“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” I caught my breath as I first read this line in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with my kids when they were younger. It was a transitional time for me. I had changed the course of my career upon deciding to devote more time to my children. As I believed at the time and continue to believe today, I made the right choice. How many mornings did I feel a pang in my heart as I left my son with the nanny, or when I missed his first step? And too, after coming home to be with him, to cook dinner, and to grab a little mommy-baby time before he fell asleep, I would be up until one a.m. preparing for yet another deposition or brief because I refused to compromise either my work product or my position. Then, of course, after I stepped away from my career and eventually became a full-time mom, I realized that I needed balance. Blissful but elusive balance, that element of my life which I am still striving to create. So, when I initially read the Harry Potter quote, I interpreted it narrowly, perhaps to justify my decision which, to many, was tantamount to the abandonment of an otherwise promising career. But, over time, my interpretation of this quote has changed to include the idea that past choices do not need to limit your future, so long as you continue to strive for personal growth and persistently pursue your dreams.
And that is where I am today, pursuing my dream. I have always loved to write, to create ideas on a previously blank piece of paper that could inspire, could move, or could create joy in others. My time as a mom has been a time of personal growth for me and extremely valuable for my children. Immersing yourself in parenthood is wild and can be chaotic, but for me it has been an evolution of character. As a parent, I am more cognizant of the need for a society that values not only respect, tolerance, inclusiveness, and transparency but also that provides opportunity for others to engage in meaningful work and careers. So, I have no regrets about my decision to focus on my role as a mom, but I also realize it is time to refocus my energies and embrace balance. In the best of all worlds, I would combine my talents developed as a lawyer with my creative writing skills. But, the options are many if only I can imagine them. The object is to pursue the dream, or choose to be deprived of what hung in the balance.