I cannot believe it. It has been one year since I opened the doors of the Law Office of Wendy S. Meadows, LLC. It would be easy to talk about how this one year has flown by, how it has been so much fun to be 100% my own boss, how I adore my 10 minute commute with NO parking garages to deal with, to talk about how I thought I could do it all and quickly realized that was insanely silly and right away hired my assistant, Liz, who has been a God-send to me (literally, I prayed to God, you know what I could really use? A super organized PTA Mom who wants part-time work and who would love to be an office and work with me about 20 hours a week on an extremely flexible schedule for both of us. “Ask and ye shall receive.” But more on that another time).
I didn’t realize at the time that what I did took something called COURAGE. Yes, in the traditional sense I am sure you all are thinking duh Wendy, of course it did! You struck out on your own, opened a freaking business, signed multiple leases, committed yourself, and hired someone. Of course that takes courage. Here is my secret. Those parts didn’t scare me. I KNEW I could DO it. I knew I could run a successful law practice. I know how to work damn hard. I know how to focus. I know how to stay on track with hours and numbers and dollars and run a business.
What I was most SCARED of? Listening to my heart. What would others think? What would my colleagues think? But mostly, what would my partners think?
But then the call was so LOUD that I could not NOT take the leap. I had no other choice. To accomplish the many many MANY things I hope to do in this lifetime, this was the right choice for me. Easy? Heck no — but the only part that wasn’t truly easy had NOTHING to do with me and everything to do with NOT listening to my heart and worrying about everything and everyone else. The worry began to drown me. I had to choose between worrying about not following my dreams or worrying about the worry of possibly upsetting others. When it was framed like that for me, the choice could not have been more clear. Afterall, who am I to predetermine what others may possibly think and feel? At the end of the day, I only know what is in my heart.
This is where things start to come full-circle. I am reading two books right now. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown and 100 Days to Brave by Annie Downs. In The Gifts of Imperfection, we are taking a deep dive into the definition of COURAGE. She tells us that:
The root of the word courage is cor — the Latin word for heart. In one of the earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.“
Meanwhile, I am reading 100 Days to Brave and the same message keeps hitting me smack dab in my face. Striking out on my own, even when others could not understand it, marching to the beat of my own drum, following what my heart and brain were telling me to do was BRAVE.
I say these things not to give myself a pat on the back. Instead, I am trying very hard to teach myself how to CELEBRATE success. It is harder than you think. In fact, it is way easier to beat ourselves up for what we have not done yet. We get so caught up in what we have not yet achieved and we keep looking to the horizon for “what’s next.” However, if we truly want to find happiness, we need to reflect backwards and breathe in all we have accomplished.
I am proud of myself for listening to my heart. I am proud for being brave. I am proud to have found the courage to voice out loud what I needed and then to pursue it. Finally, I am proud to have had a successful first year. I am proud to walk into an office that I have created and grown. I am excited to keep finding my way, my voice, and my heart. To keep being brave. To keep finding courage. To remember to celebrate when it is time to celebrate. Happy One Year Anniversary to Law Office of Wendy S. Meadows, LLC!