Welcome to Escape from the Law!Posted: July 16, 2010
Wake up. This is YOUR life. Are you living it to the fullest? If not, read on, because maybe you can relate to my story.
I felt completely lost. Everywhere I looked for guidance – books, friends, family, and Oprah – I was given the same message over and over again – “happiness is a choice.” Like a good lawyer, I was skeptical. After all, I wanted to be happy. So why wasn’t I? I had reached points of desperation where I prayed that I could be happy (and I don’t usually pray), promising God/ the Universe/ any spiritual being/ anyone that would listen, that I would be a good person and devote my life to service if I could only be happy!
I would have horrible, horrible days, where I literally dragged my feet to the office in the morning, and ran out to go home in the afternoon. There was something about the office that I had associated anxiety with. Most of my days were horrible, but I would have some ok days in between where I would tell myself, “This isn’t that bad. I can do this another year or two and save some more money.” But those days were the exception rather than the rule. I knew things took a turn for the worse when I started considering taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicine just so I could keep working at my job. That’s where I drew the line. The job was affecting my emotional health in a way that was hard to articulate to friends and family, so I just kept telling them that it just didn’t feel right. And it didn’t. I felt like I had to act like someone other than myself in the office, and it was emotionally exhausting.
I realized this as I was only a second year associate at a large law firm. While I was extremely proud of my accomplishments, I couldn’t help but feel like an outsider looking in – I never could see myself there for the long term. I looked up to and admired the very smart and hard working partners in my firm, but I just could never see myself in that position – working mornings, nights, weekends and on vacation. I wanted to have a family. I wanted to take vacations and get away from it all (i.e., sans crackberry). I couldn’t see myself writing emails at 1AM. So while there were some extraordinary women that worked at my firm, I simply couldn’t relate to them in any meaningful way.I knew I wasn’t alone, but I still struggled with the feelings of loneliness when I was in the office, because the only people I talked to about my struggles were my family and my law school friends that worked in other firms. I wanted some sort of support group or community to help push me to make the jump and to decide in which direction to jump, but there was no such support group. I became obsessed with reading about other people’s stories about leaving the law and the new careers they carved out for themselves. These stories became my inspiration and my driving force. They motivated me and fascinated me, and I came back for more stories every day. I also wanted a place to go to read about people living their lives and their dreams and making them real.
That’s where I came up with the idea for this blog. I want this to be a place lawyers can come to for inspiration and a sense of community. This blog is intended for all those lawyers out there who are desperately seeking a way out! If you have a similar story to share, please leave a comment.
So, welcome. I can’t wait to hear from you and I hope you enjoy reading this blog!