Since the fourth grade, I have wanted to pursue a career in either the performing arts or the entertainment industry. However, I also felt that I should have a backup plan for this notoriously rocky career path. I always liked the idea of being a lawyer because being in a courtroom excites me. I decided to reach out to my mom’s lawyer friend, Mitch, over winter break to gain a new perspective on what it takes to practice law.
Mitch explained the necessary steps for being a lawyer: gaining admission into a law school, putting in an incredibly large amount of work in an environment where competition is favored over collaboration, passing the bar, and finding work after a challenging three years. None of that sounded appealing to me. The lawyer in front of me could tell that I was not interested, and rather intimidated by the whole idea of a law degree. He began to shift the conversation toward his advice for how to approach life and the best ways to make yourself happy.
Mitch told me I should find my passion and work from there. He explained that I should not be a lawyer unless I could “literally not envision myself doing anything else.” That stuck with me. I had a realization that becoming a lawyer would shut out my dreams of becoming an actor, and that is what is most important to me.
My meeting with Mitch made me realize that I should not worry about getting paid a lot of money or finding financial stability as soon as I can. Mitch expressed that it was important to just gain experience and get out there because I have the rest of my life to be in a comfortable place with money. I should spend now living, messing up and finding my way. It's okay to stumble, it's okay to trip and it’s definitely okay to fall!
At the end of the day, you are always going to get back up and find what you are going to do with your life. The things at which we fail don't define us. They help us grow and allow us to become better people. Life is more of a failure than a success. It is necessary to try, try, and try again before you eventually succeed. Some believe that the success in life is the journey itself—and they might be onto something!
All this being said, having a backup (and more stable) career plan is still a very valuable thing to have. However, you should not sacrifice what you really want to do for any reason. There is nothing that should get in the way of your happiness.