One year ago I was living on my own in Upstate New York working as a Legal Aid lawyer. I had no idea that today I would be living in Southern California with my parents working as a server at a brewery/restaurant. Even more shocking is how much happier I am with my life. I suppose it’s no surprise that I’m happier with the location change. New York just got their first snow of the year, and I went golfing yesterday with my dad and complained about the heat. In November. The real shocking thing to me is that I’m happier being a server than a lawyer.
I went to law school because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to help people. I was (am) passionate about human rights and social justice. The work I did as a lawyer was meaningful, but it left me completely depleted. It didn’t help that I had severe depression and anxiety, was in toxic relationships, and was thousands of miles away from family and longtime friends. I was suicidal and empty. I guess I can’t blame it all on the job, but I do think it took more out of me than I could handle.
I always thought I had to do something big and meaningful with my life to feel like I’m making a difference. I wanted to dedicate my life to the service of others in big, important, impactful ways. Yet here I am working a minimum wage job, and I have never felt better about what I’m doing. I get to serve people delicious food and show them kindness in their day. Who knew that would be so much more fulfilling to me?
It could be that I’m just in a healthier mental and emotional state these days, thanks to the power of therapy and a particularly amazing therapist. I actually like myself. I’m happier being single than I ever was in a relationship, which is unexpected. I’ve reconnected with my family and the people who are most important in my life. I’ve made some amazing new friends, restored my faith in god, and am continuing to learn new things about myself and the world every day.
I guess the point of this post is to say, I’ve written in the past about things I was struggling with, and today… I am just grateful to be. What a difference a year makes.