Thursday, July 23, 2009

No pillar of salt, I

As is the case many a day this summer, I am sitting at my mother's dining room table which I have sort of commandeered for my little "office," from which I organize my life, pay bills, make grand plans, figure out stuff, apply for jobs, seek new opportunities, and just generally plot the next big move ... and it is also where I write!

Writing has taken on many forms this summer, but among other things I have been cruising along on the old familiar Cuba project as well as toying with some other ideas. The main things I have "learned" by having this little stay-at-mom's-for-two-months-while-traveling-and-writing interlude are 1)yes, I would be content to live the solitary life of a writer working from home, provided there are plenty of chances to go to happy hours sprinkled in there and 2)it takes an extraordinary amount of discipline and organization to work from home; I daresay it can be even more work than working from work.

Now, especially about the latter, this is not a request for condescending I-told-you-so comments about how the full-time writing grass is always greener, and it is particularly not an invitation for comments about writing a book or working from home from those who have also never done it before. Just getting that out of the way. Discussing it, however, I find endlessly fascinating. Working with only self-imposed structure is terribly interesting. It's almost like a chemistry experiment, and you see what has a tendency to float to the top of your mental test tube. And by the way, this grass IS greener. Way greener than law school, or Borders, to name a few.

Through the miracle of Facebook I have been privileged to read at least a dozen updates a day from former classmates who are bursting with the stress of their impending doom bar exam next week and I daily marvel at how far away that world seems. I was trying to think of other experiences that are like that. When I came back from Korea, I was totally aware of not being in Korea. For months. I was nodding and bowing and trying to hand my money to the 7-11 clerk with both hands, and it took a while to get used to the U.S. of A. again. Other travels and experiences have lingered in various ways. Sometimes even a concert or book remains mentally present. But law school? It is just ... GONE. I seriously don't think about it until I read the next Facebook status update about someone's bar review stress. It's bizarre.

Meanwhile, I still pepper my conversation with various legal concepts, think about things I learned, despise Long Island, and have my email open all the time on my computer screen, including my email. But I have so mentally moved on from the awfulness that I guess I can offer that as some kind of hope to those who are still in the thick of it: it is TOTALLY possible to move on and not look back. At least for now. I will let you know if this remains true when the student loan grace period ends.

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