*awkwardly pokes head around wall and waves sheepishly*
Remember when I changed the look of this blog and was super excited to keep writing with a tighter focus?
A little thing called life happened after I last posted in June and it’s been happening ever since. Blogging had to take a backseat for awhile. My head is still spinning a bit from everything that’s been going on lately, and I’m not sure what I’ll write about next, but I thought I’d break the radio silence and at least fill you in on what’s been happening with me.
- I’m not sure I ever explicitly stated it on this blog or not, but I left my job in Cincinnati in early June. It just wasn’t a good fit, and I knew as I was getting ready to leave that youth ministry just wasn’t my field.
- After determining that I would be leaving my job, I attended a come-and-see retreat with a religious order I’ve had my eyes on for awhile. The vocation director for the order and I determined that it wasn’t the right time for me to start a formal discernment process with them and that I would benefit from counseling or therapy to help me work through a few things. I haven’t started that process yet because of how up-in-the-air life has been lately, but I’m hoping to start soon. Regardless of whether I wind up becoming a sister, I think counseling would do me a world of good. And it would probably give me something new to write about!
- I spent most of May and June feeling very torn about what my next move should be, if I should try to stay in Cincinnati or be open to looking for work elsewhere. In the end, I decided to go back home to Illinois.
- But before that, I was blessed to spend the last few days of June and most of July working at my old West Virginia home, Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center. I worked in the kitchen for the first three weeks of summer camp. It was exhausting and dirty. My feet and body ached a lot from being on my feet all day. I may have given myself carpal tunnel from operating the can opener so many times. Some of my clothes probably have permanent grease stains in them. My fingernails were the shortest they’ve ever been from scraping so many pans with steel wool. But my coworkers were some of the best I could have asked for. Not to mention that I spent those three weeks with some of my favorite priests in West Virginia. I laughed. I cried. I prayed. I made some rad new friends. I cooked a lot of food and washed a lot of dishes. It was so good to be home.
- Shortly after returning home to Illinois from West Virginia, I went on vacation in Colorado with my family. We stayed in Denver, just outside of downtown. Included in the trip: visiting the South Park region (which is stunning, by the way), eating a lot of yummy food, going to Red Rocks twice, visiting Denver’s cathedral, pilgrimage-ing to the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, and trekking to the top of Mount Evans, one of the highest peaks in Colorado (14,262 feet, to be exact!). It was a good trip.
- Just two days after getting back from Colorado I had an interview in Madison, Wisconsin, and the next day I was offered the job! I’ll be starting near the end of August. I haven’t met everybody on my new team yet, but the two who interviewed me seem very excited to have me. I’m excited to be on board, too.
The last few months have been difficult. My life in Cincinnati ended way sooner than I thought it would. My vocation journey has taken a bit of a detour. I knew as I was deciding what to do next that I had to get out of youth ministry. All of that left me grappling with some pretty heavy emotions and hard questions. It took a toll on my mood and on my spiritual life. I’m not quite sure I have everything figured out yet, but I feel much better now than I did two months ago. God closed a few doors and also opened a few new ones. I’m not sure what my next chapter is going to involve, but I know that the One who’s penning it writes all things well.
Cheers to next steps and new beginnings, yes?