This past weekend was Admitted Students Weekend for the law school. It brought to mind a memory from my experience at ASW last year.
After a very full day of activities, the law school had scheduled a deep dish pizza dinner at Gino’s East in downtown. Buses pulled up in front of the school and admits piled in. Somehow, I ended up with sitting by myself, next to the window. As the bus headed up Lakeshore Drive, I heard the chatter of excited admits all around me, including some unfortunate smack talk regarding Chicago sports teams. Yet I felt distant and disconnected. I was tired and worn out from a busy day, but I knew that what I was feeling went beyond simple introversion. Old insecurities were welling up within me, a familiar sense of not belonging. “You don’t belong here. You don’t belong with these people. You will never find the acceptance and connection that you want. You don’t deserve it.” It stunk.
However, I have lived long enough with these destructive beliefs to know how to respond. I told myself “Stop it. Don’t sit here in your self-pity and foolish thinking. Don’t wait for someone else to fix it. Make a connection!” I slid over to the other seat and said hello to the person across the aisle. That is how I met WuDi Wu and Amy Upshaw, two people that I honor and appreciate greatly.
I still have those same feelings insecurity from time to time. There are days when I walk through school and the same familiar lies come at me: “You don’t belong here. No one wants you here. Leave.” Yet I am thankful for a truth that is stronger than my insecurity, that carries me even when I feel weak.
Oh, and the pizza was pretty good (although I enjoyed Zachary’s in Berkeley and Oakland more. Yay Bay Area!)