I’m having a big problem of late. My usual malaise at typical daily life which has been with me since I could figure out what daily life was seems to be getting worse. Not in the sense that I am depressed or anything, but I am about to turn 27. Now, I have done "the usual" in the sense that I went to college, I got married, I bought a car and a house, children are likely in my not-too-distant future (as in the 3 year plan rather than the 5-to- never year plan). But I still feel like I have yet to figure out what it is I am supposed to do. This isn't troubling in and of itself, this is rather normal, I should think, for anyone who holds a BA. No, I am troubled because many, many times, even as a married person in a happy marriage, I seem to think about how great it would be to be a religious sister. I guess this is because being a religious sister fits the skills I have, and let me tell you, I don’t have many. I’m not saying that to be self-depraving or humble, it’s just the truth. I always had a hard time trying to figure out what my career should be because I don’t have any specific talents other than knowing stuff. When I took one of those career tests in high school, it told me I should be a rabbi (which had two glaring issues being that I am neither male nor Jewish.) Although, rabbis do know a lot of stuff.
|Now imagine them in cubicles.|
I work in a dead-end job. Literally. I do data entry. I don’t particularly want to take on a job that has more responsibility because my job affords me a lot of time to listen to podcasts and little stress. I am busy most of the time, but it is feast or famine, and I have very little stress. When I am busy, I am still able to go home at the end of the day, completely sure that nothing I did can’t wait till tomorrow and it’s not going to ruin my or anyone else’s career. I have few deadlines, and I am essentially a minion in my workplace. I like it. I also have a part-time hobby business that I barely have any time for and that is wedding planning. I enjoy planning weddings, or at least I did, before I had a bride that kind of ruined for me and am still burned out from. I liked wedding planning because it afforded me the ability to be the person who knew everything, who got to take charge in a quiet, no-fanfare-needed kind of way. So the other day, when I was informed of an opening at my parish for their wedding and events coordinator/parish support staff I got pretty excited about it. Then I found out how much it paid and that it was part-time, and I got really, really sad because it’s basically impossible for me to take it if Hubbs and I ever want to do anything other than be mid-to-late 20 somethings at the beginning stages of our marriage. We would be basically stuck in the same situation as we are right now until the job either paid more, got more hours (preferably both) or I got so stressed out from the amount of work I had to do for the amount of money and too little sanctioned time to do it in that I had a nervous breakdown and ended up taking another dead-end job. I was sad for a little while and then I kind of realized I don’t really want to do that anyway. Which got me thinking: what do I want to do?
The reason why this whole religious sister thing really puzzles (and, yes, troubles) me is because I wasn’t religious when I went to college. I wasn’t religious when I met and then married my husband. Remember how I am super trepidatious about kids? Yeah, that troubles me too. I keep thinking to myself: what if I was meant to be a Sister? I definitely never discerned anything for myself then, and I have no idea how to discern things for myself now. I keep trying to tell myself that God has a plan, sure, but he also gave us free will which I’m pretty sure means that maybe if I had been religious I would have figured out that maybe I should have run off and joined an abbey, but since I didn’t choose that path, God’s not going to slam the door on me and make the rest of my life difficult, nor would He place on my heart a desire to do something I can’t do unless I completely go against His will. Not to mention, I don’t really want to leave my husband because I think that would make me miserable anyway. I keep trying to figure out what it is about religious life that has me so enthralled and all I can come up with is: you never have to worry about money because you’re provided for--no debt, no payments, no bills, no expensive clothes to buy when your company gets bought out by another one and changes the dress code, no clothes to buy period; Lots of alone time studying and praying; Depending on what order, the chance to share your love of the faith and the Church and God and the Saints—no questions asked because no one is going to argue with a woman in a habit.
So what I can take away from all of this is: I want to study the faith and share it, and I’m sick of worrying about money. I guess the money thing is my cross to bear, but I can’t exactly figure out how to go about the other two. It’s not exactly lucrative to be a theologian, though with an MA I could teach at the Parish school. So yet again, the devil of money jumps out at me. I guess maybe what I need, before I go out and get an MA, is a crash course in discernment.