Sunday, May 28, 2017


Sunday Reflection: Straight Up

One of my favorite students at St. Thomas was Nicole Swisher, who (among other things) helped win Ronald Blount his freedom via our clemency clinic. After law school, Nicole headed off to Arkansas to clerk for the 11th Circuit.  Upon her return, she started working at a mid-size firm here in Minneapolis. I follow her when I can on her blog, Wildly Elegant (which has had a few iterations over the years).

Last week, Nicole posted something remarkable: a very honest and compelling description of why she has chosen, at 29, to move in with her parents. You can read the whole thing here, but this is part of what she says:

Some of my friends know that last month I moved back in with my parents.  I am 29 years old: how embarrassing!  I have lived on my own many times, moved many times, been through law school, lived in Arkansas for two years, traveled a lot, I have a great job, my own dog and wonderful friends.  When I was making the decision to move home I would lay in bed thinking: how on earth can I leave this apartment that I love, in a location that I love, what will people think?  Am I insane to even contemplate this?  It’ll be so far from work!

There are three main factors that contributed to my decision to move home with my parents.  One: debt.  Two: loneliness.  Three: depression.  But there is one main reason I did so: God led me there.

There is wonderful and striking honesty there, and strength. She simultaneously portrays herself as strong, thoughtful, intentional, vulnerable and challenged. It is a truth many of us live but few of us write about honestly.

Her posts, too, often incorporate faith elements seamlessly into her discussions, because that is how her mind works. That, too, is rare. Too many of us (including me) often shove the faith part in our pocket for part of our walk.  

So, Nicole... thanks for the inspiration!

Many thanks to you and to Nicole for this post.
Thanks for writing this Professor Osler! There's a new link to my blog here:

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