While the shedding of the skin of a snake happens consistently during the growth period of a snake’s life, there can be found an analogous “shedding” in the lives of humans as well. Sometimes it’s a simple as moving from one part of the country to another. For example, if one moves from Wisconsin to New England, that person is no longer a “Midwesterner.” The more appropriate label would be “former Midwesterner, current New Englander.” At times the shedding is of one legal status to another, e.g., “singled” to “married” and, perhaps thereafter, “married” to “divorced.” Pass a test and go from “graduate” to “doctor.” Show competency and transform yourself from “journeyman” to “master.”
Today as I sat through a business lunch with two other mediators discussing marketing and client-garnering strategies, I listened to my colleagues endorse Yelp and Facebook Ads and hashtagging–all with the goal to “drive business.” Now I get the fact that with my training as both an attorney and a mediator I ought to be fully engaged in the business of growing my mediation practice. But truth be told, I’m not.
I want to be creative.
I want to write.
I want to find a fabulous literary agent, get published, and write more.
But what about the years I spent in law school? What about those three little letters I worked to earn: Esq.?
While I’m more than happy (for the time being) to be present in the room as a mediator alongside my co-mediating spouse –who brings his mental health counseling skills in to compliment/supplement my legal ones–I have little interest in marketing and networking and business lunches where we are expected to discuss business.
Throughout today’s lunch, I wasn’t invested in the “business” chit-chat, though I participated. My interest was hearing about the ideas and experiences of my lunch mates. I saw it as a chance to come to know a little about the story of their lives. The notion on whether to use emoticons in a professional email bores me; the experiences that my lunch mates had as children do not. I am always on the search for a new story . . .
My heart’s desire is to write and be read. Today I realized that I don’t need those three letters to do that.
Rebranding is a painfully slow process. I can confidently predict that it will take years of effort to get from “Esq.” to “New York Times Best-Selling Author,” but I’ve got time and lots of layers of skin to keep me motivated for the evolution of change.