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.

Advertisements