Monthly Archives: April 2014

Congratulations?

People, who have been more kind that I was expecting, have said “Congratulations on your selection.” Of course, I reply politely and take their excitement as a compliment, because it is after all nice to be congratulated, and I have it on the vicar’s authority that people are happy they have produced a training candidate (even if some of them think I am friend of the anti-Christ).

But… my inner pedant is wondering why ‘congratulations’ feels wrong. I suspect this could be filed under ‘over- thinking.’ But. I didn’t do anything, except show up. I didn’t purposely choose this as an idea about what would be next in life. I didn’t have to learn the right words, or read the right books (although understanding how to articulate what ‘vocation’ looks like certainly helped). So ‘congratulations’ just feels wrong – as if I have passed a test or handed in a thesis or done something specific which needed skill or judgement or talent. I don’t know what else folk can say, though – answers on a postcard. I’m not suggesting that this isn’t a significant milestone or that I am not pleased I was accepted: it just doesn’t feel like a moment I want, or ought, to take pride in.

A non-church person described this as a career change – they said “wouldn’t mind a career change as well but haven’t got the courage to do it, so I think it’s great that you are going for it.” It was too complicated to try to explain why it doesn’t feel quite like that. At times I feel completely uncourageous – even quite simple things feel like they will be taxing (‘I have to learn new bus routes’) let alone the Actually Important Big Stuff. I was trying to imagine life without the backdrop of the familiarities here, and it was a bit tricky. I’ve been counting the days left at work (81) – but I won’t get to 50 ParkRuns before I move…I tell myself that everything is all mixed up, that the many uncertainties take their outlet in trivialities…that once there is an approximate shape to what’s happening & I can be completely open about it, I’ll stop worrying about the Amorphous Everything, and importantly, I’ll be well on my way to trusting Him Upstairs.

Letting go of things

It’s six months until I start college. Five months until I (hopefully) finish work and leave my Current Job and Abode behind. But, changes are starting to happen now – tiny shifts in what is normal, needing to let go of things.

This week, two professional membership organisations renewals fell due. And I didn’t renew. Two organisations that had been hugely influential in establishing my professional network, locally and internationally. Places I made friends; learned to write articles; worked with volunteers on committees; planned events; presented at conferences and then, took my turn as leader. I worked on the assumption that the more I put in, the more I would get out – and proved it true. In short, all the colour in my recent CV has come about through these professional, extra-curricular activities.

And now – now that has to be left behind. I had worked hard to get my personal brand recognition in my industry, but even last year I had to turn down a high-profile opportunity because I was concentrating on the discernment process. So I’ve known this part was coming, which perhaps made 1 April a softer landing than it could have been. This is the kind of episode that ‘bites,’ as a friend of mine described it recently.

So as my professional identity begins to shift, I say goodbye to a couple of defining features on the landscape. Thank you, organisations X & Y; you have been fun. I owe you a lot.