Sunday, February 7, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

If I hear the word decision one more time this month, my head is going to implode. Yes, granted, these past few months have been filled with life-changing decisions - BUT, being asked to make more decisions just seems cruel.

For those of you I haven't been able to keep in constant contact with, my apologies. I guess I owe you a bit of an update. At the end of July, I moved to Virginia Beach to embark on the greatest adventure of my life - LAW SCHOOL! I had just completed the most turbulent, exhausting, crazy work term of my life, but I was ready for this brand new adventure. Four months of no sleep, caffeine seeping through my veins, and constant reports prepared me for the battle of law school. I thought it was where I was supposed to be. I had great grades, I aced my LSATS - it just all made sense, or it should have all made sense. Through fate and divine intervention, I stumbled upon this amazing law school in Virginia Beach - a Christian law school. I truly thought it was where I was meant to be, where I was being led.

I made the move to Virginia Beach literally 10 hours after leaving the office, but I couldn't have been more excited. The city was breathtaking and being so close to the water was something I had always dreamt of. For a Torontonian like me, being able to actually swim in the water was a plus (inside joke - pollution, you get the drift). After only a day, I said farewell to my family who had set up my place and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. I didn't really have the opportunity to fully embrace college because of work and all my charity endeavors, but my Daddy always told me that law school was where I'd make my best friends for life. Boy, was he right!

Day one of law school I met Heather, and we instantly became sidekicks and best friends for life. We both had a love for life and were a little cautious of everything we were about to participate in. For the first two weeks, we spent our mornings in ASP sessions and our afternoons briefing cases at the Founder's Inn pool. I couldn't love my life any more at that point in time...everything just seemed to click. A few days later, I met Julie and Rachel and the circle was complete. No matter where I go in life, I know these girls will be right by my side! Together, we started our first day with the biggest smiles on our faces. I can even describe my first day outfit to you in detail (shocker, I know). I wanted to be involved in everything at once, typical me. I ran for Class President and although I lost, it was a great learning experience and led me to meet multitudes of new friends.

Weeks went by and we all seemed to settle into a nice routine. It was right before Fall Break when I knew something was wrong. I had spent Labor Day weekend in DC with my parents for work and I started to get a bit antsy. My parents could already tell that I was dying to get back to the office. I missed it so much! I couldn't stop bragging about law school, but it wasn't really law school I was loving. I loved my new friends, PF Chang's, and the beach...but none of those things had to do with the real reason I was there. Sure, I understood everything in Civ Pro and I could quote contracts cases verbatim - but, it just didn't feel right. Unlike other law students, I had no intention of practicing law...EVER. I had a great career ahead of me and my only goal was to be transferred to the DC office where I truly believed I could make a difference. I came home to Ottawa for Fall Break - spending the week working, consulting on Bill C-268, and discussing lengthy life plans. But, not once did I discuss how much I loved law school. I was too afraid to leave this new life I had come to love so much so I just shook it off and told myself I was crazy.

A few more weeks went by and by Halloween, I knew law school wasn't meant for me. I didn't thrive on preparing briefs or studying bailment. Everyone told me you can't judge law school by the first year classes, but I just couldn't see myself wasting any more time in a program that wouldn't continue to foster my career. I had a great job, but I also knew I wasn't quite ready to head back to work full-time. After much soul searching and constant prayer, I decided that I didn't have to end my journey just yet. Regent is highly recognized for their School of Government program, so I thought I'd apply for admission and see what happens. Guess what? I got in! One day in DC with them and I knew this was exactly where I belonged.

There was only one small problem - with online courses, I couldn't foresee myself spending a semester in Virginia in my room. Students were beginning to ask questions and it just wasn't somewhere I was comfortable anymore. I needed to be at peace with my decision and I just couldn't do that with constant stares and random finger pointing. So on a Wednesday afternoon in mid-January, I said my final goodbyes and hit the road. Back to Ottawa I went. The flight back was filled with tears and it took a solid three days for me to officially leave the house for a meeting at work, but it was all just part of this new journey I'm on. I needed to figure out what makes me happy and so far, I can tell you that this new Masters program makes me happy. What doesn't make me a happy camper? Really slow drivers and Parliament being temporarily closed by the Prime Minister until further notice (looooong story that I will blog about later).

Another thing that makes me happy is the great support system I have here in Ottawa. My parents took me in, no questions asked. I was able to spend a great week with my best friend Rachel and her family in Arkansas - I even have the sweatshirt to prove it! Although I love being home at work, I know that DC is where I can be utilized the fullest with the Government, thus I've applied for a transfer - well multiple transfers to be exact. I applied to every consulate office on the East Coast and Texas (random, but I really enjoyed training camp weeks there, plus I spent 4 years in Northern Texas aka. Calgary). Another decision I made, it wasn't Virginia that made me uncomfortable - it was the peacefulness I felt with my decision that made me uncomfortable. Although I cried for a solid month after I withdrew, I just wasn't ready to confront others. With that being said, I'm going to continue with my new Masters program, graduate next Spring and then start my online MBA through Queen's while I embark on my new career in the US.

What do I miss the most about Virginia? My glorious, amazing, supporting friends, which is why I will be packing up the SUV with Nick and Phil to hit the road on Thursday. Virginia here we come! So that's my update. Oh, wait - I dyed my hair brown. Well, Rachel actually dyed my hair brown. I am no longer a blonde and it is ridiculously liberating. I miss my blonde locks from time to time, but the change is nice. Plus, no one really recognizes me so I fly low on the radar at all times. Epic ninja stealth, epic.

I'll try and keep these posts coming at y'all on a regular basis. My frequent flyer miles are off the chart right now so it's hard to find a few minutes to update, but I'll definitely try. For those of you confused with my phone situation, back on the 613 blackberry for now - switch to the 757 cell when in the States. I'm sorry for being Canadian and confusing.

That's it. Miss & love you all. Big hugs.



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