No Pity Needed

Marbles, © Jaimee Todd

At a recent get-together, I had the following conversation with another woman that I had just met:

She: So what do you do for a living?

Me: I’m an attorney.

She: What kind of law do you practice?

Me: I’m a contract attorney but I do mostly civil litigation.

She: Oh. Yeah, I know a lot of people who do that kind of stuff.

Me: Yes, well, law is how I pay the bills. I’m not really super passionate about practicing.

She: Oh my god! That’s so SAD!

Me: Why?

She: Because all of the time you spent getting your degree…and the money. That’s awful!

Me: Not really. Law lets me pay the bills why I focus on my true passion, which is creating art.

Silence accompanied by blank stare.

Yeah, uh-huh. Sadness isn’t that I’m not passionate about practicing law or working in a large firm. What would be sad would be if I deluded myself into thinking I really liked doing it and wasting the next 20-25 years of my life slaving away at something that left me feeling spiritually depleted.  Instead, I got real with myself  and decided to put my passion first for a change, rather than doing what other people thought I should prefer or what was more prestigious. The way I look at it, I’m an artist that happens to practice law; not the other way around.

So, the next time someone asks me what I do for a living, I know exactly what I’ll start with first. Artist.

8 thoughts on “No Pity Needed

  1. Amantha Tsaros

    What a great post. Good for you! I spend a lot of time having weird conversations with people who do not understand my life or passion. I have two very small children and I am passionately committed to my painting. Others have a hard time understanding it.

  2. Jaimee Post author


    First off, your paintings are vibrant and beautiful. I love visiting your site.

    Secondly, I think it’s all about living authentically. I used to be shy about saying I was a painter around my lawyer colleagues for fear of not being taking seriously and then sometimes I would feel awkward telling fellow artists that I was a lawyer because I was afraid that no one thought I was a real artist. But now I realize it really doesn’t matter. We have to shatter the stereotypes of what it means to be an artist, or a stay-at-home mom and proudly speak out about our hearts’ desires.

  3. Elle

    Bravo Jaimee, Bravo! LMAO because I can picture you speaking smoothly with a serious look and suddenly there’s the deer in the headlights look because of your response…you walk away perhaps mumbling a few choice words. I would have. :-)

    What would the world be like if we “artists” didn’t exist. Thank you for acknowledging your existence.

  4. Wangu

    Hey Lady!!! You are now officially the Artist who happens to be an Attorney!!!! How cool is that!

  5. siret

    Thank you for the very healthy reading – great article! And gongratulations on knowing who you are – absolutely difficult thing to do :)

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