It takes 21 days to make or break a habit.
I would barely call “the life I used to have” before my move across-the-world-away-from-everyone-and-everything-I-know-and-love, a habit that could be broken in 21 days, but I had to adjust my sails and float on. Life doesn’t wait and neither does law school. Law school is in full swing; and by full swing I mean I am swinging (madly) from readings to comprehension to application, but I love every crazy batshi!t second of it. My swank
new apartment has been re-organized. I re-arranged the contents of my cabinets based on usage/functionality. I cooked some real meals (versus protein pancakes/salads/grilled chicken and veggies). I went out to the shops and stocked my fridge, freezer and pantry (how I dragged it all home is going to be one of those “humble beginning” anecdotes when I’m a bada$$ corporate lawyer). And, I’ve established a workout routine (thank goodness because my appetite is back– as evident by the empty package of lamingtons on my desk). Habit or not, 21 days later, I think I’m settled in and at the end of the day, I found myself doing what I do best… reflecting.
Cue nostalgic slide show of memories
My first year of university, I lived 3 hours away from home and I loved it. I loved what I was learning, it was a different way of learning. I loved the friends I made, the community I created around myself and I loved living on my own. I was 17 and it was my first time being away from family, but home wasn’t too far away (ie., if I really needed, or wanted to go home for the weekend, I could).
In my second year, I was living only an hour away from home and I hated it. My landlady was a psycho who had little understanding of boundaries or social conduct, the program was intense, I couldn’t grasp some of the material, but most of all, my heart wasn’t in it.
MY GOLDEN RULE: IF YOUR HEART’S NOT IN IT… TAKE YOURSELF OUT OF IT.
And that’s exactly what I did. Best. Decision. Ever. (I feel like I’ve posted that before??) Fast forward a few years and I’m in law school in Australia. I can’t go home for the weekend, in fact it would take the entire weekend to get home; the program is intense, I am struggling with some of the material, so what’s the difference? My heart.
Regardless of how many people outside of me might have deceived it, broken it, disrespected it, labelled it and my favourite, UNDERESTIMATED it; internally, in my “heart of hearts,” I’ve been true to it. I’ve been true to me.
After every lecture, every tutorial, ever seminar, even after a 17 page reading on “The Modern Tort of False Imprisonment” .. my decision to pursue this career, is re-affirmed. This isn’t to say it’s all fun and games. Oh no. One of the students has already dropped out, deferred until the next semester. Several students have voiced their concerns re: readings, content, comprehension, etc. As mentioned, I struggle with some of the material as well. Some of it goes right over my head and I read and re-read the same (introductory) paragraph several times trying to decipher the jargon before me that is law, but I love every second of it.
I don’t deny missing home. I miss my family and I miss my friends. I miss the familiarity of friendly faces and the warmth of hugs and joyful smiles. But I’m doing what I love here and I feel like the more I study, the sooner I’ll be done and the sooner I’ll be done, the sooner I get to go home to those friendly faces. The sooner I get to hug the people whose absence has been tugging at my heart each day we’ve been apart. My day planner has a running countdown: 84 sleeps ’til the first semester is over.. 694 sleeps until it’s all over (give or take a few days depending on when final exams are).
694 sleeps and I’m a lawyer.
Take home: Doing the right thing isn’t always going to be easy, chances are, it’ll actually be the harder thing to do, but do it. Do the right thing. Do the right thing for you. You might lose a few people along the way, but you’ll (eventually) realize their presence in your life was either a lesson or a blessing and you don’t have to live with them or their memories for the rest of your life; you have to live with yourself. So do what’s right by for you, otherwise you risk losing a lot more than a few people along the way; you risk losing yourself.
To thine own self be true; if your heart’s not in it, take yourself out of it.