I Have a Confession to Make…

“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” ~Thomas Edison

…I have been keeping a secret from you.

It’s been killing me.

But do you ever have a secret that you are almost afraid to utter for fear of failure?

For fear that it won’t happen?

Well, it’s happening.

I’m going to law school.

There, I said it.

I’m quitting my job,

going into debt,

leaving my friends,

leaving my city,

and pursuing my dream.

I am so sorry I’ve had to keep this secret from you.  I’ve wanted to tell you so many times.  “A publicist to a law school student?” you’re probably saying.  I know, sounds weird but they are surprisingly very similar.  I’ve wanted to write this post so many times and couldn’t and now that I can I am overwhelmed with what I want to tell you.  We need to catch up! Ok, let’s start at the beginning.

J. Bruce Johnston

It starts with this guy. This is James Bruce Johnston, vice president of labor relations for US Steel.  This is not how I knew him though.  I knew him as Grandad.  I was fortunate enough to grow up with both sets of grandparents nearby and saw him often.  I was in high school when he passed which was way too soon but I am so thankful for the time I had.  I didn’t know the Grandad that moved mountains professionally.  I just knew he played sea monster in the lake with us, kicked our butts in monopoly, the songs he sang with his deep voice that would fill every room in the place just like his laugh…and his hugs.

I will never forget his hugs.  You would walk in the door and he would greet you with a smile on his face and a bear hug.  I remember his kindness, his cat naps on the couch with a book propped on his lap, his support and sitting with him on the lake bench having coffee in the morning in michigan as the water lapped the shore.

Grandad

When he passed away though, I learned a lot about what he did in his former life.  You know, B.G. Before grandkids. Isn’t it funny how you just assume your grandparents have been grandparents their whole life.  I wish I would have unearthed these stories before he passed.  The stories of his travels, meeting presidents, the speeches he made.  Even though I never knew him as an attorney, it has been amazing to talk to those who worked with him and hear how great he was at what he did.

Dad

That’s probably where this guy gets it.  Dad.  I knew what he did.  In fact, I knew enough that I made a list of reasons why I didn’t want to be what he was…an attorney.

I knew Dad went to work early and came home exhausted. I also knew that mom said if we didn’t move Dad would have a heart attack.  You see, with my dad, it worked the opposite way my experience with my Grandad did.  I saw and remembered all the hard days but forgot the good.  I didn’t see all the good he was doing, the people he was helping and the lives he was changing.  If dad was late for a soccer game, that was another reason on my long list of reasons why not to become an attorney.

So, you can imagine my dad’s surprise when after two years out of school and in a secure job, I call and say, “Hey dad. Uh, I’ve kind of been thinking about law school.”

Trust me. It was a surprise to me too.  When thinking about school and what I wanted to do, I immediately took “law” off my list because I thought, like my dad, I’d be on call 24/7.  Who wants to do that?  How silly.  What I soon realized was, most jobs can be like that (I mean, come on…publicist) so you better be doing something you love.  The more I realized that, the more I really thought about what I like to do and what I’m good at.

Monkey with my dad. Yes, I am responsible for putting him in the pumpkin suit. Now you're worried about my judgement aren't you.

That’s when the idea of getting into “law” started rearing it’s head again.  Who invited him to the party?

Alright, like I said, I’m overwhelmed with everything I want to share with you but since statistics tell us that most people will not even get to the bottom of this post 🙂 (Congrats to those who did) I’m going to break this life change up into separate posts. Quite frankly, I’m still processing this too.

Have you ever made a life change like that where you feel like you are about to do a 180?

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25 thoughts on “I Have a Confession to Make…

  1. As someone who got her M.A. in English, taught for three years, was a Starbucks barista as well as a freelance copyeditor (for T. Nelson, actually) for one year, then taught for two years again, then held two random temp jobs in a row and is now about to start massage therapy school full-time…yes, I’ve done a few 180s in my time :). Keeps me on my toes, I guess!

    Life is too short to do anything but what you love to do, whether that is career-wise or otherwise. Kudos, and my best. Looking forward to reading about it!

  2. Congratulations to you on taking this new, bold step in your life! How exciting!! Where are you going to law school? Well, I’m guessing that’ll be in a future post. 🙂

  3. Congrats, congrats!! What a bold, brave life-changing decision!

    I loved law school. I know I am a freak and probably in the minority on that one, but I loved the challenges and learning an entire new language and way of thinking. So excited for you!

  4. you go girl, and you will…and I hope it is as far as you want to go…yeah for you, if you cannot have all your own dreams, it is wonderful to have someone you like get hers!

  5. I am so proud of you!

    Last year in 2009, I quit my job at the YMCA (where I had built my entire career post-college,) moved from my farm in Mt. Juliet, donated my animals to a Young Life camp, moved to Brentwood, took this job at Dave Ramsey, bought my first car (the old 1996 Jeep had been a gift and died it’s final death) – all within a 2 month time frame. I literally felt like the earth shifted beneath me and I wasn’t sure where to stand.

    It’s those times though – those terrifyingly uncertain times – where you grow, surprise yourself at how much you are actually capable of and get to see God show up in really cool ways. 😉

    Love you!

  6. I’m excited for you, Jackie. This is a new chapter in your life that I’m sure you’ll never forget. Embrace change and the possibilities ahead. You’re going to be successful.

  7. I’m a firm believer that 180s can be one of the most rewarding and nonsensical things we can do as human beings.

    My own 180s have been in the form of…

    a science nerd bound and determined to be a marine biologist turned…

    guitar wielding bright-eyed music business hopeful to…

    higher ed specialist working with college students full-time to…

    self-employed photographer who one day hopes to…

    write books and have babies and who knows what else.

    I’m sure despite how randomly different these things are, I have seen – as I am sure you’ve seen yourself – the pieces of each bleeding into the other. That’s the best part of it all!

  8. Wow, that’s awesome Jackie! When do you leave Thomas Nelson and where will you be headed? I guess that’s part of a future post, but very cool!

  9. Congrats girl! It’s great that you know what you want and you’re going for it. Really – I’m so excited for you.

    But promise one thing – we will meet for drinks/dinner before you go away? It’s been faaaarrrr too long and I don’t want to make it way toooooo much longer.

  10. woah woah woah.

    i’ve only just begun to know you and you’re moving??

    jk.

    so proud of you, that’s a big step. you’re going to do great!!!

  11. Congrats! What a great decision and a brave move for you. The only 180 decision I ever made was about 15 months (I know because of my apartment lease) after moving to SC to be the new college graduate out on her own, I decided to move home despite a great new promotion of my work. Professionally I was successful, personally I was all alone, my friends and family half a country away. I moved back to MO, bought a house, met my husband and now I can barely remember how hard it was to make that decision. Good luck with law school, I’m sure you’ll do great!

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  13. It’s so great to hear the story of the people, events and circumstances that have led you to your current decision! I’m sure you’re experiencing emotions and thoughts of craziness, excitement, fear, uncertainty, joy and sadness. Know that’s totally normal 🙂 Two weeks into a 6-month exchange program I made the decision to transfer from Baylor University in Texas to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. My decision like yours meant that I incurred debt and had to leave a city and friends behind. But, it was and remains as the best decision I’ve ever made: I learned to look fear in the face (and slap him around 🙂 ), made a wealth of new friends, encountered God in new and profound ways, overcame obstacles (internal & external) I never thought possible, saw the world (literally) and had a host of adventures that I still enjoy recounting. So, good and rich things are ahead my friend!

  14. Pingback: If You Want it, You’re Going to Have to Pry it From My Cold, Dead Fingers « JayeWalking

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