I Am… [insert clever, self-actualized response here]

I am …

…debating whether to delete this page so I won’t have to finish that sentence.

It’s not that I don’t want to tell you about myself. I do. It’s just that I want to start with a bang, some clever quip that captures the essence of me in ten words of less. A nugget of astute self-awareness wrapped up in a witty, endearingly self-deprecating bow.

And I got nothin’.

I think I’ve identified the problem. Sometime in the last five years, I stopped being the swirling mess of contradiction that defined my late teens and early 20s. Which means that none of the pithy one-liners I crafted to describe myself as a complicated juxtaposition of irreconcilable elements still fit. I’m not sure how it happened exactly… All I know is that sometime between 25 and 29.5, while I was busy with life and work and husband, the oppositional parts of myself began to shift and change, working themselves out, until somehow, without meaning to, I became a Person Who Makes Sense. Which is precisely the problem.

People Who Make Sense aren’t clever, pithy, or endearingly self-deprecating. People Who Make Sense should not write blogs.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that a woman on the brink of both motherhood and a daunting creative project — no matter how “settled” or “grounded” or “self-aware” she purports to be — is positively begging for an identity crisis. And I’m thinking you’re probably right.

Grab some popcorn, folks. The show’s about to start.

But first, some background. The things you’d learn in the span of about three minutes if you and I were to meet in the real world. All the non-clever, not-so-interesting Basic Facts we feel compelled to relay to strangers in order to convey some basic sense of ourselves.

My name is Lauren Miller. I grew up in Atlanta. My husband and I met in law school and now live in Los Angeles. Depending on where you and I were having this conversation, I’d either tell you that I was a lawyer or a writer. Both are true.

If our conversation passed the three minute mark, you might also learn one or more of the following random tidbits:  I was born in Manhattan.  I am obsessed with my Kindle.  I don’t like avocados (and am fine with the fact that this means I’m not a “real” Californian).  I have lived in both San Francisco and LA, and I liked San Francisco better.  I’m a TV junkie.  Yet, despite my exceedingly low standards when it comes to what makes a show DVR-worthy, I don’t watch 30 Rock. Or The Office. Or any other thirty-minute comedy.  I realize that you’ll probably like me less because of this.

If we happened to be talking over cocktails, I might also tell you that I only like surprises when I know they’re coming, I’m a lot less well-read than I appear to be, and I’m petrified that motherhood is going to turn me into a person I don’t recognize.  Or like very much.

At this point in our conversation, I’d probably mention my blog.  Because at its core, this project is a guttural response to that very fear. The fear that having a baby will force me to choose between being a good mother and being a fabulous woman.

(Sidebar: I, too, cringe at the use of the word fabulous, especially to describe women. But how else can you say intelligent, confident, self-possessed, accomplished, and well-dressed in three syllables?)

But back to our theoretical cocktail-laden conversation. I’ve just mentioned my blog. “So you’re a writer,” you say, with a knowing nod. And then your brow furrows. “But I thought you said you were an attorney…?

And with that, we will have crossed over into a Real Conversation. I’d smile, take another sip of my drink, then tell you the following:

Two years ago, I was working as an entertainment attorney at a big national law firm, not loving my job but not hating it either. I was making good money, which was important because my husband and I had just bought a house. We’d spent more than we wanted to, but with our matching attorney paychecks, we weren’t in over our heads. Everything was great.

That is, until I decided that despite my sizeable law school debt — not to mention the time investment of three years in law school, a summer spent studying for the Bar, and 4000+ billable hours — I didn’t really want to be a lawyer. What I really wanted to be was a television writer. No, I didn’t have any experience.  Nope, no leads or prospects, either.  And, yeah, I knew how many unemployed writers there were in Hollywood.  None of that deterred me.  I wanted to be a full-time writer.  The only thing standing in my way was the fact that I was still a full-time lawyer.

So I quit my job.

Yes, just like that.

Reckless?  Yes.  Ill-advised?  For sure.  Selfish? You bet. And yet, I still believe that it was the right thing to do. It was my Great Courageous Act. My Leap of Faith. The first step of what has proven to be a challenging but deeply soul-satisfying God-directed journey, one that has brought me to this moment, a moment that feels like the moment before The Moment, when it all finally pays off. (Of course, at this particular moment, I’m sitting at my desk at the law firm I so brazenly left 18 months ago. Unfortunately, the mortgage didn’t pay itself, so a year ago, I decided to come back part-time).

The point is, as risky as it was, and as hard as it’s been, quitting my job turned out to be a good decision. It gave me the freedom (and the time) to focus on my writing, which has made me a better writer. In the meantime, I’ve met the right people, made the right connections and gotten in the right rooms.  I’ve made progress.  I gave myself three years to “make it” as a writer, and now, with a litte over a year to go, it feels like I could actually get there.

Were it not for the giant, baby-shaped monkey wrench careening towards me.

I am …

… ignoring that for now. I’ve got a blog to write.

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