Ask any good lawyer or photographer what’s most important to their work and the one thing they’ll agree on? Framing.
What we choose to focus on, where we point the audience’s attention is crucial.
No One Asks What Was Left Out of the Picture
You see, there’s always a whole lot more to the story than the one flower that’s in focus or that particular cobblestone walkway. There’s more to any individual than a couple of youthful indiscretions a litigator may play up for the jury.
When a story is told, the audience follows the direction of the lens.
How You Talk To and About Yourself Matters
Many of us don’t realize that we’re presenting ourselves with a story all day, everyday via self-talk. One of the most important parts of learning to manage anxiety and depression is understanding self talk.
I tell myself whether I’m worth it, whether I’m good or bad, whether I’m right or wrong. I tell myself all manner of stories day in and day out. But just like a litigator or a painter, I have control over what I choose to point out and bring into focus.
Sometimes even now when I look at my life I start to wonder just how I got here. The internal dialog gets started saying, “Kristin, remember how you got here in the first place. You ignored that tension headache and pushed past the warning bells and look at the mess you’ve made. You were afraid to take a risk so you went the cowardly so-called ‘safe’ route. You couldn’t be bothered to put in the work.”
If You Can Only Take One Picture Make it Beautiful
But lately, I’ve come to understand that there’s another interpretation. And I can choose to tell my story however I want.
Retelling My Own Story
Couldn’t it be just as true that for me going to law school — and then to work in big law firms — truly pushed me to step past my former boundaries: mentally, professionally, psychologically and hell even physically.
I came from nothing and earned my place among the so-called elite. Many of them think I’ve always been one of them. They have no idea my struggle.
For most of my life, the only lawyers I encountered were on TV. I didn’t know anyone who went to a fancy college. We never had much money. But I bravely chose to go into uncharted territory because I believed that there was something better for me out there.
At times I thought my choices just might destroy me. I pushed myself. I tried and failed and tried again and failed again. But many times I have succeeded. I have been to places I never thought that I could go and done things I never thought I could do.
I have faced many of the darkest, most loathsome, traumatized and broken parts of my soul and learned to love them.
I have been beyond the brink.
And I survived.