2 November 2009
Actually, another busy lawyer just wrote a very kind write up in the blog of the S.C. Women Lawyers Association, about my brand new, solo mediation practice.
Repatriation is the end of a journey. Or is it the beginning? When I went to China, I was a particular person with thoughts, hopes, and dreams. China changed me. Living overseas, in a different culture, does that to people! I imagine that the further we are, culturally, from our home culture, the more changed we become. When we return, however, we find that we have changed but our native culture has not. We must learn a new way of fitting into it.
When I returned from China, I knew intellectually that this would be the case, but living through something is different from knowing about it. I’m glad I was aware ahead of time that it might be a challenging adjustment!
I decided to take my time and be very "intentional" about my next move in life. I wanted to do something that was fully in keeping with my values and goals. To make a long story short, I decided to devote my time and energies to peacemaking. (Unfortunately, my new blog devoted to peacemaking Peaceworks is not accessible to my friends in China (because blogger web site is blocked), but I usually cross post, so you won’t miss too much!) As a practical manifestation of work as a peacemaker, I decided to work as a mediator in my professional life.
It’s very interesting to begin a solo practice. I’m drawing on experience that I never realized would ever be beneficial in my future life. For example, when I graduated from college I worked at a newspaper for two years before I went to law school. Long story, but I worked in ad layout and design, and guess what: Businesses need logos and marketing materials, so thirty years later here I am looking at fonts and layouts! As a young lawyer I was always the "computer guru" in the office, the first lawyer to type their own work (advised not to on the basis that it might cause me to be viewed as a secretary), the first lawyer in the office to do research on the web or to create a web page for my office. Then, blogging for three years while I lived in China taught me a lot (though my old blog looks rather dated now). So now, I’ve just done my own web page for my business, which I’ve named Just Mediation, LLC (on the web at http://www.xanskinner.com)!
I enjoy being creative, even if it’s not as slick and professional as it could be. It’s my goal to bring a degree of professionalism to my work that is very evident, a tangible difference. Peacemaking is serious business! Now that I’ve jumped off the high dive, here’s crossing my fingers that I’ll find the wings I know are there. 😀