Call Me Hannah Montana
“Stop boxing me in. Stop boxing in women that look like me. Stop boxing in Black Women. Stop boxing women who work in professional places. I am a black woman with many dreams outside the 9 to 5 I wish to attain. I love the law, but I also love the arts and displaying my creativity to the world. I love to party and drink while still being studious and saving the world. I hate feeling like I have to be a Michelle Obama archetype. I am more than the box many like to see me through, and I am blessed that this is something I am allowing myself to explore now rather than later when I am in my thirties.” - April 07, 2022
The Best of Many Worlds
3L Fall Semester, thank you. Thank you for showing me through action that I do not have to live my life in a box. Thank you for proving to me that I did not hit my peak. The countdown to 60-80 hour work weeks is upon me. Life is rapidly changing, and I refuse to believe that this is the only thing I have to look forward to every single day for the rest of my life. As sweet as some people like to make it seem, big law is hard. The pay is great, but you sacrifice a lot of your time, especially in the early stages of your career. I had a chance to experience what my life would look like after the summer at my firm, and to be honest, it triggered my anxiety. I have to learn how to set boundaries and make sure I have time for myself to still explore things outside of law that excites me. This summer exposed me to the real truth— law school is the time to live your life. It is the most time you will have to yourself before working full-time in the legal field. I refused to stress grades, organizations, and other factors that limited me from living.
This past semester I challenged myself in more ways than one. I traveled, lived out other semi-dreams, and created more boundaries focusing on self-care. I want to share these small wins to encourage you to leap, live your life, and remind yourself that life is always worth living.
One of my many dreams is to be a full-time event planner. It is a healthy way to unleash my type A personality. Yes, I like to be in control while servicing others. Bringing someone’s dreams to life is always the best feeling because it is a rare form of happiness. As the Vice President of Student Affairs, I had the opportunity to plan my school’s Halloween party, Scarristers. This only reaffirmed my mini dream allowing me to add to my portfolio.
If there is one thing, I am sure about in this lifetime. It’s that I will be an educator one day. So getting the opportunity to help students go to law school and teach them the basics was amazing. I got a taste of what my life would eventually look like, and I loved it. Balancing school with this gig was not easy at all, but it was so helpful to me in many ways. First, this job funded my costly lifestyle (tears). I love to travel, and I knew I needed a gig to fund what I wanted to accomplish in my last year of law school. Second, I got a headstart on bar prep. Teaching information I learned during my first year of law school showed me that I forgot most things, so it is nice that I am forced to review, teach, and answer questions. I got a slight head start before my official bar prep in the summer. Finally, I can build my network with future attorneys. If there is one thing I learned in law school, it is that your network is everything. So any chance I have to build one makes me grateful for the opportunity.
I always wanted to be a cheer coach. However, I didn’t see myself doing this for another five years. Fortunately, I was granted the opportunity to be an assistant coach at my high school, Imhotep Institute Charter High School, where I fell in love with cheer. As a two-year captain with three titles, I wanted to help rebuild the legacy my coaches worked so hard to create. This experience was not easy at all, but I was committed. I met 25 beautiful personalities that I have grown to love and care about, and I even got to reconnect with my cheer sisters. I flew back and forth to Philadelphia consistently to work with my girls while in school. It was worth all of the sacrificed time. It gave me a purpose outside of school and work. It was/is something I love and to help see my girls to greatness was worthwhile. I was a senior the last time my high school won a first-place title. So guiding my girls to their first-place title honestly filled my heart. Coaching is a special job, and I am so blessed that I was able to experience it before going into my full-time gig.
I walked into 2022, determined to do it all. However, I would never have put pole fitness on my list, but it was a blessing in disguise. I got to work out and build confidence in myself and my body simultaneously. This is an extremely humbling process. It forces you to face the insecurities and how you see yourself. To the world, I’m a coke bottle with my natural BBL desired body. But I hated my body, a body that brought me unwarranted attention, a body that forced me to proceed with extreme caution when dating, or even the body that made me feel undesirable despite the compliments. This is a body that I was not proud of and barely loved. But by starting my pole fitness journey, I am learning to love all of my curves and take a deep dive into my femininity. I am more confident and sure of the things that I want. I only do things now that make me feel my best. My concerns no longer sit with what is expected of me. I set the terms of my life. Pole fitness is more than a workout or a dance. It’s a supportive sisterhood guiding you to your declaration of independence. Shout out to the Milan Method in ATL. I am grateful for the growth and self-love I obtained while on this journey.
Law School is the perfect time to travel. Take the time to plan your trip. Having weekends completely off, tailoring 4-day weekends into your schedule will not exist after you graduate and start working. Law School is truly the time to live and experience life. I made it a thing to travel throughout the semester instead of just waiting until the end. And I do not regret it one bit. You cannot wait on others to live your life. Sometimes you just have to put life and your own hands and buy the ticket. That is exactly what I did. I could travel to three states–Portland, Miami, & Virginia, and two countries —Iceland and Latvia- in three months. Each experience was special and a time to remember.
I am just blessed I could do things that some can’t even do in a lifetime. I feel like I lived five different lives this year, making me feel on top of the world. To be honest, I don’t know how I accomplished all of the things I just discussed. It is not even an exhaustive list. Those are the accomplishments I am most proud of when reflecting on my semester. You are more than what you do. I aim to remind my fellow Type-A future attorneys that we truly have a life to live and experience. Law is something I study. It is not who I am. So lets cheers to the New Year and setting more boundaries.