Panorama of San Bernardino

Monday, January 3, 2011

Skeletons In My Closet

Recently, someone challenged me to write about something humiliating.  Maybe I am wrong, but I think I make fun of myself more than anyone and the barb is always pointed inward.  That said, I think this story needs to be told. 

There are some skeletons in my closet.  So many that if you looked inside it would look like a Halloween store.  I have learned to love my many skeletons.  To celebrate them even.  This post is about one of my skeletons.

I am a high school dropout.  I hate the stigma associated with it, but my accomplishments prove that transcendence is possible. 

I went from a depressed dropout who took her GED to the editor-in chief of a community college newspaper to graduating magna cum laude from UCR to a top twenty law school on a scholarship.  I graduated in the top twenty percent of my law school class and ended up at the largest and most prestigious law firm in Texas.

Add in the fact that I put myself through undergrad and law school working as a waitress and my story becomes almost unbelievable.  I am a fucking walking miracle.

Humility has never been one of my strengths. 

Truth be told, I didn't do it alone.  I had a lot of help along the way.  I had people who cared and saw something in me that I couldn't even see in myself sometimes. 

A journalist who saw an editor rather than a waitress.  A community college professor who saw a writer.  A law school professor who read my law school application essay and convinced USC to let me in with a scholarship.  A lawyer and his wonderful wife who gave me a job and even a place to stay for a summer.  A boyfriend (and future spouse) who motivated me.  My family and friends who simply loved me, despite all my flaws.

Of course, there was also God.  I am not a holy roller, but I have faith. I didn't always believe and until my twenties I called myself agnostic.  All that changed one semester while I was in undergrad at UCR.  I was so broke that I didn't have money for food.  Now, I hadn't prayed since my elementary Catholic school days and was unsure of what to do.  It wasn't pretty, but I got down on my knees and asked God for help.  Less than a week later, I got a letter in the mail stating that I had received a $5,000 scholarship.  It was as if Moses had put down his cane and turned it into a snake right before my eyes.  I believed.

God also has a sense of humor and made me a public defender.  So my so called skeleton now has a purpose. 

That's the thing, all of my skeletons have a purpose.  Every person on this Earth is made up of their blunders and mistakes.  I learned the most from the trial I lost where I believed my client was innocent not the ones I won.  It's the heartbreaking stuff that makes us who we are.

In the end, I am who I am, skeletons and all.


  1. I love it, girl! Those aren't skeletons... they're just bones.

  2. You are sadly mistaken, MY firm is the most prestigious in Texas. ;) Without skeletons you'd be a sad excuse for a lawyer or an adult, really -- we hate to think of those we love having problems but they build us into who we are!

  3. this is so inspiring. i'm so proud of you *hugs*