One of the advantages of this year's Create in Me retreat was meeting so many people who are carving out interesting lives in non-traditional ways. Let me record some of their choices before I forget and some of the implications for my own life:
--I met a woman who has converted to Judaism. She's still in college, so she can't keep as kosher a kitchen as she'd like, but she takes care not to mix meat and dairy in her meals. She's yearning to have her own kitchen. She's moving into a place off campus, but she'll be sharing it with 3 males, so she's still not sure she'll have as kosher a kitchen as she wants. But she'll have separate sets of dishes, and she'll be strict about food storage.
She reminded me of my own young self, so yearning for my own kitchen so I could bake bread more regularly. I need to get back to baking bread more regularly. And now that my kitchen is functional, I have a chance of doing that.
--My mom and dad told me about a couple that they met who had divested themselves of most possessions. They can fit everything they own in 4 suitcases, and they're traveling in their car, staying at interesting places.
Let me remember that one might be able to travel to see the country without an RV. In fact, it might be cheaper. I love the idea of bringing my home with me (by way of an RV), but a fuel efficient car might make more sense.
--One of my retreat friends regrets not getting the variation of the M.Div. degree that would get her more money. Her seminary, Luther, is offering the Jubilee scholarship which means that no student will have to pay tuition--so she's going back.
Because of this encounter, I learned about the Jubilee scholarship. Could I do these classes from a distance? The only ones that spook me are the ancient languages. Could I go to seminary while holding down my full-time job? I am so unsure.
--One of my retreat friends has been running a program with horses for special needs children. Lutheranch, a sister camp of Lutheridge, has had plans for an equine program, but no job posting. My friend wrote to the camp with her vision and her qualifications, saying, "I know you don't have a position right now, but please keep me in mind." At first, the response came back as "Maybe in Fall." And then, a few weeks later, "Can you have something in place by summer?" She turned in her notice, packed her things, and now she has a new job.
Let me remember that just because there is no job posting, that doesn't mean there's no job. Let me start thinking about my own letters to send out.
--One of my retreat friends is expecting the bottom to fall out of the economy. Her financial adviser has said that she should sell her house because she's going to lose it anyway, even if she's paying the mortgage. She says she always thought she'd be a woman living in campgrounds, with her car and a tent. She didn't expect to have a house, and she thought she was settled, but if it turns out not to be the case, she'll be O.K.
I admired her can do spirit, and I was reminded that her spirit is similar to mine. I've always been able to make lemons out of lemonaid. Well--what an interesting slip. Of course I meant to say lemonaid out of lemons. Hmmm.
My mis-typing leads me to an interesting point--I do sometimes fall into this pit of deep despair. But I often pull myself up out of that pit, and perhaps more quickly than others would. I have a toolbox that many don't have, and its foundation is this: the knowledge that there are many ways to live a satisfying life, ways that the larger culture doesn't always support or even acknowledge. I've always had an ability to keep trying to discern my own path.
Hopefully I can still continue.
feeling the feelings…
2 years ago