When I was little this question was easy to answer. Even in high school when I realized there were other things I was interested in I always thought I would be a lawyer. And being the planner I am I had it all figured out: 2 year paralegal degree start in a law office and continue school. Attend William Mitchell and right the injustices of the world. Bonus if my law firm would pay for law school.
I am happy to report I have a 2 year paralegal degree and it’s has never been used. And I have no intent to use it as a paralegal or lawyer. Yes I use it the knowledge is useful but not as I intended.
So what happened? I dedicated my extra curricular time and energy to mock trial in high school, I took electives that were designed to teach about the criminal justice system. I took the classes required for the 2 year degree and I interned.
So what the hell happened?
I understood the system and it’s nuances and it lost just a little bit of its beauty. At the same time I started a passionate love affair with the community pharmacy in my city. I loved working in that environment and helping people in whatever way I was able. A kind word, a vicious fight with the insurance, clarifying phone calls to the dr – you name it. Sure it wasn’t all great but being a tech in conjunction with my newfound detest for the legal justice system broke my dreams.
I don’t know when I decided I wanted to be a lawyer but when I didn’t want to pursue that any longer I sort of lost my identity and competency.
You might be wondering where I landed and if you know me you might be wondering when I will ‘grow up and get my shit together’?
The answer to both those questions has been hard to answer. By all means I have a grown up job and my husband and I pay our bills and provide for our beautiful and amazing daughter all that we can. So I have ‘grown up’. My question for you is why does growing up mean loosing your dreams and no longer pursuing them?
Where I am now is confused and afraid. What if my aspirations are too big? What if you think they are dumb? And what if I never prove you wrong? I recently had a change of heart and behavior. It doesn’t actually matter what you think or want for my life – it matters what I want.
I want my daughter to know there are lots of ways to make a living but only one way to be happy. I want her to grow up knowing she should be true to herself, the rest of the world be damned.
In my perfect life? I would be super woman. I would have 5 children and a successful career and a well respected doctor or other healthcare provider. I would know how to see beautiful garments of my own design and I would have authored at least 1 book.
Retirement would be as big a decision as a career change because I passionately love what I do. It would likely be semiretirement in reality as opposed to something I longingly hope for. I am not afraid of hard work, sacrifice, or dedication. And if life is a terminal condition why shouldn’t I enjoy it while I have it.
I am still not likely to willingly share my hopes and dreams with you if you know me. But expect to see great changes and if you feel like warning me about the struggles or possible failures – ask yourself two things: so what, would it be better if I died not trying? And what would you have done/seen/been had you not listened to that little voice inside your head telling you it was too scary or hard or risky?
Remember my friends, you live risk everyday – life is risky.