fall surfing at Seal Beach
(Contax 645, Fuji 400h)
I used to drive to my office by way of Pacific Coast Highway. I hated sitting in traffic on the 405 so I figured I could sip my coffee and stare at the ocean on my way to work. I would always see the early morning surfers in Huntington Beach and think to myself “why do those bastards get to surf in the morning and I have to go to work?” I hated those surfers and their seemingly carefree lifestyle. In fact when I look back on my early legal career, I was a miserable person to be around. It is hard to work at a job you don’t love, yes, but I had so much to be grateful for. My job provided us with our first home, and money to travel the world. But it was far easier to focus on all that was wrong with my career and my life.
It’s been over 5 years since I stopped practicing law, and today I have much to be grateful for. I have a career I enjoy immensely, I have my health, my family and friends, two beautiful daughters, a wonderful home and a warm bed to sleep in at night. And after all this time, I’ve found a way to be grateful for my legal career, and the struggles and miserable times I endured. Because if I’m being honest, while I had plenty to be grateful for, there were plenty of miserable times to go around. But I digress.
I spent many years with an indignant chip on my shoulder for the suffering I endured as a lowly associate at different law firms. I even wrote about one particularly painful job review on my old blog. But time and perspective have a way of healing old wounds, and without those painful years as an attorney, I would not be able to really truly appreciate my new life as a photographer. I’m thankful that instead of running from yet another ill-fitting legal gig, I had the opportunity to step into a completely different world and become the photographer and business woman I’ve grown to be.
So to any of you struggling out there with a crappy job or wanting to work for your creative passions, embrace the struggle you’re in. Don’t let a dead end job be the end of the road for you – make it the beginning. If you’re truly Type A like me, the thought of veering off course is terrifying, but you put one foot in front of the other and you find your way. And someday, months or even years down the road, you’ll find a way to be grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.