quit biglaw lawyer pivot hawaii

Pandemic Pivots: What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Hello again, everyone! It’s been a while since I last posted here. While I haven’t kept up my posting over the last couple of months, I do plan to get back to it with more frequency and consistency.

Just like everyone else, I’ve made lots of adjustments in my life over the past couple of months, so I wanted to write a post to give a little update on what I’m calling my pandemic pivots. These are some of the changes I’ve made since March, starting with the biggest one…

I’m on a Sabbatical (Sort of)!

Let’s back up a little bit.

I was supposed to get married in July in Costa Rica, and then go on a year-long, around the world, trip. My fiancé, Guillermo, and I had almost planned the whole trip when, by the end of March, we realized it was not going to happen.

We scrapped our plans. Or rather, we pivoted our plans, because we still wanted to take time off and time away from New York City. I’d lived there since graduating from law school in 2009 and it was definitely time to try something new. After staying inside our apartment for the past seven months, it was time to get out, so we put our stuff in storage and decided to go for it.

Instead of traveling around the world, we figured we’d do a “slow travel” sabbatical and stay in one place for a couple of months. We looked into places that 1. were safe to travel to and 2. would allow us in (a short list). By October 2020, Guillermo had asked for time off from work and we were off on our revised sabbatical!

Our first stop: The Big Island, Hawaii!

Why Do I Say That I’m “Sort of” on a Sabbatical?

I say that I’m “sort of” on a sabbatical for two reasons.

First, I haven’t worked at a traditional, 9-5 job (or rather, 24/7 job, ahem, Biglaw) for two years. So it wasn’t like I was leaving an office or even a remote, “regular” job. Whatever I do, I can do from anywhere, so I didn’t have to work out the logistics of moving to another place.

(I had, however, been working part-time at a gym for the past year. I was laid off from there in March when they temporarily shut down. The gym ended up closing down entirely in September because they just couldn’t survive the long shutdown due to the pandemic. RIP, Flywheel Sports, you were a super fun place to work, I met a ton of cool people there, and I learned a LOT!)

Second, I’m still working! While I am taking lots of time to enjoy Hawaii, I’m still working. I’m freelancing and working on my own projects. Which leads me to the next topic…

What I’m Working on During My Sabbatical (so far):

1. Instagram! @theunbillablelife

I’ve had Instagram for a while now, but I was mostly a lurker and not a poster, aside from the occasional travel or dinner pic. Now, I’m posting all of the time, about my life in Hawaii, what I’m up to, what I’m writing about, and what my upcoming plans are.

Find me over there (@theunbillablelife), posting to my feed a couple of times a week and to my stories every day! So far I’m having way more fun with it than I thought I was going to. I thought it would be hard to share so much of my life, but it turns out, it’s actually quite easy and really enjoyable!

2. An E-Book Series!

I have so many ideas about what to write about, it’s just a matter of finding the right audience and medium for them all. I’m going to keep my blog more personal (like this post) from now on, and have planned a series of e-books that are going to be filled with practical advice about succeeding in Biglaw, dealing with burnout, and life after Biglaw.

Stay tuned for the first book in the series, “How to Know When It’s Time to Leave Biglaw,” which will be available as an e-book on Amazon very soon!

3. Enjoying Hawaii!

Lastly, in addition to keeping up with my writing and freelancing while in Hawaii, I’m also taking the time to enjoy the island. For me, that means doing lots and lots of scuba diving! This is the first time I’ve gotten to scuba dive for a long period of time in a row and I am loving it.

Like most Biglaw and former Biglaw lawyers, I’m not one to go half-in on something, so of course I am very committed to scuba diving. It’s not a competitive sport, but I still want to improve and be the best (whatever that means). Right now, that means getting my air consumption rate down (so that I can stay underwater longer) and practicing my frog kicks.

sabbatical pandemic pivot quit biglaw

Pandemic Pivots

When I think about where I was planning to be in the fall of 2020 and where I am, it’s definitely very different from what I had imagined. At the same time, the essence of it is the same. I’m a little bit of a nomad, no longer have an apartment in NYC to return home to, and am out exploring. It’s not exactly what I had pictured it to be, but, with a little bit of a pivot, we were still able to make the sabbatical work out.

What pandemic pivots have you made this year? Is there anything you planned to do in 2020 that couldn’t happen, but maybe still could, if you pivoted?

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