It’s funny how focused we become when we’re living life and doing new things. And then on the sidelines, things are happening that we don’t even really realize.
When I sit down and actually think about all of the changes that are going on, it’s baffling. Almost overwhelming. This is why I try to avoid really paying attention. I have a fear that once I realize, and pay attention to, and become grateful, of how wonderful my life really is, and when I realize how capable I am, I’m afraid it will all disappear. Just like that. In the blink of an eye. Ya know, kind of like peripheral vision. When you don’t stare right at it, you can see it flitting around in the open space, but as soon as you try to look directly at it and pay attention to it, it disappears.
Now don’t get me wrong, my life is not free from trials and tribulations, but when I focus on the positive and keep my eye on my goals, life is much better.
My entire life has seemed to be nothing but school for the last year. But in fact, that is not the case. This semester is coming to an end and the work that is required at the end of a semester is quite abundant, let me tell ya. When I decided to take on a new legal career, I had no idea the writing that would be involved. But it’s a different kind of writing. It’s very technical and people’s freedom and sometimes lives ride on the way you write up a document. The way you choose to word things, the placement of words, the placement of a comma, are just a few of the details that need careful consideration. But I love, love, love it and am looking so forward to my new career.
But what I would really like to tell you about is my experience with people since I have ventured back out into the world. For almost three years I was pretty isolated here in my little writing world and with my blog pals. But I needed that retreat from the world because I was better able to get to know me. I became quite jaded and intolerant of most things. But since my hiatus, and throwing myself back into the rat race, I have learned even more about myself and my realtionships with people, especially women.
When I first started going back to school it was really intimidating. Especially as a thirty-something. In my gen-ed classes I’m usually the oldest person in class, but in my law classes, there are people that are closer to my age. Needless to say, I met three wonderful women through this process and I truly don’t know what I would do without them. We all have a few common bonds, but are quite different in personality. We range in age from 27 to 43, but I couldn’t have put together a better posse if I would have written the script myself. Funny how that happens. I guess I would never expect that the four of us would have made such a great team (and friends).
Please keep in my mind, this is MY perception of the way things are. They may have a totally different take on things. I tend to get a little sentimental. Not something you would expect when meeting me in person. My husband calls me “Stands with Fist” if this gives you some better insight.
First we have M, she’s the “mom” of the group in my eyes. She is brilliant, kind and generous, but don’t mistake that for weakness, she puts up with no bullshit. She is forever running around taking care of her families needs, but she somehow always has time for us. M and her husband had a house specially built to care for family members. I won’t go into detail but she has A LOT on her plate. For the most part, she handles it with a grace that I can only hope to acquire someday. On top of this, M has two small children that she absolutely adores. She has a bachelor’s degree and was planning on going to law school, but decided against it and chose a paralegal career instead so that she could pay for her girls to go to college when they get there. She does a great job of taking care of herself as well as her family. She is not afraid and has an heir of humility about her that is simply inspiring. She makes me want to be a better woman. I am blessed to have her in my life.
Next, we have S. She’s 41 and brilliant as well. I can always count on her to tell me the truth. It’s for this reason that she will be the first to read and hopefully edit, the first complete draft of my book. She has had a great run in her previous career, but she’s decided to change it up a bit in order to pay for her children to go to college as well. S is very well mannered and never swears, which only seems to intensify my now glaring defect to say “fuck” every other word. This makes it difficult for her to put me on speaker phone when we are all on a conference call going over our case briefs or legal memo’s. She will also be the first one to tell you that she is very detail oriented. S is a realist and very grounded, which can be quite a commodity when it comes to getting things done. I don’t think she has any idea how fabulous she really is. But our wonderful S is not without her own obstacles to overcome. Herself being the biggest one. S, like many of us, has had to recover from her childhood. But she is a woman who moves forward in spite of herself. It’s amazing to me that she does this without the aid of anything but her own desire to succeed in life and to be a great example to her children. S has no idea what a beautiful woman she is, but I see it and I’m lucky to have her in my life. And if she stays in my life long enough, I will find the wild side of her.
And finally, we have J. She’s the 27 year old. She has overcome a lot in her life thus far and is still on the road to pulling herself out of the muck. She holds the most special place in my heart because she reminds me so much of myself at 27. Our lives run somewhat parallel, so we relate to each other well. She’s a mixed bag for now. She’s sad, angry, scared and confused, but so full of passion and fun. Once she figures out what she’s worth, she WILL be a force to be reckoned with. She has this hidden genius about her, and if you’re not paying attention, you won’t know she has it. As a matter of fact, I’m not quite sure she even knows she has it. She is one, that if you only pay attention to the outsides, you will miss so much.
Our greatest common bond may be that we all keep looking ahead and doing what needs to be done in order to grow, enjoy our lives and raise our children. In spite of ourselves and our pasts we keep moving ahead into the unknown.
I am honored that these women in particular have allowed me to be a part of their journey. I have no idea how long our friendships will last, but for the time being, I am enjoying every minute. It’s not often that you can find one great woman to be friends with, but three?!
We will all graduate at different times, and I of course, will be the last. I think we should just open up our own business of freelance paralegals.
This was not my intended post, but it’s what came out. I guess I just needed to express some gratitude because I almost lost faith in the ability of women to truly be friends. As women, we really need to encourage each other and work together. The competition between women needs to stop. It only tears us down. It’s not meant to be that way. Not to mention the fact that we are so much more attractive when we are kind and loving. And I’m not just talking about being kind to your circle of friends. I am really talking about being kind and encouraging to the women you don’t know. That’s when it really counts. It’s easy to be nice to your friends, it’s not so easy for some women to see an attractive or charismatic woman and be nice. Just remember, when you’re caddy like that, YOU’RE the one with problem. For real.
I will be back soon to catch everyone up and fill you in on all my new plans.