Being your own person can be liberating and scary at the same time. The scary part is the lingering doubts. What happens if you don’t conform, take the safe route, do what’s expected? But that still pales in comparison to owning who you are and what you want. I realize that I’ve spent a lot of my life tip toeing around, trying not to make a fuss, and giving people what I thought they wanted while internally freaking out. I know now that a few things would have turned out differently if I had stood my ground and been more assertive from the start. But everything is a lesson, right?
I’m learning even more as President of my law school’s BLSA chapter. I took the position not just because I needed the resume boost, but because I knew I usually avoid visible leadership positions and I would learn a lot. Lately there have been some murmurings about a few folks finding me unapproachable and “hostile”. A couple years ago I would have either a) bent over backwards trying to seem friendlier and lost sleep over it; or b) dug in my heels and acted purposely ornery (as a Capricorn, I tend toward the ornery). This time? I did a gut check with my friends and laughed it off. You can’t please everybody, and I make a very conscious effort to be personable despite my desire to spend most of my time alone. Some folks are just over sensitive and I don’t have to internalize their issues. Their problem does not have to become my problem. How freeing is that?
My 3L year is also the test of me breaking away from the law school crowd, for real for real. There are networking events left and right but I’m holding myself above the frenzy. I choose very selectively where I do and don’t go based on who I want to meet, what I need to do, what I want to do, and how I feel. Tomorrow there is an alumni cocktail mixer but I won’t make it because I don’t want to use another skip day in class to beat the traffic and also–I just don’t feel up to it. It’s been a very busy, trying week for me so I know I don’t have the energy to “sparkle” in a room filled with 100+ people. However, next week I am volunteering at a community law clinic hosted by someone who has had a very nontraditional career path and also happens to be a graduate of my undergrad alma mater. I’m hoping to cultivate her as a mentor and I know that in that smaller setting, we’ll have a chance for productive conversation.
So, I’m being very deliberate and trusting that God will put the right opportunities and people in my path. Every event I’ve gone to where I made real connections, I was either more excited than nervous or I just had a feeling that I needed to get over my reluctance. I’m not getting that feeling about the event tomorrow so I don’t feel bad about not going. You know what else I don’t feel bad about? Taking the February 2014 bar exam. I’m so sick to death of law school and everything related to it. I just don’t see myself settling in for 6 weeks of law school on steroids a week after graduation. My mind is totally on getting married and finding a non-law job and I don’t do anything half-assed if I don’t absolutely have to. A 6 month delay won’t mean anything in the long run.
This right here is MY life and I won’t live anyone else’s.