Wednesday, April 27, 2005

my friend, the go-go dancer.

When I was in law school, I made some mistakes. I picked a job and an employer that was not right for me. I even realized it during my last year of school, but I somehow convinced myself that it would be fine and that I would enjoy it. I didn't. I was terribly unhappy. I worked all the time. And by all the time, I really mean, all the freaking time. 100 hour weeks, all-nighters, flights all over the world at the drop of a hat, I even worked 50 hours straight once until I fell asleep on the table surrounded by clients.

I believe that I actually had a nervous breakdown during the 50 hour marathon and I locked myself into a conference room and called the hubs in a puddle of tears. I literally could not pull myself together enough to stop crying. I had been at the printers for 40 hours and was facing another night of work and I could not imagine how I would make it. It was at that moment that I decided I had reached my limit.

Now one of my dearest friends in the world is suffering through the same situation. The same employer, different circumstances, but the same unacceptable behavior and the same hopelessness.

I wish that I could make her understand that as bad as I felt at the time, as interminable as I thought those feelings were, as much as I blamed myself and felt like a failure, I look back now and realize that I wasn't insane and it wasn't my fault. People are cut out for different things. Some people can stand to be treated like the scummy dirt on the bottom of other people's shoes, other people know that they deserve better and demand better. Some people can learn not to take things personally, others just can't separate the insults from their own self-worth.

I definitely fall into the category of people who cannot tolerate the ill-treatment. For a long time I felt like a wimp and a failure. I couldn't see how others could happily march into work day after day while I spent Sunday nights sobbing. But I know now that the same reason I couldn't stand the meanness is the same characteristic that makes me unique and the same characteristic that makes my dear friend unique.

My friend is one of the most amazing, brilliant, and FABULOUS people I know. She is kind, and generous, and creative, and funny, and caring, and above all other things, believes that you should treat people the way you want to be treated. She looks for the good in people, even when they are assholes all over the surface. She tries to make a difference in the world and in people's perception of the world. She is so much more than a stuffy/boring lawyer. In two days, one person referred to her as a fantastically funny spit-fire and another said that she was a lawyer by day and go-go dancer by night. I am truly blessed to have her in my life.

And I KNOW that she will find a way to extricate herself gracefully from this current situation, and I KNOW that she will find happiness and clarity again once she is out of there. No matter how hopeless it seems now. All I can do is keep telling her that and be there for her when the crazies get crazy yet again.

It will get better, and one day we'll look back and laugh at this ridiculous time in our lives. And then forbid our children to go to law school.