35: Oh Dear

So, 2012 minus 1977 equals 35. How depressing. Yup…

My husband asked me this morning if I’m where I thought I’d be by 35. I had to think about it. The answer is yes, and well, no.

No because when I was 5 I thought I’d be President of the U.S.of.A by now. And when I was 15 I thought I’d be a federal judge by now. And when I was 25 I thought I’d be a partner in my law firm by now. Sensing a pattern? On the one hand, all of my aspirations were wrapped up in my career over the years, but on the other those aspirations kept getting adjusted downward until they seemed more realistic. Last I checked, I’m not a partner in a international firm (though if I can just pat myself on the back for one quick sec, I think I could have been if I decided to stay put and keep my nose to the grindstone for another year or two). In fact, I just gave my notice this week and by the end of the month I’m not going to be a lawyer at all anymore.

So no, dear hubby, I’m not where I thought I’d be by 35. In fact, the whole lawyer thing that I was dreaming about for nearly my entire life may have been a bust, but time will tell if I return to it in the near future.

Then again, in place of those lowered career expectations over the years I started raising my expectations for a family. By 18 I declared emphatically that I didn’t want children. Not to bring the psychobabble into this conversation, but this declaration was likely due to a deep down fear of dying young and leaving my children without a mother, as my own mother died when I was 14. (Pity party over). By 25 I started to realize that while I was on my way to accomplishing my goal to obtain wealth and independence as a kick ass and take no prisoners attorney, which was pretty much the only goal I had set for myself, just maybe I wanted more. Could it be a family was in my future?

It took meeting the right man (whom I met at 26) to really get my act together. And now, at 35, I have a husband who adores me (the feeling is mutual), a beautiful baby boy, a little girl on the way, and we’re moving into our dream home in a lovely neighborhood and I’m about to become (dare I say it) a stay-at-home mother?!?. What the hell happened to that career-obsessed superlawyer? (Ahem! Subconscious note to self: the stay-at-home mother gig is only temporary until I can open a little bake shop, or a B&B, or until I go back to part time lawyerly work. Don’t start gorging on the bon bons just yet).

I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world, from New York to New Zealand, and while I started from humble Valley roots, I’ve lived in D.C., San Francisco, and even Beijing before settling here in Pasadena, and I’ve fulfilled another dream (one that materialized in my late 20’s) of going to culinary school. So, yes, my love, thanks in large part to my amazing life-changing-and-dream-fulfilling husband, I am well past where I wanted to be at 35, at least once I got my head out of my arse and learned that life wasn’t all about work work work. And, here’s the clincher: I…am…happy. Sigh!

So, happy birthday to me. Being 35, well, it sucks to be frank, and I pray that I still look like I can pass for 25 (or at least I will when I don’t have a planet growing out of my stomach). But life at 35? Life is good, and only getting better.

Thanks for reading. Self-congratulatory rant concluded.


  1. Tamara,

    Stumbled across your blog on Pinterest and I love it! I’m a recent graduate from law school (May 2010) and a recent divorcee from my law partner (June 2012). I am currently feeling just as you described in this post – as though my lawyerly aspirations are moot and life would be better if I didn’t have the constant headache that accompanies practicing law. I’m not going to get out yet – not even sure what else I would do – but, I wanted you to know that your post meant a lot to me. I guess it hadn’t occurred to me that one might be able to quit practicing law and remain so awesome – you are a clear example that it is quite possible.

    And, yes, you could totally pass for 25.

    Thank you,

  2. Lauren,
    Thank you so much. Your comment touched me. Yes, I can attest that there is life after law. Since you’re such a recent graduate, you may still find a spark within the law as you move closer to a specialty. But if not, never be afraid to pursue a true passion. It always works out in the end. Take care.

Speak Your Mind