If you’re reading this, you probably only think about me when you’re reading my blog. Unless I actually know you personally, or unless you’re a creepy stalker. But I happen to think about me a lot. I don’t think that makes me selfish necessarily, maybe just … self-centered? Or, you know, maybe just an average human who looks out for his or her own best interests. You be the judge.
Honestly, this post is primarily personally cathartic. I’m posting about more of my personal self than I thought I’d like to and pretending nobody will read this post. It’s just, sometimes to untangle my thoughts best, I need to comb through them by writing them down. And if you end up reading them, well … I didn’t make you click on my blog.
In any case, I never usually make my “self-focused” … ness public, so this is new to me. In fact, I’m what you could call a people pleaser. I would rather do something I hate than dare suggest to someone else to do something I like that they hate. (If you’re cleaning up chunks of your frontal lobe off the wall from your brain explosion after reading that sentence, you’re not alone. I apologize, I’m too apathetic to make it clearer to understand right now.)
Today, though, I spent 30 minutes on hold with a CERTAIN cable and Internet provider and, while it was really annoying, it gave me a lot of time to think about me. But mostly, thinking about me really means thinking about all the things I should be doing, which, I guess, is more reflective of my anxiety disorder than my selfishness.
Still, today I was thinking about my future a little bit. Right now, according to LSAC.org at least, I’m a future J.D. student. And I’m always a little reluctant to tell people that because part of me isn’t convinced I can do it. And because a lot of people whose opinions I value most don’t entirely support the decision, even though it’s been one of my top career choices since I was in high school.
I’m not going to lie, I’m aiming high — So high I don’t dare tell you where my goals are for fear of jinxing myself. Ever since choosing a college for my undergrad, I longed to go big — Go coastal, go somewhere that would accept me only because of my very highest credentials. But I never got the chance to apply out of state, so I’m seeking to fulfill that now. And I’m really feeling a bit of a glass ceiling that has nothing to do with my gender and everything to do with my geographic location — completely of my own construction.
I’m a North Dakota girl … As much as it pains me to admit it. I’ve always longed to blend in to big city life but, try as I might, I always look like a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed tourist. And I guess that doesn’t give me a terrible track record. After all, I’ve only been to big cities (think D.C., Atlanta, NYC, Minneapolis, Philadelphia) like five times in my life.
Don’t get me wrong — I have ample encouragement in favor of the law degree, too. Even those who think I’d be better suited doing something else still offer encouragement when needed. (And, P.S., I would never be the kind of lawyer who steps foot in a courtroom. I’d rather do the boring stuff: research, work in the legal department of a company, or for the government, or for a non-profit.) The most discouraging factor which keeps self-defeating thoughts chirping in the back of my mind is my still-perfectly-above-average-but-less-than-impressive-for-my-perfectionistic-standards LSAT score. (It’s not widely known, but the LSAT is a completely arbitrary measure of abstract skills you’d need to succeed in your first year of law school. It is brutal, and one of its primary purposes, aside from serving as a measuring stick, is to prevent people from applying to law school.)
But aside from leaving my family and everything that’s familiar to me, I can’t help but question: If I don’t have a stellar score, is that an indication that I should think twice about my career choice? Everyone close to me says this is what I should be doing: Writing for an audience. That’s what I pursued throughout college. And I’ve been decent at it — I’ve definitely had successes beyond any of my own expectations. But, for whatever reason, it didn’t make me happy like I thought it would. I wish it did. It would make my life a lot easier. But it just doesn’t. I like doing it casually, like this, but once it becomes a job, it’s different.
It’s the same with North Dakota. I’m sure I’d enjoy it if I wasn’t from here. I wish it made me happy to live here — The economy is good. The cost of living is low. The pace of life is relaxed. But it just leaves me feeling … unfulfilled.
And that’s when I realized: Oh, my God. I’m having a mid-life crisis. Already? First wrinkles, now this? Next, I’ll have a red convertible sports car and be dating a Justin Beiber lookalike.
And then Margaret’s flat, polite, yet unfriendly voice cut off the terrible scratchy hold music and asked if she could help me. Sure, I thought. I’d had too much to think. It’s a vice I’m working on.