Little girls play dress up. They find their mommy’s shoes and clothes and adorn themselves in jewellery fit for princesses. When I was a little girl, I played law firm. My cousins, the trusty playmates that they were always went along with the games but never without whining a little about why we can’t just play house. In spite of that, they let me have my way, which to be fair was probably because I was the eldest and I usually got my way. The playhouse was turned into the law firm and they became my clients. When other little girls were asked the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” they usually answered along the lines of “teacher” or “nurse”. Not me though. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer.
The problem with starting your life out knowing where you’re going is that in the event it doesn’t work out, you can end up feeling lost and hopeless. I did all the right things in high school. worked hard, extra mural activities all so that I would be accepted to law school. When I was, I was thrilled.
Not long after the acceptance arrived, my relationship with my first love started to fall apart. It ended with a big messy breakup and a broken heart. Mine, not his. My father, not knowing how best to handle the situation decided to do what he thought was the only solution to this problem. Send me as far away from the problem as possible.
The problem with this, was that of the two universities I had applied to, only one had accepted me into the direct law stream. In any event it was decided that a BA degree that could lead into a law degree was the solution to this dilemma. Choosing to take this option was not one that I took lying down. I wanted to attend University and if that meant I had to give up my first and only lifelong choice then so be it. I would find my way to back to law. I had no choice but to leave my broken heart in pieces and move to a new country, a new city and begin my new degree. I chose to attend university regardless of what that meant. I chose to become someone. Whoever that meant. I chose me.
The story doesn’t end here, just this post. I promise to tell you what happened next but I will say for now, that this was the first step in learning to choose me and to put myself first. It’s a valuable lesson. Even if you don’t always know it at first.