Dont worry, this wont hurt a bit.
Posted: Thursday, Jul. 19, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Brittany Sajbel is an associate attorney in Concord. Her March wedding planning has hit quite a few bumps in the road, but she remains positive and sane with the help of her amazing fiance, Neil Love, and their two furbabies, Gemma Bean and Kitty Caroline. Contact Brittany here.
By this time next week, I will have sat through the two most grueling days of my life. Twelve years of preparatory school, four years of undergraduate, a two year hiatus being the teacher instead of the student, three years of law school, and two months of studying will all boil down to 12 hours of testing over two days.I have been in a classroom for over 3,500 days of my 9,474 days of existence, and my professional career depends on twelve hours of testing over two days.The thought of it alone makes me sick to my stomach, which is good since I havent had the time to exercise in a week.My best friend from high school started talking to me yesterday about how she really struggles during the times when shes unable to make it to the gym, and I realized that I am on completely the same page. As much as I whine and complain about getting to the gym, nothing beats the feeling of completing a successful workout. Soreness the next day is just a measure of pride -- your body reminding you with every bend and snap that its proud of you. Having focused exclusively on studying last week and planning to until next Tuesday, Im concerned about next months weigh-in at Flex + Fit, but I know that I still have several months ahead of me to really get myself where I need to be.As much as I want to marry Coach Love, I have wanted to be an attorney for a heck of a lot longer.When I was in the sixth grade, one of my teachers asked us to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up. My Uncle Mike had just married one of the most amazing woman I have ever met, so I knew that I wanted to be just like her -- an anesthesiologist (and British, but that wasnt in the foreseeable future). At the time, doctors and marine biologists were all the rage, so I had to one-up the group and go with a specialty. I had never heard of a doctor before that didnt have to deal with the blood and guts, so I thought that gassing people sounded magical.Later in that same year, however, something happened that would change my life forever and put me on a path that was beyond my control -- the debut of Ally McBeal. At 12 years old, Ally represented everything that I wanted to be when I grew up. She was career-oriented, fun, successful and beautiful, living in an amazing big city and making a ton of money while an excellent soundtrack played in the background.Her tumultuous late-20s love life seemed to echo a lot of the things that I was struggling with at the time -- the desire to be well-liked, to have the attention of a nice boy and to be surrounded by friends. Most importantly, her career was something that I wanted. There was structure, there was elegance, there was emotion and respect and passion and logic. Contrary to the stereotypes surrounding lawyers, Ally always stuck up for the little guy, took on un-winnable cases to make a point, and stuck by her morals when it came to representing the marginalized and disenfranchised. She was quirky, but she was so different and unusual that she was endearing. I was different and unusual, and I guess I thought that meant that there was some hope for me.With all of the fears about the job market and articles popping up weekly with titles like, Why Law School was the Most Expensive Mistake I Have Ever Made, Why You Shouldnt Go to Law School, and Dear 16-Year-Old Me, Dont Go to Law School, I have never once doubted my choices. My future employment remains uncertain (especially considering I might have a panic attack in the middle of the exam), but I am exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to do.I love the time spent preparing a case to be in front of a judge and a jury, and I thrive in that environment. For me, the beginning of a trial or even just a day in court is like getting to the very top of a roller coaster right before you know that its going to drop, because you know that its going to be an incredible ride. There might be some butterflies, but at the end, you want to hop right back on.Im excited about taking the bar exam because I know that once it is over, I can finally focus on getting my act together with wedding planning and exercising. There will be more time for home-cooked meals and trying out some new classes that Ive wanted to take. There will be more time to devote to my fiancé and really planning out what we want our day to be like. I can finally sift through the piles of wedding magazines I have accumulated this summer and get back to my regular cut-and-file-ideas routine. I get a little bit jealous when I hear the other Carolina Bride Get Fitters are making such significant strides in planning their days, like Becca finding the dress of her dreams with her mama or Alyn saying that she already has most of her wedding planned a year from now! Youre killing me ladies, but (seriously, jealously) congratulations! Dont worry, this will all be over soon. I keep having to repeat it to myself as I slog through each new essay or multiple choice question, and its funny because it sounds like exactly what an anesthesiologist would say to you right before you go under. I am excited to take the bar exam because Im ready for it to be over. This weddings going to be a piece of cake when Im ready to tackle it, and I cant wait to share it with you!
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