It’s been not even a month since I’ve quit the law, but I still feel that parts of the law are still with me. Because I started working right away, I haven’t had really a time to sit back and reflect on how my experience has been. Sure, I do it in the get-to-know-you calls with my current colleagues, but I don’t think I’ve truly debriefed what the law is and is not for me.
In truth, I will never know, but there are a few things that stand out. First of all the relentless pace of business to innovate and to succeed are even more pronounced once you get out of the legal world. What kind of stress it is, I do not know, but I do at least know that it feels more internally imposed than an external force I have to obey. And there is still a need to have a high quality of work, only the standards for judging it are different, and they come from you or the manager, not necessarily the client.
I think I would do better talking to more peers like this in the industry, being more honest about how it’s like for life after the law. I imagine that there is a growing period where we are simultaneously shedding our old identity while trying to grow our new selves. That can make the whole experience very jarring and very split. At least that’s how I feel now. On some days I feel the old urges come back, almost like an addiction, of who I was when I was a lawyer. The old ways of being anxious and a perfectionist. But some other days I feel more clear, and I am seeing a new part of myself, one that is more intrinsically motivated, more mindful, and more focused at the task at hand. Actually to think of it, whether or not I have changed at all or whether or not I am simply returning to my old joyful self is an idea that’s up for debate, questioning, or exploration.
We often go through life thinking that there has to be a goal to achieve. Often times I feel this too as I try to finish up an assignment or evaluate how far my projects have come. But then there are the rare moments when I remember to look up from my work and observe myself from a more objective standpoint. In that moment, the dread of the future falls away, the anxiety of the unknown fades, and I’m left with a sense of clarity that I need to do is to exist.
It’s been encouraging after a series of hard starts to finally make some progress on The Mental Arts. I hit a few bumps in the road with critique of my bumpy filming style, but I overcame that faster than I realized and now have a better sense of the standards when it comes to creating good content. Like it or not, my brain strays towards serving others, of seeing how they can benefit from the content. That is often done in sacrifice of myself, something that I need to watch carefully and love wholly.
It would be nice to have the same paycheck and the same amount of time, though I’m almost all the way there to knowing that this cannot be the case. At least, not with some luck and ingenuity along the way. As I have restarted this chapter of my life I get the feeling that I am more youthful than before, almost like the hands on the clock have been turned back though my body does not quite follow.
There are people now that I meet who walk the streets who I used to think we are brave but are now cowards. There are people who I thought were meek that are powerful beyond measure. There are those who I believed were starving who are full of joy and life and mirth; there are those who I believed had everything that in reality, have none. Such is the way my brain has shifted when it has come to perceiving the world. I walk the earth not knowing what is true or false.