Before I started my own practice a few years ago, I used to work for a law firm that was located on Sunset Boulevard. I will always think fondly of the partner I worked for. He taught me so much. He took me under his wing. He had a personality larger than life. If I could network like he did, I'd be rad. He could work a room. He could order food. He could seriously order wine and port. I had fun working with him. And even though we had rough times and things could have ended rosier, I will always think back on that time at that firm as a good one. I always wish him well even though I sort of hated when my checks bounced.
It is so funny. I was so crazy to leave that big downtown law firm to follow him to this random office on Sunset in West Hollywood. It was a good crazy, but still, I am sure that some questioned my judgment. Seriously. The office was bad. The light bulb in the bathroom, never worked. I often peed in the dark hoping the seedier element of town wouldn't walk in on me and ask to use the toilet as well. The chairs were old and orange and may have been picked out by Ralph Furley himself. It was a mess. Paper everywhere. I crave cleanliness and organization and I was surrounded by the pit of despair on steroids. The office below us was a gun shop - perfect for our clients to go pick up something special for us after getting our bills.
I did some demeaning tasks that someone who went to law school should have never done (even though I got paid handsomely for it). And no, going through boxes of discovery (a normal associate task) was not one of them. I remember once, sitting in his car, so his phone could charge. I had to SIT in the car, alone, not working, and getting paid, to phone sit? I also did more things that made by blood boil than I could list here. But I had to do stuff like wait until the last minute to do anything because I was at the mercy of someone who was a procrastinator with ADHD. I am NOT a procrastinator. I do things so that I have time to spare and have time to have the shit hit the fan and time to correct it and laugh about it. So, I would sit and wait, drumming my fingers, for his blessing until the very last moment or be working until the very last second- making my blood pressure actually go up incrementally until I turned colors like red and purple. Oh the inefficiency, oh the mess.
I also swore off the Blackberry after my stint there. The blinking red light telling me about emails was maddening and addictive. I'd get up in the middle of the night to read crazy emails about what I needed to do. Though it was great training for having a brood of babies, sleep would have been better. Wow, it seems like a lifetime ago.
On the other hand, the cool thing about working on Sunset was all the amazing restaurants just 5 minutes away (or 15 minutes I guess if you are driving on Sunset). We ate soooo much good food that year. We would go for these crazy long lunches at places like The Standard. We would eat many courses and a drink with each course. We'd go for Indian food or Korean BBQ. Oh, the yumminess.
Today, I met up with a client I had never met before at a restaurant we (a former co-worker and I) used to go to often. It was so strange being there again. West Hollywood is now a weird foreign place to me. I am getting very used to Pomona and it is a sickening, sad thing. In Pomona, no one looks like the people do there. It's pretty simple, pretty mellow. The really crazy stuff is usually on a tattoo. The holes in clothes are not put there by a designer but by wear. On Sunset, people are all accessorized with extra large furry purses, skinny jeans (men and women), hats not caps. So strange. I felt like an alien there. I was so very two years ago's Banana Republic in a sea of yesterday's Next Top Model. I don't remember feeling like an alien before but I don't think I have changed much so I must have been an alien then. But, people were so stylish and fa-la-la. Men with their cool shades. Men not in suits, not working, on a Thursday? Women lunching. People eating outside in the sun on patios. It was odd. Sunset is now an alternate universe. When did Sunset become an alternate universe? Sigh.
I am glad to be home somehow today, even though my home is in Pomona. After sitting in traffic up there, inching up and down Sunset. How did I used to do that commute? How did I sit on Sunset? How did I work for someone else? Bleck. I'll never go back. Being the one in charge of my own destiny, albeit with my husband and partner, is much more liberating than it is constrictive. I love this life. That life, although it was wonderful and so full of learning life's hard lessons, was nothing I'd ever go back to. No regrets, just no wish to return. I like here and now.