It’s been a while since I’ve written and I feel bad about it. I started this blog to provide hope to people while gaining some clarity for myself. Those goals haven’t changed. I still need to write, and maybe others still need to read about what I’m going through. So here I am.
But why the long time? Because I don’t know what to say anymore. Because I am afraid that if I see my newest plan in black and white, I won’t feel as good about it. Because my meds have allowed me to live in the moment, and I dread the thought of reawakening my obsession with the future.
I remember this inconvenient moment of clarity that I had in law school. It was during on-campus interviewing season, which, by the way, is grueling. If you earn yourself a spot in the top x% of your class, you get the privilege of going on 20-50 interviews in one or two week’s time. Going through that process teaches you a lot about a lot of things. For me, the sheer exhaustion led to a moment of clarity, which unfortunately came in the middle of an interview.
Interviewer: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve been faced with in law school.
Me: Hmmm … (overcoming my tendency to be a perfectionist? no, too canned … shit, shit ) … OVERCOMING MY SOMETIMES CRIPPLING SELF-DOUBT.
Interviewer: (blank stare)
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Tags: career change, career counselling, feminism, jobs, law, lawyers, Life, Love, marketing, money, networking, New York City, self-actualization, self-promotion, Writing
Call me spoiled or criticize me for want of instant gratification, but I’m getting a bit tired of this reinvent myself, change my life thing. Perhaps it’s because I’ve since been medicated, so life doesn’t seem so bad (read: misery is motivating). My exasperation may also stem from talking to lots of people who all sing the same chorus of “publishing is really competitive, there are people who have been doing this since the cradle, you have to be really aggressive, you’re not going to make any money, try doing x, y, and z which, by the way, you’ll never have time to do because you’re a Biglaw associate, etc., etc., etc.” It’s also possible that I have a really, really short attention span. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of the above, which, in the aggregate, is making the whole career transition thing just a little too risky for this corporate lawyer-type. The whole situation reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, from BBC’s The Office:
“If you look at life like rolling a dice, then my situation now, as it stands – yeah, it may only be a 3. If I jack that in now, go for something bigger and better, yeah, I could easily roll a six – no problem, I could roll a 6… I could also roll a 1. OK? So, I think sometimes… Just leave the dice alone.”
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Tags: Biglaw, biological clock, budgeting, career change, dual-income household, jobs, journalism, law, lawyers, Life, magazine publishing, marriage, money, New York City, personal finance, relationships, the office, Writing
The phrase, “quarter-life crisis”, always sends me back in time, to the tiny little bedroom of my tiny little Upper East Side apartment. It was about five years ago, and I was sitting on my queen-sized bed, which took up the entire width and most of the length of the room, talking on the phone with one of my best friends from high school. We were both in our third year out of college. She was a psychology major, working in insurance sales. I was in law school. We were both single. I remember spending almost four hours on the phone with her that night, rolling around in my bed and giggling often as we analyzed and obsessed about our respective futures. During that call, we were each online researching divorce rates (tailored to our demographic), psychologically profiling ourselves and of course, consulting our Inner Realm horoscopes. We discussed the various “signs” and “existential coincidences” that we had each encountered, begging the other for some new perspective on What It All Means. We were grasping at straws, desperately seeking the answers to the rest of our lives. Together, we decided that we were in quarter-life crisis.
Lately, as readers of this blog can attest, I have been having serious anxiety about my life and purpose. In fact, I would venture a guess that perhaps this is my quarter-life crisis. And that got me to thinking: what really is a quarter life crisis, anyway?
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Tags: career change, horoscopes, Inner Realm, transition
Or at best, it’s a neutral tone. Regardless, it isn’t chromatic.
I returned to purgatory on Sunday night. Good, in that I didn’t have too much time to anticipate my return to work; bad, in that I was returning to work. Napa was truly wonderful, as any place with amazing food, good wine and beautiful landscapes would be. Highlights: the “taco truck” bloody mary at Ubuntu, made with clarified heirloom tomato juice and soju (among other, wonderfully tasty, things), running around (tipsy) with my husband in the cool night air, seeing Thomas Keller (because who doesn’t enjoy a celebrity sighting?), and flipping through a coffee table book dedicated to Tom of Finland (a highlight only in the sense that I will never be able to forget what I saw on those pages).
But back to the subject at hand. The networking event for professionals in publishing — the one that I had invested so much hope in, the one that was supposed to be my coming-out event — didn’t happen. Whatever planet rules work-life balance must have been in retrograde last Thursday, because I was even more inundated with work than usual. I find it a little bizarre that this happened on such a special night for me, but perhaps it wasn’t bizarre at all. Either way, I worked through all of my meals, until my head hurt and I couldn’t see my computer screen anymore.
Anyway, on the plane home from California I continued reading “What Color Is Your Parachute?” In fact, I studied it. I read and reread certain chapters, did a bunch of exercises, got the T-shirt. While the book is teeming with useful guidence, the following exercise is particularly enlightening:
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Tags: Biglaw, career change, career counselling, Job hunt, job market, law, lawyers, Life, Napa Valley, networking, Ubuntu, work-life balance
Very luckily, I have an awesome husband who does cool stuff like suprising me with a trip to Napa for my birthday. So I am peacing out on Friday, and leaving my bullshit behind for a weekend, in order to enjoy my husband and all of the greenery, good food and coastal views (maybe) that northern Cali can possibly offer us in two days. Because of this, however, I must work extra hard today and tomorrow, since I don’t want to be in the awkward position of having to leave my bosses to finish my work (which they would have to, since I absolutely refuse to cancel this trip or to work while in Napa). Plus, I think they may be trying to work me to death — since my death would be cheaper than laying me off (I think they have life insurance me, to boot) — and I’m not havin’ any of that.
SO, below is a quick update. I left work early yesterday, feeling sick from exhaustion and insufficient nutrition (have been living on lattes, cupcakes and Excedrin for too many consecutive days), and so got a LOT done on my career/job search, while laying on my couch in sweatpants (best working conditions ever):
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Tags: career change, career counselling, Job hunt, jobs, Napa Valley, self-promotion
[Image via Manic World]
On Saturday, Judith had me visualize a day in my life in the year 2020. She had me look at myself in the mirror in the moments before leaving my home. She had me see what I was wearing, get into my car, drive to my place of employment, say hello to my assistant, and read a letter notifying me that I was being honored for my life’s work. We were at the point where Judith instructed me to visualize what exactly I was being honored for. I couldn’t take it. The tears had been welling up since I saw what I would be wearing in 2020. I started crying like a little girl.
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Tags: career change, jobs, law, lawyers