Last February I graduated from university with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (Distinction). I knew at the time of graduating that I wasn’t going to pursue a career as a solicitor. In the last year I have been thinking a lot about the choices I have made in my life and whether some of them will have utility later on. I think of the hundreds of hours I spent behind my laptop during law school, absorbing a heap of content, and wonder if it was really worth it.
At the time of doing the degree, and even now, I often allow myself to get consumed in assignments and exams. I think so much about the assessments and not about the way what is being taught can actually apply in real life. In my studies of law and now in nutrition, I am working towards a profession. My goal in life is to help as many people as I possibly can with the knowledge and experience I have. I thought my calling was to do that with law but personal experience has demonstrated that health really is my calling.
In the past few months I have had to archive a lot of my legal skills to make room for more information pertaining to wellbeing, food, exercise and lifestyle. The more I learnt about health the less relevant my knowledge of the law seemed. On the face of things, the two just don’t seem to go hand in hand.
As I said earlier, my study of law was very text book based. I was working from assessment to assessment. My passion to practice was not present, until recently. Now I have no drive to practice law, however, I recently realised just how handy that degree is in real life. I have found myself in a situation where those legal skills have been invaluable and instrumental to my professional life. I can see how they will always be relevant and that no person can ever take away what I have learnt and what I will continue to learn by asking questions and remaining engaged in the legal content.
You might have noticed that there has been a pattern on my Instagram and Facebook lately. Many of my posts have been in relation to self-worth. A few years ago I literally had no self-worth. I didn’t think of myself as anything special or valuable. I could not see a way that I could distinguish myself from others. I questioned where I would fit in and the areas I would thrive in. It took a lot of hard work to get that back and find my shine. In recent times I have been challenged and know that this has been for a reason. It is a test to see if I can see my worth even when others can’t. I am not intending to say this in an arrogant way. Although I do believe that everyone has something special to offer and that we as individuals have to decide whether we are confident enough to share that.
I wear my heart on my sleeve and always have. Even if I say I am “fine” the look on my face and my body language always tell the truth. As I was discussing with a friend yesterday, this is a blessing and a curse. I don’t deny anything I have done in my past. Sure I may question why I engaged in certain activities and relationships but I know looking back that they were pivotal in my personal and professional development.
Interestingly, I feel that I have learnt more from the experiences that were far from ideal. The times of struggle, confusion, disappointment and discouragement have given me more empowerment than any positive experience I have had. The key to gaining something from a negative experience, I think, is to look for the parts that you can be grateful for and the parts you can learn from. If we walk away and don’t reflect on what we have learned, we are doing ourselves a disservice. I truly believe that we are repeatedly put in the same positions if we don’t learn. It isn’t until we acknowledge the lesson and stand up for ourselves that we can be at peace and move on.
It is easy to write this on my blog and say that I have it all worked out. Let me tell you I don’t. I am only at the starting line. I am learning every single day, however, I am starting to see some patterns in my behaviour and the way that the universe responds to them. I have been doing so much reflection lately and I have come to see that really no experience is wasted. There is something to be gained from everything we do. I think back to working at Target and wondering whether any of my skills working in lingerie would be transferable. Turns out, customer service and communication skills are so important in any profession whether you’re trying to sell a bra or help a patient.
If you are reading this at the moment and are beginning to think about your job, or your relationship or anything else happening in your life, remember that you are not alone. I spent so long battling my thoughts and emotions because I thought I was the only one that had them. It turns out that when you open up to others about your experiences that you can really begin to understand why you are in the position you're in. We are products of our environment and our experiences. For the most part, we get to choose what experiences we are part of. If something isn’t sitting right it is our responsibility to do something about it. Time does not stop. We have to take the opportunities presented to us, immerse ourselves in different experiences and love with our whole hearts.
Nothing we do is really that big of a mistake. There is something to take away from every experience. We have to CHOOSE whether or not we see that experience as a blessing or just another opportunity to learn something. The choice is ours. Nothing is wasted, rather everything is gained.