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Personal Statement

When you apply to law school, the hardest part of the entire process–more so than the LSAT, and plunking down hundreds of dollars in application fees–is the Personal Statement.  Law schools appear to love this kind of thing, which is the sort of soul-searching, gut-wrenching writing that you will never EVER do again during law school, lest you be smitten with your legal writing prof’s red pen mercilessly.

I’ve decided that in the interest of getting my conversation started on this blog, that I’m going to post MY personal statement–with all the blood, sweat and tears (and multiple attempts) that went into it.  It was written almost 4 years ago now–This is where I came from following my divorce and “expulsion” from the life I’d always planned on living.

My first resume. . .

“Roughly two years ago, I was given a gift that very few people have the opportunity of receiving in this life.  I got a Do-Over.  Now, Do-Overs are few and far between, and they are not cheap.  The price of mine was high:  I lost my home, full-time custody of my children, and the life I’d spent ten years building with my husband.  What I gained, however, was priceless.  I received the opportunity to start over and craft my new life as I see fit, having the advantage of drawing on the experience of first living in a way that nearly killed me.

My first steps involved finding out who I am.  After spending ten years living for other people, I truly had no idea.  I remembered who I had been:  A feisty, in your face, audacious girl who took on tough challenges and was the champion of the underdog.  I believed that person was still in me, somewhere, but finding her would take some time and more than a little courage.

Further, I had no money, and no job experience.  My first resume reflected this.  It read more like Charlotte’s Web than a listing of qualifications:  “Terrific!  Some Pig!” it screamed, begging potential employers to believe I had what it takes to make a good hire.  Quietly, the girl I was stepped in, saving the fragile and insecure woman I’d become from certain failure.  I rediscovered the part of me that is grace under pressure.  I also utilized an old talent of acting, and employed the “fake it till you make it” strategy of portraying confidence until I really felt it.

Having gotten my first full-time job, I continued to forge ahead, almost blindly, as the former me gradually began to take more control.  I did things I’d never done before, like buying tires for my car and purchasing furniture.  I marveled at how I’d suddenly become an adult at the tender age of 31.  That audacious girl smiled indulgently, patted my head, and continued to guide me forward.  I got a better job, one that tested my intellect more, and I began to uncover other characteristics that had been buried for years.  I adapt well to change.  I care about people enough that they can sense it and trust me.  I’m smart.  I’m a natural leader.  And I’m stronger than I ever would have imagined.

I was also able to use skills I’d developed as a mother, thankfully realizing that those ten years were not wasted.  I am patient when dealing with difficult people, and can negotiate and reason with them.  I can relate to many different types of people in their various circumstances.  And most importantly, I haven’t lost my sense of humor.
There have been setbacks.  I filed for bankruptcy in January of 2006 as a result of my grossly one-sided divorce.  I thought that would destroy me.  But with the support of friends, and the unwavering faith of the girl I was, I was able to stand up to this challenge and go through with it.

I’ve continued to move forward.  In September of 2006, I moved to Salt Lake City in an effort to improve my financial situation.  It was frightening.  It was difficult to leave the comfort and security of the friends I’d developed.  But it was the right thing to do.

The girl I was no longer guides me.  We are now Me.  Today I feel that I’m on the path to fully realizing all the things that that 17-year-old college freshman hoped for.  I am in control of my own life.  I think for myself, and I trust my own decisions.  I am a confident, intelligent woman, with more assets than just my good looks.  The champion of the underdog is back.  My days of being a victim are over, and now I want to help others who are in the position I was in.  My Do-Over cost me a lot, but it was well worth the price.  I think the girl I was would be proud.”

And the journey continues. . .

Categories: personal
  1. Carole
    January 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I loved your story. Change and making yourself over is tough. I think you’ve done a great job at that.


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