Thursday, September 18, 2008

The real me

One of my most pronounced personality traits or characteristics or whatever is my ability to project supreme confidence in myself and competence in what I'm doing. In fact, to characterize it as an "ability" is misleading because it suggests that it's something that I can turn off and on. In reality, it's just how I apparently present to the outside world.

And it's something of a blessing and a curse.

On the one hand, if I'm in some kind of confrontation with someone, it tends to give me the upper hand because I always sound like I know what I'm talking about and people get intimidated. That obviously benefits me as a lawyer, too.

But on the other hand, people tend to assume that I actually feel as competent and confident as I seem.

And the truth is, I rarely, if ever, do. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Which is why, in the face of so many well-wishes and expressions of "atta girl! you're gonna kill it!" from my family and friends -- and I so appreciate it, I really do -- I spent last night unable to sleep and sobbing on the phone with my mother at 1:30 in the morning. In fact, just typing those words makes me choke up all over again.

Because for the first time in my life, I'm really and truly terrified about my ability to succeed.

And I feel like the choices I've made in the past couple of years have been colossal mistakes, because I went from having a good job and no debt and living in a house with incredibly reasonable mortgage payments to being out in the middle of the fucking Pacific Ocean with my family and friends a million miles away, with a mortgage payment that I'm choking on and daycare expenses that I'm choking on and a $500 monthly electric bill, a mountain of debt, and no steady income. I want to have another baby, but don't feel like I can afford it. I've got two businesses, one of which (Baby Boot Camp) I know I can make successful, but which won't cover all of my expenses, and a solo law practice that, if I could get a steady client base, I could be fine, but I'm kind of flummoxed as to how I'm going to actually get that steady client base that will provide a consistent stream of billable work.

I'm trying to take lots of deep breaths and make lots of "to do" lists and stay positive. I talked to a guy from an online law portal ( to see about getting my name in a directory so that if people are doing an online search for a lawyer, my name will come up. And there's an opening for administrative law judges at one of the state agencies, so I'll submit an application. And I'm trying to let everyone I know that I'm here and available to work.

But my stomach is killing me and I can't sleep and I feel anxious all the time.

The one positive point is that when I'm really nervous, I totally lose my appetite, so this could be an opportunity to get really skinny.


  1. Anonymous6:41 PM

    Awwwww, sweetie. You are going to be just fine. Rest assured that knowing that God has ordered your steps on the path that you are on, and that He would put no more on you than you can handle.

    Say your prayers every day & every night. Pray to the Father to continue to rain down blessings and success in all that you do. All you have to do is ask Him & he will provide.

    We'll keep you in our prayers stateside, too.


  2. Hey Wendy,

    First of all, I hold to the original thought that you're going to be great. (And I know you well enough to know the occasionally you shine it on...)

    But when I've been in your sort of situation (and I have often) I've found the best thing to do is exactly what you are doing...Keep in motion. Make a list and work on it every day. You've got great things on your list and they will work.

    The main benefit and difference you have from the rest of the "freelance" people is that you are exceptionally good at what you do.

    So cranking through your awesome list, coupled with your skill and brilliance will be what makes it all work.

    So, back to my original note...You're going to be great.


    ps--Also, I am always here to listen to either worries or ideas.

  3. ps---i'm not a million miles away. just a few less than 7,000...totally manageable!

  4. I understand this. It is definitely the opposite of what you project, but I really and truly understand. I know you will work really hard and that things will come together, but you've taken on some very big, scary things, and before doing so, you already felt isolated out there, so it's hardly surprising that you're terrified. Big hugs to you.

  5. Sherice - thank you. I really appreciate it.

    Elizabeth - you're the best. And you're right, 7000 miles is alot less than a million. Give Pickle a pat for me.

    Lisa - Thank you so much. I'm feeling much better in the light of day, and taking Elizabeth's advice and staying busy and proactive. Fingers crossed that it works.