Thursday, February 19, 2015

Regrets, Gambles, And Payoffs

Everyday that I pick up the two youngest from their babysitter's house, the babysitter tells me how amazing my two year old is. He wears big boy underwear for her all day without any accidents. He doesn't fight. He doesn't throw any tantrums. She swears he is the most angelic child she has ever watched. Every time she tells me this I feel like she must be watching someone else's kid.

I bring Ryan home and within ten minutes of walking through the door, he poops in his underwear (this has happened the only two times I have let him wear big boy underwear home from her house). And I can't help but have scarring flashbacks to the long days of my maternity leave that were filled with tantrum and timeouts and fights and squabbles and defiance. I wonder if there is a law of child behavior that covers this strange phenomenon. Or maybe it's just called being two years old.

Anyway, we've all made the transition back to being a house of two working parents relatively smoothly. Even though I was eager to return to work I still worried that I would miss my kids, mourn the end of my maternity leave, and/or feel slight pangs of guilt about leaving my baby. I have to say that these worries have only surfaced for a combined total of 5 minutes.

I just love my job (so, so much). And I love coming home to a cuddly baby, a happy toddler, and a talkative six year old. I feel like there is a perfect balance right now. A balance that I have only been able to achieve since I took a job with my local government. I am so incredibly thankful.

The other day I had to forcibly remove myself from my desk to go home. I realized that, after 8 hours of work, I was still having fun. I love litigation. It's exciting and interesting and uses all my favorite intellectual parts of my brain. And as I walked to my car I just couldn't believe it. I mean, how many people get lucky enough to actually love their job as much as I love mine.

The crazy thing is that just two years ago (before I started my current job as just a temporary employee), I was so frustrated and full of regret over my law degree and my legal career. I was certain that I had made a horrible decision that was going to negatively impact the rest of my life. But I had no choice. I had to suck it up and stick it out. I shopped around with jobs (I had four jobs in four years). And after all the regret and many MANY nights spent wishing I could go back in time and shred all my lawschool applications, my pain has paid off somehow.

I liken my experience to wandering through a scary, precarious forest of uncertainty, doubt, and trial and error before arrive at a wonderful destination. I just hope that this is a little bit encouraging to anyone who is seriously regretting their decision to invest in law school. Don't write off your legal career just yet. There may just be a wonderful place out there where you fit and belong. You just need to find it first. Also, don't stay in an employment situation where you are not happy. Look for other jobs and take new job offers, even if they may be a gamble.

Since graduating from law school, I took a couple gambles (a position at a start-up firm, a position as a paralegal). Some of these gambles worked in the short term and some only helped me realize what I DIDN'T want to do. My last gamble was to leave a steady full time employment job with an insane commute for an unguaranteed six month temporary job. It was the best career decision I have ever made. It led me to my current job, the legal career of my pre-lawschool dreams. What I learned- if you aren't happy where you are, you have much less to lose in rolling the dice and making a bold employment change.

Be bold. Be adventurous. Go search for your happiness. Don't quit. Regrets are for suckers.

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