The Long Route To Purpose

Rob and I have been discussing, and sometimes arguing, about what we want life to look like now. All this time we have been working towards something. Seven years. I have been with Rob for seven years. How did that happen? When we started, we were (are) both young, both getting our careers going. And now here we are, both out of school. Both ready to get going.

But it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like I am not there yet. Sometimes I feels like I am not anywhere. I have been with my firm for over a year now, minus the time off for the Bar and I don’t know. Do I want to have a life that is dictated by billable hours? Do I want to be here? I am two weeks away from Bar results and it feels like I have to make a choice. Am I going to continue down this road or run for the hills? Some days it takes all of my energy and effort to drag myself out onto the freeway to start another day.

I have alternatives, I have never let myself feel penned in. But then what were those last three years about? I just spent three years of my life, and Rob’s life, committed to my legal education. And now here it is. Complete. Ready to be utilized.

I have never moved to the NEXT! BIG! THING! without a plan. Okay, honestly, I have never moved from one thing to the next without about three plans. Usually four. Right now I have five. And I honestly would be happy with any of the plans, but I feel like I am at that point where I have to commit. Really commit and say, I am going to be lawyer. When I finished my Masters I was so utterly convinced that I hadn’t passed, that I was already in the process of implementing two different plans. Then I passed. And it was too late. Law school was already in the pipes. I let my anxiety take over and convince me the previous plan is going to fail. So I already have another option en route by the time I realize, hey, I didn’t fail. Whoops. I could just stop planning and see where I end up.

Four years ago I wrote that 28 seemed like a good age for babies. Well, here I am, 6 months away from 28, that thought still rolling around in my head. 28. I feel like I should have my shit together by 28, no?

I feel like I have the opposite problem of most people in their 20s. Instead of not having a clear goal, I have too many. I have well thought out paths that lead in very different directions. All of them require an evaluation of what I find in important. Am I going to be a “career woman,” whatever the hell that means? Or am I going to be mother first, employee second?

So here I am, on the balls of my feet, ready to run in one of numerous directions. Itching to pull the trigger on one of these plans, tired of waiting. And then there is Rob, along for the ride. Thinking all this time that there was a plan, upset to find out that I had all of these other options in my back pocket. And I say, unreasonably surprised. Because, really. Do you even know me? I tried to lay it on him, make him pick a route for me. Do you want me to be barefoot and pregnant? Because I will, and I will rock it! But he pointed out to me, that isn’t fair. Who is he to decide what’s next? And it’s true. He can’t decide for me anymore than I could decide for him.

So I wait on the California State Bar. Trying not to gnaw off my own arm in anticipation. Wondering if a year from now I will be in the courtroom or the kitchen. Thinking either sounds just fine.

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