Another Year

Taken by Lisa Teso. Visit

As I reflect over the past year on this, the eve of my 34th birthday, it feels as though little has changed. On the surface, it hasn’t. Laura is still in school. Amelia is still in preschool. And I am still not working full-time.

At first, not being a lawyer was pretty rough. Then doing interview after interview without finding the right fit began to take its toll. Ultimately, we’ve been able to manage, thanks to Laura’s hard work and my learning a few new things along the way. It hasn’t been easy, but changing my outlook was probably one huge turning point.

Rather than viewing the past few years as challenging and getting ever more frustrated, I began to look at them as a gift we would not otherwise have had.

We’ve been given the gift of time.

Time with each other. Time to ride my bike. Time to work when and how we can do so effectively. Time to learn and share and do all the things we wanted to, but never could. Time to be creative and collaborate or volunteer and be involved in our community.

If I had passed the Bar Exam and taken the job with the Public Defenders’ office, I would not have had all of this time spent with Amelia. We would be better off financially, but at what cost?

My inability to create and implement any sort of five- or ten-year plan is partially to blame. But making the most of it has been a critical part of the journey. Taking the time to practice writing and learning from my mistakes is one way I’ve not let the journey be wasted.

This past year, I saw New Orleans again, and visited Puerto Rico for the first time. I got married. My daughter turned 3(!). I got to see lots of old friends over the past year, and have been lucky enough to make new friends along the way. From my grandparents to my cousins, my family is mostly healthy, but we’re all still here.

I don’t know what the dawning of my next year holds, but I know joy cometh in the morning…