Yesterday, I spoke to a group of students about resilience. They seemed into it.
They had so many questions about my trajectory from punk rock high school dropout to USC Law.
I used my own story, the first story in my book, as a springboard. I told them how I dropped out of high school 5 credits short my senior year of high school. I shared how I made it to USC Law and that my story was my magic wand in my job as a deputy public defender.
It's a story I hid for years. When I was a corporate lawyer, I told almost no one that I was a drop out. No one knew how hard I had worked to get to the ivory tower of corporate litigation in Houston, Texas. I was all alone there. My lil town of Ontario, California seemed so far far away.
I wanted to remake myself but what I didn't realize, until years later through writing, was that I was fine just as I was.
What I didn't realize back then was the power of claiming one's narrative. In being authentic. By denying or hiding my story, I was denying my own self.
My short book with a long title, "Portrait of a Deputy Public Defender, or how I became a punk rock lawyer", (available on the Bamboo Dart Press website and on Amazon, Target and B & N and other booksellers) is a reclaiming of my narrative. My second book is also a reclaiming and it's a YA Memoir coming out later this year titled "Tales of an Inland Empire Girl."
I am no longer scared of what people will think. I want them to think. To hear my story and see who I am. Who I became. Who I still want to be.
In the end, I'm a writer. Writers write their stories. So I did.