This blog can seem to have a negative tone at times. I try to accentuate the positive as much as possible, but it’s hard to write a blog about leaving the legal profession without discussing some of its drawbacks. After all, if law were absolutely great, everybody would stay in it and there would be no reason for this blog.
Today, however, in honor of the upcoming American Thanksgiving holiday, I am going to try to lighten the mood by sharing a few things I’m thankful for.
My Legal Career
Well, it was nice while it lasted. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody, but I was lucky enough to be able to obtain my J.D. without incurring huge amounts of debt and I was very fortunate to have a job practicing law right after I graduated. My law degree opened the doors to the Air Force for me right out of law school, and that was a great experience. I’m not sure how much of what I enjoyed was just the Air Force itself and how much was actually practicing law. But I did have a great time, I did meet my wife when I was stationed in Alabama, I made some great friends who I have to this day, and I got to partake of some adventures that I never would have as a civilian. None of that would have been possible without my law degree.
I was also lucky enough to be employed consistently during my entire legal career. I had a civilian job waiting for me right when I separated from the Air Force. I got to practice at the highest levels on the most difficult cases, and I earned a good living that set me up well enough that I could stop practicing law and do something I really enjoyed. Some of that might have been possible without my law degree, but I would never have been able to earn the kind of money to allow me to redesign my life on my terms, as I am doing.
I also picked up a lot of skills while practicing law that are serving me very well in my life. For example, the reason why I’m able to post so often is because being a lawyer taught me to write well quickly and think on my feet. I find I’m also very good in negotiations, and I know I learned that while practicing law.
No doubt about it, I got out because it was time for me to get out, and because it was imperative that I get out. But that doesn’t make the whole experience regrettable. I gave the law the best of myself I had to give, and I got a lot back in return. For this, I am grateful.
The black dog has gone into hibernation, I hope this time permanently. I am now living life more fully than ever, and every day wake up with tremendous enthusiasm. That’s an amazing turn around. Depression almost killed me, but it didn’t. In my darkest hours, I was somehow able to hold onto enough of a sliver of hope for better days ahead to keep me alive and keep me working hard to beat my depression. It took a lot of therapy, a lot of medication, and a lot of patience, but I persevered and came out better. So I’m grateful for my life, not just because I’m alive, but because I truly feel that I am living the best life I am capable of living right now.
My wife and two sons are everything to me. My wife especially pours all of herself into our marriage and into me. She is my rock and the light of my life. She truly gets me, and her unwavering support throughout my life has enabled me to be my best self. I am especially grateful for what a patient and supportive partner she was when I was sick. I owe my life and my love to her. My kids crack me up every day. Family is truly a blessing and I would be remiss if I didn’t point that out.
So What are you Thankful For?
Transitioning from law is tough, so, depending where you are on your journey, you may not feel like you have a lot to be thankful for right now. So let’s help each other out. Please share in the comments three or so things you are thankful for. I think it will probably cheer you up, and we can all give each other some perspective. I look forward to hearing what things are bringing you joy right now.
And lastly, Happy Thanksgiving.