Oh, hello! I didn’t expect to find you here.
No, no, I’m not lost.
How did I get here, you ask?
As best as I can remember, it began on the very long road to my JD. Then I manned the trenches at BigLaw. I accumulated great wealth and even greater anger.
That didn’t feel right, so I back-tracked a little to the intersection of BigLaw and InHouse.
Ah, yes, this is where I wanted to go.
Before I took the off ramp, a nice lady asked me, “what will you DO with all that free time?”
Surprisingly I came across Yoga. At first it was purely physical. She sat obediently in her compartment and I never lost sight of the road ahead. Until she began to overflow, off the mat, into my life. Suddenly I was off the highway altogether, navigating the back roads of my mind with her breathy focus and direction.
I gave in and we pointed as Law disappeared in the dust our tires kicked up. On that off-road excursion, Yoga introduced me to a wonderful woman named Carinn. She was a writer. Her free time was abundant. Her passion was infectious. Her self-doubt fleeting.
I lost track of Carinn when I met Motherhood. I welcomed her. She cold-cocked me. I held on to her rollercoaster for years, moving on her track, at her speed, unable to ease my white-knuckle grip. I knew I had to get off her ride, but I didn’t know how. I had lost my vehicle it seemed.
Ah, look up ahead! It’s InHouse again!
Her offer was a sight for sore eyes. Recession? Who cares. Three years out of practice? You’ll get up to speed. Salary? We’ll match the level you went out — in 2008.
That kind of unconditional love is impossible to resist.
I sat down behind a familiar L-shaped desk and saw what she gave: legal pads, pens, a computer, and a land-line. Later in the week I saw, hidden behind the stapler, that stash of building anger.
I had to find Carinn.
She was still writing (she could never stop). She received me with no judgment, but she said I needed to make changes.
On my left, InHouse caused a ruckus; waving green bills and promising me days of solitary potty breaks and lunches I would never have to share.
On my right, Yoga, Writing and Motherhood beckoned me softly but separately. I tried to envision braiding them together. One piece too big, upsetting the balance of the delicate weave. Another piece ruined by the short strand that falls out. Undo. Redo. Over and over in my mind. But it never looks quite right.
I can’t make it work.
“It’s simple,” says Carinn.
“It’s a mess,” I retort.
That’s where I met you. And you asked me the question no one has asked.
“How do you choose?”
With your question, I am forced to face the answer.
There is no choice.
There is only Carinn.