2021 Theme: Moving forward, making it happen
It is a certain and unavoidable fact that 2020 was a year that will long to be forgotten. It was challenging, difficult, and heartbreaking on many levels.
But for me, it was also a year where things began to slot into place at long last, though the path to eventual success consisted of battling imposter syndrome, facing challenges at work during an enforced lockdown, attending a demanding professional course online as well as sitting exams from home and delivering on my personal promises, to be a better version of myself.
Somehow, it all came together and my qualification as a solicitor was made a reality in December, with my name entered on the roll of solicitors.
My parents were proud, and everyone who I have told the news has congratulated me on what has been classed as a remarkable achievement.
I am very relieved to have reached this goal and to have my hard work rewarded at long last.
But somehow, the victory felt hollow, despite it being hard-fought and the result of years of academic work and personal struggles.
Truthfully, this previous year took its toll on my mental health in many ways: isolation from family and friends, the loss of a beloved pet after 15 and a half joyful years, and being unable to travel to events or fitness classes. Sacrifices were made in order to stay safe, to stay healthy, but I still felt the losses deeply.
Even becoming a solicitor, even with the dream coming true, felt undeserved or that it could very well be snatched away. It was a terrible feeling to have.
In the last few days, those precious first days of 2021 where goals are made, no matter how lofty or impossible, I began to look to the future and had something to look forward to rather than dread. No more gruelling exams or anxious days waiting for results to be uploaded online.
Now, there was my path ahead to a fulfilling career.
The pride in my achievement has found its way and I now face into my career with a brighter outlook, though with a greater understanding of what strain is placed upon a solicitor's shoulders, and just how important it is to reach out for that assistance, through a peer support network, the workplace and counselling services.
What I just shared is not an unknown phenomenon, namely that of the dreaded imposter syndrome, and it should not be the status quo. Times are changing and mindsets are slowly shifting towards a more empathetic understanding of the importance of mental health. For so long, I felt like a fraud when certain things did not click straight away in terms of a legal issue, or if I struggled with drafting or could not answer a question on the spot.
Realising that I was starting out in my career, that I have many years to hone my skills, to learn about areas I am interested in, to explore new ways to carry out tasks and to always advise clients in a transparent, honest fashion, respecting their privacy and providing a professional service is what ultimately matters the most.
I write this post as a fresh start with this blog, and with a renewed determination to share my voice and interests with confidence.
I would also be delighted to take this opportunity to share my vision board for this year following a productive and enjoyable Driven Woman Session this week, where I found a beautiful mood board template on Canva and set about finding images that would spur me on towards a brighter future in one year's time.
Some of these images are self-explanatory, which link to how I want my self-image and career to develop in the coming year.
The three powerful words that I have chosen for this year are resilience, confidence, and commitment. These words resonate with me and what I want to achieve with my life at this pivotal moment.
I am cautiously optimistic to see what this year will bring and hopefully I will be able to make things happen, not just in my professional life, but my own dreams and wishes.
Thank you to everyone who has read my posts and liked what I have been writing so far. I promise to continue on and share more with you this year as we head into hopefully better times ahead.
What is facing the world and each of us as individuals are unprecedented, stressful and unlike anything seen in a lifetime. It has given me a genuine knock, but I will strive to continue and make better choices for myself.
Publishing more on this blog will be the first step!
Take care and stay safe.