Almost ten years ago I started this blog. OMG. Where has the time gone? It started with a tiny, cranky first entry about starting up a new writing commitment after so many previous failed or aborted writing projects. What's funny or interesting to me sitting here 9 years 7 months later is that I still resonate with that cranky- to- get-it-going energy. There is one big difference now verses then: I feel a strength of commitment to the divorce process that I didn't have then. I feel so settled that this blog and divorce legal work is where I'm going to stay and keep showing up.
Four years ago, I did my best to run away from divorce and find myself a new and more fun career. I sold two properties to fund a career transition and had a ball dabbling in the cannabis law arena. I trained and studied all sorts of topics I enjoyed, including a very fun junket to Miami for a Matchmaker conference. I slept in my Prius as a travelled across America several times. I remember waking up to a snow filled wonderland outside a ghost town in Minnesota during a frozen March. I traded in hopes of a normal retirement for a sabbatical from law and a hiatus from making a living. I mentally added years of work onto my 60+ year old self. Avoiding future work at 60 to 70 didn't matter so much to me because I was seeing the world, and living outside the boundaries of daily drudgery to make a living. I was discovering myself at a deeper level and providing myself a few years of retirement while I was still young enough to travel rough style. I never thought my money would last as long as it has. Even doing cannabis law, I wasn't pressured to "make money." I could focus on falling in love with my new peers in the activism world of marijuana legalization.
And here I am. Back at Lawlady.typepad.com and the practice of divorce. Right back where I was almost exactly 10 years ago.
It's been a learning, enriching, playful, and indulgent past four years. Where I've circled around to, as my money buffer has become depleted and the realization hits home that I must buckle down and work hard for more money, is that I love divorce work. I am suited for divorce work. It's my life's destiny. I'm a daughter of divorce, and every relationship I've ever been in has been shaped by my parent's quicky Vegas wedding and equally as quick divorce.
One of my most admired teachers and mentors is Michael Meade. He writes many books about fate and destiny, finding your calling in life, and living with passion and purpose during these dark times. He said at a book reading at Elliot Bay Book Company years ago is that we only find our calling in life after we have accepted our fate. Fate is that painful marking that sets our life onto a certain trajectory. It's where we are wounded or limited. It's the place of hurt that defines us. For me that event was my parent's divorce and all the other divorces and endings that followed as my parents and grandparents remarried and family dynamics changed. My parent and grand parent divorces set me up for a life of shorter relationships, quests for intimate love, and my fascination with romance, dating, polyamory, and the red hot world of Tantra. It was one of the reasons I became a lover of love and "a hopeless romantic capable of finding love in any meager situation," the first words to a love book I wrote once but never published.
Divorce work is my destiny. Yet, my career in divorce law started as just a simple idea in my quest for authentic work that utilized "my talents, skills and interests." In 1998 when I jumped into holistic family law after my first 7-8 years of working as a business, workers' compensation and insurance defense ligitator, I considered getting a psychology master's degree so I could do counseling. At the time, the cost of school seemed prohibitive at $24,000. Now the same type of degree in Marriage and Family Therapy will run me $50,000 and it continues to seem cost prohibitive. I took the easy road, I thought, and ran an add in the local West Seattle newspaper for a cheapie divorce. I got my first client a week or two later.
As Meade says, our destiny sneaks up on us. It often doesn't start with amazing fanfair. But it's always linked to a deeper wound or harm that our psychic works out for itself. That's how divorce is for me. It's the odd transition in life that continues to fascinate me. It's the place where I know I make a difference in people's lives. It's a type of work that calls on a subject and experience I've understood from my earliest years. That's a deep connection to one's work when it involves the same subject that has personally effected one so long and so profoundly.
At age 50, a therapist said to me recently, we face our limited time. After four years of play, folly, amusement and civic engagement, I'm so ready to settle down and work hard again. All my divorce career plans I crafted over so many years are being dusted off. I know there are gobs of divorce providers, divorce educators, divorce blogs, divorce attorneys, divorce coaches, and divorce professionals and services of all sizes. I used to be tripped up by competition. I would scare myself watching and worrying about everyone else. Even as recently as a month ago I would watch myself get worked up and jealous over other professional's successes in divorce or cannabis and doubt me and my role in the world. It's so easy being a person of self criticism when you come from a tragic divorce outcome. But yet... and yet... I have something now that I didn't have four years ago when I headed out on my great career and life exploration. I know now I was built for divorce. It's like I landed in the family I landed in and a divorce attorney was born. How weird is that? Does anyone think "Hey, I'm going to grow up and be a divorce attorney?" I certainly didn't. I was going to be a ballerina, then a neurosurgeon, then maybe President of the United State, then a counselor....
And then lawyer, which eventually lead to holistic family lawyer.
Life is circular the Native American shaman teach us. It reminds me of a favorite Jim Croce song called Age. We come around and around to ourselves. Long journeys take us back home eventually. It feels nice to be back at my divorce home at Lawlady.com and Lawlady.typepad.com. I hope you decide to share this journey of divorce with me. I need loving followers. I look forward to having a solid relationship with you all. It's nice to be certain of where I belong and what my destiny is all about. Life is good.