Truth-Telling Tuesdays: Always Spiral Back

Life is a spiral. We walk the labyrinth, circling around, doubling back, moving inward and further from center. We always spiral back.

Last June, I took the LSAT. I was certain I would apply to law school in the fall {six programs, spanning East Coast/West Coast/Midwest/Canada} and be moving early summer to begin me preparations for a first-year law student Autumn. It felt amazing. I felt alive. My goals and purpose were clear.

And then I fell into the self-sabotage trap, as I have done so many times before. I blew past the admissions deadline for early admission, ignored my essays, and just let the whole thing go. I deleted emails from law schools before even opening them. I pushed it from my heart. I let go of the dreams.

I have this deep-rooted belief that if I succeed in life, if I make my dreams happen, I will be offended my mum, who let so many of her dreams go to raise a family. I have this unspoken fear of success. I intentionally {subconsciously} prevent myself from getting too far ahead, from gaining just more than barely surviving, from being happy. Because I never saw my mum happy. I never made her proud.

And I fear she would just be disappointed in me again if I actually made something of my life. That if I somehow managed to go back to school -- and especially law school -- and make a difference in the world, and earn a more than just barely surviving wage, and had a career I loved, that somehow my mum would hate me even more than I fear she already does.

So, I have continually botched my applications. For undergraduate school {I wanted to go to Smith}, for graduate school {I never even finished my applications during the first time I applied}, and for law school last Fall. I put this out there because I'm not alone in this. We all have moments where we stand in our way, preventing ourselves from what we really want.

And what I really want is to be a voice, to tell the stories of others, in a legal way.

I want to be that witness. I want to support those who are surviving, and give them hope. I want to hear them.

I know what it is like to not be heard. I know what it is like to suffer at the hands {bodies} of others, and have no where to go, no one in whom you can confide, and no justice for all the pain. I know what it is like to feel completely helpless in the face of a system that prides itself on purple prose and jargon. And I want to be that translator.

I've lived through a lifetime of abuses. I've been in abusive relationships, two of which were with partners of the same gender. I know that not only did I feel I couldn't seek out services from "traditional" domestic violence service providers, but that I felt completely invisible in relation to the court system. I tried to file a restraining order against a female partner, only to have the judge dismiss it because he didn't think women could be "that violent." I walked into that courtroom with a black eye and two broken fingers. And three police reports. I have seen the silent abuse. I have seen friends and loved ones crumble because they couldn't keep the secrets any longer.

And I don't want to live in that world.

So I accept the journey of the spiral. I move again, ever forward ever back, adjusting, shifting. I accept the calling. I am applying to law school. I have less than ten days to complete the application. And I will do it. I will pay the fee, and I will put all of my best intention into success. I haven't got the most stellar grades, I didn't get the highest LSAT score, but I am committed. I am dedicated. And I will be a voice for those who stand in silence.

I cannot ignore the truth of my heart any longer.

What does this mean for A Forest of Stories? Not much will change. I will still write here, still feature amazing Warrior Women, still share writing prompts and teach workshops. But in this moment, when I breathe deeply into this truth, I feel more of honesty and experience aligning than I ever knew possible. I feel the pieces clicking into place, and it is such sweetness. To feel this shift, to be more whole, what could be sweeter?