My sister asked today if I would ever go back to practicing law, and I mentioned that I had recently done some legal work for friends that I really enjoyed. So there was a possibility.
This raised the question of why I quit in the first place: what was the point?
I’m not convinced that it’s possible to articulate with total confidence why I make big decisions, only how. Often something just irks me, like an itch I have to scratch. It doesn’t make sense to me to live with that itch, even if scratching it seems like it will set me back. And when I wake up every day with the same itch—nothing as dramatic as depression, or being miserable at work, or any of the superlative emotions that Hollywood would have everyone believe are necessary for change—at some point I know it’s time.
I believe, but don’t yet have enough evidence to be authoritative, that I am happier when I respond to the itches my body and mind create. I am working towards, but have not yet completely achieved, the perspective that what I should be measuring is not my progress in my career (or earnings) as compared with my peers. Nor is it the number of adventures or journeys or risks I have taken, even though I frequently value those things above material gain.
What I believe is most important is maximizing the number of times I go after something I really want to be or achieve. And minimizing the amount of time I spend working on things that I know are not part of who I want to be.
I value most the future I am creating, and second-most the way that I am currently spending my time. I am still learning the best way to balance those two against one another, but I know with certainty that I stand by the major decisions I have made that set me on this path. They are decisions I would want my grandchildren to make given the situation, because they responded to amorphous, confusing but deeply personal urges that came from within me and nowhere else. It seems to me that that’s the only way to make big decisions.
And in practical career terms, I’m still not sure I can say what the point was except that it was a decision I knew I had to make.