Living Weekend to Weekend… no more.

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it.” –Ellen Goodman.

Being a lawyer is exciting, challenging, fast-paced, glamorous, and enlightening.  However, being a lawyer is also mentally and physically exhausting, unpredictable, convoluted, and really, really stressful, with a sprinkle of impostor syndrome on top of every single thing you do.

Some days, I walk on cloud nine, proud of myself and so in love with the opportunities I have and the work I get to do.  Other days, I hold back tears all day long, beating myself up over the stupid decision to go to law school all those years ago.  (A decision that was most likely influenced by growing up constantly hearing that lawyer and doctor are my only career options.)

One of those networking-type questions I hate the most is – Why did you become a lawyer?  Or, when did you know you wanted to be a lawyer?  Because the unscripted, unrehearsed answer to that question would be – I have no f*cking idea.  The scripted, rehearsed answer is always some version of:  I want to save the world.  (Yes, really.  I really believed this when I graduated from law school in 2016.  Watch from 37:15 on for the speech of a naive, uncorrupted soul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O_NYmUaHtc&t=2601s)

Today, I am a second year associate, which means I have completed my bachelor’s degree, juris doctor degree (3-year program), interned at my current law firm, took the state bar (two-day, approx. 12-hour exam), passed the state bar, and am now in my second year of practice.  All throughout those years and stepping stones, I cannot count how many times I have questioned my career path and “whether it was all worth it.”  Am I the only one?

The quote above and phrases like – “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” are everywhere these days.  I can’t tell if that is because of social media, or what seems like a sudden explosion of entrepreneurs, etc., but it has made me question everything, even more than I normally do.

My biggest fear is living life, dreading Monday through Friday, just hanging on by a thread, waiting for Saturday and Sunday, only to blink and be right back at dreading Monday again.  THAT. SOUNDS. AWFUL.  And to be honest, some weeks, I’m already there… feeling anxious and depressed Sunday night, only to self-medicate with wine during the week.

Do people really grow up to become what they always dreamed of?  That sounds nice, like some little fairy tale, but I can’t even remember what I used to say when I was a kid…  “When I grow up, I want to be a ____________.”  Do you?

I have decided that my most important long-term goal is to stop living paycheck to paycheck, weekend to weekend, vacation to vacation.

The only question now is… how?

XO NINA
@xoninackim

3 thoughts on “Living Weekend to Weekend… no more.

  1. Even though I don’t currently live this life, when I first got out of nursing school and was working full time, I did what my husband titled “dooms-daying” where I was anxious and pissy the whole day before I went back to work for a three day stretch. It was a battle of working my ass off, loving it, and then getting back in the car to scream the f word 95 times at the end of a shift. I seriously appreciate your real ness about this. You are such a bad ass and you can admit it while also admitting that it is incredibly hard to do what you do.

    1. I can’t imagine how stressful and exhausting your hours and job were at that time! Thanks for sharing, seriously. I’m at such a weird low in my life, where objectively, I should have nothing to complain about, but I’m so tired and emotionally drained. It really helps to know that I’m not floundering around adulthood alone. ❤️

  2. Live a frugal lifestyle as much as possible. Save save save. Being able to live on a household income of half (or less) than what you earn gives you the psychological freedom of knowing that you can quit whenever you want. It also allows you to save up so that in the future, you can be very choosy about your job.

    Most lawyers I know live the typical lawyer lifestyle, i.e. nice car, nice house, expensive things, fancy vacations. That adds up. If that makes you happy, then by all means continue. But consider whether you are happier have less money/fewer things but more freedom.

    I make hardly any money because I am a part-time government lawyer. But you know what? I love my job and I love being home with my baby. I get to do the things I love every single day of the week. I live in an apartment and drive an old car. Those concessions are worth it to me. Make sure your concessions, whatever they may be, are worth it to you.

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