Link to article: From Law School to Lobbying: The Other Legal Advocate
Published in the December 2013 issue of the Journal of the Kansas Bar Association.
Co-authored with classmate Moji Fanimokun, Government Affairs Director at Wichita Area Association of REALTORS.
The Journal is published 10 times a years and is read by more than 7,000 members. The Journal features legal articles, hot legal news, summaries of recent Kansas Supreme Court and Kansas Court of Appeals opinions, and upcoming information about available continuing legal education.
“At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures – be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.” – Albert Camus
Feelings about turning 30 vary among individuals. Broadly it is a time of introspection (usually the week leading up to the big day), positive and uplifting for some, and nerve-wracking for others. The essential question, “Who am I?” floats in their minds. Coming into just over the half-way point of my 30th year of life I clearly remember that week. Specifically for me the question was, “Am I the man I thought I would be?” Not perfect by any means, but in the sum of my imperfections and capabilities the man I was meant to be. One can only hope so. Or rather accept that this is the life you have and get on with it.
Just a few select images from my Tumblr account I wanted to bring over here:
I have decided to dust off the blog after a long hiatus… OK, I forgot I still had it.
Either way, here we go…
Toasting myself for keeping this site going for three years. Well, three years on and off. I don’t know where the time went. Life has changed in major ways since April 2009. That was my first spring home, my first Real World spring, and I was hungry (in the hustle sense) and wide-eyed (in the opportunity sense).
If I had to encapsulate my time in Austin thus far, it would be this phrase: “Cometh the hour, cometh the man.”
I’m very excited to see where the next three years, cumulating in the big 3-0, take me.
Up a bit before 4:00AM (at time of writing) at the East Austin residence, freight lines creaking just under Pleasant Valley Rd. I realized my closet has been overtaken by a deluge of yuppie style, conservative suits, solid and stripped shirts, and two hangers full of ties (probably should invest in a rack). I wear a suit at least five days a week for the majority of the day, 10 hours+. It’s the reality of the times, my busy, busy times. And I enjoy it. Funny though how quickly my causal wear style stalled out.
I don’t subscribe to the the oft-cited Gen Y demand for a work/life balance, for me its a situational sliding scale, but a man needs options for when out of uniform (Friday after 8PM through Sunday as long as I can stay awake).
I need to step up my non-work wear. God forbid I wake up one day to a closet full of “dad jeans” and size-too large polos.
“We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It’s just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn’t have expected.” –Ben Okri
Because I can.
After a long break readaj.com is being resurrected. A few months ago WordPress sent a renewal email and the choice was renewing a project neglected for a myriad of reasons or just walking away. Mulling it over, I decided on the latter.
I also decided to keep my old posts. While I consider this a fresh start I have to acknowledge what came before and I enjoy reading my past thoughts. It’s like a time machine! And some were fairly coherent, too.
Above all this blog is about two things, the first being my enjoyment. Specifically about writing. More specifically writing about those things I (repeat: I) feel matter. From the trivial to the serious (mostly in middle). There will be no rants. I’m an adult and not mad as hell about anything in particular. That and I know how to use paragraph breaks. And don’t expect me to share my life here, that’s what Facebook for.
This blog is about practice too. Like most things practice, practice, and more practice make perfect. Or least better, so they say.
With the obligatory “hello world” out-of-the-way, I hereby consider readaj.com rebooted.
Play this song: K-OS, “Rise like the Sun”
For more of A.J.’s writing go here: Austinist
My friend, the things that do attain The happy life be these, I find: The riches left, not got with pain; The fruitful ground; the quiet mind… -Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Last week tragedy struck my iPod shuffle. What started out as a low battery issue morphed into a complete FUBAR of my trusted gym and running buddy.
In the past when I got the blinking red dot letting me know it was time for a recharge, such an event brought my run or workout to a stop (more so with the latter, and didn’t matter if I was in the middle of the run).
I thought the matter would be easily resolved. Plug it in for a few hours, done and done. Nope. Red blinking light turned into yellow-yellow-green blinking light.
I thought for a second about just using my iPhone music playlists, but I try to get my technology separate for Murphy’s law reasons. And as a long-term solution, of course, I could just buy a new one. But no.
The day my shuffle died I bit the bullet and just worked out, and ran the next day–without music. And then the next, and on.
The experience (and it was because for at least the past six years, physical exercise was accompanied by music) was very interesting from an introspective standpoint.
Running outside, of course I heard cars passing by, the wind, bird, insects, and so on; but what I found most enjoyable was hearing the even rhythm of my feet hitting the pavement, and my breathing as I pushed forward. Sounds that are hard to hear over 50 Cent or the Black Keys.
I’m a big fan of active mediation, taking an activity like shining your shoes, sweeping the floor, or running in my case, and tuning out everything but the present situation, the task at hand. The practice relaxes me, and gives my mind “quiet time” to process the information and thoughts that accumulate over the day.
Sometimes it’s good to sit still, but for if I can get the same benefits while accomplishing another task, why not.
Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely get another iPod shuffle (if I can’t deduce the issue with my current one)… Just decreasing my use a bit.
Last week my mom informed me she had become mayor of our gym.
At first, for a quick second, I thought she was referring to becoming “mayor” on Foursquare. And no, I’m not talking about the old grade school game with a large red rubber ball and four players.
Foursquare is a social-media game, played in real-time, on the smart-phone of your choice. When you go to your favorite restaurant (or any restaurant), the local coffee shop, etc., you “check-in” on your phone. Using your phone’s GPS, Foursquare finds locations around you, and then you make the selection of where you wish to check-in.
Frequent a place enough times, well more than anyone else, and you become “mayor”.
So back to my mom, the “mayor” of Life Time Fitness. While she had developed proficiency with her iPhone 3G, I would be supremely shocked to find a Foursquare app on her main screen. And I was right. Mom had become mayor without the use of Foursquare.
This was interesting to me because mom attained the title in reality doing what she does best, being her social self. It was not self-proclaimed as I had thought. Certainly it involved her frequenting the gym enough to be noticed, but it also required something more. Being known.
Mom’s claim to fame at our gym is that no one invades her personal space in a group fitness class. If one does, you will get a tap on the shoulder asking you to move. This isn’t to say my mom thinks she runs the floor, but she will call you out.
She is also a talker, and being from the South, knows no stranger (both traits which I inherited from her). According to her, one person started calling her mayor, and it just spread. And then one day (the same day she informed me of her title), she walked in door and the gym manager was calling her that.
For me the take away was this. While Foursquare does require you to get out in the world, there’s no requirement for interaction. You could go to the same coffee shop everyday, ears plugged listening to Pandora, eyes intently focused on your laptop screen or–maybe–a book.
While you may become mayor, who would know? Only people who use Foursquare. The social part of the game comes in adding “friends” and developing communities based on mutual likings for a particular location. But again, this is not a requirement, just hopeful thinking.
Note: I use Foursquare and will become mayor of Santa Rita Cantina, again.