a beautiful post —
About two years ago I met with a lawyer about an SEC issue I was having. The details are not important. [ ]
Most of the meeting he kept complaining about how “lousy” it was to be a lawyer. He was complaining about his kids. His wife. The two hour commute. His clients. How many of his clients were total criminals. how the government was criminal. “But,” he says, “this is what I do. It’s too late for me to do anything else.” [ ]
[ ] Yesterday K, 49 years old, died of a heart attack.
He just gave up. I don’t care about the technical details of heart disease. He clearly didn’t need to die and could’ve done stuff to avoid it.
But he gave up. He was tired of it all.
Tired starts when you can’t get up in the morning. When you can’t look your wife in the face and say good morning but there’s no way to avoid it day after day. When you have kids that you just don’t know how to support and you start losing the ability to care. When you have clients and you think, “ugh, not another f-ing one of these.” When you have to drive two hours to meet some shitty guy who you know is going to just get a free consultation out of you but you do it anyway.
Day after day. No day different. Maybe you had other dreams. but maybe you didn’t. Everyone told you that being a lawyer would make you a lot of money, would bring you safety. Safety that would protect you to death. But who are you going to make happy today? Your mother, because you are alive, her little baby? Your wife? Your kids? Your customers? The ones who appreciate your art? When will it finally matter?
You have a drink at the bar before going home. Maybe two or three. You watch sports but you forget which team is which. You want to watch sports with your kids but they don’t care. You want to watch with friends on a Sunday with some beers but you have no friends.
Every day, a tiny bit, you finally realize deep down you have a choice. You push at it. You press the button. You visit your clients again but deep down you know you have a secret that they don’t know. You experience sudden acts of kindness and the people around you are surprised. “He was a good man,” they said to me later. Because you knew the Secret that they didn’t know.
And one day you wake up and everything feels light again. You don’t feel surprised about how happy you feel. It’s natural. There are no worries. No clients. No bank accounts. No bathroom stalls. You jump out of bed. The window is open and you fly out. You skim through the trees and laugh. You fly to the moon and back. You forget who your clients were. You forget what your name was. You forget the irregularities of the nuances in SEC law. You forget everything. You’ve shed your body a million years ago and you’re no longer tired.
You were a shitty lawyer. And now you’re not.