A few weeks ago I found out that I did not pass the bar exam again. I feel so heart broken. When I looked at the score breakdown, I realized that I tanked the second half of the last day. I do not remember much about the exam specifics except that I felt exhausted and in pain. I wanted so badly to be the hero of a story about a woman who defies the odds and conquers an exam. In fact, I feel like a loser.
I am so happy that I had a part in making both the Little Mister and the Little One. I am glad to play a part in helping them grow and develop. Sometimes, though, I feel like I really stink at being a parent. I am not sure how to stop them from crying. I am not so good at conflict resolution. I yell. I cry. I do not always want to play. Sometimes, I want to run away from them and be alone.
I also want a career. A professional life that is thriving and contributes to a positive identity. I feel lost. When I was in school and even when I started working, I thought that my career would be pretty linear. I was not sure that I would ever want to marry and have children. Life has turned out to be more complex and wonderful than I imagined. The reality of balancing all the things I want is much tougher and less glamorous than expected.
Once Partner came into my life and we started talking about having a family, I knew that it was important to me to continue to have a professional life after children arrived (we also have a lifestyle that depends on two incomes). We were actively going to work on being co-parents. When I was pregnant with the Little One, my fellowship was finishing about a month before she arrived. We decided that I would take about six months parental leave and then start job searching. I decided to try the bar exam which did not work out so well. Then, I had a hard time finding a position.
When I finally had a job, I knew that something was off. However, it had been so long since I was in the paid workforce that I worked hard to make things click. As they started to fall apart, I began to fear that I was not fit to work and that I would never find a good position again. When I was pumping myself up to take the bar exam again, I thought about all the great jobs I could have with bar admission. When I got the news that I did not pass, I heard my former asshole supervisor say, "I hope that you can break your pattern of incompetence." I also kept seeing their stupid faces as they told me that I had a great personality, but that the work should have been better. I know that I am not incompetent and that a standardized exam does not determine my smarts, but damn is it hard to not feel like they are right.
I came up with a plan a few weeks ago to volunteer to write one or two blog posts a month for organizations I care about on topics about which I have some expertise. I thought that this would help to close the gap on my resume. When I had time to write a cover letter or work on an application, I could not think of anything to say. All those stupid negative thoughts came into my mind and I would close the computer to go take a nap, watch a television show, or just hang out. I want to find my way back to the paid workforce. I know that I have contributions to make, ass to kick,and a world to help make better, but wow is it hard to make my way.