Thursday, November 24, 2005

The view from here

Every year, my 12th grade English teacher had the seniors write an essay entitled "The View from Here." The students were meant to take stock, reflect on where they are in life, and the path ahead of them.

This is a season of reflection. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's are all about internal audits. Personally, I've come to a natural point of contemplation because the colossal project I began over four years ago just ended. I look back on who I was before law school and even I can tell that my hindsight is rose-colored - I couldn't possibly have been that well-rounded, had so much energy, etc. Law school made me very one-dimensional. I jettisoned so many interests and activities along the way, whispering that I'd be back for them later.

Well, later is (finally) now. I'm looking into all kinds of classes, watching a million movies, starting to channel my inner cruise director by planning social activities, and researching trips I'd like to take. I've started volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club near work, and I'm looking to committ to a pro bono project. I miss being a (hyper)active person, so I'm trying to get back on track there as well. But, things are different now: I really weigh each possible addition. Be it a person, or an activity - I really consider how it fits into my life. I realise I don't have endless resources, and that if I'm not careful, I end up feeling like I've been spread very, very thin. I'm even reading a book on productivity.

I feel so hopeful and expectant right now. I didn't expect that. I'm interested in my work, and excited about the road ahead. This feeling, this is what I'm most thankful for.
.........

I remember what inspired my "View from Here" essay when I was a senior, so I will close with a few lines from it.

… I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life

-- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

8 comments:

vinu said...

wow! now that post really touched my heart. I find myself in a simialr place. I wish my 12th grade teacher had given me such an assignment. Because two months back - I asked myself the same Q when i was looking at the bay from the Berkeley hills "Vots my view from here?" I have put a "full stop" to everything in life and am spending time with family ... taking a so called break. wud love it if you can get in touch thru flickr :) and share ur exp ...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinu

all the best

vinu said...

http://www.fastcompany.com/online/66/mylife.html

I just read the above post ... thought was really related.

Amelie-Freak said...

Hi Maisnon,

Thanks for a great post.

As a newly minted (Congrats!) Esquire, you're probably very busy with work at the office. One way you could contribute as an attorney - especially a South Asian woman with crucial language skills - is at your local DV shelter. While this is my special interest, I know that there is a need for attorneys able to provide guidance and/or referrals for legal concerns, as well as attorneys who can help victims of DV with filing VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act) applications (petitions that permit immigrant victims of DV to self-petition the government for residency in the U.S.).

If you're interested, please contact me via e-mail and I'd be happy to put you in touch with people who conduct trainings for attorneys wanting to do more pro-bono work.

Sorry for shilling via your site. Back to your regularly scheduled program.......

maisnon said...

AF:

Actually, that's exactly the type of work I'm interested in doing. I've been collecting resources, but haven't made much progress.

I'll definitely be dropping you an email. :)

Peppermint Patty said...

Boy, wish I knew where my view from here essay was...probably somewhere in my garage. I have no idea what I wrote. Interesting that you used the Thoreau quote - Dead Poets Society was my favorite movie at that time.

Saucy Lil' Tart said...

Law school made me very one-dimensional. I jettisoned so many interests and activities along the way, whispering that I'd be back for them later.

My sentiments exactly.

I know that there is a need for attorneys able to provide guidance and/or referrals for legal concerns, as well as attorneys who can help victims of DV with filing VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act) applications (petitions that permit immigrant victims of DV to self-petition the government for residency in the U.S.).

*sigh* I had a job offer doing that. Once upon a time. *sigh*

oodles said...

Let me know if you are interested in pro bono cases regarding immigration law or child and youth services. I know attorneys who work on asylum cases at times, and need help.

maisnon said...

See? Obviously, I'm not using my resources to their best effect - expect an email, oodles :)