Three lawyers, that is. A divorce lawyer, a real estate lawyer and a personal injury lawyer, if he takes my case tomorrow. This is two weeks after the accident, and my face is healing like a superhero's, but the rest of my body and spirit are struggling in a way I never expected. I'm waiting to bounce back, but I hurt, I'm exhausted, my brain is mush.
In the midst of all this, I've noticed that I'm frequently feeling an emotion that used to be quite foreign to me: envy. When I see pictures of people enjoying their summers, unencumbered by financial and physical distress, living normal lives and even thriving, the green feeling I have is acute — and extremely unpleasant. I hear about someone who's gotten a six-figure book deal or has a NYT bestseller, and I have to suppress the urge to scream, "What about me?" I see couples building new houses, adding another child to their already happy family, making plans for the future without fear, and I try to remember what that carefree life felt like. In many cases, they are people who have gone through hell and back before they found their way, and I don't at all begrudge them their happiness. But I want it for myself. I want the hard decisions I've made in the last year to end up being the right decisions. I want things to turn around for me and my family, and for all the other families I know who are going through difficult times. It's not just money; I could win the lottery tomorrow and still be just as lost as I am today (albeit lost while looking at real estate on Alameda Ridge).
What I really miss are those old feelings of success and self-sufficiency, perhaps more so because I haven't often experienced failure. There is a down side to having things come easily to you early in life, and I'm getting cozy with that uncomfortable suspicion that maybe I didn't really earn all the things I used to value; even worse, what if they weren't all that valuable? Now I have to figure out what I really want; what would make me truly happy; what I honestly value and want to share with Grace. Then I have to work my ass off, risking failure on each new front. Hello, real world. My name is Laurel.