By Sunny Choi • January 20, 2014•Other Issues
Passion Forward, not backward. True passion means that you leave behind the errors of your past, live to the fullest in your present, and strive to build a better tomorrow in your future. Most importantly, passion is about finding yourself.
When Katie asked me to write this post and share my passion with Ms. JD, I struggled with what I could possibly write in light of the fact that I’m admittedly not as passionate about the law as others. The truth is that most of us enter law with half the passion that is required to practice it. That is why we end up being unhappy and search to fill an unexplainable void. Over the years, I’ve learned that this doesn’t have to be the case and that passion can come from in, out, and above the law. Nicole Chiu-Wang is the perfect example of this scheme of thought, in showing us how she used her law background to pursue non-law passions. Finding your passion is not an easy journey and as I’ve previously mentioned, it starts with finding yourself, which is how my story begins.
I graduated law school in a dark and hopeless place. To make a long story short, I was still job hunting and forced to live at home with my parents, who constantly put me in the middle of their fights. I was far from myself and forgot that happiness existed. However, no one is responsible for you but you. Gradually, I found two part-time associate jobs that allowed me to move out, a step that was essential to my sanity despite the financial costs. Then the part-time positions led to full-time employment at one place. I continued to battle my inner demons, but I was finally freeing myself from the chains of the past.
Fast forward to today. While I still haven’t found 100% passion in my regular legal job, I’ve found passion in other endeavors that make a fuller experience of the present. I started freelance writing on the side to help pay down my law school loans and discovered my love for writing in the process. It’s my exploration of this passion that first led me to Ms. JD, when I applied for the Writers in Residence program. From there, I stayed involved with Ms. JD as the 2013 Writers in Residence Coordinator and now as the Content Director. I’ve also been writing articles for Above the Law’s careers section after one of the editors read my posts on Ms. JD.
And thanks to Ms. JD, I’ve been able to find passion relevant to the law, when and where I least expected it. In fact, Ms. JD is a gold mine of passion just waiting to be unearthed by you and your fellow women in law. I was able to witness this passion firsthand at the 2012 “She Leads” conference in Washington, D.C. Before the conference, I only had a vague notion of the ideas and goals that drive Ms. JD to do what it does for female law students and professionals. When I left Washington, D.C., I took the lessons of the seminars with me and cherished my time with the group of wonderful women who welcomed me to Ms. JD.
That is why I strongly encourage attending “Passion Forward” this year. To see for yourself how passion isn’t limited to the law, but steeped in an organization led by women, for women, who work tirelessly to empower the female presence. All because they passionately believe in the cause. These days, I hope to keep busy not only with Ms. JD, but also with renewed focus on my personal goal to write the next great American novel. Although the future remains a constant mystery, finding yourself can very well lead to finding your passion in the process, one that will endure the next year, decade, or lifetime.
Sunny Choi is the Content Director for Ms. JD and a writer for Above the Law’s careers section. If you have any questions for Sunny on how you can write for Ms. JD or otherwise contribute content to our site, please email Sunny at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also feel free to ask her questions on pursuing freelance writing!