To recap, in my previous post, I explored how thinking positively can help us overcome obstacles in our lives. I’d like to reflect on this a little further. You need to be able to flip things around in your mind and put a positive spin on things. For so long, I felt that my health issues (which I will open up about over time) were restricting me in so many ways. For example, they prevented me from practicing law for reasons which will become apparent later on. I spent many years training to become a lawyer, not just at university and in legal practice, but before that, I worked very hard at school so I could have a good intellectual foundation in order to go to university. I have worked very hard all my life, in both studies and other areas such as sports and cultural activities, the latter which were more to help give me confidence with the former. I felt devastated that I could no longer work in the industry that I had chosen to work in during my professional life until retirement.
However, over time, I started to realise that the factors that were limiting me had actually set me free. Law is a wonderful profession in many respects but it can be quite repressive. After all, everything you do is governed by the law. It’s all very circular, you see. Not to mention the fact that the law society is always hanging over you, kind of like the ICloud. You don’t have much freedom. If you work at a large firm, you just shut up, do your job and be grateful that the firm employed you rather than someone else, as the market is pretty competitive and they’re very conservative places. You definitely don’t want to cross the partners or the clients of the firm for that matter. But being a partner is probably not quite what you think it will be, not that I would know from personal experience. As they say, all that glitters is not gold. During my summer clerkship with a leading New Zealand law firm, I did a rotation in the Finance department. The partner I sat with always used to say to me, we’re just like prostitutes. He’s right. The clients think they own you and can ask you all sorts of personal question about your life when really they should be focussing on the case or transaction as there’s a lot at stake and they need to take it seriously. You have to be polite and tell them what they want to know otherwise you’ll risk losing business for the firm. Indeed, discussions about my personal life were charged to the file because to me, it was work, namely maintaining a good relationship with the client. A lot of people outside the legal profession respect lawyers, but the sad truth is that most clients don’t really respect us that much. We’re just the hired gun, really.
Leaving law unleashed a much more creative side which I didn’t realise existed. It’s amazing what you can discover about yourself! My blog has given me a platform to share some of my experiences, ideas and insights into different aspects of life. And yes, I will open up about some personal issues as I’d like to be able to help others in a similar situation. I hope I’m not going about it in a trashy way. I’m not bitching about my life. But of course, there are people out there who will always have something negative to say about me. Sure, you can see a professional when you have problems, but I doubt they would understand the same way someone who has actually been there themselves does. The trouble is, no one wants to air their dirty laundry in public or ask other people for help for fear of being a burden on others, but sometimes you need to step forward and stand up for what you believe in without worrying about what other people will say.