Thursday, November 1, 2012

One Month.

One month from today, I will take another standardized test. I promised myself I was not going back to school, but as my mom's friend said to me shortly after Mike's death, "You know, now's the time to do what you want to do, and I don't really feel like you've put that dream of going to law school to bed".  She was right. I earned my Project Management Professional certification because it was a necessity for my job. I earned my MBA because it would help in my job and would help in the foundation I have always wanted to start (and hope to soon). These degrees/certifications have been important to my success today, but the desire to go to law school has never quite died out.
I didn't have any "control/choice" in Mike's death. I didn't know it was going to happen. I didn't get to say goodbye. I didn't get to see him when he died. I didn't get to see him before he died. Even though I was right there for him every step of the way, and ultimately, made the call that helped find him, I had no "choice" in any of this.
The moment tragedy struck, I had a choice. I could crumble into an emotional mess and treat my life as it was over. I could be just as paralyzed by pain and fear and despair as Mike was. I could throw in the towel. The other option, the best option, was to find something to help me move forward. Through talking with family and friends and grief counselors, it seemed like the right time to pursue the dream I had been shoving aside for so long. I sanity checked my decision with a few people I work with and trust with helping me flesh out my career path and they couldn't have been more encouraging. I had also been praying for about six months prior to Mike's death for God to show me the next step in my career. So, all paths have diverged, and I am taking the LSAT on December 1.
I was supposed to take the test in October when most people do, but as I was practicing, I noticed a huge discrepancy in the number of correct answers when I circled in the book and when I bubbled the answers in on the Scantron sheet. This issue led to a decision to request an alternate answer sheet and extra time on the test like I had throughout high school and college. Well, LSAC doesn't make it easy to request accommodations, so 8 hours of educational tests, an IQ test, and a physical exam later, I submitted my request. In the process of all of these tests, it was discovered that I have a learning disability that is common in people with Cerebral Palsy. I'd been telling my parents and teachers that I have trouble with these tests, but they just told me to use a ruler and calm down. Nope, turns out 30 years later, we discover I have a learning disability. LSAC doesn't think all of that testing is enough, though, so they denied my request and sent me for an eye exam and further explanation of my learning disability. Now, I have more information on myself than I've ever wanted to know! One interesting fact is most people either use both eyes or one dominant eye to read. Not me! I alternate my eyes. The eye doctor was fascinated by this, but I've never done anything the "normal" way so I wasn't surprised! Now, I wait to see if my appeal is accepted. I sure hope so because I had to postpone my test date because of all of this. I wait and see.
Regardless of whether my request is accepted, I have to work really hard to knock out those logical reasoning questions, logic games and reading comprehension. I'm no stranger to hard work and this is something I really want, so I am willing to put in the effort. One month. One more month.
I never thought I'd say I'd be thankful for a standardized test, but studying for this has done wonders for my mind in terms of helping me deal with my grief. It helps to shift some of the focus of what has just happened and gives me something to look forward to. So, I am very thankful for all of this. I am also very hopeful all of this will work out. I don't want to let everyone down. I don't want to let myself down. One month. One month.

In the words of my favorite book as a child, The Little Train that Could, I think I can, I think I can.


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