Things I haven't said out loud

Five days before my law school finals my mother called me at 8 a.m.

She told me my two younger cousins, my father’s nephews, my uncle’s two sons, the two younger kiddos always running after us the big kids, had been shot and killed in Ciudad Juarez. I spent that night sleeping in the library because I didn’t want to go home. I knew I would never come back if I did.

Three days before finals I walked into my carrels, had a panic attack, held on to my law school friend as I wept, and watched their funeral on Facebook. I wasn’t there.

That night I wrote my statutory interpretation law final through tears and gasps and guilt. I wasn’t there.

I took five finals. After the last one I went out to a very public basketball game because I needed an excuse to keep pushing the pain back and when I was finally home I wailed.

Why am I telling you?? Because I almost gave up. I almost said that this wasn’t as important. This year I made two A’s, a B+, and some B’s. But this year I didn’t care HOW I made it through…. I just wanted to MAKE it through.

Success looks different for everyone. Behind every cute picture and funny post there is a real life. But, I didn’t stop. I didn’t give up. I let it hurt and I stood up and kept walking and reading and typing because that’s what you do… you keep going. Sometimes you fall, either into someone’s arms or into empty space at 3 a.m in the library on top of a computer keyboard and a million practice tests, but what matters is if you get up, if you crawl your way out…

What matters is that you WANT to crawl out of pain and keep living. That’s why I’m telling you this, because I need you to WANT to crawl out of it. Thank you for being my support through this without knowing it. Thank you.


This ofrenda was constructed in remembrance of women killed along the Texas/Mexico border. There is one sugar skull for every women who has been found dead. Each skull has the name of one woman killed in the Juarez, Mexico area. Little has been done to stop the carnage. The installation was presented at Dia de los Muertos in 2006 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Animated stereoscopic photographs of two Americans boxing in an outdoor ring near Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, c. 1900-1905. By Charles C. Pierce.

Source: University of Southern California.