Panorama of San Bernardino

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Great Expectations

Insomnia has its benefits.  It sometimes leads to analysis and reflection regarding life.  A couple of nights ago I woke up at three a.m. and thought to myself, has my life turned out the way I imagined?

I thought my life would turn out one of two ways.  I would either be single living in Ireland and writing my book or married with two kids.  I am married, but the kids haven't happened yet.  I am a lawyer and a writer, but the two activities do not always complement one another. 

Somehow, it does not feel like enough.  I have great expectations for myself.  I feel as if I am meant to do more.  Like this is just the prologue to my life story.  It may be that I have read too many memoirs and seen too many movies.  But, it happens right?  Frank McCourt was in his sixties when he published his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir "Angela's Ashes".  I don't want to wait until I am sixty for things to change.

Recently, I made a decision to tackle my weight, but I struggle with an overwhelming feeling that life is passing me by.  Just this morning, I had a profound sense of discontent.  The discontent turned to anger and I screamed at Adrian that I hated my life, that I felt trapped and constrained, that I wanted a small little apartment for my dogs and I with no mothers and no husband. 

My tirade cleared the room.  My mother-in-law went to her bedroom, my mom went upstairs and my husband, patient and kind soul that he is, teased and fed me back into my normal (i.e. non evil) self. 

All things said in anger have a grain of truth, but much of what I said wasn't true.  I don't hate my life.  I have it pretty good and keep telling myself that am lucky, so lucky, by most standards.  I have my education, an attentive and disgustingly handsome dentist husband (disgusting because he just keeps better looking with age while I sag and drag my ass around looking more haggard every year) and a job that fulfills me.  If I write it maybe I will convince myself that it is enough.   

It is obvious that my high expectations are getting to me.  But, do I really want to lower my expectations?   It's high expectations that made me apply to USC law school and it's those same expectations that keep me up at night wondering if I should get my MFA in creative writing.
I always tell my clients to keep their expectations realistic.  Yet, time and time again I prove myself wrong and get them better deals than I ever thought possible.  Last week, a client was terminated from a drug program.  I thought his cause was beyond hope and he was on his way to prison.  Then, things changed and he was readmitted.  His family and I cried together outside of the courtroom and it made me remember why I do what I do.  My clients need me.

But, I need more from life.  I want more.  Yearn for more.


  1. I just had this conversation last night! In fact, I thought of writing about it, but now there is no need--you've done it beautifully. It's a slight distinction, appreciating your life but wanting more: the best of both worlds! And the work is all internal. Write on, girl!

  2. Wow... you and I are kindred spirits dude. This is like a glimpse into my own internal struggles.