Persistence Cuts A Path

Prior to graduating law school, I was very fortunate in obtaining an almost perfect job. I loved my extraordinary boss. She hired me despite my being an average student from an average school. My talent, if it existed, was completely hidden to the naked eye.

I worked for a company that represented movie studios in labor negotiations. There was just one problem. I disliked labor law like I disliked finding a stray hair on my tongue after an innocent bite of salad. After graduation, my boss generously allowed me to continue to work for her while I hunted down the right job.

I desired a spot as business affairs counsel for a studio. My securing this position seemed as likely as my growing a beanstalk, climbing up, and sharing a mug of hot chocolate with Jack’s giant. To succeed in my endeavor, I needed either: an ivy league degree, gilt-edged law firm experience, inside knowledge of the secret fetish of an important movie executive, adoption by a Brangelina type couple or willingness to engage in unmentionable activities (as this is a PG-13 rated blog).

Not one to stand still, I opted to take virtually every business affairs attorney in town to lunch in an attempt to display my sparkling personality and to convince them that I was the chosen one. I ended up with empty pockets.

Soon after, almost everyone I knew advised me to seek work in another field of law. Business affairs jobs were hard to come by. And one needed plenty of solid experience.  Unfortunately, like money, experience didn’t grow on trees.

My boss suggested I go where all other newly minted attorneys go when first seeking employment: the government. Specifically, the District Attorney’s office. Even my dear mother seconded that motion reminding me of the splendid benefits, as did my friends, former professors, and the beautician, even though she said the head DA was a terrible tipper. The postal carrier, tired of seeing me perched atop the mailbox, day after day, awaiting a positive response to the countless resumes I’d sent out said,

“Why do you do this to yourself? You like being rejected?”

Damn right I didn’t. But my sights were fixed. I didn’t want to work anywhere else. Picture an incredible craving for an ice cream sundae and settling instead for cold mashed potatoes. I didn’t want to stop trying. Yet every seemingly authentic human I knew advised otherwise.

I caved in and nabbed an interview at the DA’s office. It did not go well. Let’s just say, a dust-laden legal treatise accidentally landed on the assistant DA’s foot with a fairly strong downward force, mid interview. I left knowing I’d not be back.

Despite the rumblings from all that chances of getting the job I wanted were slim, I snagged my perfect position a few months later. Success had been lingering just around the corner,  appearances be damned.

The majority of writers know the sting of rejection well, myself included. But we manage to lick our wounds and carry on. How many of our dreams, large or small, are dashed or sidetracked, due to well meaning advice or criticism? Ultimately, the voice we must listen to is our own. Life is filled with good intentions. And you know where that road can lead. Think for yourself or someone else will do your thinking for you.

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