ymmv wrote: ashca2014 wrote:
The responses here actually provided me with some comfort and encouragement about my decision to pursue law.
Based on my research and personal experiences, I arrived at the conclusion that I wanted to practice law a long time ago.
For me, a legal career isn't about capitalizing on the American dream of status and prestige...nor is it about delusions of grandeur, or seeking an elevated social status that will compensate for my personal insecurity and shortcomings.
So what is it about for you?
Obtaining the means and influence to [hopefully] have a positive impact on people's lives.
As I mentioned earlier, I have dealt with depression for most of my life. I have also changed locations and living circumstances throughout my life. I've lived in the suburbs of Hawaii, a city in Japan, a college town in Germany, and I've been pretty much dead broke in no-where Indiana. In high school, I was a religious prude...in college, I was a hippie party girl. What I've learned through these experiences is that, for the most part, external factors rarely have a significant impact on one's overall happiness in life. I've been severely depressed in life circumstances that most people would assume would bring a person immense joy.
Any person who buys into the lie that money, prestige, and status bring happiness and fulfillment is terribly naive, and probably has had very little real world experiences. If a person is choosing a life path based on society's concept of success, or because they think it will make others respect and admire them...they are pretty much screwed.
I transferred from a small satellite school on a military post in Japan, to one of the top universities in the country. I thought I would encounter people with unmatched intelligence, passion, etc. But instead, I was met with a bunch of entitled, superficial, neurotic people who were driven to achieve financial success merely because it had been drilled into them at a young age.
They weren't happy. I met more alcoholics and pill poppers than I did people who truly had a passion for what they were studying. For most of them, it was about living up to the ridiculous expectations of their cold, strict parents. I'm thankful I had the opportunity to receive a great education...but I'm also thankful I had the opportunity to see that the "upper class" aren't any happier than the rest of us.
In my opinion and based on my personal experience, happiness and fulfillment comes from having self-confidence (which has to be cultivated introspectively...depending on external factors like prestige and the opinions of others cannot sustain a positive/healthy self-image), healthy and satisfying relationships with friends and family, and being able to do something you enjoy and are passionate about. I enjoy writing, research, debate, philosophy, legal history, and being an advocate for others.
As a black female, I feel I have a perspective that has afforded me unique insight and motivation when it comes to helping subjugated social groups.
But at the same time, I don't expect to change the world. I also don't expect for my career to be the central source of meaning and happiness in my life.