Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

Two Years Later…

Two years go by so fast that you don’t even notice how things change. I  want to take some time to reflect on the past two years (times BC) because I think it’s important and also because, in general, people are so quick to dismiss the trauma and the shift we’ve experienced and that’s not healthy, bestie.

First, and most important, there are so many people whose lives were upended because of this illness (to put it lightly). And as a country we’re really quick to overlook the loss of millions of people gone and what that means. I don’t have any solutions on how to make us more empathetic to this or how to best honor those lost, but it’s important to emphasize that this was more than just a shift in how we did things.

And in those post, I want to highlight what major thing shifted for me. What inspired this post was an old pic I saw from Feb 2020.

This is pre-everything and what I remember, and what you can’t tell, is how nervous I was all the time. Only six months prior I had left a job at at place I’d been my entire professional career to do a lot of things that I had never done before. And while everyone was lovely and helpful when I first started, I had a ton of self-doubt about whether I was capable of doing the work. It’s difficult to explain but it was suddenly being responsible for really important things that impacted tons of people, while figuring out an incredibly complicated system, all under the microscope–it was scary! And six months in, I still didn’t feel confident at all.

But then, March 2020 hit and everything shifted, and there was no time for doubt or questioning if I could do it. It just had to get done & done well. And in the time that followed, even with all the ups and downs, not being able to think about my ego was a gift. It let me focus and deliver quality work. I did this by pulling from other experiences and skills that I knew I had, but for some reason had been too nervous to use. And why was I so nervous? Had I not navigated complicated systems before? Were my clients cases not vitally important even if it only impact them and their families? Had I not figured out new areas of law before? Of course I had.

And while I like to believe I would have gotten with the program without a global pandemic, the urgency of the moment jolted me back to reality. I recognized it was ok to be nervous but I had to stop letting nerves stop me from doing good work that I knew I was capable of doing.

If you’re starting a new chapter, it’s totally normal if you find yourself questioning your abilities, but recognize that this moment could be a shifting point for you. A point where you focus on honing the necessary skills, asking all the questions, and seeking the right guidance without worrying about how you’re perceived or if you’re work is being judged. Reflect on what seems to be making your nervous and it’s likely that there are experiences that have prepared you for this moment already. Don’t wait for a global crisis to shake you into action!

I see all my pictures before March 2020 and think about how out of my element I felt, how much I was questioning my decisions, and whether I was capable. And I can’t help but laugh at myself a bit. So dramatic. But also I want to gently remind her that doubting herself helps no one in the long run. That she needs to get her ‘ish together and start doing what she knows she can do. And if you’re questioning whether you can finish law school or if you can succeed at your firm–be gentle with yourself but remind yourself that you have the talent & track record to do what’s needed for this moment in your life.