It is amazing to me just how far one can come in a short while. I’ve been preparing for my first big hearing at the firm since Monday, and the fact that I am calm and confident this morning is a far cry from the panic I used to feel what I had to go before a judge and argue my client’s case. The last time I argued a motion for summary judgment, I was at a different firm and certainly in a different place. I was sweating profusely, my hands were shaking, and I was completely overwhelmed.
This photograph was taken in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. I do not know the man who gives his silhouette to the scene, but I purposely framed the shots so that he was nearly out of the photograph. It wasn’t that he was walking quickly; instead, he was walking with purpose. These days I feel like I am walking with a purpose, because my life has purpose. My kids, my wife, my job, my writing—all these things give my life meaning.
Still, there is a little voice inside me, faint and almost unrecognizable, which used to scream “You’re going to fail.” And I did fail. I failed because this voice overcame me and drowned out my confidence, my self-worth, and my abilities to function. Nowadays, I can rarely hear this voice unless I let myself listen for it. When that happens, I distract myself with writing or tending to my plants in my office (which the other associates have lovingly dubbed the “Grove”). I will not let this terror control me any longer. That part of my life is over, never to be revisited again. I am thankful that, like the silhouette in the picture, I am passing through with a purpose.