Lately, I've been busy filling out my character & fitness application for the Oklahoma bar exam, which I have to take in July. Before they even let you take the test, the people in charge have to check you out to be sure you have the "character and fitness" required to practice law. I've answered all kinds of questions so far. Have I ever been arrested? No. Have I ever defaulted on a student loan? No. Have I ever been cited for any moving violation? Errr...yes. Did you know it's a violation of a city ordinance in Fayetteville to start through an intersection after the light has already turned yellow? It's true. I made that $125 mistake in January of 2003. A citation for "careless driving" will forever blemish my otherwise perfect driving record.
Of course, the application asks for personal references. I've been asked to provide six references whom I've known for a minimum of five years. I can't be related to any of them by blood or marriage (there goes ALL the Recktenwalds -- thanks, Kirstie!), and I also can't list any previous employer because they get their own extensive question. The five-year minimum excludes everyone I met in law school and grad school, so I've had to go way back. I've asked people I used to know in high school and junior high and even pre-school to tell the bar examiners how great and sane and fit I am to practice law.
In the process of doing all this, I realized something. I am so, so terrible at keeping in touch with old friends. Most of my emails or phone calls to my references went like this: "Hi, long time no see! How are things? Big favor to ask!"
And you know what? I hate that.
So I've decided today that I'm going to add a resolution to my list a little late this year. Resolution #6: Get back in touch with old friends. Why? Because they're my friends, dang it! I know they're busy. I'm busy. I know we may not effortlessly cross paths anymore. I'm aware we have different walks of life. But good friendships are worth the work.
I know this is a little deep for a Tuesday afternoon, so I apologize. I just felt the need to share.