June 21, 2004

Life's progression

If you read below, you'll see that I had a lengthy dinner with a dear, old friend Friday night. It got me thinking about the progression of life, about our movement through things. Up to now, most of our progress has been about preparation. We've been to school and maybe taken graduate degrees. We've studied, we've trained, and we've spent the first 21 years or so of our lives doing it. Then, we were set free to wreak havoc on the workforce, to find our way. To apply our training and our studies. To learn to live on our own. The living on our own part is interesting to me, too, because for the first couple of years it feels like you're playing house. That continues for years.

This is the growing process, post school. This is what we are probably at the end of now. I say probably because it will be only with the benefit of hindsight that I will be able to say whether I had it right or whether I was just being self-importantly pretentious. Probably a combination of the two.

Are you happy about where you are in the progression? I feel as if I am not nearly accomplished enough. I read today in the NY Law Journal that Columbia University Law School has appointed a new dean to head up the place. He's 35. One year younger than me. Ouch. Things like that make me reevaluate my own progression and I am not thrilled with how I am measuring up of late. I'm feeling a bit stuck. Stuck in NY, stuck in my job, stuck in my career. I think I'd like an adventure. Indeed, I encouraged my wife to post for a job in San Francisco, even though I am not admitted in California.

My old friend also makes me feel stuck. He's lived all over Europe practicing law. I feel as if he too is doing more and more varied interesting things than I am. I want a change.

Sometimes, by the way, it can be hard to perform this type of analysis. I'll share a little story with you by way of explanation. My wife and I were at a dinner on Thursday night and someone said that they thought I looked a good ten years younger than I really am. I was surprised by this and asked my wife about it later. She said that she couldn't really judge because to her I always kind of look 17. So, it can be difficult to use the people around you as a mirror.

Sorry about the rambling nature of this post. I guess my thoughts are not too well organized on this topic. That means I'll probably come back to it, but I did want to at least start the conversation. Have to start somewhere, right?

Posted by Random Penseur at June 21, 2004 12:31 PM
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