I just published a draft post below that I wrote about a month ago about how I am trying to leave my job as a public defender. I hadn't decided to post it until today. I wrote it thinking that I would get things off my chest and feel better. Then, I thought I would feel better and not need to post it.
I was wrong.
I still feel that way. Taking stock of my life on the traditional day that we do so in this country (and around the world), I still want a new job. A few years ago, on New Year's Eve, I spent the evening with 2 girlfriends being snowed in in one of the smallest towns in the country. So small that we went out to the town green at midnight with all our dogs, wished the town a happy new year each with our own bottle of champagne, and no one else was around. I was so peaceful . . . and snowy. It was beautiful.
My favorite part of the evening, however, was when we reflected on the past year month by month. A bit arbitrary to split things by month, but it was mostly about themes and larger events. I was able to remember what I was going through each month and see whether I'd learned anything from the experience (sometimes yes, sometimes no).
Tonight, I wanted to renew that tradition with myself, but I can't remember anything from the past year except:
1) I've worked every vacation I've tried to take this year.
2) I've worked to the point where all my hobbies have faded.
3) I can see nothing but stress.
4) I can't watch movies that are sadder than Disney movies anymore because I get too much "real" life in my career.
This is not how I envisioned my life. When I mentioned my decision to leave criminal defense work to a good friend, he couldn't have been happier for me. I've known this person for a decade, and he commented that he has never seen me more miserable than I have been in the past year. It's too bad he didn't have a crystal ball before I took a job at the public defender's so he could warn me. Would I have listened? Probably not, I suppose.
So, what can I learn from this? I don't really know yet. I do know that I don't want to swear off criminal work entirely, but I am ready for a new challenge.
If I could just find some way to get over the terrible legal job market . . .