How many Lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb? Well, I can’t remember the punch line to that, but is all but flattering to the law profession. And I have to also admit that I have never retained a lawyer before. But I have one now. And this good lawyer is clearly a tool in my toolbox for living life I should have had years ago.
My continued saga with not having a driver’s license and having my wings clipped as a Gypsy had become more and more like a bad sitcom on ABC. The saga has continued down a road of both the inexplicable and the absurd and ended up with a drove of desk bound clerks scratching their heads and implying that I just many never drive again and certainly won’t have a social security card anytime soon. Ugh.
It became apparent that the core problem to solve in the debacle did not originate with some understandable mistake I had made, and I made a few mistakes that is for sure, but originated with a filing glitch that was the responsibility of the court in 2003. No one seemed to know how to say to me that the legal system dropped the ball, so they just kept dropping me. Enter my angelic lawyer.
All roads lead to the following advice. “Get yourself a damn lawyer Maya!”. Three of them in North Carolina said they would not touch the case with a ten foot pole….now I know what a ten foot pole signifies. Then after going through the same process in Colorado, where the problem originated, I gave up. I just surrendered and acknowledge that I just could not solve this one and went to the computer and looked for a face among a sea of faces called ‘Civil Litigators’ until I found a face that made me happy. Her name was Martha, I called and left a message and did not hear back. I was at another dead-end.
Days later, with head in hand and while searching Craigslist for a horse to buy that was fit for long distances, the phone rang and it was my knight-ess in shining armor, Martha, from Denver. Her first sentence stood out in neon: “You poor dear, you have been caught in the bureaucratic ‘shit’ with the little people who have no power to help you haven’t you?” ” YES!”, I yelled in triumph. And then she proceeded to say what every woman wants to hear from anyone when she is in an all too tight space;
“I will take care this, you just relax, I know how to fix this!” I nearly dropped dead with relief.
What is my lesson at this point you might be asking? Easy answer. Sometimes I just cannot do it alone. That is a big realization for a single mother, for a self-employed professional of 30 years, for someone like me who is way too accustomed to doing it alone. And the other lesson is learning that, for me, it takes way too long to ask for help. I suffer far too many ways that are unnecessary because I believe in “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and just getting the job done come hell or high water”. Thank you Dad, I will take it from here.
And, I also think there is a big something about being weak or not smart enough to figure it out on my own. Something about perfectionism really that is in the groundwater of our culture. I have worked on this lesson for a long time. And I get more aware all the time how perfectionism is a crippling issue for men and for women. It diminishes our worthiness and perfectionism keeps us out of the rich communal life of working with others, being accompanied and partnered by friends and helpers.
And the other lesson? Surrender. Letting go of the need to create an outcome when the outcome eludes you. When you simply do not know what to do. I have learned to sit still and allow myself to simply not know. Then to act on the only intuition I had, look at the face of this lawyer, feel something good and make a call and wait. And then the angel flew in my window.
Since that phone call, Martha and I have become good friends, shared books to read and she has initiated some changes that I would have never known to do, that cleans up the edges of my life in a wonderful way and will help my life hum along, eventually putting me back on the open road. I still think a horse might be nice though..
So, “How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?” Simple. One good one.