What does life look like post graduation from graduate school? I am about to find out!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Know What I Did Last Summer

 Hello folks, once again I must apologize for my extended absence from this here blog. Lots going on means I have had no time to blog about it even though I wanted to. It just becomes hard to write down all my thoughts. Anyway, here we go.

 Spring Semester ended well. It was a pretty rough semester actually, both academically and personally. I was really struggling with some personal issues all last semester and found myself having trouble concentrating in my classes because of it. I still ended up doing really well in my classes and now have the highest GPA I have ever had in my life but making it through the semester ended up being a bit of a challenge. Not really going to say anything more than that other than I am glad I got through it and I am doing a lot better now.

 Summer was pretty low-key. Mostly consisted of working full-time at my job and then doing as little as possible when I got home from work. I spent most of July traveling as I do every summer. Its become increasingly important to me that I travel for at least a week or two in the summer. I visited five states in 23 days, a schedule that I do not necessarily recommend as it really wore me out. Started my travels in Georgia at a retreat that has become a vital and important piece of my summer. From there, I traveled up to Indiana to take part in the Presbyterian Youth Triennium that I had been helping to plan for the last two years. It was really great to finally see all of our hard work come to fruition but the week itself was completely exhausting and difficult. I was sad to see it end but also ready to move on to the next part of my journey, Wisconsin. I stayed with some seminary friends out there and just had a really good, relaxing time exploring the town and visiting with my friends. I had never traveled to Wisconsin before and I have to say that I really enjoyed my time there. Not sure that I could ever move there as the winters are really terrible but it seems like a really great place to settle down and live. From there, I took a Greyhound bus to Chicago, IL. For those of you who don't know, Chicago was where I lived for a year before moving to California (and where this very blog really came into existence!) but I had not been back since leaving two years ago so it felt really good to be back in a city that I had come to love so much. It was so good to see friends again and explore the city that I spent so much time in. I was reminded, though, of why I left and so in that sense, it felt good to be there so that I could realize that. I realized that Chicago was a great place for me at the time I was there but that I was never meant to stay there. I already knew that but being back there just re-confirmed it for me. I've moved on and so has the city. From Chicago, I traveled to my final destination: Louisville, KY. I was there to attend the Big Tent Conference of the Presbyterian Church, specifically the Compassion, Peace and Justice Conference which was dealing with the issue of food justice, an issue that I have become very passionate about over the last year or so. It was a great conference and I had a great time seeing old friends and making new connections. I was ready to leave by the end of it so that I could get back to California after being away for so long.

 I arrived back in California and then a week later started my internship. For the next 9 months, I will be serving as the Pastor in Training/Intern at Christ Presbyterian Church in Terra Linda, CA which is about twenty minutes from campus. I'm full-time there Sunday through Thursday and I have my own desk, office, land-line phone and keys so I have a pretty great set-up. I'm going to be gaining practical experience with all the things that I've been learning how to do over the last two years of seminary. I'll be preaching, leading Bible Studies, serving as a youth group sponsor, creating young adult programming, teaching children's Sunday School, singing in the choir and developing Adult Sunday School options. Yeah, it is a lot. I don't deny that. However, it is all stuff that I wanted to do. They're all areas that I either enjoy doing or need to learn how to do so therefore I agreed to take on all those responsibilities. Good thing I'm a Type A! So far, I'm really enjoying being there. I have a great supervisor who is very pastoral and really good with boundaries and the church is so welcoming and friendly. I think it will be a great fit for me. I will be there until June 1st and then next September, I will be returning to full-time classwork taking the last 4 to 5 classes that I need to graduate and then graduating in May of 2015 with my Masters in Divinity. After that, who knows where I will end up? While I love California, it can be very expensive to live here so I may not be able to stay once I am no longer a student. Plus, after four years of living in the same place, I may be ready for a change. Who knows? Guess I will find out soon enough. For now, though, I'm just going to continue to enjoy my time in California for as long as it may last which may be two years or ten years or forever.

 So, all in all, I'd say I am doing pretty great. Dealt with some personal aches somewhat this year but I'm happy to report that I seem to have gotten past all that and am now content and satisfied with where I am in life and what I'm doing. I even have my own business cards at my internship!! How cool is that??! Anyways, I shall close this off now as I need to go to bed. Hope you are all doing well and that you had restful and good summers, like I did. I will try to be more consistent about updating this thing so that I can keep you filled in on how my internship is going. No promises, though, so bear with me!