I saw the above quote on a friend's Facebook page recently and it really resonated with me. One of the aspects I freaking LOOOOVE about my work right now is that I am behind the wheel in terms of creating it. It has been a humbling 7+ months on the road. I have been learning a ton—from other people, from my own mistakes, about the many different communities all throughout the United States. It's often been a beautiful chaos, and I'm trying to take it one day at a time.
To be totally candid, sometimes the creative freedom can be overwhelming. What is the best path to choose? What legal model is the most effective? What if it doesn't work?
It's easy to get a little stuck in this mess of the "what if" game—something I think most of us are familiar with.
But my mind goes back to the simple effectiveness of that quote—Perfect is the enemy of the good. One could spend an exorbitant amount of time shaping and reshaping an idea or theory—but it may not ever make it to the testing stage. And if the idea never makes it to the testing stage—what's the purpose/utility of it? It's unfortunately just an idea that is in a perennial incubating stage.
The fear of failure/things not working out is real. From experience, I know that the fear can have a debilitating effect—it's akin to getting sucked into quicksand. At first it feels like an innocuous inertia, only to quicken its pace and result into, well, nothingness.
So, I am trying to analogize it all to a scientist's laboratory. I come up with a theory (the Virtual Law Office (VLO) I am launching in late Spring), test it out, and tweak/revise it—and repeat the process all over again.
In my gut, I know that the initial format of the VLO will be revised a bunch of times. I am sure the VLO in Spring 2016 will look a lot different from the VLO in Spring 2017. And I am trying my best to make peace with realizing that perfect is the enemy of the good. It very much helps for me to articulate these thoughts with you all—it helps to hold myself accountable for embracing these imperfections. :-)
Just Test It Out
The law is laden with well, rules. (Makes sense.) The danger of this is that like any other system, the potential is high to make choices that adhere more to the status quo than push back against it. And after another busy day at the Santa Fe Dreamers Project (SFDP) clinic last Friday (30+ clients!), it became even clearer to me that experimenting with how to push back and create big change is worth it.
I recently learned that a private attorney can charge anywhere from $1000-$3000 to complete a DACA application on behalf of a client (whaaaaa?). It's all for quite frankly a relatively nominal amount of work (just keeping it real). It's unbelievable to me that these prices are the norm for private immigration firms. Taking that and adding the obvious fact that certain types of immigration-based relief are for particularly vulnerable groups of people adds insult to injury.
Clients already have to pay $465 to the US government to file their DACA application (notwithstanding a fee waiver). So, for SFDP to not charge the client an additional service fee/accepting just donations is a bold step in legal accessibility and ensuring legal rights. It's astounding.
Reporting Back to Community & Friends
It's true that some of my biggest ideas/realizations have been formulated during moments of solitude and deep thought. But it is essential to bounce ideas off my community. There is a special kind of energy about converting one's thoughts and making it interactive with someone else. It becomes less of an idea and more an actuality. And although it is always an individual executive decision to determine what to do with someone else's feedback—there have been many times where someone added much needed perspective to an idea.
What's a creative idea that you've been contemplating making a reality? As always, I'd love to hear from you!