Sunday, October 24, 2010


The summer before my senior year at Davidson, I earned a Lilly Foundation Ministry Fellowship that allowed me to spend 2 months working at an absolutely amazing church in Richmond, VA. Four of my classmates spent the summer similarly, and our significant experiences spanned the country, from Beverly Hills to Nashville. When we returned to campus, the five of us met monthly with our college chaplain and a professor of religion to discuss calling, vocation, what we are meant to do in this world. Many times in the last few months past graduation, I've wished to have them near me again to continue these important conversations. Tonight I stumbled upon a writing exercise we had to do a year ago this week: write our "ideal job description."

It was funny at the time, and I still chuckle about it now, because my friends had their "ideal" descriptions much more firmly laid out, and each of them has set out on a path that will help them fulfill those goals. I recall feeling sheepish as I started to read mine aloud, nothing settled, no real name for this thing, all concepts and emotions and overarching hopes...
I want a job where I write. Write about things that happen to me, places where I find sacredness, people that matter to me, funny moments, sad moments, scared moments, joyful moments, what people say within these. I want to tell those stories. I want to write them in a way that is both creative and real. I want people to read them and I want them to find purpose and meaning from them in their own lives. I want to be with people, and have conversations about everything from the mundane to the life-changing and the controversial. I want to listen, to be a trusted support system. I want to be within an active community, where people are moving and learning and exploring. I would definitely consider something like a college chaplain position, because I really like getting to know people, welcoming them in, and helping them through their different experiences, and I love the energy on a college campus, in a small town. I want to maintain relationships. I want a job that will allow me to spend time with my family and loved ones, and a job where I can be settled, especially regarding location.
It's an abrupt cut off -- partially because I wrote it at the computer in the Union about an hour before we had to present them, and partially because I didn't know what else to say. The last twelve months have provided me with bits of insight, while other thoughts and phrases are wide open, waiting for me to delve deeper. New people and experiences have added paragraphs. It's amazing how day to day to day builds upon and creates visions. The girl who clicked vigorously at the keyboard that night and read uncertainly and almost apologetically for not having it all figured out had no idea that what was then a paralyzing change was actually the same journey in its millionth evolution, incarnation, re-creation.

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