A few days ago, I received an interesting email from a lawyer I know who I shall call X, of an anonymous country of origin, law firm and practice area, to protect her identity. X had stumbled upon my blog after we became reconnected on LinkedIn. I would like to share X’s message and my response in a series of posts on my blog, since other readers may have similar questions. X congratulated me on my startup, Anita’s Garden, which she said made her feel inspired and encouraged. X commended me on always knowing that I wanted to become a gardener. X explained that she was thinking of doing something similar herself but didn’t know how or where to start. X said that she had worked at her law firm for ten years and that it was hard for her to leave behind everything that she had worked so hard for. X wanted to know how I had managed to leave law to do something completely different. In particular, she was interested in how I started the process and wanted me to guide her through the steps I took to create Anita’s Garden.
I should start by saying that there are quite a few questions, issues and even a couple of assumptions contained in X’s message. I would also like to elaborate on some tangential points arising from X’s email. To prepare my response, I began by dissecting X’s email into a number of components. I have been sketching my thoughts in draft form over the last couple of days. There is a lot that I would like to say in response, so I will organise my thoughts into a series of posts on my blog.
It is difficult to relate the story of my journey from law to developing Anita’s Garden chronologically. Since returning to New Zealand in 2010, there were many events in my life that occurred in parallel rather than sequentially. While it is natural to want to construct a chronology, a timeline won’t adequately capture the essence of my journey. I think the best way to structure my response is over the course of a number of posts that cover the different themes, issues and questions raised by X’s email. There will, of course, be some overlap as it is difficult to look at things in isolation. I find that even if I want to examine the detail, I’m still always trying to put things into context! In the end, I have settled on organising the information under the following headings.
1. Pursuing a career in law and leaving the legal profession
2. How my interest in gardening evolved
3. Creating and running my own startup, Anita’s Garden
4. Reflections on the value of higher education, years spent working as a lawyer in large corporate law firms internationally and where I am today
5. How to deal with negativity from other people in relation to all of the topics above
Keep checking back regularly as I cover each of these topics in more detail.