Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Wrestling with the Thief

It just happened. The moment that I was told would come, descended unexpectedly and stole my joy. I am thankful that someone was honest and told me that I have made comments that people have construed as rude and judgemental but it is always difficult to hear. What made it worse was that my "socially conservative" views may make it easier for me to come off as judgmental. It is so difficult to control how you are perceived. I have had this discussion numerous times, in many contexts. No matter how many people say not to worry about it, I still do. It is important to me to make sure that I am not offending people and that I am generally perceived as kind of a nice person. I think it hurts the most because I didn't realize. I am inherently rude and I am not always aware. Yes, I have some terrible moments but I think I have been better in recent years about putting pride aside and acknowledging/apologizing for my wrong. Despite this particularly saddening moment, the last month or so has been so much better. January was a special term where we took one course, everyday, for three weeks. It was all about dispute resolution. Overall, the course was much more interactive than the previous semester. We had lots of in class activities and mock negotiations/mediations. At the end of the semester I was still kind of unconvinced that I was in the right place but I was starting to think I could be here and do something good. Anyway, after that term we got a week off! It felt kind of funny getting more time off when we had only been back to school for three weeks since Christmas break. I got on a plane and went to Sierra Leone. I spent a few days with Edward and his family. I was so energized and encouraged by that trip. I got back to school and put my new found energy to work. This semester has a lot less class time built into it so it seems much more... normal? There seems to be more time to do non-school things and to still get all of the school things done. That being said, job applications are not particularly exciting but are different than reading.
This past weekend there was a Christian Legal Fellowship student conference at the University of Ottawa. I met students from other law schools, and many from Ottawa that I had never even seen before! I was exposed to the work of Jim Gash who wrote a book called Divine Collision (I started reading it a 10 o'clock on Saturday night because I was just so excited about it). The weekend empowered me to keep studying the law and not be ashamed of who I am or what I believe. I was warned that because everyone comes out of the weekend feeling so "on fire" that there might be things that shut you down. That's what happened today. I was so discouraged and my initial though was not to speak anymore. I am still processing, but I know that I am grateful because it has made me aware and awareness means that I can try and change it.
I was going to say something about another week being done but it is only Wednesday! I don't have class tomorrow so it feels like the weekend is already here.

No. 2 River Beach

No. 2 River Beach

View of Freetown from the ferry

On the ferry back to the airport