Hello, Readers. Welcome back to the latest installment of my creative outlet. I’ve had a few requests for posts over the past couple of weeks and, as I mentioned in my last post, I think the request for my take on pop country music is a good one. I’ve been contemplating exactly how I’m going to present that in light of the mountain of thoughts on that subject that I have to organize. To the Reader who requested that, thank you. I’ll get to it but not this week.
This week I’ve been in a somewhat reflective mood. I’ve had many things going on in my life—some positive, some negative, some of which inspire indifference—that have caused me to look inward in order to search for answers to the conundrum we call Life. Alright, perhaps that’s a bit dramatic. I think a better way to say it is that I’ve had a lot going on in my life lately and the combined effect of all of the tiny things I have to pay attention to have caused my mind to become more active than a spastic colon after a Mexican dinner. In short, I need your help sorting out some things.
In light of my vagueness, I suppose some background information would be helpful. Like a modern day Dickens novel, mine is a Tale of Two Cities. For you lit buffs out there, I’ll continue the comparison. Honestly, I can’t decide if I’m more Charles Darnay or more Sydney Carton. Top that off with the fact that I’m not a huge Dickens fan and you should feel my pain. In short, I still need your help sorting some things out.
You see, being a lawyer is an odd thing sometimes. I’d love to tell you that this career is the noble pursuit of many of the things that our culture holds dear and, in fact, is built upon. I’d love to tell you that I speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and I protect their inalienable right to have their grievances heard and decided by their equals in a court of law blinded by absolute indifference to the social status, race, religion, or politics of the litigants before it in the name of upholding the rule of law. I’d love to but that’s difficult to reconcile with the fact that I spend a good portion of my day arguing with some guy in a short sleeve shirt and a tie in a cubicle on the fifth floor of some
insurance company over five grand and a few commas in a Settlement Agreement
and Release. Half the time that guy is
an inalienable as*hole who is anything but right.
Work isn’t always such a struggle. In fact, I often leave the office with a sense (albeit a small one) of progress. The people that work for me seem happy with me and I try to be a considerate, sympathetic (empathetic when I can be), and reasonable boss. On occasion, even the people that sign my paycheck seem happy with me. Law firms (as I’m sure some of the readers can attest) are often horrible places to work and are, ironically, filled with the most egregious violators of every social more or boundary ever invented. I’m happy to say that mine is not one of those firms, but let’s be honest, it’s called “work” for a reason. If I could retire tomorrow, I would. Granted, I’d still do SOMETHING, but I’d do it on my own terms.
So why am I whining? I’ll be the first to tell you that through no action of my own I’ve been tremendously blessed in my life. Despite the bumps in the road and even the sinkhole to which I’ve not so subtly alluded in the past, I feel lucky. I often wonder why that’s the case in light of the fact that I’ve taken very large steps on my own volition toward thumbing my nose at that good fortune. I suppose that falls under the age old question “why do good things happen to bad people,” and, frankly, I don’t know the answer to that.
I suppose we all have a sense of justice hardwired into our brains. Try giving a child less soda than his brother or letting his little sister use his favorite toy. From an early age we are imbued with the concept of fairness. Granted, it’s impossible for us to articulate it at that age and I’m not certain it gets any easier to articulate it as we get older. Some things simply ARE. I suppose Hindus, Sikhs, or Buddhists would assign their respective definitions of “Karma” to this little puzzle. Stated another way, fairness is a result of action. You get what you deserve, in other words. If you treat someone badly, then the universe will extract a payback upon you in order to balance it out. The converse is true as well. That concept is a little tougher to reconcile for a Christian; see Job, David, or even Jesus.
I’ll stop there with the religious references because my struggle this week is not about God or religion. I don’t want to start a debate or a holy war. Rather, it’s about Self. I had an especially horrible day at work last week and I left feeling frustrated and deflated. I wasn’t five blocks away from my office when tremendous feelings of self-doubt with regard to my career choice, my finances, and the path I’d chosen in my life entered my head uninvited like a carjacker hiding in the bushes waiting for me to pull up to the stop light.
I went to the gym after work and had an especially cathartic run. Indeed each drop of sweat that poured from my body was like a small piece of that self doubt leaving me forever and removing my saline soaked shirt was like shedding the very doubts I’d accumulated during the day. I was whole again . . . well, at least until I got home and opened some bad news in the mail. Over the rest of the week this cycle repeated itself. I found myself taking breaks throughout the day to read your comments on this blog in order to remind myself that regardless of my perception; somehow I make a small difference in someone’s life. This blog makes people laugh and writing it has made my life a fuller, more gratifying place to be since the first keystroke.
So, what’s my point? Well, I got to thinking on one of those aforementioned cathartic runs the other day. Perhaps “wondering” is a more accurate classification of my process. I wondered what I mean to you Readers. I wondered if you take me with you beyond the 15 minutes you spend giggling at my nonsense on your screen. I wondered if something I’ve written has ever made a REAL difference in any of your lives. I wondered if I stopped writing tomorrow how that would affect you. In a word, I wondered what Some Guy in
really means to you out there. Austin
Here’s what I’m asking this week. Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply post a brief comment answering one or more of these questions for me in any way you see fit. I’m certain I’ll be back in rare form the next time I post. For now, humor me.
Thank you all for playing along. Enjoy your week, kiss someone you love (consensually, of course), and take a moment to be grateful even though you might not feel like it. I appreciate what you bring into my life. Until next time, take care of yourselves. In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be trying to keep my karma from running over my dogma. DP