Archive for February, 2015


The Eagle Has Landed

The big news for today is that I’ve got a new cousin. Pretty sure his name’s Lucas, though I haven’t heard any confirmation on that subject yet.

I’m thrilled of course. Births in the family are somewhat rare, and male births even more so – it’s been nearly 17 years since the last time a boy was born to someone in the family circle.

One little thing nags at me though.

No, it’s not the fact that this child decided to arrive within two days of my birthday, robbing me of the 35 day buffer I had between my birthday and anyone else’s in the family.

And no, it’s not the grim realization that I’ll be nearly 37 when the boy hits his teenage years, though that one does sting a bit.

It’s just some mild trepidation about the future.

Maybe it’s just me, but if I had just got back together with my ex-spouse, I might want to take things slowly at first and see how things work out. The last thing I would be thinking of would be having another child. Particularly so if my marriage started hitting the skids shortly after the first child arrived. And yet doing the math, that’s what my aunt and uncle(?) decided to do within five weeks of resuming their relationship (unless this was an oopsies).

Still, they’re adults. At some point you have to trust people to know what they’re doing.

But I can’t help but wonder a little bit about the decision-making process here.

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Two Emails, Two Directions

I sent out two emails recently.

The first was to my family law professor. The man is something of a celebrity in his field – as much as one can be a celebrity in family law, anyhow – and he’d said that anyone looking to practice family law upon graduating ought to stay in touch with him. Loath as I am to use connections to get a job, this man is on a first name basis with members of the Supreme Court, and if there’s anyone who can help me get a family law job in Ontario two years hence, it’s him.

The second email was to the law school’s career development counselor, looking to set up a meeting to discuss potential employment in the UK in either family law or wills. I’ve read every pamphlet and scoured every website, and I’ve come across a lot of conflicting information. Some of it is depressing. Some of it is downright devastating. Virtually none of it is encouraging. What I’d like is to have some clarity on the issue to see what exactly would be required of me to make the transatlantic move, and what resources the university has available to soften my landing if and when I get there.

 

These two emails are a microcosm of my life at the moment. They each represent a mutually-exclusive direction that I might take in about two years. Each of them has benefits, each of them has risks, and each of them involves great sacrifice. For now, I am free to pursue both directions with as much fervour as I can muster, but eventually I will have to choose between them.

This is my daily struggle. It’s something that I worry about literally every day of my life. It looms over me like a leviathan, overshadowing every other element of my life. Up until this, I had held the Queen’s vs. U of T decision from 2009 up as the most difficult decision I’d ever had to make. It was a decision that plagued me for fifty days, clouding my days and robbing me of sleep at night.

Fifty days? Child’s play.

This will not be settled in fifty days. Five hundred days is more like it, and even that may be optimistic. And the stakes are much higher than ever before; we’re not talking about four years and 250 kilometres, we’re talking about an indefinite period of time and 3000 miles.

And of course, this isn’t a decision that I’ll be making alone. This affects more than just me, after all. And that only makes things harder because someone else is being asked to gamble with their life too. It won’t be easy. There will be fights, there will be tears, and there will be despair. But eventually there will be a decision. And I hope it’s the right one.

 

August 2016. That’s when I’d like to have a decision by. If all goes to plan, in August 2016 I’ll be starting the articling process – ten long and difficult months of interning before I can call myself a lawyer. That process will be stressful enough as it is, and I don’t think I’ll be able to bear the additional weight of not knowing where I’m going to end up at the end of it. For those of you with sharp math skills, you’ll have already calculated that August 2016 is 525 days away. If that sounds like barely any time at all, you’re absolutely right. And if it sounds like all the time in the world, you’re also right. 525 days is both the blink of an eye and the longest period of time imaginable. And hopefully, hopefully, at the end of it I’ll know what I’m doing, where I’m going, and who I’m going with.

Hopefully.

The biggest difference between my first tour of duty at Queen’s and the presence isn’t the frequency with which I make the 250 kilometre journey back home; it’s my desire to go home in the first place.

Way back when, going home was all I ever thought about. My time in Kingston was spent killing time until the next time I could take a bus or a train to Toronto. I even had a little countdown timer on my computer marking down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds.

Now, not so much. In fact, going home has become more of a chore than anything recently. It doesn’t take much analysis to figure out why.

First off, my friends in Woodbridge have all but disappeared. Back in 2009 I never had enough time to see everyone that I wanted to see. But now some of them have moved away, some of them work 12 hour shifts, and some have just become giant douchebags. So, more often than not I spend the entire time with my family.

And that’s the other problem: spending time with my family just isn’t as much fun as it used to be. And I should clarify – spending time with my extended family remains just as enjoyable as ever. The grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins are all still a lot of fun to be around. It’s my immediate family that’s the issue.

My parents mean well, but all they want to talk about at home is law. About law school, about legally-relevant jobs, about lawyers they’ve spoken to. The thing is, my full time occupation at present is as a law student, and as such I’m required to spend 10 hours per day thinking about law already. I enjoy studying law as much as anyone, but sometimes I need a break from it. And when I go home for what I feel is a well-deserved break, law is the last thing I want to think about. But I can’t escape it. They won’t let me escape it.

And so now, even when I’m at home I try to avoid conversing with my parents about anything even remotely related to school, lest they make a segue. Sometimes that means avoiding conversation altogether. It’s a little bit sad, but that’s where we stand at present.

Funny how things change though, isn’t it?