• MLMagee

I failed, and I'm okay with that

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

Failed what you ask . . . I failed the Bar. Now, before you start giving me those sympathetic “aaawwww’s or oh noooo’s” or you say something along the lines of “she’s only saying she’s okay with failing it to save face,” you can save your breath—you only have so much of it. I'm just trying to save your life; you can thank me later. The moments before I looked at my results, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel if I didn’t pass. So I stopped trying to figure it out, and I just opened them. I was surprised to realize that I didn’t care, and the surprise wasn’t in a good way. You guys, I found out I didn’t pass one day, and the next day I broke my nail. I was 100 times more upset about breaking my nail than I was at my results, and that is what's scary! I can’t say I'm exactly shocked by that though; jacked up nails literally make me angry.

So here’s the thing, practicing law is not my desired profession; it’s more of a plan B. In fact, it’s not at all what I want to do in life. I’m sure your next question is “then why did you even go to law school?” Don’t worry, unlike your sympathetic responses earlier, your breath was not wasted on that question; it’s a good question.

Short answer: It felt like the right thing at the time. I felt like I was living everyday just floating—not moving backwards, but not moving forward either, just floating in the same spot. I needed to do something that made me feel I was moving forward and at the same time defer my loans a bit longer, all while I was writing my book. So I went to law school, and I don’t regret it at all, because I gained two of the most valuable things to me in life—three of the best friends who have quickly become my family, and better writing skills.

Now there's a difference between going to school and taking full advantage of it (which I did not do). I have this flaw where I can’t bring myself to do something if I don’t truly believe in it or care about it. If I’m not passionate about it, I can’t motivate myself to put my energies towards it. Don’t get me wrong, I did the work that had to be turned in, but I only read cases when I knew I was going to get called on, and I never studied for exams—I just sat in on my friends’ study sessions a few days before the exam and listened. (They stopped getting mad at me about not participating after like the second study session and just accepted that’s how I functioned). It was never about getting A’s for me, it was simply about passing, and I always did.

Obviously, the next step after graduating law school is to take the Bar, but the Bar is a different demon entirely than law school. It takes so much more of you to pass it. I knew that going in, and still I didn’t study. Was it self-sabotage? I honestly don’t know, because I've never really studied for anything, so I didn’t treat this any different. But apart of me knew that if I passed, I’d be expected to work as an attorney, and I want no parts of that.

I'm not knocking the profession at all. It’s an amazing career that, if done right, helps a lot of people. It’s just not the profession for me. Literally the only benefit for me passing the Bar would be the additional letters behind my name, because that’s all it really means to me.

Initially, when I first got my results, I immediately said that I would take it again. It’s a pretty straightforward test, and after taking it the first time I know what/how to study to pass it. But now I just don’t know. My lack of disappointment in not passing, and my genuine disinterest in the profession has me wondering why I’d even put myself through it again. I'm supposed to be studying to take the February Bar, but every time I open that book I become sad, and angry, and just a little sick inside. I feel like I'm wasting my time doing something I don’t love.

Honestly I feel like that’s the story of my life! I'm working in the legal field for my dad, because I need the money. Everyday I see the love and passion he has for his business, for the law. No matter what I do, I can’t and don’t feel the same, and it hurts me to know that I'm stuck doing this for a paycheck.

With the end of the year fast approaching, I want a change; I want to change. The question is how? How do I make my plan A my priority when I have responsibilities to take care of? How, when the student loan piranhas have finally sunk their sharp little soul-sucking teeth into my heels? I don’t know all the answers, but I do know that I don’t want to go into the New Year feeling as trapped as I do now.

I do not want to teach my kids or for them to see me and think that they have to pursue something they are not passionate about before they can go after their dreams just for a paycheck. Sure, have a plan to fall back on should your dream not turn out exactly how you wanted or expected it to, but don’t fall back before you truly put everything into making your dream become a reality. It’s hard, and it’s scary, but something that means everything in the world to you typically is.

I said all of this to say that if any of you know for a fact that you are not doing what you love, you are not alone. I also want to implore you to dedicate some time to whatever that is. Step out on faith.

For the entire month of December, I've decided to spend a lot more of my time working towards the thing I actually want to do in life. I'm still going to be working for my dad, because well, it’s a process, and again I have responsibilities. I am also still going to study and take the Bar on the 0.0000001% chance that someday in the future I decide to do something that requires me to be licensed. But by putting what I want first, by dedicating my time to the gifts and ideas that God gave me, and with a lot of prayer, hopefully everything will turn around for the better by the beginning of next year.

My goals for this month:

· Write a knock-your-socks-off query letter for my latest book

· Send that query letter to at least 20 literary agents

· Complete and file all of the documents for my non-profit

· Start preparing the documents and items I need to get my non-profit up and running

Ambitious goals, but nothing that I can't accomplish! I will keep you posted. I hope you stick with me through this journey, and I’d love to hear about yours!

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