Yep, I'm all about the openness lately, open to change, open to feelings, open-minded but not empty-headed...
Virtual Juliana still has a business, but she's not actively marketing or working it. Although I'm only working two days a week for a private firm at a smallish wage (as an employee), it is regular income and enjoyable work. And there is totally a chance to grow with the firm: two new associates came on, and looks like the office manager/paralegal will be on maternity leave come December. Aside from those practical issues and opportunities, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE working with these people. The partners have different practice areas - my friend ("S-1") has the criminal side, his partner ("S-2"), the business/civil side. I have a whole buncha things I want to share about criminal vs. civil clients, but it will have to wait - got too much to catch up on today! (Let's just say I'm still more comfortable with the guys in jail, for philosophical reasons [not personal safety, necessarily!].) I expressed to S-1 my delight at working with and for him, and what a revelation it has been: being in a small, private office with others who work hard, have fun, and respect each others' contributions is heavenly. He asked whether it was really the office, or whether I had changed. Hm.... Yes, I have. Besides being able to see and appreciate the qualities of this office, I'm a lot nicer to myself. I don't expect me to know everything just 'cause others expect it. That was a big trap at the old place - everyone was used to relying on me, I wore many hats, and when I didn't know an answer I knew where to look. But I took it wayyyy too seriously, and had that whole "my work identity IS my identity, and if I can't do it all right now and do it perfectly, I'm a failure." Not a good mindset under which to operate. Yeah, I've gotten over that. So almost daily, I tell my coworkers how happy I am to be there, to be able to help, and to have something productive to do. I like being comfortable with them (and myself) enough to practically bliss out on life over the little things. Oh, and working in Carmel, just blocks from the ocean, helps a lot with the attitude, too.
On a related note, I'm also getting used to be social - learning how to "play well with others." While I didn't celebrate Easter, of course, I did manage to go out to brunch that day with my dear friend Wendy. As a surprise, she brought Natasha, a close friend of hers whom I haven't seen in probably 3-4 years. I've been telling people for ages that I am "not a social animal" and spending "friend time" in one-on-one situations. What I'm trying to say is, I don't hang with chicks much. But guess what: I had a fantastic time. I guess I just have to be in the right crowd, and these two women were it. Ohmygosh, it was so much fun, great food and conversation and company, and NOT talking about shoes (I abhor shopping & related fashion talk, BTW). It's so weird, being almost 46 years old and feeling like I'm just now learning how grownups relate to each other. Like the work thing, I'm getting more comfortable in my own skin when it comes to social relations. But I think I'm also benefiting from being around some outstanding individuals.
p.s. have to add, we ate at the Ol Factory - a coffee house/bar/hangout spot, with a superior chef in the kitchen!! Had eggs benedict with salmon, with to-die-for potatoes, nom nom nom. Glad I was open to the benedict and didn't settle for an omelet!
In Part 2, I share my coming out as an atheist to Sister Christian; it was poor timing but I'm glad that's over with.
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