All I ever wanted was to be a lawyer.
From a young age, I always imagined myself as a lawyer. I never missed an episode of Law & Order: SVU; I loved watching the news and talking to my mom about the latest court case I had seen; I got excited to receive a newspaper every day before getting on the train.
Everything that surrounded law and politics placed a twinkle in my eye. As I got older, this love never subdued—if anything, it grew. I never paid attention to any other sort of career path because, in my mind, I had already made up what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
Even my family, teachers and friends would all tell me that they imagined me as a lawyer. My assistant principal in my high school suggested I do my studies in Political Science when I got to college, and that’s exactly what I did. I looked at the courses and instantly fell in love with them.
This is it, I told myself, this is what I’ve always been waiting for. Finally, I can dedicate my time to really get myself into law and politics and when I’m done here, I’ll be off to law school!
After receiving my diploma, I froze.
I was studying for my LSATs, looking into what law school I wanted to go to, even trying to plan out my financial situation, but…law school all of a sudden didn’t feel right. I was shook.
How could this be possible? All I ever thought about was law school. I dedicated all this time into preparing for this moment and now I’m stuck? What else could I even possibly do?
For a while, I kept myself stuck. I still loved law, politics, the news, all that, but for whatever reason, law school didn’t call out to me like it once did. I put so much focus on law school and just becoming a lawyer that I didn’t see myself being able to do anything else. I had lost my passion and didn’t know how to replace it, or if it could even be replaced. For two years, I found myself watching each day go past, wasting my time and the health of my spirit because I had lost my goal, so I lost my happiness. I never thought that my passion could ever change; especially not even knowing what my next passion would be, so I beat myself up for a while.
Then, I discovered I had a growing passion this whole time.
My strong and tunnel-vision focus on law school made me ignore a hidden talent that—just like with being a lawyer—a lot of people said I should pursue. I didn’t think this talent would be able to do much and didn’t see how powerful it truly was until I lost law school. This, was my writing.
For just as long as I have been into Law & Order: SVU, I was reading Maya Angelou and Emily Dickenson. My first contact with writing was with poetry—I have a tattoo down my back that says, “Poetry is my Freedom,” and yet I forgot how writing had really improved my life.
Even at my lowest lows, if I had a pen and paper with me, there is nothing I couldn’t relieve myself of. Because I thought that law school was the only direction I was going in, I lost my desire to write. Of course, academic writing was essential while I was in school, however, that wasn’t the only source of freedom and possibilities through writing that I had.
As I became more and more distant from the idea of law school, I found myself growing closer to my writing. I began rediscovering a long-lost love that not only made me feel good but was filling the passion that I thought I would never get back since losing law school. For those two years, I felt so uneasy and so misguided, I didn’t know how to snap out of it. Then all of a sudden, the love of my life had returned, and I had to get it going in the right direction.
Now, what do I plan to do with my rediscovered love?
Again, I found myself a little lost, but soon received some unexpected guidance. A friend of mine—while working on a project together—randomly decided to say, “Hey Deiona. You’ve been an amazing writer since I met you. You ever thought about getting into grant writing?” I’ve heard of this area of writing before, but never thought twice about getting into it. Then, after doing some research, I found myself enrolling into a grant writing course at my undergraduate school and completing three certificates in grant writing.
I realized that not only would I be doing what I love, I would also be making a big difference in the world. Receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minor Criminal Justice has directed my heart to being dedicated to helping as many people in the world that I possibly could, especially regarding children. With grant writing, it allows me to take my passion and enter a sector I never thought about but knew that they made huge changes to people’s lives: nonprofit organizations.
Here I was, thinking I wouldn’t be able to utilize my degree and with just a little time and patience, I discovered exactly what I wanted to do next in my life.
I do still have a love for law and will be going to law school, but, not as quickly as I thought I would be. I had to step back and remind myself that it is okay that my passion has changed over time and that a new one would arise, I just had to give it some time to grow and blossom.