It will work out

When I decided to leave full-time law to dive into the world of chocolate and cacao, in order to allay my fears, I had to remind myself of all the times in my life when “it has all worked out.” And to this day, when I’m worried about making a decision, I tell myself the same.

And this is the story that most often comes to mind when I’m in search of confirmation.

A year out of law school, I had outgrown my current employer and was job-hunting. But at that time, the job market for recent law graduates was discouraging. I learned about a couple of long-term positions at a large DC law firm (the “Z” firm) where you’d be assigned to one case. The Z firm wouldn’t be hiring you as an associate with all the “rights and privileges” that come with it. Nonetheless, the position would run a year or two. If the firm “liked you” and you performed well, you might be able to turn that assignment into a permanent associate position.

After I interviewed at the firm, I told a good friend from law school about the position since the firm had advertised two openings. I might have even encouraged her to apply. What do you think happened? Continue reading

Since I was three years old

Occasionally, I am asked if I’ve dreamed about becoming a chocolatier since my early youth.  That’s a fair question.  Given my personality, if I’d known at three years old that I wanted to work with chocolate and cacao, I would have pursued that path from that young age.

Was I excited about “chocolate” as a kid? Of course! What child doesn’t enjoy the over-sugared, mass-produced-candy parading as chocolate that most of us gobbled up in our early years? But as I’ve said before, that’s not chocolate (more here).  And it’s certainly not the chocolate and cacao I work with and encourage others to incorporate into their lives. I’ve grown up. I discovered “chocolate,” albeit later in life than I would have liked. Continue reading

You’re good at it. And?

It can be easy to confuse what you’ve become “good at,” or “what comes easy to you,” with what makes you feel alive.  Anything that comes easy to you probably does so because you worked at it for a long time, perhaps even starting when you were very young—so that by now, you’ve forgotten much of the time you invested and you believe that what you do is what you’re naturally good at, and as a result, it’s what you’re meant to do.

It’s fair to say that when I practiced law full time, I was at least a competent lawyer.  Briefs became easier and easier to write; much of the research on many issues I encountered was already in my head; and so on.  There might have been times when I thought to myself, “you’re good at this.”  Maybe even “you were meant to do this.”

But was I conflating being “good” at law versus what made me come alive?   Continue reading