This happened last night:
Three years ago, I wrote a big life update on leaving my job & life in Vancouver.
Here is what’s happened since:
May 2010 – I move to Ontario. I don’t have a job or job plan. I know this next phase of my life is about building my identity as me and taking artistic risks. Other than that, I don’t really know what I’m doing.
August 2010 – After applying for over 50 office jobs, I decide to work as a nanny for a year. I take a job caring for two boys, C & G, for 50 hours a week (!).
January 2011 – I throw myself a birthday party that is also an art show. Over 75 people come out to “26 Secrets,” and the café asks me to leave my poetry & photography on the walls for an extra week. This project is the most terrifying and affirming undertaking of my life. I begin volunteering with the Philip Aziz Centre.
July 2011 – As I wrap up my nannying job, there is the possibility of working for the mom’s business in the fall. This feels as good a next step as any.
August 2011 – I spend three weeks on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route in Spain. Kirsten and I laugh much and occasionally cry. The trip is incredible. An experience even more profound in hindsight. (many more thoughts here. Maybe some more posts will come.)
September 2011 – Working part-time in the office and freelancing part-time, I wonder how the next few months will play out.
December 2011 – For purely financial reasons, I go full-time in this little office. I know that this is not a long term solution for the restlessness I’m feeling.
January 2012 – I start an evening memoir-writing class. I form a small arts collective with two friends, and we sell creative goods at the Arts Market (it lasts until June). I give myself a soft deadline of April and a hard deadline of August for finding a new job.
April 2012 – Things come to a head internally. I fight waves of panic and anxiety on a near-daily basis. I am overwhelmed by not knowing what I want, and the awareness that I feel confused and uncertain about what it even means to hear from Jesus.
May 2012 – I start to meet with a spiritual director (definitely more posts to come on this).
July 2012 – Visiting friends in Uganda moves my heart. I apply for a few jobs, but only the ones I desperately want, mostly in the non-profit/international development sector.
September 2012 – August has come and gone and I am still in my job. My boss finds out I’m job hunting. I panic. We have a two-part conversation that resolves better than it began. I tell her I will definitely be done here in the spring. I write out a list of the 5 things I value most & want to shape my life around. I am asked to help shoot a wedding, photography-wise.
December 2012 – Still no job or career clarity, but I feel a sense of self and peace that I have not known maybe ever before. I am admitting and embracing the internal shifts in my faith, and I am no longer scared of my own feelings. I tell someone I want to go back to school, but there’s no way I could afford it. I do photography at another wedding.
January 2013 – I decide to apply for grad school. Specifically, seminary. The tentative plan/longterm hope is to head into chaplaincy – a career that pulls at me, that draws on my earlier ministry jobs, my hospice volunteer experiences, my growing love of contemplation & space.
April 2013 – My application is in, my references are done. I interview. I am accepted for the Masters of Divinity program at Wycliffe College. My last day of work in this office is April 26th. I'm doing photography at a third wedding this month. I own two film SLR cameras, and I am in love with them.
So here I am. I am taking May off, moving (within Toronto), visiting Minneapolis (the delightful Wendy), and hanging out with my family (kisses for all the kidlets). I need some sort of work for the summer, so I can pay my bills. I need some sort of plan for the fall, so I can pay my bills.
I'm so excited to have something to move towards. Something that will challenge and (hopefully) encourage me. I have wanted to go back to school since I finished my BA, since I felt like Jesus told me, "Not yet."
I have no idea how things will turn out. I never do. I did not think this "transition" from campus ministry would last three years. But it has.
There are so many more thoughts and related stories. Hopefully I will get to some of them. I might start a thread of posts as I go through my MDiv. I will probably call it "She Does Seminary."