When I began studying law almost three years ago, it had never truly become clear to me what I would like to do with a degree in that field. The initial emotion I had was that it would serve as a tool with which to pursue further action in an area relating to combating human trafficking, which, at the time, was one of the injustices that resonated deeply with me. I did recognize, also, that studying law was a rational choice for me in that it connected multiple interests I had – politics, economics, history, philosophy, ethics, culture and linguistics are all related when it comes to law. Though it took some time to dawn on me, it really has been those two initial reasons which first piqued my interest that have also served as a reminder throughout these past few years of why I’m doing what I’m doing. As an added bonus, I’ve come to realize how human trafficking, as most other injustices which arouse in me the same need to dig deep and uncover truth, beauty and reconciliation, often relate to women’s rights. In a way, I think studying law, often in a very patriarchal environment, has brought out the feminist in me. Besides figuring that out, I’ve also found that I have come to believe in the capacity of people to change both themselves and their environments. The more I’ve studied law, the more I’ve come to understand how shaky its foundations and vulnerable its contents are. To truly accept that law actually is extremely intertwined with politics, economic interests, policies, philosophies, ethics, practice, and so on, has both made it more challenging and infinitely more exhilarating for me to pursue an understanding of it. It has lead me to reconsider my beliefs and choices in areas relating to consumption, religion, food, culture, work ethic and how I treat my neighbors.
On a more practical note, I’ve found that I have a voice which I enjoy using, be it in debates, presentations or in essays. Speaking out has also brought out a new sense of vulnerability, one which I often find myself feeling insecure about and which makes me sometimes contemplate safer, quieter ways of living. Still, such a choice feels dishonest and unjust towards both myself and this newfound belief I have in bringing about change in our environments, communities and other people’s lives. Alas, I have created this space for myself to be a place to learn to verbalize my thoughts, beliefs and questions. It is a place to think out loud, to find my voice and use it. In this space I am practicing vulnerability, as the only way of life that will lead to authenticity, connection, community and change. I not only might, but sometimes will, be wrong. I am learning to accept that, admit that, and to become better and to move on. Remember that thing I said about change? I am hoping to sincerely and genuinely live it out, thinking that it may just be a practice that I need to adopt to live the fullest, bravest and most beauty-filled life.
Please, ponder with me.