Saturday, November 14, 2009

I am Done - an outrageously long rant

So, I’m writing again. Finally. Geez, it only took two years. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that several people from my past have reached out to me recently, some have even taken a gander at this site to see how I’m doing. It’s not a coincidence ‘cause astrologically, it’s a good time to make a big change in my life. Plus, I haven’t really given much thought lately to where I am. Haven’t navel gazed, if you can believe that. If I could have gotten someone to pay me to navel gaze, I’d be rich for the pathological heights which my past navel gazing reached.

So where am I?

As you know, after 18 years as a mostly single artist of some type or another living in New York, almost everything about me changed in a relatively short period. I think that during that transition, I shut a part of myself off with a promise that once I get “settled” I would return to my regularly scheduled navel gazing. And this blog is nothing if not about navel gazing.

“Settled” however included getting hired in my new career as an attorney, which hasn’t happened yet, even though I’ve been a graduated and admitted attorney for going on three years now. For two years I kept my eye on that prize without journaling, meditating, none of my normal practices that keep me centered. And I’ve paid a price for it. I’ve swollen up about 40 pounds and now feel like I’ve wasted five years and $120,000 of my life and energy for nothing – struggled for, as yet, no reward, and with none in future sight.

If that ain’t the fertile ground from which artistry springs, I don’t know what is.

Since this past summer, I’ve been slowly returning to myself. Started journaling. Started “therapy.” Meditate more often than not. Drink less. Still eat a lot, but started a boot camp to get me back to the gym for the first time in over a year.

What it’s done is given me the courage to tell the legal profession to fuck off. I actually hate it. My experience of it has been of pompous old white men engaged in "Inflate-the-Ego" with each other. Not that there isn’t some genuine collegiality involved as well. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the law or even necessarily lawyers. I hate what our culture has turned the law profession into. Private practice, with its needy, life-draining and potentially crazy clients, scares me. Corporate practice is a joke – General Counsel are mostly (bad) managers spending shareholder money on outside counsel who do all the heavy legal lifting. And the gates to high-level, research, writing and policymaking jobs are so well-guarded, I’d have to go back to my birth – fake my birth certificate and all my educational degrees dating back to grade school – in order to even get someone to talk to me on the phone for those handful of jobs. Either that or pretend to be more of a minority than I actually am.

Though I sound bitter, I’m actually not. My spiritual practices have put me back in touch with my resiliency, which a former therapist has told me is my unique strength. Telling the legal profession to fuck off has done wonders for my mental health. And I’m writing again, with a vengeance. And I have a writing partner. And I am registered for a couple of writing seminars here and there. I will have, if not a full novel, at least a novel-sized anthology of short-stories ready to publish by next spring. And I have a plan. I will self-publish.

I am DONE with gatekeepers and everything, and every and any one who has or will ever tell me “no.” I do not know that word. You can all fuck yourselves. I haven’t accomplished all that I have by listening to anyone who’s told me “no.” I don’t see a need to start now. The legal profession, not I, suffers for this change in my heart. Because if the world needs anything, if America needs anything, it’s more ethical, compassionate and nuanced attorneys. But it’s too late. That profession has been captured by peacocks and muckrakers, and I’m not going to waste a second more of my time “Yes’m”ing another old white guy who graduated from Georgetown/Yale/Harvard/Name-Your-Ivy League-Legacy-Concerned-Only Law School-Here (because we know that the best way to develop the pool of good lawyers in America is to admit into the top law schools, just because their forebears attended them, their less than talented offspring).

Instead, I will write. And I, not you, or you or you or you or you, will express myself to the world. And I will control Who I am and What I do. And I will give to this Planet and I will make a difference. So take it and shove it up your cornhole you bastards.

The irony of all of this is that, now that I don’t want an attorney position, I’m most likely to be offered one. And one that would, no doubt, compete with my time for writing.

Stay tuned true believers.

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