“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.
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.
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.
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.
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?