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.