|The big picture|
Anyway, I don’t intend to abandon it. It’s just that my life has taken some interesting turns since we paid off our debt (including my massivelaw school loan). For one thing, we finally saved up enough for a down payment on a house (which means we’re officially on baby steps 4,5, and 6 of the Dave Ramsey plan) and bought one this past summer. Then I started taking some writing courses at night and trying to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life now that my law career/nightmare is over. I’m still working in a somewhat unchallenging position, but I got a big raise last year so for now it’s working for me.
One of the most satisfying things that happened in this last year isI heard from a mutual acquaintance that “Harriet” decided to do law school on a part-time basis while keeping a day job that makes her happy. She’s the only 0L I’ve talked with who may have actually taken some bitter-old-lawyer wisdom to heart, which is…heartening.
I think the biggest reason why I haven’t been posting as much is that, day by day, I feel myself moving further and further away from my old life. Over time I’ve stopped thinking of myself as a recovering lawyer and more like…something else. Something I haven’t quite put my finger on yet (insert snide comment here).
I’ve written about this before, but it’s something I still think about occasionally: does quitting law lead to happiness? For me lately, I think the answer is that unhappiness led to the law. I didn’t know who I was, and what I did know about myself, I didn’t like. That’s what led me to law school – trying to forge an identity rather than a life. Quitting law was like removing a noose tied around my neck. It was a necessary condition for finding happiness, but not a sufficient one.
I think happiness is more of a process than an event. Happiness for me has meant accepting certain things about myself. That in terms of personality and temperament, I’m not cut out to be a lawyer. That I may never know what I want to be when I grow up. That I love to write, but it might not lead to a satisfying career. That I’m most “happy” when I don’t have to pretend, or apologize for why I am the way I am. That I’ve watched nearly two full seasons of Looking, and I still don’t think anything has happened yet.
Why am I writing all this? I don’t know. I feel a responsibility to fellow “recovering lawyers” (whatever stage they happen to be in) I think. And to all the 0L’s out there who think if they don’t commit to a career path by 22, their lives will be over. Let me tell you, life will feel pretty fucking long when you’re $250K in the hole and you’re either working retail, or wanting to blow your brains out rather than log in to Westlaw for the eight millionth time. As a wise man once said, life is what happens while you’re busy Shepardizing.
On a side note, has everyone read Nando’s latest blog post? It seems some law schools are trying to ease the financial burden of law school by dropping the LSAT requirement for admission. You know, because of the whopping $170 fee involved in the whole ordeal. Because that’s totally the problem. Check it out if you haven’t yet.
I think the point of this post is this: I’m still here. To anyone who hates being a lawyer, I feel your pain. To anyone who feels like everyone else has things figured out but them, I know exactly what you mean. To anyone slaving away at a second job to pay off student loan debt, I've been there. To anyone who's ever felt forgotten, I got the tee-shirt.
And to anyone who feels like explaining Looking to me, I am listening.
If anyone has any special blog requests, feel free to post them in a comment below. Thanks for reading!