bar Exam is easier than the CPA exam, and since I passed that, I should be able to pass the bar. Right?
So here I sit, waiting out the days until the results are posted. I won’t go there and look but I’m sure some ex-classmate will call, excited that they passed, and ask the dreaded question: “Did you pass?”
And then I’ll have to know. And I’m afraid I won’t be happy.