(Upon writing and re-reading this I wonder if it sounds self-congratulatory, but it's not meant to - but I really want to preserve this moment of feeling semi-victorious in my own self-esteem just for when things get dark and cloudy again. Probably in about eight minutes.)
So, I was perusing non-law jobs today online (something I like to do, sort of a "treat" if you will), and suddenly I was reminded of something.
I have four years experience as an Air Force officer directly supervising a staff of eight, providing support to nearly 6,000, running programs that touched on every facet of a military member's life and were of the utmost importance to the health, morale, welfare and discipline of our nation's warfighting forces. I discharged people from the military. I was a subject matter expert. I defended my decisions and programs and people up my chain of command, all the way to a 3-star General, and made huge decisions with minimal supervision and maximum personal discretion.
I have a Master's degree in Human Resource Development with a G.P.A. of 3.98. A degree I completed at night, while working 70 hours a week in the military supporting intelligence personnel and our worldwide mission post-9/11.
I have years of professional experience working as a secretary/admin. assistant to the CEO of an HMO, and, indeed, worked full-time while going to school at night for four years to put myself through college. I also worked at a runaway shelter, a financial consulting place (as a receptionist), and one time I put over 100,000 car loan applications in numerical order for $6/hr. I always worked though, and I always moved up at my next job.
I'm smart, capable, not-just-computer-literate-but-computer-SAVVY (!!), type fast, have management experience of both people and resources, work well under pressure, can manage my time effectively, have above average "people skills," and have persevered through some pretty crappy times in my life in order to get where I am today.
See, I don't HAVE to be a lawyer if this all doesn't work out. I almost forgot for awhile that I have options. I can find a job doing something else. I will always be able to find a job. I have never, in my life, not been able to find a job, doing something that would at least pay the bills. Shit, between when I got out of the Air Force and started law school, I temped as a receptionist at an insurance company and made enough money that it would keep me afloat right now, at least for a couple months until I had to start paying off student loans.
I have options. You see?
UPDATE: With the encouragement of Roomie and GK, I applied to a non-law job today. I am very excited to see if I even get an interview...I'm scared they'll just trash my resume because I won't graduate until June, but I tried to address it in my cover letter. It felt good to jump outside the box for a moment, and it was a perfect opportunity for me.