I think I'm lost.
I recently went to a small political gathering and had the opportunity to discuss world politics and the presidential primaries and Benazir Bhutto's assassination and the economic and political influence of South America with a handful of people. Although I had signed up to attend, I was dreading actually attending. Who did I think I was? I hardly follow politics anymore, I'm resigned to voting third party just as a big Fuck You to our current system of government, and frankly, I'd rather do nothing at all than get all gussied up to speak with smarmy politicians. But I got there and I met earnest people doing interesting things with a variety of professions and interests and I nearly burst with happiness. I started to remember what it felt like to talk about Big Ideas and thinking about Important Things.
It made me downright giddy. I loved academia, I loved having a physical location dedicated to thinking and talking about Big Things. By the end of law school I was sick of talking and thinking and ready to do. But now "doing" is something I've had enough of, after two years of doing it and doing it and doing it well (Thanks LL Cool J) and I'm ready to start thinking again. I want to muse, to discuss, to learn. I want to stop talking about work all the time, or thinking about work all the time. I want to feel like I'm being an active participant in the world and not just going to work and coming home.
I feel like I somehow, somewhere along the way, stopped really living. I've just sort of been getting by, figuring that one day I'll stop being so busy and then have the time to live the way I want my life to be. There have been a few reasons for this. First, I met someone. Having a boyfriend was a great reason to not doing anything anymore. I have someone to lie around and watch TV with all day, someone who will order in takeout and lie in bed late into the day. Second, work took up so much of my time that in the absence of work, I wanted to do as little as possible. Third, I just sort of forgot what makes me happy, and never really thought to stop and update that list.
I learned last year, but somehow forgot again, that work cannot be the only thing in my life. It has always been important to me to work a job to which I am personally and deeply committed. But I need to remind myself that it's also ok to remember that it's just a job, in the sense that there is no way my job can encompass everything that's wonderful about the world. (As a matter of fact, being a public defender tends to encompass a lot that is deeply tragic about the world.)
I feel some long bouts of self-imposed isolation coming on. Or in the alternative, I need to switch up my scene quite a bit. Too much of my personal life is invested in work and coworkers, and too much of my work life has eclipsed any semblance of a personal life. I am ready to get out there and really participate in the world, to learn new things about people and ideas, to try things I've never done before. I'm going to commit to keeping my life and the people around me positive, and to give myself permission to release the things that are not positive, as painful as it may be. I have to keep learning and seeking and moving forward, and I'm ready to cut a bold path for myself in the world.