No One Prepared Me for THIS!
As a fresh law school graduate who is knee deep in debt and shielding herself from the hail storm that consists of “What’s next?“ and “What’s your plan?“, I have a strong middle finger towards society who promotes higher learning without placing emphasis on resources that truly prepare us for the life stuff. By no means am I complaining, I mean…I am a 24 year old lawyer! I am full of gratitude, but am I the only millennial in these corporate or “powerful“ spaces who wonder “Who let me in here?!“ There is this space between being a young, knowledgeable, well-trained professional and a young baby bird who has been pushed out of the structured nest. That space is what this post is all about. In an effort to empower myself and others in a similar transition, this is a short list of things that I feel totally unprepared for with a sprinkle of the epiphanies I’ve had since stepping into my new level of freedom. Enjoy. I hope you receive this post as a warm hug and tangible evidence that you are not alone:
Authority: Often times, my desire to want to do life and all things the “right way“ stifles my ability to lead. I rely heavily on instructions, which reinforces my fear to trust myself and the tools I have acquired. I have the authority to make my own rules and design my life based on my vision. Considering the direction my life is taking, I cannot afford to operate out of fear or wait for other people’s instruction on how to do this thing. I have also had to coach myself to step out of the roles of an employee and a student reporting to lecture. Being an entrepreneur is forcing me to speak up in ways I’ve either never had to or was never allowed, which makes me more proactive in the workings of my business.
Dreaming Without Limits: I did not grow up daydreaming or using my imagination to explore beyond what my eyes could see and ears could hear. I am a planner. I need the facts. I need a blueprint for all of my decisions. These are great qualities for a lawyer who is strategically planning a defense. They are also great when it is time to execute. However, not allowing my mind to wander and dream stifles my creativity. I have chosen not to take the traditional path of working in a corporate setting, which means I need to allow myself to dream and allow ideas to flow. School did not teach me to dream, it taught me to focus on and analyze what has already been placed before me. So, the last few months of my life has been spent parenting my inner child and slowly allowing her imagination to run free while I take steps to map out the ideas. It is tough and scary and excruciating, but necessary.
Faith Activation: This bleeds heavily into the previous concept. I identify as Christian, but faith is not limited to the confines of religion. Faith is the belief that life is always working for you; no matter the twists or turns it takes. I have had to grow significantly in my faith. Having faith that I studied hard enough for an exam is quite different from having faith that I am good enough to step into these spaces where my voice, thoughts, and opinions carry more weight than ever before…faith that I am making the right decision in being non-traditional in my career choices…faith that I have the guts to make a life for myself without relying on my allowance from my parents. I am terrified. I cry at night and I have to hug myself throughout the day, but I have to collect my lessons and press on. I have to take leaps and trust that no matter the outcome, I am divinely supported.
This post is not just for new graduates, it is also for the people who are in this space of “I have no idea what I am doing.“ It is hard. It is scary. There is no blueprint. Though these may seem like reasons to run for the hills, these are also the very reasons that life is so freaking cool. You get to make it up as you go while using so many incredible tools. With the internet, books, people, and self-power, ANYTHING is possible. We just have to reset, adjust, dig in our toolkit and get to creating.