I recently made the momentous decision to leave my job as a lawyer to pursue a career in writing. As you can well imagine, this decision has been met with derision by baby boomers far and wide (shout out to my parents!).
Frankly, I don’t blame them; I spent five years and tens of thousands of dollars to become a fully-fledged qualified shark – only to “throw it all away” shortly thereafter.
But here’s the catch: in all of my twenty five years, I have never made a decision I am more sure of than this one.
More often than not (for us average folk at least…), youth is but a struggle against the pains of indecision. I spent most of my life wading in a pool of mediocrity. I would eventually go on to settle on some uninspired choices along the way – just the usual meh, off-the-shelf choices that seemed like the obvious next step. Because lord knows I had no clue what I wanted for myself.
Then one day, it hit me like a ton of bricks – I JUST WANT TO WRITE. I craved so much more than this mind-numbing tedium I was thrown into.
You see, at the age of 25, it has taken me a quarter of a century to come to the first lucid realisation about myself. It would be a crying shame to let that go to waste by plodding along for another 10 years in the legal industry, shrouded in a cloud of apathy, only to discover at the age of 35 that I absolutely have to leave before the misery debilitates me. But, oh wait, what’s that you say? I am 35 but I have to start again at the bottom? I am 35 and I am unteachable?!
Yeaaaa no. I needed to get out while I could.
I found myself growing increasingly sure that this is the path I wished to take, so much so that it scared me; the uncertainty of this future scared me, but oddly enough, so did my new-found conviction.
It took nearly 12 months of to-ing and fro-ing, and a helluva lot more courage than I am generally accustomed to expending, to walk into my boss’s room and tell her I’m leaving. Side note: she took it like a star, and for that, I am ever grateful.
I had a good run in the legal industry. I daresay I will miss some aspects of being a lawyer. I have had the honour of interacting with a number of lawyers whom I have come to admire deeply and from whom I will continue to draw inspiration. Their ability to craft legal arguments out of obscurity is creativity in and of itself.
I simply thirst for a different kind of creativity.