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Saturday, May 19, 2012
Letter to my 20-Year-Old Self,,, At 30. .
to My 20 Year Old Self…. At 30.
20 Year-Old- Self:
past ten years have been quite a roller coaster, and in many ways, I'm very
happy to see my 20's GONE. Because in many ways, at least now…… I know. I
simply know. And there is something so inherently soothing about that. I'm
turning 30-years-old (!!!) in just a few hours and I only wish I had the wisdom
I have right now at 30, but only at 20 years-old instead. Man! Would things
have been different! I love that I can put this decade behind me… and I know
I’m not the only one. I wish I could say that I look back at most of my
twenties with nostalgia, reminiscing of the “good old days,” but I don’t, and I
twenties were a decade filled with worry, about everything! Leaving my sheltered
teenage years—I really didn’t know how good I had it. Adulthood was a rude
awakening and I feel obligated to share the dreadful experience so that others
never feel alone the way I did.
If I could only tell myself at 20 how much I regret stressing out over
every-single-move I made back then and worrying if it was the “right” one, I
would. I wish I could shake that 20-year-old who still lurks within me and tell
her that it’s OK to make mistakes, not know your college major, not to be certain
that a $150K law degree was worth it, to reconsider half the choices I made, I
certainly would. I would tell her to "chill-out" and go to the beach
that sunny day in July with John Campo and his friends instead of study in the
gloomy NYU Law Library for the LSAT. (the NYC Black out happened to be that
day, and I wound up walking 5 hours back home to Queens the minute I got to the
as I embark on my 30s, my life is short of remarkable. I have an amazing
husband who loves me more than words. Together, we have the cutest and most
playful little puppy and she brings joy to all around her. My relationship with
my parents is happy and healthy. I love my college prep and
tutoring business, which I opened on credit cards years ago (more on that
later), with no clue as to how powerful it would become and how many lives it
would affect. I’m also a powerful divorce attorney, handling an average of 50
cases each year (which started with one- my own!).I can honestly say, that at
thirty, I could not be in a happier place than I am in now.Every single part of my
life feels complete, personally and professionally, and I am ready to welcome
and embrace my thirties.
transition from my sheltered teenage tears to the twenties hit me over the head--
hard. Leaving high school and going to college then figuring out what grad
school to attend, then picking a career and choosing a husband on top of it all
were some of the largest life decisions I ever hope to have to make. I now get
why “Friends” a show about a group of lost twenty-somethings, became a hit TV
show and perhaps one of the best shows this century. The twenties are certainly
roaring --- to kick your butt.
I am about to truly reminiss in this letter to my 20-year-old-self, I must
confess that I was scared sh*tless as I approached my twenties. However now I
can finally sigh relief because never again will I have to experience that
stress and uncertainty of the unknown.
I can’t turn back the clock, I can at least write a letter – a list of things I
know now at 30 that I wish SO MUCH I had known at twenty.
also writing this letter specifically for the kids at the Kweller Prep, so many
of whom look up to me and think I have it all together…Well, I didn't and I
know that I too have flaws! I too stressed out over the SAT’s and had a long
road before I chose my college major, wound up in law school, and made
massive life choices.
feel like I'm about to write the "Always Wear Sunscreen" (look it up
know it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQlJ3vOp6nI&feature=related
song ... Well here goes.
Preface ends, and my story begins ….
I KNOW NOW AT 30, THAT I WISH I KNEW AT 20.
spent so much of my twenties STRESSING OUT and freaking out. College Major? Double
Major? Choosing a Major? Where was my guidance when I needed it???? Where was a
place like Kweller Prep???? Law School? Business School? Teaching School?
Masters in Education? MBA? Taking a semester “off”? How about a year saving the
rain forest, or at Teach for America, or soul searching in Israel or India. The
options seemed endless.
personal decisions were not any easier to make. Boyfriends, husbands, exes,
friends, acquaintances, keeping in touch and losing touch, becoming a home
owner, becoming a business owner….getting engaged, married, separated, divorced
and then trying to start all over again (easily by removing all old facebook
pictures!!) Dealing with my parents health problems as an only child, learning
that I can respect them although their advice can be so wrong… Launching a
highly successful business in the midst of an economic recession, making more
money than I had know-how or experience to do with, Leaving New York, moving to
LA, and then moving back to become bigger than ever. That’s just a
sampling of my twenties.
here is the list:
I WISH I KNEW AT 20:
RELAX! I thought that I needed to have my ENTIRE life figured out by 25. My
20's were filled with "adult" panic and anxiety. Where will I live?
How will I pay rent? What will be my career the rest of my life? I need to
choose now what I will do the rest of my life. There is no way I can drop out
of Law School. Evan Bailyn dropped out of law school. He seems so happy now. I
should have worked with him! II love editing college essays! It seems as if 1/3
of my class is dropping out of law school. I just don’t know if I should be at
the school of Education at NYU. I don’t see myself as a school teacher. I am
really scared that I am not making all the right choices. My-parents-will-kill-me-if-I-drop-out.
We have already spent so much money. Everyone will “talk.”
My-parents-will-kill-me-if-I-drop-out. Didn’t I want this?
My-parents-will-kill-me-if-I-drop-out. I took the LSAT three times, but now I’m
reconsidering law school? I HATE PROPERTY LAW. My professor is 180 years-old.
How did all these dumb guys wind up as professors of Law? I can teach this
class better than them. I think my real estate law professor HATES people.
if professional struggles weren't hard enough, I had to figure out my personal
life... Who will I marry? How many kids will I have? If I’m not married by 25,
my-life-will-be-over. I need to hurry up. Everyone is right, my clock is
ticking. It seems that everyone is dating and marrying except for me. What’s
wrong with me? Why can’t I just figure life out? MUST marry by 25. I must have
kids by 30. My clock is ticking. My boyfriend keeps telling me we should wait,
but no one else seems to be waiting. He and I are simply not on the right page.
We aren’t even in the right book on the right page. But I mean he is
Jewish, and tall, handsome and a lawyer, and I guess he “fits the description.”
Isn’t this what I am supposed to be looking for? I think this is right. I’ve invested three
years with him, how can I possibly start over? Where are all the cute guys in
college and law school??? I want my tuition back!
currently own at least two dozen bridesmaid dresses. When I tell you everyone I knew was getting married by
25, I meant it.
back to my professional concerns… the following were regular voices in my head:
I can’t drop out of law school. Everyone will think I am a failure and
my-life-will-be-over. What will I do? I need to take the GMAT to get an MBA?
What?????!!!!???? I haven’t studied this stuff in years. How can I switch out
of law school? I am so incredibly unsure about this. I am making really
expensive decisions. I feel so guilty- am I wasting my parents’
money? Will I really be a lawyer? Why am I not happy with law school?
years later and many late-night conversations with my parents….new voices… If I
don't pass the bar exam on my first try, my-life-will-be-over! Law school is so
boring. I'm too creative to be here. I'm going brain dead. If I drop out of law
school the last year, my life will be over.
voices voices …if I’m not married, in a big house, with kids and massive
savings in the bank, my life by 30, my-life-will-be-over. over…over.... over
wish soooooo much that I had just stopped to smell the roses on my twentieth
birthday. Instead, my twentieth birthday was filled with ANXIETY. I was
nearing college graduation from NYU, with no clue what to do afterwards. My
boyfriend back then was such a sweetheart, but he was clueless about his future
as well. We were the blind leading the blind. We were both superbly confused
about making life decisions.
around me throughout my twenties seemed to be in this constant state of personal panic. People around me
were getting engaged, breaking off engagements, going to law
school, dropping out of law school, getting into med school, dropping out
of prestigious pharmacy programs, oye! those years were filled with facebook
status changes... : "it's complicated" was the only constant in everyone’s
lives. The blind, leading the blind, leading the blind….
from college brought us into a state of near hopelessness. Perfect honor roll
students with stellar grades were going to work in the family jewelry business.
Huh? These kids ---with awesome grades ---are working in their family
businesses? I just don’t get it. They didn’t need NYU for that!!!
then what about me?
didn’t have a family business to revert too. My mom was a school teacher and
she instructed me to stay far away from that—arguing that the public school
system is full of bureaucracy. My dad worked as a clothing store manager on
Delancy Street and advised me to stay miles away from the “schmata” business.
So where was my GUIDANCE??? (LOL Where was a place like Kweller Prep back
then???). So there I was, a college graduate—the first one in my immediate
family to attend a top university—and I’m looking to my parents for guidance
and all they can tell me is what not to do… to not do what they did.
Great! Talk about being a lost soul! So I did what any academically smart kid
would do… stayed and went to law school.
NEXT CHAPTER BEGINS
going to pause to make clear that today I have ZERO regrets about going to law
school. I only regret the path that brought me there. I also felt extremely
misled about how hard it would be to find a well-paying job upon graduation from
college without strong (and arguably unfair) connections. I had a rude
awakening and reality check out of law school as well and the high salary I
would make. The year I graduated, a class action law suit was filed by law
students suing their respective law schools for inflating and skewing data
promising much higher salaries upon graduation. I was part of the suit too. I
got duped as well. 90K a year starting
salary my a$$.
now, I'm turning 30 within the next few hours, and I decided to STOP-- yes!
stop! and reflect on this past decade, and the only thing I realized that is
certain is ....uncertainty. Yup, the ONLY thing I understood down this road of
life is that man plans, g-d laughs. I've never been so happy to come to that
conclusion. Yes, it’s OK not to know. 20-year old self, I wish you had been OK
sincerely thought that if I didn't have LIFE entirely figured out by 25, I'd be
a hopeless soul. Kaputz! The black sheep in the family! I’m a first generation
American. And damn! The expectations of me were so high! I grew up with all
these family dinner time stories about how my parents escaped persecution and
gave up everything and anything in their homeland to give ME (born ten freaking
years later!!!!) more opportunities and to have a better life. As if I asked
them to do this? Gees, I was born with a guilt trip. So many tales about how
they had to struggle with language barriers and cultural changes and all of
this was done just for my sake. Ouch ouch ouch. The roller coaster started from
birth. Great expectations were made, and I was pre-destined to become a
professional, happily married, contributing member of society.
of all, I was expected to lead the way for my younger cousins and to never
doubt my choices.
to uncertainty was equivalent to
can honestly say I had second thoughts about EVERY SINGLE CHOICE I MADE
THROUGHOUT MY TWENTIES. I played an evil chess game, except not with horse
figurines, but rather with my life.
JUST DO IT. Stop over thinking and just do it--- I wish I could go back
in time and remind myself of those three beautiful words, “Just do it”—just go
to Europe for the summer, just don’t go into work today, just buy the designer
shoes! Just pick a college Major already!!!!!! I literally analyzed every
single college major under the son (with my wonderful gd-sent father who
suffered along with me and my indecisiveness—there is honestly no dad in this
world better than mine)
I had to do it all over again, I probably would have gone away for college, to
an ivy league, lived on my own from 18, instead of going to NYU. I loved NYU,
but I should have maybe tried out Cornell, or maybe done a semester at UCLA. I
100% regret not doing study abroad. There were a million reasons not to go
(money, money, money) but I should have found a way.
I went back and forth between going to law school and business school a million
times. My poor parents, I put them through so much of my indecisiveness. They
simply didn’t know how to help.
did not attend NYU graduation. Neither did my boyfriend back then. We felt
robbed. I felt like someone should have held up a road map saying
THIS-IS-WHAT-YOU-DO-NEXT with fine-tuned arrows. But instead, here I was in my
early twenties-- graduating from NYU, a semester early, with nearly perfect
grades, “cum laude.” At age 22, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do
with the rest of my life. I had so many interests. I thought I had to pick one.
I felt like I was under so much pressure to decide. I wish I had just made
quicker decisions and just jumped right in.. I mean you never know until you
try, so you might as well.
only people who really got a raw deal were my parents, who missed out on taking
graduation pictures with me.... because I didn't go... 20 year-old-self,
you were so stupid! So much money was spent. So much time. I wish I
had just done stuff- without analyzing and psychoanalyzing so many of my
remember when I graduated from college, for the very first time, I was so
scared. Everyone around me was like, “Ok, what’s next?” Well, the job market
was bleak. NYU career services jobs were paying only $40 K a year, and I had
too much ego to take a “low paying job” after graduating high honors and early
from NYU. I was a snob, and too much pride to workk for $15 or $20 an hour,
regardless of the “benefits.” Who cares about a 401K anyway? What’s the next
step? I really didn’t know.
at a law firm btw, didn’t turn out to be any better. I lasted 6 months at a
corporate securities law firm in the Chrysler building before I quit—nice big
window office and everything. I was bored to death.
I genuinely enjoyed and was highly entertained working at the immigration law
firm, Zhang and Associates. They helped Phd Candidates legally get into
the United States via study visas and NIW (National Interest Waiver)
Petitions. I was very supportive of the cause. But the long hours at
Zhang & Associates were killer—over 12 a day. All I remember is
how nice they were and fed me dinner after 7:00 pm, but the free meal wasn’t
enough to keep me there past 11:00 pm-- no matter how much I loved Paninnis. I
felt really bad for leaving that job too. Guilty, actually, because I knew they
really needed me, but it simply wasn't for me. I didn’t quite know back
then that I was meant to be an Entrepreneur. I just knew I couldn't stay there
jobs, switching jobs, keeping jobs, quitting jobs—I was a pro at confusing my
parents—both of whom worked the same jobs for over thirty years.
came a point when my relatives asked my parents, “What is Frances up to?” and
they would respond with, “I don’t know.” Yeah, those days sucked.
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER. GET OVER IT.
best friend is a CPA, and I am a LAWYER. We both look at our other mutual best
friend, a PHARMACIST, and wish we were her. Yes, we have these phone
conversations saying how we wish we were pharmacists. Go figure. We are happy,
but her grass looks so much greener. With “easy” work hours, 9:00 am to 5:00
pm, health benefits and plenty of vacation time, a 401K and pension plan, we
both have times when we wish we were pharmacists. Then again, sometimes
pharmacists wish they were us. The grass is always greener. You will never win
thirty, I’ve learned to let my puppy pee on the grass and to move forward.
MY PERSONAL LIFE: ADVICE TO WOMEN: SET HIGHER STANDARDS WITH MEN, WITH LIFE,
read the book "The Panic Years." I also read the book "Quarter
Life Crisis." I lived through both. Stupid girls like me buy these books--
they serve an almost medicinal purpose. The 20 something self help section at
Barnes and Nobles is a gold mine. I'm so happy now, so in love, and married to
the man of my dreams. He told me the second day he met me that he would marry
eloped a few months later. He is my truest love and real soul mate. It did not
to meeting my now husband, I had a big huge expensive flashy wedding with someone else who I didn't love in
my 20's but rather really wanted to be married by 25. He didn’t love me back
either. It’s like, all our friends were getting married, so shouldn’t we?
dated so many guys, and my ex was a lawyer and just what my parents wanted. A
Jewish Lawyer. Check, Check, Check.
I hung out with my ex for three years waiting for him to "pop" the
question, I will never know. But I did.
I really wish I knew when I was 20 was to have the self-esteem and the
confidence to not sell myself short. I was so stupid back then. In fact, the
only smart thing I did was have the strength to leave a stupid, embarrassing,
and expensive situation. Did I mention expensive?
do so many women sell themselves short? What's wrong with us??? You need to
respect and love yourself before you can respect and love anyone else. It's
just a fact. How can you ever complain that you need to be appreciated when you
don’t appreciate yourself?
I think what I learned
most of all from going through a divorce was that I can overcome anything- from being alienated by certain
unsupportive married friends to the immense humiliation of my huge wedding that
hit papers and magazines but lasted shy of a year. To say my life was hard the
first year post divorce was more than an understatement.
I remember very well when
I decided to move to LA. It was June in NY, the kids from my tutoring business
were all away for the summer, and I was left all alone... To think. and there I
was in my office.... Thinking.... I remember feeling really badly for myself.
On one hand, I knew I accomplished everything I wanted with my education, me
career was starting to take off, and I had over 6 figures of savings in the
bank from a business I built only a year prior. At this rate, I would be a
self-made millionaire by 30.
I knew I wanted more, and
personally, I was unfulfilled. I took a huge leap of faith and decided to shut
down my highly profitable tutoring business after its first year and move to
California. I had visited LA for years every summer and just lived being there
- and all that LA had to offer. Here I was, separated, with savings, heading
off to the “happier coast.”
Long story short: It was
in LA that I met George, my now husband, who proposed to me the very second day
we met. Again, I took a leap of faith. I knew in that very short time that
something about him was right for me. I didn't accept his proposal until
2 weeks later and very soon after we moved in together (leap leap leap).
I never would have met
my soulmate had I not acknowledged I made a mistake marrying my first. It's ok.
I screwed up, but I learned such great lessons along the way. My ex used to say
he was a square and I was a round and something about a square not fitting in
to a round peg.
My ex wasn't a bad guy,
but he just want the right guy, and I
needed to be OK with that and decide to wake up and move on.
It's ok to make a bad
Today, I would never
change who I am with or take back any steps that led me to my soul mate. I'm
stressing this because I made an extremely difficult series of decisions in my
mid-twenties. Many of these choices caused me to lose friends (who I later
learned were never good friends to begin with) and learn to be OK with
admitting I made a bad decision. I can't tell you how hard it was to go back
into the dating world, to move across the country, to leave family, to give up
an extremely stable lucrative career and business simply because I was not
personally fulfilled. But I did all that and more. Those choices made me
stronger than even I knew I could be.
LOVE HAPPENS WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT. Oh, how I wish at twenty I had believed
in this. Everyone says this, but I never thought to believe it. I am such a
planner. I’m a plan-aholic (Is that even a word?) I tried Jdate, millionaire
match, "shidduchim" and attended every jewish singles event under the
sun. It wasn't until I was 100% content with being and remaining single, that I
surprisingly met my now husband. When my "real" husband and I met,
and we had an instant, almost magical connection. We fell in love when I wasn't
looking and I was just focused on work.... then boom! he walked into my life
(or rather I walked into his office).
is my truest partner in every way. We think alike. We are both workaholics, welove driving to
artichoke and mamouns after midnight for pizza and falafel. So much planning
and so many bad dates, so much soul searching. I will never take what I have
now for granted. I wasn’t one of the “lucky” ones to find love in high school
(actually it took about ten years after). I think what helped me most in
meeting my husband was knowing myself well, and that took time.
regret so much in my twenties stressing out over who to marry and listening to
such stupid advice “Hurry up, your clock is ticking and true love doesn’t
exist”. It does. I found it, and I have it. If anything, all that bad advice
was a detour. Thank gd I am where I am today and I am with who I am with today.
I wish so much that at 20, I had just chilled out and not listened to the
"elders" about how love doesn't exist, how I need to be married ASAP,
how my clock is ticking, and how the whole family is eagerly awaiting my
wedding. My twenties were filled with pressure to have life all figured out-
every last detail, personally and professionally. Thankfully, that decade of
panic is gone.
learned more lessons going through a divorce at 25 than an encyclopedia of
books could ever write. I re-evaluated friendships, re-examined old ones, and
learned Lesson number 5.
YOU DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE PERFECT
hit me particularly hard. I was 25, an NYU grad, a law school grad- I even
passed the NYS bar on my first try. I was always a straight A student,
amazing friend and loving daughter.
was, in many ways, my first failure. I'm sorry if I sound really arrogant, but
I'm being honest. It's like-- here I was at 25-- the perfect daughter (an only
child can do no wrong), devoted friend to so many (over a dozen bridesmaids and
250 guests-- not bad for such a small family) and a deep down perfectionist in
every feasible way.
have no doubt that I made the right choice to divorce my partner back then. I’m
beyond happy and know I'm with my soulmate today. The truth is that my ex and I
should never have married in the first place-- he didn't want to-but my
clock was ticking so I pushed and pushed for a wedding.
excruciating experience of divorce matured me in ways I never knew. I learned
how incredibly backwards the family court system of New York truly is, that
even a rabbi can give you misguided advice (he blamed me for not being able to
keep peace in the home "Shalom Bais" and that I am at fault for the
marriage being bad) and that a lawyer who you pay 2k in advance to handle a
simple uncontested annulment can immeasurable screw up (I wrote an awful
online review of her but to cleanse myself of bad energy since took it down).
Perhaps the lesson with the lawyer was that I never should have paid her
in advance to begin with.
from something very bad, I learned something good. I'm really proud of the FK
law group, which I formed shortly after going through the Queens family court
system and waiting 3 years to dissolve a mere 10 month marriage. At FK,
we really help people simplify the divorce process and specialize in helping
both men and women obtain a Jewish divorce ("Get") to easily remarry.
It was really important to prevent others from going through what I went
through and in 2011, when my divorce (actually an annulment) was finalized,
began the formation of what is now an outstanding matrimonial small law Practice
in NYC. (See www.FKLawGroup.com)
think what I learned most of all from going through a divorce was that I can
overcome anything- from being alienated by certain unsupportive married friends
to the immense humiliation of a huge weddings that hit papers and magazines but
lasted shy of a year. To say my life was hard post divorce was more than an
UP AND GET GOING
remember very well when I decided to move to LA. It was June in NY, the kids
from my tutoring business were all away for the summer, and I was left all
alone... To think. and there I was in my office.... Thinking.... I remember
feeling really badly for myself. On one hand, I knew I accomplished everything
I wanted with my education, my career was starting to take off, and I had over
6 figures of savings in the bank from a business I built a year prior off
credit card loans.
knew I wanted more, and personally I was unfulfilled. I took a huge leap of
faith and decided to shut down my highly profitable tutoring business and move
to California. I had visited LA for years every summer and just lived being
there - and all that LA had to offer. Here I was, separated, with savings,
heading off to the happier coast.
was in LA that I met George, my now husband, who proposed to me the very second
day we met. Again, I took a leap of faith. I knew in that very short time that
something about him was right for me. I didn't accept his proposal until
2 weeks later and very soon after we moved in together (leap leap leap).
never would have met my soulmate had I not acknowledged I made a mistake
marrying my first. It's ok. I-screwed-up, but I learned such great lessons
along the way. My ex used to say he was a square and I was a round and
something about a square not fitting in to a round peg.
wasn't a bad guy, but he just want the right guy, and I needed to be OK with
the fact that I chose the wrong guy and decide to wake up and move on.
IT'S OK TO MAKE A BAD DECISION
I would never change who I am with or take back any steps that led me to my
soul mate. I'm stressing this because I made an extremely difficult series
of decisions in my mid-twenties. Many of these choices caused me to lose
friends (who I later learned were never good friends to begin with) and learn
to be OK with admitting I made a bad decision. I can't tell you how hard it was
to go back into the dating world, to move across the country, to leave family,
to give up an extremely stable lucrative career and business simply because I
was not personally fulfilled. But I did all that and more. Those choices
made me stronger than even I knew I could be.
YOUR FRIEND'S WILL CHANGE. My mother always said this. She could nothave been more truthful.
As your interests change, so will the people who you surround yourself with.
VALUE THE ONES WHO STICK AROUND DESPITE THE CHANGES. Cherish them. You have no
idea how many "instant" friend I had when my business took off and
how many were MIA when my personal life went sour. The real friends are the
ones who stick around, despite the marriages, the kids, and the bar exam.
Sometimes, the only real friends you have are family. Some "friends"
are only there during good times, some are only there during bad. Some disguise
themselves as friends, but in reality, they are emotional vampires (another
great book!) and get pleasure off hearing your troubles. Cherish the keepers.
still friendly with a lot of people from my childhood, but now I have more
common-interest friends than ever before...my interests have changed, and in
many ways, so have a lot of my friends. My parents, however, have still stuck
around, which brings me to lesson number 4.
have changed friends during the following times in my life: Graduating from
NYU, graduating from law school, when getting married, when getting divorced,
and then getting remarried. I didn’t do it with malice, but as my interests
changed, so did my friendships and people who I chose to be around with. Some people
simply didn’t make the list anymore. My largest change of friends occurred as
my business, Kweller Prep rose to fame. You would be surprised how many green
eyes that arose. I always used to be happy for my friends and their
success. But I learned the hard way that very few were truly happy
for mine. I have heard on so many occasions that your truest friends are your
family. That’s right, but even some of my family grew green eyes as Kweller
PARENTS ARE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. This lesson was sad to learn. I love my parents,
I love other people's parents. I deal with parents every day. “Parents” os
about 1,000 kids sustain my lifestyle and help pay all my bills-- After all,
they are the ones signing their kids up for test prep. But sometimes, parents
are not always right.
MAY WANT WHAT IS BEST, BUT UNFORTUNATELY THEY DO NOT ALWAYS KNOW WHAT IS BEST.
fact, they are oftentimes wrong. Parents, infrastructurally, have good
intentions, but their advice can only apply to their limitations. In general,
people will limit you by what they understand to be true and their own
ambitions and plans for you in life. What frustrates parents is your ability to
keep digging for more. They offer well meaning, but sometimes detrimental
advice. It’s normal for a parent to say “I want what is best” but sometimes
they don’t know themselves what is best.
I opened my tutoring business, I opened it on credit cards. My parents did not
speak to me for three weeks. Oh, and joy, I was separated too! I slept on the
couch in the office and used every dollar generated from students to build and
expand. The business wound up being very successful, with over 400 students
enrolled by the end of the first year. I was a hit on the search engines, had
thousands view my you tube and my blog was at the top of SEO searches,
dad, one year later, told me that he used to think he was always 100% right,
but after seeing me succeed in business, he realized he was 100% wrong. I cried
during that conversation. He was finally on my team with this “crazy tutoring
learned lots of lessons opening my business. It’s on another blog. See: Lesson’
learned starting my own business:
. I almost didn’t open, I closed and then reopened! It was a long road! My
parents, who love me very much, almost talked me out of a life dream.
LOVE YOUR PARENTS, RESPECT THEM, BUT SOMETIMES, FOR SANITY'S SAKE, LISTEN TO
THEM WITH ONE EAR OPEN. Out of respect, don’t talk back to your parents. I
REALLY REGRET FIGHTING SO MUCH WITH MY PARENT IN MY TWENTIES, I wish I had let
so much go. Now, when my parents say something I disagree with, I wait five
minutes. I learned that my parents got a lot a smarter as I got older. This is
not always the case. When one of my best friends from high school’s parents
divorced shortly after she finished college, she barely spoke to her mother
ever again. Sometimes, that’s OK too.
parents are very humble people, Russian Jewish immigrants, whose own parents
were concentration camp and holocaust survivors. They live a very modest,
humble existence, and are not entrepreneurial in any way. They are afraid of
the social media websites and are convinced that whenever you talk on the phone
about taxes, the government is listening. The first designer bag I bought
myself at fifteen, my parents yelled at me for three days about how I was
careless with money.
YOU WANT TO LIVE EXACTLY LIKE YOUR PARENTS, DO EVERYTHING THEY SAY.
THE MOST REWARDING THINGS IN LIFE ARE SOMETIMES THE SCARIEST. I remember my
hands shaking when I signed the lease for my first office, then they shook
again for my second. I was terrified when I went before the judge and settled
my first court case. I eloped. I adopted a puppy. My greatest pleasures in life
now are the ones that started out with fear and uncertainty. I’m kind of used
to it by now.
SPEND MONEY ON YOURSELF. Coming from Russian immigrant Jewish parents major
decision, I grew up hearing so much about survival stories etc. that when I had
my first taste of success, I actually had to learn to spend money! Yes, it was
actually a skill I never knew. My now husband taught me to do this and it was
not easy. I had to learn to buy designer brands, to opt for high quality, high
prices, and high end. To get my hair done regularly, to always be manicured.
Loving yourself is a skill and takes practice. I had to LEARN to love myself,
to go to a jewelry shop and to buy myself a gift. I barely showered during
finals in law school. I wore the same green sweater for two months while
studying for the bar.
EAT THE CAKE. Diet soda, Diet cookies, Splenda, stevia, wheat thins. 100
calorie snack bags. I wish I had just learned to enjoy and to eat the cake. I
wish I could tell myself at twenty that the eating the cheesecake was ok. I
love cheesecake. I truly regret giving up so much birthday cake.
MY LAW DEGREE WAS WORTH IT. Man, did I struggle with this one! Three grueling
years of law school, an LSAT and a BAR. I don't know how I did it! I passed the
NYS bar exam on my firsst try. It was the most difficult test of my life, and I
didn't see daylight for three months. I have been out of law school for three
years now, and I can honestly say that it wasn't until I won my first case that
I really saw the value and power of my law degree.
also set up my entire tutoring business with my legal knowledge, and i'm very
grateful for that. I set up my own corporation, registered my own non-profit
501c3, and created and "bullet-proofed" my own employment agreements,
non-compete agreements, and non-solicitation agreements. I think I wanted to
drop out of law school every week while I was in law school. In my twenties, I
was so young and so restless. I definitely sleep better at night knowing that I
have a law degree. 20 year- old self, the torture was worth it.
Last but not least, always wear sunscreen.
conclude, I am ready to embrace my thirties. I am so happy that my 20s are done
and over with. Now I know. Thankfully, now I know.