Do You Know What You Want?

Because I didn’t.  I’ve been engrossed in the world of chocolate for the last few years, but I can’t pretend that I’ve been enamored with the study of chocolate since I was in the womb.  Sure, I’ve always liked eating chocolate.  But I only experienced premium chocolate–the kind without vegetable oils and other fillers–a few years ago.  And then I knew what I wanted.

Are you asking yourself the right questions?

To give you some context, I’ve practiced law for over a decade in Washington, DC, splitting this time between an esteemed federal clerkship and a likewise respected position at a prestigious law firm.  I put my soul into both, so much so that I was on the partnership track at the firm.  But I had for a long time conflated being a superb lawyer with loving the practice of law.  That was easy enough to do.  Surely, because I was good at it, that meant I loved it and was supposed to being do it, right?  Nope.

Day after day, I began asking myself: Did I dislike my employer?  No.  Did I dislike the people with whom I was working?  No.  (No horror stories about law here.  I worked with amazing and kind lawyers who are passionate about their craft.)  The question really was, did I just not want to practice law?  Yes.  While the answer remained “yes” for a long time, I didn’t know what I wanted.  And I didn’t know how to start figuring out what I wanted.

What will be your trigger?

My trigger was when my paternal grandfather, Dada, as we called him, passed away.  Although he lived all of his life in a country where patriarchal values are deeply embedded and education, particularly higher education, isn’t prioritized for women, he was one of the strongest advocates for higher education for all of his grandchildren, including me.  No matter what, he cheered me on, telling me to never stop reaching.  Losing him hit me hard.  From then on, I knew that whatever path I decided to create for myself, however anxious or afraid I felt along the way, and however I may stumble, he would be in my corner–proud as ever.

My Dada

Carrying my Dada in my heart, I started on this journey by exploring an interest and found my way into the realm of chocolate.  Through this blog, I hope to create a healthy discussion about transitions, and, of course, about cacao and chocolate.  Please share your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

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2 thoughts on “Do You Know What You Want?

  1. michael reese says:

    again, very good job Puja! yeah, i won’t hop on the “I want to bash the legal profession” bandwagon either since the past is the past (although i could, lol), but it is hard to not stop for a moment and play the “what if” game. that aside, knowing what you want is definitely important, if not essential, but i think for some people it changes over time, and that they need to realize this. at the end of the day, we all have to be true to ourselves because living a lie always hurts us in the end. ok, enough philosophy, so when are you Fed Ex-ing me a big ol’ chocolate mouse cake? 🙂

  2. Chris says:

    Very thoughtful post. Leaving law is definitely a transition. There were many times where I thought I had made it, only to find there was another hill to climb. The first hill for me was getting over the fact that I no longer worked a a “prestigious” firm. The second hill was accepting the fact that I wasn’t practicing law and I was okay with that.

    Good luck and have fun. And read Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception if you get a chance.

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