Wednesday, March 19, 2014

confidence - {just write}

Let's be real, almost all of my posts are what I would consider "free writing," but I saw this link-up at The EO and wanted to join.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I'm doing with my life. I don't know if it's our pending adoption, the fact that my 30th birthday is getting ever closer, or just the fact that I don't see a lot of growth potential in my current job, but I keep ruminating about whether I'm doing what I should be doing. It's such a #firstworldproblem to worry about self-actualization and/or career fulfillment, but I live in the first world, dammit!

It's getting harder and harder to get out of bed and go to work in the mornings. My job's not bad. In fact, by a lot of standards, it's pretty great. I have great benefits, a flexible schedule, lots of time off, awesome coworkers, and really nice bosses. The pay sucks, but you can't have it all, right? This job has been the exact job that I've wanted since my second year of law school. Why am I unhappy here?

Every time I try to put my finger on the source of my discontent, I fail. Is it that it's not challenging? Sure, sometimes it's not challenging, but sometimes it is, and then I learn new things, and that's great. So that's probably not it. Is it the pay? Yes, that's certainly part of it. [Someone tell me why, as a licensed attorney, I make half of what my husband does with only a Bachelor's degree.] But C and I are doing just fine as a family, so that can't be it either.

I wonder sometimes if maybe my discontent stems from the fact that deep down, in my heart of hearts, I want to be practicing. It's so funny, because all during law school, I never wanted to practice. In fact, I went so far as to actually contemplate not taking the bar exam, because what was the point if I didn't want to practice? My actions, however, have belied these assertions. I took the course to become a licensed Civil Mediator (and am now registered). I did take, and pass, the bar exam. I signed up for the Indiana Bar Association's Mentor Match program, in which young attorneys are taught the ropes by more experienced attorneys in their field. I keep current on my CLEs, despite the fact that I don't need a law license for my job.

I think often about doing pro bono work or freelance mediations. After all, I'm perfectly qualified (on paper) to do those things. The problem is that I don't feel like I'm qualified. I honestly don't have any legal experience at all. Since I worked full-time to put myself through law school (in a non-legal job), I didn't have the benefit of summer internships or school-year clerkships. I graduated at a distinct disadvantage when compared to my peers. And, let's be real, law jobs aren't exactly a dime a dozen these days. So I think to spare myself the disappointment/humiliation, I resigned myself to a career as a non-practicing lawyer. I mean, no shame in that game, right? Right??

My problem now is that I feel like it's too late to start. If it was too late to start right out of law school, it's CERTAINLY too late to start now. That ship has sailed. So why do I keep thinking about it? Why do I fantasize about asking my mentor if she would give me an internship (despite the fact that it's sortof frowned upon by the program)? Perhaps I don't have this career path thing as sewn up as I would like to think that I do. I do know one thing for sure, though. I could be unstoppable, if only I gained a little bit of confidence.


  1. I'm with Ashley - it's never too late!!! I'm not gonna lie, thinking about being almost 30 and competing for jobs with a bunch of recent grads scares the crap out of me and makes me feel like a giant L-O-S-E-R, but I'm just going to have to put on my big girl panties and deal with it!

  2. Its not too late. Start small. Maybe see if you can do some mediation observing so you become more comfortable with that and then do the freelance mediation thing. You never know where small opportunities will take you in life. If its no where, you're not any worse than where you started :) "Win or learn but you never lose"