My ten year law school reunion is happening at the end of this month. I think about what has happened since I graduated law school. I try to downsize ten years, but I can’t. Reunions foster a curiosity about how others fared, but really it becomes about what has happened to you over the last ten years.
When I decided to go to law school, I was so confident that I would be in the legal world forever. The idea of saying I was a lawyer was important to me, but I didn’t know what it exactly entailed. In my twenties, I was so focused on achieving a career path. This led me to procure an undergraduate degree in political science, followed by graduate school and ultimately law school. I chose the law ultimately because I thought it would be my life-long career. I gave it up because it became a job. It became a means to derive a paycheck, a way to pay off my law school loans.
I think as we age we learn the difference between the words career and job. A job is the activity you do to earn a paycheck. When the alarm rings, you dread going because it doesn’t fulfill you. In your free time, you relish the time away from your job, that feeling of being out your self imposed prison. It isn’t a passion and it isn’t something you would volunteer to do. A career is a calling or a passion. It is something that moves, engages you and gives you a purpose.
Some of us are lucky and recognize their calling early in life. Those people are a rarity. Most of us are fumbling, hoping are jobs will somehow turn into that career. I’ve debated in mind, a hundred times, whether to go or not to go to my reunion. There is hesitation only because I have to confront my own feelings of what I’ve accomplished in the last ten years since graduating law school. In the last few months, people have asked me, “What do you do now?” I reply, “I am writing and working on my first novel.” The follow-up question usually is, “So you are not going to practice law anymore.” I say, “No, not right now. Check with me in another ten years.” I hope in the next decade I’ve fumbled onto my purpose.