So, the short story is that I'm not all that happy in private practice. I guess you could say that I'm the opposite of happy.
It's a little hard for me to express exactly what I don't like about it. I guess it's a combination of things. I guess the biggest reason is that I just don't feel like I'm doing the work that I've always wanted to do.
I think about it a lot. Unhappiness in general. I've thought about maybe seeing a therapist of some sort. My doctor wrote me a prescription for an anti-depressant but I haven't filled it. (yet.) For a few reasons. Partially because I don't have prescription coverage. (But that's a lame excuse if you really are depressed.) Partially because I don't think I believe in anti-depressants without therapeutic support, and partially because I don't have the time to see a therapist. Partially because I believe (and I've seen) that medical records are not private as we'd like to think, and I worry about having that kind of mark of my medical records for the rest of my life. Partially because it would involve some sort of admission, even if only to myself.
But, mostly, because I don't want to just feel better. I believe some people are just depressed, even if they have nothing to be depressed over. And, therefore, therapy and medication are necessary. I believe some people are depressed because of things they can't control, such as some tragic incident or circumstance. And, again, therapy and medication are necessary.
But, in this situation, I don't really want to just be happier about where I am. I want to make a change. And I worry that taking an anti-depressant would placate me into staying in this job longer than necessary. And if I could carve out an hour a week to see a therapist, that hour might be better spent looking for a new job. Right now, I think finding a new job would do more for me than any amount of therapy or drugs.
So, the next step is to figure out what my next move will be. First, and perhaps the best option, is to be a public defender. I can apply to be a public defender in the area where I work now. Which would be a huge (really HUGE) pay cut. I could maybe go back to the public defender's office where I worked before. I could maybe take another bar exam and work in another state, but I think that might just slow down the whole process by a few months (the next exam would be July, I would probably get results in the fall?) And I'm starting to feel some urgency to leave.
Outside of being a public defender? I can try an entirely different area of the law. Which, might have the same problem of not-doing-what-I'm-meant-to-do. Although I could possibly stay at the same firm, which would be good financially.
I can try something non-legal. Maybe work for a political party. Maybe teach, although I'm not sure what I would teach.
Maybe I could do something involving less stress. Maybe something artistic. (No, I don't have any creative skills besides maybe writing, if you think I'm any good at this. But I'm convinced I could develop some.) Maybe I could quit my job as a lawyer and be a dog walker. I'd like that when the weather was good at least. It might sound strange, but I also think I'd really like to be a tour guide of some sort. I would love to do something mindless. But not too mindless - I've already turned down a completely random offer from the prosecutor's office.
Overall, I think I might be at square one, faced with the same dilemma I faced at the end of law school: I want to be a public defender, I've just got to figure out how and where. I might just send out a batch of applications and resumes, legal and otherwise, and see what happens. Whatever will be, will be.
But, you already know what the flip side of this is. Every week, I feel like I should hang on for one more paycheck. And maybe one more after that. You know the drill. The money is what makes this worth it. I know I can't make it to another Christmas bonus, although that one I got was nice. I don't even know if I can make it to my one year anniversary, or through the summer, although I know public defender jobs in particular are slow to become a reality.
So, that's where I'm at. I won't depress you with the tragic details of just how unhappy I am. Just suffice it to say, I don't write about my job now because I don't like my job now. And I know I could try to write about things other than my job, but it's just hard to write upbeat posts when you're just not having upbeat thoughts.