The brunch with my Australian colleague was lovely. She's a wonderful woman. How does she do it all? Practice law, be the academic in charge of several transnational human rights research projects that require her to travel to developing countries, be a mother to an 11-year-old, a partner, and just plain wonderful, humble, and giving? Her advice to me, "Pace yourself."
I think what was so great about that conversation was her admission that early on in her practice, she knew what it took to make her life meaningful. And it wasn't a rising 6-figure salary (then at least), bonus checks, or the prestige and adrenaline-rush of "fighting" in a big firm. As she told me, she knew she wanted a job that was fulfilling and significant, but she also wanted a balance. She wanted a family and more "life." She carved her path accordingly, one step at a time - and this path took her to live in Berlin, London, Kuala Lumpur before circling back to Australia.
I am fairly certain I will take that refugee lawyer job, which would place me in Bangkok for 7 months to a year, at least. The location seems right: outside of Cambodia, but just close enough so as to allow me to dip in for my own research. There's something niggling at me, however. There have been a few jobs that are more a logical extension of the work I've been doing in Cambodia. It feels a little flighty to be trying this new area of law.
But I am so excited about that work. And, one year of my life is just that - so short in the scheme of things.
Oh, and these rough diamond rings handcrafted by Alexis Russell are so gorgeous, no?