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Just because you're good at something doesn't mean you should stick with it, and just because you struggle with something doesn't mean you should quit.
I didn’t always have a blog and write. At one time I wanted to be an attorney. So, right after undergrad, I went to law school.
I was awful at law school, but knew I would make an amazing attorney. I didn't quit law school for a laundry list of reasons; many based on what others would think. One I heard was, "You now have 6 figures of debt. Don't you need a 6 figure job to pay it off?" In my limited thinking I thought that meant only by using my legal education could I earn enough.
Another reason I told myself was if I didn't complete my law program I wouldn't have the label of attorney, but have the label of a dropout and a quitter. I somehow thought more highly of the label and pedigree and what others would think than my own happiness.
One that I heard constantly from others was that law school was supposed to be hard. I was just struggling because this was the time I was truly being pushed - yes and no. My experience was different than my peers because I internalized my hardships. I held on to my disappointments and let them eat me on the inside, while I continued to put on a face that everything was fine. Law school was a challenging experience but was also more challenging because I slipped into a deep depression.
My negative internal self dialogue was only confirmed and highlighted when I began to hear negative unsupportive feedback. It confirmed my belief that I was unworthy of being in law school.
I didn't quit law school because I talked myself out of it over and over again - always thinking about what others would think. My priorities weren't on track. So, when I was depressed and truly suffering, I muddled through. I worried more about pedigree, what others thought, and the mass amount of debt I had accumulated than my own well being.
My depression in law school was a breaking point for me. It was a time of sadness and loneliness. Only now looking back can I see that it was a culmination of doing what I thought I should do versus what I truly wanted to do that led me there. The continuous internal struggle caused me to beat myself up over my so called failures (a poor first semester) that led to continuous self loathing and destructive habits.
I describe my situation not to gain sympathy but to show understanding. I went to law school because I thought it was the right next step in my life. But, really, I needed to be lost for awhile and figure out my wants, desires, and who I really was. The path to law school and after may seem long, but it was needed for me to confront who I am and what want to be.
I have spent time, energy, money, and my emotional stability on a path that didn't align with my true purpose and desires. I am a licensed attorney with no desire to practice law. With help from a life coach I was able to stop with my internal dialogue and begin to actually listen to what I wanted and needed.