Celebrating Nashville’s 30 Under 30 Awards with my father.
But by the time I turned 30, I hit a wall. For one, I was pushing harder and harder without a break, and to prove I could take on any challenge, decided to train for a half marathon. I suffered a tibial stress fracture during the race and walked around for 8 months in a walking cast because my leg would not heal.
It was not just a physical injury, however—it was a manifestation of how I was living my life: Ignoring pain, brushing off discomfort, and forging ahead with the singular focus I had always relied on. What I failed to notice was that my marriage was also fractured, and I didn’t give it the attention it deserved until it was almost too late. My marriage seemed to be on the brink of divorce when just a few months later, the unthinkable happened: my 18-year-old stepsister, Amanda, died in a car wreck. My body, my marriage, my family was fractured. And there was no turning away from any of it now.
Although my career was soaring, my personal life was in complete disarray. I began a soul-searching journey over the next couple of years that eventually led me and my husband on a trip to Tanzania (I had always wanted to go to Africa). We were on safari during the great migration, and across this wild oasis, there were wildebeests, zebras, animals everywhere, moving this way and that.
It wasn’t ordered, but it wasn’t chaotic either—there was this kind of harmonious flow. The giraffes didn’t hold a staff meeting; the antelopes didn’t need to consider a slide deck. There was something larger, even divine, governing this intuitive, tide-like movement. And every animal just knew.
And in that moment on the Serengeti, I knew, too. I felt it in my bones. I knew it the way your blood knows which way to flow, and your heart knows when to pump next. And I knew something had to change.
I made a decision: I loved law, but I was done. The partners at the firm thought I’d lost my mind, and they couldn’t believe I was serious.
But I did. I left, and never looked back. Now, I could focus on what excited me far more: Helping high-achieving women rise to the top without having to pretend to be something they’re not or sacrifice what matters most to them.
These are women who have succeeded at every turn, worked hard to be recognized, and yet who, once they have achieved senior associate or partner level—the crowning jewel of a legal career—find themselves on the outs of the system they have worked ruthlessly to get inside of.
My husband, Mike, and me on the Serengeti.
They feel bound by their “golden handcuffs,” and as powerful as they may seem to the outside world, believe they are out of options, mired in a kind of self-doubt they haven’t experienced in decades, or maybe ever.
How can that be? They’re at the top of their game! And yet, there comes a point in every female attorney’s life when she wonders if she has gone as far as she can go. Trust me, I know.
I say, emphatically, no. This is not the end of the road, and you are far from finished. I’m on a mission to help these women, and perhaps you are one of them, reenvision and reimagine this next leg of the journey. Whether you want to stay at a large firm or leave one, grow your own business or start a new one—there is no right or wrong choice, as long as you give yourself the choice to begin with.
Even though I’m a deeply ambitious, scrappy, competitive person (and have been all my life,) my crisis taught me that reconnecting with who I am and embracing vulnerability had the power to change everything.
And I believe you can learn this too. (Hopefully without the crisis.)
So, if you’re ready to break free from the burdens of an antiquated legal system,
If you’re ready to rewrite the rules and tap into your full potential,
If you’re ready to accelerate and re-energize your career…