There is an ad on TV where a woman is constantly saying “NO!” to her family’s shenanigans. Her husband walks out of a dressing room with skinny jeans on and she says, “NO!” Her son tries to bring some slimy creature in a shoebox into the house and she says, “NO!” Her husband asks to quit his job and start a blog and, obviously, she says, “NO!” Because that’s just crazy.
Well, for some unknown reason, my husband did not say “NO!” when I asked to quit my job and start a blog.
I mean, the discussion didn’t go exactly like that. I don’t just want to start a blog, and it wasn’t like I said out of the blue that I wanted to stop working and just see what happened. Well, maybe it was a little bit like that. Anywho, long story short, I quit my job and am taking an “investment interval,” as Anne-Marie Slaughter would call it. I’m still technically a lawyer but I am not currently practicing, and I can’t even explain how good that feels.
This break has been a long time coming. I got sworn in to the Maryland bar in 2004, about six months after I’d graduated. I had already been working for a few months as a lawyer at that big-law-firm-that-shall-remain-nameless, and was beginning to really grasp what I had gotten myself in to. For my swearing in, I put on my best suit. My husband and I drove to a courthouse in Annapolis feeling celebratory and excited, and he snapped pictures while I stood up and took my oath. After the swearing in, I stood in line to get my official certificate that I was now a bar-certified lawyer. And I waited there, in that line of other newly minted lawyers in their nicest suits, and shook my head and cried. These were not happy tears. It was that kind of snorting, pathetic cry, where you’re surprised and embarrassed to be crying, which just makes it harder to stop.
I felt like I had just bought a pair of really expensive shoes that everyone said were beautiful, and I had just finally put them on and discovered they hurt my feet. And even though they hurt, I knew I was going to have to walk in them for a long, long time.
Turned out it was about 8 years.
But today I’m wearing flip flops.