Virtual office NYC attorney, Vivian Sobers realizes that you have to be careful what you wish for because it comes true. Especially when you wish to be insanely busy.
Late last week, I walked into a colleague’s office and b-lined for one of his guest chairs. Normally, I would sit down in the chair. That did not happen. Instead, I threw myself into the chair. I am sure he figured out quick that I needed to vent.
And just as I threw myself into the chair, I started throw words at my colleague. He may have erroneously thought we were engaging in a conversation. Well, the joke was on him.
I was venting about the state of my solo practice.
This was a monologue and he was my audience. Like a true monologue, it started off in hushed tones and ended with a dramatic finish. The only thing missing was the musical styling of Paul Shaffer.
Here are some of the highlights:
“I am so busy I can’t even think.”
“I need to hire a part-time admin.”
“Can I trust a part-time admin to help with my work?”
“Will I allow myself to trust a part-time admin to help with my work?”
“When can I find time for me?”
“Is it normal to sleep 4 hours a night?”
“Is all this aggravation worth it?”
These sighs were no ordinary sighs.
These were sighs so pregnant with meaning that a teenage girl arguing with her parents over a curfew would have been jealous.
Every exhale was the audible release of fugitive frustration I had no idea I was harboring.
I left my colleague’s office with a modicum of satisfaction. By the way, this colleague was the 5th colleague that heard the same monologue. (It got more dramatic every time.)
I usually don’t complain about my career. It just felt all consuming.
My poor husband, Owie, got the same teenage angst routine during dinner that evening. Half-way through my monologue, I realized, I had told him this story before.
It wasn’t something he said or did that made me realize my repetition. It was something more primal. It was muscle memory. I was sitting the same way in the restaurant chair as I had done in my colleague’s.
It’s so funny how your body can sometimes communicate a truth more quickly than your mind can process it.
Every lawyer gets overwhelmed.
In retrospect, my “had it up to here” story is truly every lawyer’s “had it up to here” story. The saddest moment was when I realized my monologue wasn’t even that original. In fact, I could be sued for plagiarizing another author’s work.
This hit home when I went to a women’s litigation meeting. I learned about the meeting through a comment to this blog series. As I sat attentively through the meeting, I was truly inspired by their success. I was a little in awe. As I was speaking about working on motions to dismiss, one woman subtly interrupted saying she was so tired and still had two more motions to get out the next day.
This interposed comment, which on any other day would have been insignificant, resonated with me. This woman was my future. She was a highly successful, well put together woman practicing in the exact same area of law as I do. In twenty years, it would be me interjecting. It was inspiring.
I mean what was I complaining about?
“WAAAAAAAAAH!” I am so busy with my clients.
“WAAAAAAAAAH!” I am living my dream.
Honestly, looking back on the venting period I am annoyed at myself.
I am sure I could say: “Well, I signed up for this.” But, signing up for something means you had an idea what you were signing up for. To be honest, I had no idea what being a solo really entailed. I knew I wanted to be a solo attorney. I guess I just didn’t know what a solo attorney did.
I know now. I run around all day. I am so busy running my firm that I forget to eat. When I remember to eat, it’s a disgusting sandwich from an overpriced deli near a court. (Seriously, when did mediocre sandwiches get so expensive? You know, the sandwiches with the shredded ice berg lettuce?)
Honestly though, the world’s smallest violin is playing right now. I guess I am just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am tired of complaining.
Why should I complain when I am doing what I always wanted to? I am truly ecstatic.
My name is Vivian Sobers. I am young, hungry, committed and over my teenage angst routine.I have weathered one year of challenges in private practice. Despite the challenges that lie ahead, I am committed to replicating my success for many years to come.
Vivian Sobers is a commercial litigator pursuing a solo law practice right out of law school. She is a client in Law Firm Suites’ Virtual Office Program. Vivian’s weekly blog series “Young, Hungry and Committed” documents the trials and tribulations of a young attorney navigating her way through the challenging world of self-employed legal practice.