The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

No Longer Riding That Merry-Go-Round

Posted by Seeking Solace |

My new Present Thought at the sidebar inspired this post.

Many people ask me why I decided to leave the legal profession. When I tell them that I left the practice because I just couldn't take the stress, the long hours, the demands of the clients, the increasingly unethical and unprofessional behavior of my colleagues, and because I just didn't enjoy it anymore, some people just smile and say "Good for you." Others look at me like I have lost my mind.

Those not in the legal profession have told me that I am crazy for walking away. They cite money, prestige and of course the dreaded "How could you give up on all that education?" as reasons for me to reconsider my decision. Money is the usual reason most people think I am crazy for giving up on the practice of law. After all, lawyers make a ton of money, right?

Present and former colleagues have said I should consider a different practice area. Some have suggested that I just haven't found my niche. Or worse, some have suggested I just need to "suck it up." Even those who think it's great that I am teaching law courses, they seem to think I am short changing myself because I am teaching at the undergraduate level and not at a law school. Some say that I will miss the whole game of being a lawyer.

Why is it so hard for people to see that I am truly happy where I am with my career? Yes, it is less money. But I am not a money driven person. No, I am not wasting my degree because I am teaching courses that utilize my legal background and skills. Those who know me know that prestige doesn't mean that much to me. Why can't people see that I had to do what was right for me, for the sake of my physical and emotional health?

I just had to let it go.

Reasons don't seem to matter, do they? Perceptions seem to fuel what people think is reality. And one can drive themselves mad trying to get someone to see your truth.

I know in my heart it was the right thing to do.

Isn't that what really matters?


Prisca said...

Good for you, SS! I think your reasons are excellent. As long as you want out I'm with you. It's certainly worked for me. ;)

Ellen said...

They are idiots - you wasted nothing. Every step you took has put you at an endpoint where you are highly content. Part of your development was knowing when to get out. I have a friend who is a medical doctor by way of a MS in Math. nd she does not consider Math to be a waste.

These people wouldn't happen to be discontented with their own lives, would they? Those people tend to like to stir up the same discontent in others to validate themselves.

RageyOne said...

I think it great that you know what you want to do and how you want to live your life. That, to me, is what is most important. I have struggled with this notion also, but I have come to realize early on that I have to do what is right for me.

All in all, one never knows how something is going to be until they are into it. Why stay in it if you don't like it? That is just crazy to me. I am not going to be sad and miserable for a good paycheck. To me, that is defeating the purpose.

'Tis good that you are doing something that you enjoy. I'm happy for you! :)

rented life said...

I just told a group of freshmen yesterday that education isn't wasted. Classes I took, skills I learned that I thought I'd never use again, I have. And hell, I'm still young! Skills you learned at law school and in the trade are transferable, that's the beauty of education. So tell those idiots it's not wasted.

joanna said...

Sometimes people judge without stopping to think about what they're saying. I've done it myself and could kick myself when I hear a judgement rolling out of my mouth. Rageone says it best--it's your life, period.

Anonymous said...

you are so right, it's your heart that matters!