Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tough love

I've been told more than once that sometimes my tough love is too tough and I need to be more comforting. I try to remember that. But it's hard for me. Tough love is what I used to get myself through the hardest times in my life. I had to pick myself up and dust off and get back out there, more than once. It's what I'm doing right now.

I believe that it's not "going to be ok." You have to make it be ok. Making it all be ok is hard. Nothing in my life has come easy. Maybe for some people things come easy. But not for this brown girl. And there seems to be a misperception about that. For example, this week has been a week of getting to know my new co-workers. During one conversation I told them I was Native American and one guy said, "Oh, you must've had your pick of schools to go to." Um, no. Don't get me wrong, I played the "race card" and got no where. Nor did I get a full scholarship to anywhere. And I've been asked that my whole life. Why do people think that because I'm Native American, I was handed a free education? And when I correct them, there is always the follow up story of the "buddy who is 1/10th Native American that got a full ride scholarship." Yay. Great for him.  I don't know how mathematically one gets to be 1/10th. You're full-blood, 1/2, 1/4 and so on. But then again, I'm a lawyer, I don't do math.

I don't want to sound bitter. I'm not. But I do have to work at living my life for me and being happy for me. I have a bad habit of comparing my life to others around me. If that's something you do too, stop it. It is unfair to yourself and your significant other. If you don't like something about your life or you want something, develop a plan. Work on it everyday. If you fall down, don't let it break you. Get up. Try again.

I'll tell you one little story about that. I was studying for the LSAT, the test that everyone has to take if they want to apply to law school. I had no idea what I was doing. I graduated from college a few years earlier so I didn't have an advisor or counselor to give me advice or suggestions along the way. I self-studied for the LSAT, took the test and got a mediocre score. I learned enough from my online research that I needed a much higher score to get into a really good school, and about 10 more points to get into most good law schools. That was going to be a feat. I applied to schools and been rejected to all but one, and even that one was just a wait list. I was eventually rejected. So then I dropped a couple grand on a prep class. Studied for another summer and took the LSAT again. Well, my score did not improve. Now what do I do? I reevaluated my ability to go to law school and I applied to schools that might consider a score like mine. They are what are called "third-tier law schools." Rankings. Anyways. I worked really hard on writing the best resume and personal statement that I could. That year I received offers from 4 schools with scholarships from 2.

During this whole process, I developed a plan. I reminded myself of it every single day. I wrote it down on a note card. Something simple like, "I will go to law school." I carried that note card in my pocket or in my purse everyday. Reminding yourself of your goal everyday makes you work at it everyday. It changes your behavior and you develop a habit. That is how you achieve what you want.

One more piece of advice for those of you who are thinking about going to law school in this economy. Don't go unless it is truly a passion, truly something you desire to do. If you are thinking about going just because you think you should get a professional degree, think twice, do your research. The costs are sky-high and the market is saturated with lawyers looking for a job. The investment may not pay-off.

That is all.

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