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A Time to Kill My Dream

“What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts? “

I was 12 when I watched A Time To Kill and as I watched Jake Tyler Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) fight for justice by separating people from their prejudices and making them see with their hearts, I decided that day I wanted to be in a court room one day, fighting for justice myself. My career choice wasn’t put on me by my parents…it was my own passion that led me down that path. Once I reached high school, it was clear that I would do everything I could to pursue my education in law, even if I hit a few bumps along the way.

“And until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be even-handed. It will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices.”

I entered the debate team of my high school in 9th grade. My sophomore year, I tried out and became a lawyer on our Mock Trial team. My first three years in high school were spent researching and writing up arguments. I spent many nights after school debating, practicing and going over evidence. The first time that I entered the courtroom for our trial and made my opening statement was one of the most exhilarating nights of my life. I knew that’s where I belonged…even with my shaking hands and fast-beating heart.

One of the reasons that GWU became my first choice for college was their debate and mock trial teams. Once I was accepted into their undergrad program in their International Affairs School, I began researching information for tryouts for debate & mock trial. This was it. I was moving forward with my dream.

Unfortunately, I never made it to the try outs. Since I was living at home and any extracurricular activities naturally met in the evening, my parents weren’t comfortable with me hanging around campus late…even though this is what I’d been working towards for four years. In one moment, all of my dreams were crushed. I spent my nights working part-time instead. I never forgave my mom nor myself for letting her get away with everything she’s gotten away with…I wonder how different my life would be now if I had pursued debate and mock trial in college.

The strange thing is…as much as I want to move onto law school, I think that the next step in my life after getting my B.A. in International Affairs will be a Master’s in journalism. Or Criminal Justice. I know that I want to be involved in justice and making a difference one way or another. Will I ever stand in a court room and speak to a judge & jury again? I don’t know…but I do know that even though one dream was crushed, the little girl who was moved by justice, perseverance and passion won’t ever let me give up on my dreams again.

Did you ever watch a movie that had such a big impact on you? What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you pursue it? Why or why not? Are you happy with the career you chose or would you rather be doing something else? If so, what?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Caroline January 12, 2009, 8:10 am

    I wanted to be a lawyer since was I was very, very young, and everything I ever did was geared towards that. I took a break from the law, but what it taught me was that I HAVEN’T been wrong about what I want to do for the rest of my life, and there is nothing else I would rather be doing. But it isn’t for everyone, and I have many classmates (and a husband) who don’t even have an active license anymore. Go figure.

  • Cassie January 12, 2009, 8:42 am

    not a movie….a TV show…..I wanted to be Wonder Woman growing up!!! no, seriously.

    Then after watching Smokey and the Bandit….I wanted to be a trucker!

    Then after watching James Bond, I wanted to be a spy!!!

    I was a very inventive and very wishy washy child!! LOL

  • perpstu January 12, 2009, 10:40 am

    I think you CAN do anything you set your mind to. You are a smart little cookie, don’t let anything deter you!

    XOXOXO

  • yoonamaniac January 12, 2009, 10:58 am

    I think it’s a little too early to be resigned as to say you dream has been squashed. Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck.

  • Anita January 12, 2009, 1:12 pm

    Growing up I pursued a career in figure skating. I lived and breathed my sport, forsaking much of the usual kids- and teen age activities September through April every year. Plan was to travel the world with an ice show, then settle down abroad as a coach.

    Somewhere on MS there are a sequal about this. I believe it is called “Daring To Dream”. I was SO lost when my dream was binned, and only now, nearly two decades later, do I dare to take baby steps towards a new dream, that of running my own photography biz.

    Get out, then follow your heart. Take it from me; there is NOTHING worse than giving up on ones dreams.

    *Hugs*

  • Glyphrunner January 12, 2009, 2:57 pm

    I had five things that I wanted to be (in no particular order):
    1. Astronaut
    2. Police officer
    3. International spy (James Bond)
    4. Railroad engineer (choo choo!!)
    5. Teacher

    I went to school to fulfill the teacher portion. Received my undergrad in Physical Education, but at the time teachers’ salaries in North Dakota were below $18k per year so I decided not to follow that path. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of creating a family that needed supporting, so finances plays far too large a role in life now.

  • Amanda BBKF January 12, 2009, 8:21 pm

    Babe, I’m sorry your plans got smashed. I hope that you get to have your day in court (so to speak).
    To answer, I’ve seen plenty of movies that made me want to be or do something. The overall sense and lesson is that I can be or do anything I want. Besides, I doubt I can fill Sarah Connor’s shoes.

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