That is exactly what it was. A transplant. I was transplanted from the Eastern Shore, from my boring jobless life, from my lack of local friends and lack of funds to visit my college ones, from fights with my parents, from meaningless tasks. I was taken from bleak and put into beautiful. I quickly made friends and connections with a holy community of Sisters and supporting staff. I ate blueberries every morning with my breakfast, had 24/7 access to a chapel and experienced exhaustion that feels both good yet allows you to collapse in bed at 10:30pm. Life was simple. My biggest worry was if my shirt looked too wrinkled and what time my next interview was. I watched "The Closer" with a Sister, I was invited to join an intimate community for organized prayer, I spontaneously asked their equivalent of "Mother Superior" if I could join her as she took the infirmary dog out for his final walk. I captured a piece of my old confident self where I sat down at a table full of strangers and left the table with new friends.
I know that I will never have an interview like this again in my life. Any interview I must undergo will always fall short of this experience. It felt like a retreat, a tad bit like sorority recruitment, like an interview and also like a vacation. I learned more things about myself, my strengths and my weaknesses than most people learn about themselves in a year.
Needless to say I'm back and I'm trying really hard to hold close the memories and the feelings that being up in Philly has allowed me to have. It was so peaceful. I really miss the Sisters and staff already. Everyone was genuinely friendly and eager to know my story. They laughed at my jokes and shared a few of their own. The connections I made were abundant. I know deep down in my soul that I have chosen to apply for the right program. I also have full confidence that I will be accepted. The most difficult task at hand is figuring out which placement site I will pref first. I have over a million things to consider.
That is what I'm doing right now. Trying to discern where to go. A lot of little things are pointing me into a concrete direction but I still have some doubt.
DISCLAIMER: RELIGION. You know how I am. ;-)
As you may or may not know, I have felt incredibly called to apply to this program. That calling was completely validated at my interview with RMC. I love the people I'd be working with, the Sisters I'd be living with (alongside two or three other volunteers who have applied/are applying). I traveled to four placement sites where I learned about each organization and what each position entails. I've witnessed little miracles and signs. One fun thing that happened was I was sitting in the chapel trying to write out pros and cons about the different sites. It was getting dark and I really needed some light. I padded around the chapel barefoot asking God to show me where the light was. I couldn't find it so I sat back down and said "ok, on your terms, but could you put the light on?" Suddenly the lights came on. It was one of the Sisters coming in to set up for mass. She didn't even know I was in there! So she taught me how to turn the lights on and off. haha It was a great moment.
I'm not going to elaborate in full detail but I will say this. I think I am being called to the most difficult and challenging placement site positions. If I am accepted to the program and if I chose this particular site, I'd have the opportunity to really make some change. Its a new position that could revolutionize certain aspects of the placement site. I could impact a lot of people in a very positive way. Additionally, this position allows me to experience maximum creativity and liberty. It is also the place I feel I am needed the most. I'm still asking God where he wants me. I trusted Him this far and I see how perfect this program is for me in my life right now. I have no doubts about that. I just need Him to point me into the direction again or perhaps give me some subtle reassuring hints as to what placement site He has in mind for me. I will tell you again, I really connected with the Sisters. I'm not considering entering a holy and religious life or formation. But I did find their friendship and presence refreshing and I am longing for it as I sit here.
So I still have time to figure things out. I think I did splendid on all my interviews. I find out in a week to a week and a half the final decision. Fingers crossed and hopes high.
Tonight I might go to the carnival with Clay and Beth. This is a great way to relive my childhood and perhaps go on a ride on the Black Spider and play a few games of Bingo. I'm going to try to get up for First Friday mass/Adoration tomorrow at church. I could use some more prayer and reflection time. I'm not at a complete loss but I still have doubts about placement.
I promise I'll be much more specific when the time comes. I'm being ambiguous because anything can happen.
I also applied for a job at Pizza Hut today. I hope they hire me, overqualified or not.
Until next time....