Why Is She Doing This?

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A little background on where I've come from, who I am, and why I opened this firm

A lot can change in 6 months, and for me the beginning of 2018 was the most life changing period of my entire life.

At this time exactly 6 months ago I had just broken off an engagement to be married, moved out into my own apartment, felt lost, defeated, and completely unsure of myself. I knew deep down in my heart that I was making the right choice for my life, but I had no idea what was ahead. No one knew, or at least I assumed no one knew, the struggles I had been dealing with while in such a rocky, painful relationship, so I decided no one needed to know about the end of the relationship either. I hid my pain from my friends and family, and many people didn't even know that the engagement was off or that I had moved out. I isolated myself and hurt in silence.

It took about a month for me to start breathing again, but then right as I was starting to feel almost ok, I went through the most traumatic experience of my life - finding the man I had loved dead in his house after he had been there for 2 days. I suffered shock, guilt, feeling helpless and even more lost than before. I knew rationally that it wasn't my fault, and I know now that his hidden extreme battle with depression had been a major reason we couldn't make things work, but still, in the face of such tragedy there is no rationality. I felt that there was no hope.

I floundered aimlessly for a few weeks. I considered moving away to New Zealand (I've heard it's nice there and the accents are appealing). I considered going back to school - as if getting two Bachelor degrees and a Law Degree weren't enough academic punishment. I thought about hiding in my apartment and never coming out again. Finally I chose to just pack up the car and hit the road to find some beauty instead of wallowing in pain and self pity. I saw the Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, the beauty surrounding Moab, and soaked my pain away in the hot springs of Pagosa before finally returning back to "real life" after about two weeks.

I was devastated during this time, but I also experienced such love, kindness, and support that I was shocked. I had been hiding my pain and struggles for so long that I had lost my connection with who I was and those who loved me most. In those following weeks I rekindled old friendships long forgotten, reunited with my family who I had kept at a distance for so long, and rediscovered my faith in a higher power.

After another few weeks, I started to smile again. I started to share with those closest to me what I had been going through, not just in the month of February, but for the past few years as well. I started to breath easier with each burden that lifted off. I started to actually experience life rather than just endure it. I didn't stop feeling pain entirely, I don't think you ever really do when someone close to you takes their own life. I still feel the cold steel edge of guilt, anger, and sadness pierce my heart when I think about my ex and what he did. But beyond the pain, coming face to face with death finally made me realize the importance of living.

That may sound cliched. It may sound callous. It could be off putting to some people, but I no longer care what people may think or say. To live your life constantly worrying about the rest of the world and its opinions is to live someone else's life - to live everyone else's life but your own. When you are living someone else's life, the reasons for continuing to live your life seem to dull. It makes it easier to give up. I refuse to give up any more of the precious life and time that I have left.

So I forced myself to LIVE.

I forced myself to go out and spend time with friends even though a tub of ice cream and a bag of cheetos on the couch sounded more appealing. I forced myself to exercise and use the healthy body I've been blessed with instead of letting it waste away. I forced myself to live, until one day I woke up, and it wasn't necessary to force anything. I wanted to be active, I wanted to be social, I wanted to make something of my life. I wanted to live - more fiercely and more passionately than I have ever wanted anything before in my life. I wanted to make a difference, to show other people in my life that just because you've hit the absolute bottom of the darkest pit you can imagine, you have every reason to pull yourself back up and struggle through. I started brainstorming what I could do with my life to make it truly worthwhile.

I had been working for about a year as a criminal defense attorney at a firm here in Colorado Springs. I knew I was good at it, but something in me said I could be better. When I first began working as an attorney, I was a Deputy District Attorney. I loved being able to serve my community and help people. As I continued working however, I realized that there were many people who I was prosecuting that were truly good people who had just hit rock bottom and screwed up. I wanted to help them too. I tried for a long time to walk the fine line between being a good DA and being fair to the people who deserved a chance, but due to office politics at the time, I was unable to keep that dance up. Finally I decided to leave government work and do defense work instead.

Having done defense work now, I have worked with people in all kinds of situations and walks of life. Frankly, the majority of the people I have worked with have stories similar to the one I told above - they had a tough situation and hit rock bottom. Then instead of trying to ease the pain in a healthy way, they chose the wrong path and ended up with a criminal charge.

That's why I'm doing what I am doing now. I opened the Right Law Group this month to get people back on the right path through their right to counsel. I branched out on my own because I am different than most defense attorneys. I do not believe everyone is innocent. In fact, I believe the majority of the time, people end up in a bad situation because they did something to get themselves there, but that does not mean that they are a bad person. So many things in life can go wrong and people can go down a wrong path without even realizing the future impact it will have on their lives. Pain does that to a person. It clouds their judgment and makes the wrong or easy path seem more appealing at times. But going the wrong way does not have to be the end of the story, and that's where this firm comes in.

Sometimes all it takes to turn a person's life around is having someone believe in them and guiding them back to the right path. I know that there were many people with me over the past few months and years who helped me get through and stay on track. If it weren't for those people, I very well could have ended up on the opposite side of the law for any number of reasons. I was fortunate to have a strong group of people backing me, but not everyone is so lucky. For those people who have fallen into a dark place, I want to make a difference in their lives. I want to be there, standing by their side, helping them claw their way back to the surface of the pit and see them get back on the right path. For me, this firm is not just about the law, it is about putting people's lives back together and it is about doing something worthwhile with my life. For that reason, I only take clients I believe in. I take on people who want to change, who want to get back on track, who want something better. I take on good people going through a hard time. I take people who want to do what is right, despite the fact that they may have done wrong in the past.

  • Speaking of what is right, it may seem odd to begin this post with my personal story then talk about opening my own firm. It may seem unprofessional or inappropriate to get so personal in a professional post, but this illustrates what my entire post is about. I am not trying to do things the way everyone else does it. I am not trying to be anyone other than me. I went through a very difficult beginning of the year, but because of that I am able to appreciate life, and part of that life entails open a firm that embodies my true goals as an attorney. I am not one of those people who's company becomes their entire life. My company was created because I am living my own life. My best life.

    I have always heard that your life can change in an instant. That one event can completely change a person. I have not even scratched the surface of the things I've been through in life. Some might say that what I went through a few months ago was not nearly as bad as some of the other awful experiences I have had to overcome, but the fact is that these last 6 months have been the most life changing for me, and I hope that they will now be the catalyst for something I never before dreamed possible.

    I sit here writing this post, looking out my new office window, and I am struck by how truly beautiful life is. I am a much different person now than I was 6 months ago, and I could not be happier with where I am in life now. The fact that I can be so drastically different and find success doing something I never would have dreamed possible a few short months ago gives me hope for my clients as well - both current and future. I'm not saying you have to go through a horrific event to appreciate life, nor do you have to have a criminal charge against you, but those types of events can either be disastrous or they can be the spring board one uses to jump off into a much better life.

    For me, and for the clients this firm will serve, hard times are just the platform off of which we will dive fully into life - what lies ahead is truly more exciting and beautiful than the difficult past we leave behind us.

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