Law in Contemporary Society

How Do I Make Long Form Commitments in My Life Given My Upbringing

Despite moving every three years on average, I know that I can make long form commitments in my life. In the past couple of years, I have made several commitments that prove that I can make long form commitments. I decided to accumulate debt by attending law school so that I could commit to becoming a lawyer. Last summer, I also decided to commit to living in Washington, D.C. after graduating from law school. Despite the debt and the possibility of never moving again, these grander, career-minded decisions don’t terrify me as much as I thought that they would because I am doing what I always said I would do. Go to law school, become a lawyer, never move again.

What terrifies me are the smaller choices that we make without recognizing them. I always believed that a transient lifestyle afforded me a certain degree of comfortable invisibility. If I did not commit any grievous mistakes, I could fly under the radar. And even if I committed potentially detrimental mistakes--trusting the wrong people, damaging my reputation, becoming a topic in the rumor mill--those problems would disappear when my three years ended. A new place always meant a clean slate. Unlike most people, embarrassing childhood stories, teenage rumors, and regrets did not follow me from one grade to the next, from middle school to high school because I constantly changed communities and environments. The idea of a clean slate was comforting. I didn’t have to hope that people would forget embarrassing moments or stories. I knew that would because my presence would not remind them of my actions.

But everyone fears the permanent consequences of their actions regardless of even if they never lived outside of a ten-mile radius. I may be more apprehensive than some others that I am going to sabotage my ability to commit. This may be because I am used to having a clean slate to look forward to at the end of three years. Or maybe I am just as apprehensive as most people. Most people receive a clean slate in college, sometimes after college, and maybe even law school. I just happened to have two or three times as many clean slates as they did. None of us will receive as clean of a slate as we have received in the past. This is an everyone problem.

Somehow, this feels both comforting and discomforting. On the one hand, I don’t have to learn some extra, fundamental lesson that I missed because of my upbringing. Accepting this also means that 1) some other anxiety may replace this one as we age or 2) exist forever. Thus, we live in a constant state of anxiety that we either accept, ignore, or continue to indulge.


Webs Webs

r3 - 02 Jun 2017 - 07:51:09 - GeanetteFoster
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