Given that I am the only adult student in my class, I am the only person in the class that has a career (besides my dance teacher). As a result, I get a lot of inquiries from some of the older students about my job. Some common questions are, “What’s it like being a lawyer?” “Do you like being a lawyer?” “How long did you have to go to school?” – and my favorite – “Can I shadow you someday?” Of course, I am always receptive to questions about my job. I love molding young minds! However, as I respond with my usual answers of, “It is stressful, but fulfilling” “sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it” “anywhere between 7-8 years of actual school and another 5 years of on the job training (that’s how long it usually takes for most lawyers to get comfortable with their job. No joke.)” and “Sure!” All I could think is: “Why are you even asking me this? Don’t you want to be a professional dancer? I would!” A part of me wants to ask, but I never do. I suppose it is because I know what the answer is already – “NO”. If the girls in the senior company were really serious about becoming professional dancers, they would not get lectures from the General about how they need to be able to do the splits by the fall session and how they are not allowed to take any outside sports besides dance when they are in high school. The General sent out an email to the girls regarding these matters the other day. I even asked the General whether her daughters were going to go professional and she said that she NEVER encouraged them to do so. When asked why, the General said that a dancer’s life is a hard and she would not want to see her girls have to work so hard and be picked apart like she did. I understand – that is certainly a valid reason. Maybe that is why none of her students give it much thought. They probably know they do not want to work that hard to be a professional dancer. They would rather dance and have fun doing it. I do feel sorry for them though. There is nothing more difficult than trying to figure out what you are going to be when you grow up. Praise Jesus – those days are far behind me.
So, now I ask myself, if I had the opportunity to train and (attempt) to become a professional ballet dancer, would I? Well, I really don’t know. I know for sure that if I had the opportunity in my youth I would have likely squandered it. I was not mature enough to dedicate myself to train hard. I was always “too cool for school” back then (and sometimes even now. Holla!) Not to mention that most professions seem glamorous on the outside, but there are always aspects of every job that just down right SUCK. At least I have job security beyond my late 20’s and am not susceptible to any physical injuries, except for the occasional client that is a royal pain-in-my-ass. So, when I think about it, I guess my answer is no (?) OK, that is still not a definite answer. There is always going to be that little wonder looming in the back of my mind, but luckily for me, my fate is set. I am a lawyer by day and a dancing queen by night. That, is that.
So, young ladies, when asking yourself “to be or not to be” a lawyer, a ballerina, a garbage man, anything you need to first ask yourself (1) what do you want out of a job (i.e. working with children, being in a leadership role, sitting in an office, dancing all day, driving on the back of a sweet garbage truck, etc.); (2) how important do you want it to be in your life (i.e. will your job be number one or run second to marriage, family or outside hobbies) and (3) how hard are you willing to work to achieve it (i.e. school for a decade, training for hours in a gym or hauling more trash than any other man).
And that, ladies and gentleman, concludes this weeks installment of “the more you know” with the legal ballerina.