I was 33 years old when I got divorced, my dreams shattered, life flipped upside down, and the world ended.
The divorce itself was high conflict. I struggled to adjust as my children went back and forth between houses. My finances, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio went from impeccable to horrifying in a matter of months. For the first time in my life, I was receiving food stamps and other government aid.
I believed that I had failed at everything that mattered. I knew that the rest of my life would be spent begging for help, struggling to pay rent, working multiple jobs, disappointing my children, and never having enough.
At the time, I was a legal assistant for two attorneys. When one of them suggested I take the LSAT, I laughed and reminded him that only smart people take the LSAT. When the other seconded the idea, I started to think, “I wonder…”
I signed up for the LSAT prep course and took the exam out of curiosity, careful not to tell anyone but my parents and closest friends, just to see if I had the ability to pass. My score was mediocre. I applied to only one school and anticipated rejection. Somehow, the University of Utah decided to accept my application.
I began to hope.
My children were only four and six years old. My parents lived three states away in Washington. I didn’t know if I was smart enough for law school. I didn’t know how I’d pay for everything. I didn’t know whether I’d be able to study effectively, graduate, pass the Bar exam, or get a job.
For three excruciating years, I worked and pushed myself to see what might happen if I kept trying. I struggled through constant anxiety, panic, fear, and depression. I leaned on the strength of family, friends, classmates, and professors.
When I passed the Bar exam, I fell on the floor and cried to God with gratitude that I finally knew I was smart enough for law school and that my family would be okay.
In October 2019, I stood in the middle of the Utah State Capitol Building and, while my children watched, I was sworn-in as an attorney. Raising my arm to the square with my classmates, I looked around in awe and thought, “I wonder what else I could do?”
Every resilient woman who works, sacrifices, bends, breaks, and bleeds to push her family toward a better future, deserves to one day stand in awe of her own achievement and ask, “I wonder what else I could do?”