Keystone Law Firm October 2019

Trust Matters OCTOBER 2019


Ghosts of the Past A Fear I’ve Overcome

It’s hard to believe, but the Halloween decorations are already going up all over town — this year is flying by! Seeing the ghosts, spiderwebs, and tombstones decking out people’s houses, I’m reminded just how unique Oct. 31 really is. Unlike other holidays about comfort and joy, Halloween is all about confronting what makes us uncomfortable: our fears. So, in the spirit of this spooky time of year, I’m going to share what was perhaps my greatest fear growing up. I struggled with it as a young adult and almost let it define my life for good, and I literally wouldn’t be where I am today had I not confronted it. You see, for a long time, I deeply feared my past. I was a trouble-maker as a teenager —more than most, actually. It’s hard to admit, but I was a “juvenile delinquent.”With the help of a lot of love and support from my parents, sisters, and extended family, I turned my life around, going to college and getting my undergraduate degree. But during all those following years, I avoided sharing anything about my teenage troubles and skirted any situation that might require me to divulge my history. There was just one problem: I wanted to be a lawyer. To tell you the truth, I didn’t realize just how big a problem this would be. I’d long since expunged my record, and I thought my days of having to awkwardly explain myself to employers and college recruiters were over. But, as it turns out, you still have to answer for any prior misdeeds if you want to work in the law. So there I was, partway through the application process for law school and faced with all these questions of indiscretions I thought were behind me, and I had a choice to make. Believe it or not, my two interests at the time were law

and bioengineering, and engineering wouldn’t require me to delve into my past. But I’ve never been one to quit, so I took a deep breath and decided to push forward into the fear. More than anything, I was determined not to let my past mistakes define me. I’d put off so many opportunities in the past, and I wasn’t going to let it happen again. I put on a brave face and went through the already difficult task of becoming a lawyer. Sure enough, the experience was as embarrassing and tough as I anticipated — at first. My record was examined again and again, and I was asked the same questions over and over. But the more I went through this, the more I realized there was a bigger reason I was being asked these questions. They wanted to know if I had learned from these experiences and become a stronger person. Suddenly I didn’t dread these interviews as much. I knew I was a better, stronger, more loving person than I had been as a teen, and I was happy to show it. In fact, opening up about my experience showed me that not talking about my past had been the real reason I was

hurting. It was only when I brought everything out into the light that my fear stopped having power over me, and I saw my story begin to bless others. So, while this may not be a ghost story in the traditional sense, I think there’s something to be said about the value of facing your fears this Halloween. We all have something we put off, or avoid at all costs, and the result is just more stress and disappointment. For a lot of people, that something is their estate plan. So, if you’re haunted by that particular ghost, take the first step and conquer the fear.

-Francisco | 1

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