I am not a lawyer

On Monday, August 15, 2016 instead of walking into my first class as a law student, I walked into the bookstore and returned my textbooks. I had been accepted to all five law schools that I had applied to, had picked one, gone through orientation, and had finally come to the conclusion that I was in the entirely wrong situation for myself.

Sometimes, I have to learn things the hard way. This is an ID from one of the schools I had been accepted to. I almost moved to Tennessee.

I am not a lawyer.

Dropping out of law school was not a popular decision with my family. They were disappointed in me and told me I was making a huge mistake, worried that I was making a rash decision. That was understandable. They hadn’t been struggling with the inner turmoil that I’d been swimming in for months.

The thing was, I felt so much lighter, confident, and full of ambition for the first time in about a year and a half as soon as I made the decision to leave law school. I left knowing what I wanted. I wanted to go back to my passion: marketing.

I am a marketer.

I applied for a few marketing positions that sounded interesting and within two weeks had been through a few interviews and had my choice between multiple job offers.

I picked the one that paid the least by far: the SPCA of Northern Nevada and boy, was it the right choice!

Let’s go back. Back to the beginning, where this all started. Since I first learned how to speak, I’ve been a storyteller. There I would be, at the dinner table, the youngest of five children, capitalizing on my captive audience of brothers and sisters. I took them through a journey with a plot, action, and a *fascinating* conclusion. I loved seeing the reactions they gave me. It lit me up.

Here you can see me as a two-year-old, determined to tell a story to my family at the dinner table.

School wasn’t always easy for me. As a first grader, I was put into a slow reading group in class. I loved books…but instead of learning how to read, I would simply memorize the stories that went with the pictures.

However, by the time I reached 4th grade, my brain had caught up with my ambition and I was at the top of the class. My teachers would share my short stories with the Principal, admiring my use of imagery to draw the reader in.

Then in high school, I became a peer tutor, helping others translate teacher-speak into teenager-speak; helping them prepare for English exams; assisting those who’s native tongue was not English with social studies and science. I would get so much joy watching it click for the students when I was able to help guide them.

I also started acting in school plays. There was nothing quite like the rush from getting on stage and making the audience feel something through performing.

Certificate from the International Thespian Society to Angela Rudolph for being an Honor Thespian from my high school in Sparks, NV.

I continued on that path through my undergraduate education. I got a degree in Psychology as I was fascinated with the way our minds work, the way we interact with one another, and the way that we interact with the world. Understanding people and their motivations made me feel connected to the rest of the world.

I started my career in marketing as the Marketing Assistant for a small vitamin and nutraceutical manufacturer. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and learned so much. Within two years I had been promoted to a new position, the Marketing Manager. I was LOVING it.

But a bad breakup sent me running for the hills. In order to get away from that situation, I had to find a new job. I ended up securing a position at a courthouse and decided my life needed a new direction.

That’s when I thought Law School might be the answer.

While I might never make as much money in marketing and communications as I would have as a lawyer, I’m definitely much happier personally.

We all have to follow our passions. When you are doing what you love, what you were made to do, it’s never as difficult to get up in the morning to do it. Yes, we all occasionally would rather stay in bed, but when you find true fulfillment in your work, you can easily get over the urge to sleep in or call in sick.

I love marketing. It combines my passions for storytelling, writing, helping others, and performing.

So, when the time came to truly decide on being a lawyer or going back to my passion of marketing and communication, the choice was easy. (At least for me…my family still had their doubts.)

 I knew I am a marketer. I knew I was fully capable and would create the life I would be excited to live every day.

Because at the end of the day, you are the one who has to live your life. You have to get out of your bed every day and decide what you will contribute to society. How you will spend your time. And how you will make other people feel. It’s a lot easier to spread joy when you feel joyful about your situation.

So I took the low-paying job at the SPCA and I loved every second of it. I loved connecting people with pets. I loved helping tell the stories of the incredible staff who rescue pets in need of love and care. And I loved the connections I made in the community as the marketing and communications liaison for the organization. Plus, when you love what you do, the money will catch up to you. I earned raises and benefits after working as hard as I could.

No matter where my professional journey now takes me, I am confident that I’m in the right line of work, doing the things I was made to do. And, once my family saw how happy I am, they were completely on board and supportive, too.

What’s your passion? Share it with me in the comments and we can discuss why it sets your heart on fire!

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