I have not written because I did not want to fess up. Patience may be a virtue, but pride is one stronger and I hold my ego tighter than I do my words.
I have been counseled to give that up. If personal failure requires a healing process, this is the next step of my journey: making amends, coming clean, public acceptance of my flaws.
So here: I won’t be going to law school next year. Even seeing that statement now, weeks after my decision to defer for another year, makes me flush red. I have heard lately in refrain that shame is a powerful motivator— a statement that rings true for my life right now. I almost let that shame come between me and my mental health, between me and my future. This is (one of) the final steps of learning to let it go. It’s the very end of the year. It’s time.
I believe strongly in fate; in a destiny that keeps us moving toward moments that we’re meant to find the next little piece of ourselves in some pre-determined existence. It’s the only reason I can think of for meeting my best friend by pure magic, the only way I can deal with personal failures before learning to move on ahead. I’m not naive enough to think that fate led me to wait another year before going back to school, but I know that sometimes, things work out in the way they should. I’m breathing through it until it makes sense again.
I’m 22 years old and if I try too hard to push life to perfection right now, I’ll never get it right. Planning is good, scheduling is wise and valuable, but learning to live beyond those ideas may be what this year is all about for me. I am not my failure, life does not adhere to rigorous detailing,and options exist beyond my current reality. That, and breathing are my new mantras. In and out. In and out.
I still have my friends, my family and my intelligence. I have my passion! The force that led me to seek out law school in the first place, and another virtue that I refuse to stifle in the days between my dream and making it a reality. I have my boyfriend, who isn’t as much a decision but a concrete part of my life now— a man who’s presence I feel daily, without pressure or agenda. I hear so many people complaining about being single, talking about other people getting married is somehow more difficult than choosing a pair of socks that match. I’m not ready for marriage, but I know that my socks can take minutes longer to piece together than the time it would take to wake up and consider my relationship: it is merely a fact, a detail that requires no thought or consideration in the hazy morning hour I spend getting dressed for the day. Socks require a decision. He does not.
I still have my stress-baking and my mentors and a resume that, to be frank, kicks ass. I worked hard through school and it shows there, detailing 2-3 concurrent jobs that, despite this setback, will still be there on paper in a year when I decide to send in my applications. I have all of these things and if I don’t yet have law school, it’s going to be okay. It will be okay. I’ll learn this lesson, along with all of the others that maturing and school and graduation have taught me, and I will come out better for it.
So now, I sink back into my endless purgatory. I bounce from recruitment website to LinkedIn and back again, searching for a job that might fill my sense of purposelessness while I search for whatever comes next. I’m too full of self-discovery right now, alone for so many months in my childhood home that I’ve started to forget what independence is like. I had the time to paint my teenage-bedroom walls from bubblegum pink to gray, trying to escape the reminder that I once spent every night in that room as a little girl. Lying in bed at night, I can’t escape the feeling that it’s not any different.
This was not the year that changed me, but it was the one I muddled through to the end. Now, to find a job, live on my own again, recover mentally from a test and a process of applications to schools that led to too many breakdowns and nightmares. It marks the end of a long battle with my pride and my mind. I might not be where I wanted to be, but I would tell anyone who will listen that I won the war I went through this year anyway.
And so on to 2015, to the same goals and dreams but with a different mindset and spirit. And, for all of you, a Happy New Year and all of my wishes that you can learn to let go of your failings with me, that you can continue to dream and to hope for things that you may not have grasped yet, and for good friends and loving significant others and wonderful family that will keep you happy even when everything else isn’t as you had wanted it to be. Cheers.