Having a job in this economy is quite the luxury. So, I feel truly terrible about even bitching and moaning about it. Six months ago when I started or re-started my blog on Tumblr, I wrote about how much I LOVE my job. Not going to lie, being a paralegal gets old – real fast. The novelty wears off within the first two months, and yet you still find yourself trying to make it sound as fancy as possible to anyone that asks what you do. At the end of the day though, I am a paralegal that is meticulously organized, has a better memory of that document the attorney asked for 7 Wednesdays ago than remembering what I had for dinner the night before, an expert in binder making, knowledge of databases I will probably never use again, and yet still has the drive and passion to become a lawyer. I guess thats the bright side of it all. But I can’t help but feel like I want to do even more with the next year and half of my life that I have before I’m completely committed to becoming a lawyer.
Moving to DC gave me a kick in the ass, so to speak, to not just sit around, but to really get out there and take action and get involved in things that matter. When I was in college, I worked part-time, went to school full-time, was a part of some clubs and organizations, and was also a founding member of a sorority. I did a good job of being involved at NYU, but in that, I missed what the city itself had to offer. So, I knew when I moved to DC, I could not be complacent here. And, I’m not. Yet, getting involved in DC is a slow, selective process. You have to apply to organizations, fill out applications, attend workshops — it’s a serious vetting process. Who knew it could be so intense. Even after you pass all the tests, attend all the right events, talk to all the right people, theres a waiting period – you wait, and wait, and wait some more until a spot for you and your talents are found within the organization. I’m not sure how I feel about that — I’ve been accepted, but I’m still in the waiting period. It’s a bit of a lull – I got used to applying, attending events, talking to people, and now that thats all sorted out, I have to wait. I DON’T WANNA WAIT.
I had thought about programs such as the PeaceCorp or Teach for America, totally not related to being a paralegal, but again – serious vetting process. I always came up with the idea to apply to such programs just a little too late. I know, I know – it’s never too late – but in this case, on my life timeline, it’s a little too late to go through such an extensive vetting process for another two year commitment - I’ve got law school to go to, but before that, I really need to get crackin’ with the LSAT studying. Because I was late on the PeaceCorp and Teach for America boat, I decided to do the next best thing in DC (something I can juggle with a full-time job) – volunteer for a program called CASA for Children of DC. CASA stands for “Court-Appointed Special Advocate.” A judge appoints you to a child in the DC foster system – you become a mentor for this child and you report your observations and suggestions back to the judge through court hearings every few months about the child and his or her team of people trying to decide on his or her life. These observations are based upon conversations and meeting with social workers, GAL (Guardian Ad Litum – attorney on the case), teachers, and family members. Now, if only they could assign me a child! Going through the workshops for acceptance into this program, I’ve heard some horror stories that you think only happen in movies (ie. cracked out teen mother of 3, meth couple making meth in the house and burning their child for fun, abusive homes, parents in jail, etc.) – it can be pretty bad depending on the case.
And while I wait, maybe I’m just afraid to take some risks. But patience is a virtue and maybe once the Court assigns me to a child, I’ll stop complaining. I have overbearing parents with high expectations that I don’t want to let down, I have future plans of representing entertainment personalities in contract negotiations and disputes, having a nanny for my future children in my future penthouse overlooking Central Park, a chef to prepare my future meals each day, a personal trainer to keep me in shape, a shoe/clothing closet like Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City. Don’t judge. We’ve all thought of it. Maybe I’ll spontaneously apply to a job at Vogue……
Sigh, hopefully the waiting period will soon end, so I can get involved and start making a difference somewhere. 7 months down, 17 more to go until the paralegal era ends in my life and the law school era begins. It really isn’t so bad though – don’t get me wrong. I’ve grown a lot, met tons of awesome people, made new connections, realized what I want to do in life, and that is all a big deal. But I like to challenge myself every few months, like a checkpoint, to step back and analyze my progress - so I don’t get complacent. I’m too young to be complacent in life