Yesterday was my last day as a lawyer for foreseeable future. Well, technically I am still under contract with my firm until December 31st, but since I only get paid when I work and I'm not doing any more work, I think it's safe to say I'm no longer a practicing attorney. It is such a strange feeling.
I cried yesterday as I pulled out of my work parking lot and called my husband to tell him I was done. The emotional release was immediate. The sense of completion and the knowledge that this was the right decision were profound. After over 8 years doing something I have not been passionate about, it feels good to walk away.
I also find it ironic that on my last day in practice one of my best girlfriends made partner at her firm. She is propelling forward while I am hitting stop. For a second I felt jealous as she has attained something I thought I wanted to for quite a few years. But that feeling didn't last long. It's not what was in my heart and it would not have made me happy. My other good friend from law school just returned home after spending 61 days away at trial in another city, only getting to see her children for a few days over Thanksgiving. Yet another law school friend is now working part time, 3 days a week and spending the other two with her son. A few others have stopped practicing and now work for the law school, and yet others have said goodbye to the law long before me. We all started in the same place but have ended up on different paths. It's hard to not compare and worry if you picked the wrong path. The doubts have started to creep in a little today. What if I hate this change. What if I am bad at being a stay-at-home-mom?
I've had to stop myself from going down this mental road. The truth is that I've left the legal doors open. I have options if a few months down the road, after Bridget's arrival, I decide I want to go back. But I don't see that happening. In my head and my heart, this is the end of my legal career for now.
Between now and my due date I have a lot going on. The boys are off school for the next two weeks. My parents are coming down on Monday and then my brother and his family are arriving Wednesday evening. This house will be full for Christmas. My nephews are coming and I'm so excited to see them and to watch Lukas and Julian play with them for a full week. It will be a truly magical Christmas with four boys aged 2-7 under one roof. My heart is full just thinking about the week to come.
Then we will usher in a new year. 2016 is going to be a great year. A year of change and transition and unknown roads. It will bring us our daughter and we'll start navigating the road that is her health journey. I know that road might be bumpy, but we'll hold on tight and move forward. It's all we can do.
I also feel that 2016 will bring with it personal growth that I can't yet comprehend. My Beautycounter business, the real reason I was able to step away from my legal career, is going to flourish. I feel confident in that. I love my job with Beautycounter. I love coaching the women on my team and working along side them to build robust, profitable businesses. Todd heard me on one of my coaching calls a few weeks ago and remarked how happy I sounded on the phone. I hadn't really thought about it, but he's right. I get so much joy out of sharing the company's mission and empowering other women to succeed in this business. I love watching my team expand and can't wait to work with even more amazing women.
One thing I never got from the legal world was positive reinforcement. No one was lifting each other up and it was not a collaborative environment. Beautycounter is the opposite of everything I experience in private practice. It is women helping women. It is building others up to succeed and acknowledging their hard work and dedication. I may not be as financially successful with Beautycounter (at least not yet, however I work with women who make way more a month than I ever did as a lawyer and I plan to join them soon), but the personal success and accomplishment I get from this job far exceed anything I've ever felt practicing law. We will make the new budget work for our family and I will be happier for it. I have no doubt about this. And I also have no doubt that I will see greater success with Beautycounter than I initially dreamed possible. When you find something you love, are passionate about and want to share with the world, you have found your thing. Beautycounter and my family are my thing. Law was not. Of this, I am certain.
I also know that 2016 is my year to write. I'm not sure yet if that will be an uptick in blogging or something else. I have dreams of being a published author one day. I don't yet have a book idea, but I plan on finding one and going for it.
And who knows what else is in store. I'm embracing the unknown and cannot wait to see what this next chapter ends up looking like.