Thursday, September 17, 2015

What a Difference a Year Makes

This is a screencap of a status update from exactly one year ago on my private Facebook account.

I was in my second semester of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State. Though I definitely enjoyed the program (even when I was uber stressed out), the desire to start my Theology MA courses was strong. Still, I was in the program and thought of ways to finish the Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) degrees because it was what I felt pressured to do.

Yes, I wanted to do speech pathology because I loved the fact that I was helping others. I loved working with kids (and they seemed to like me when I did tests/screenings on them.) The fact that SLPs and SLPAs (assistants) are in high demand in L.A. -- especially those of us who are bilingual -- and that it would help our (mom and my) financial worries was a bonus. Still, it wasn't for me. I tried. I fought hard. My friends rooted me on. Maybe a little too hard.

Whenever I brought up the fact that my heart wasn't fully in the SLP program and that I felt the intense pull to do my Theology MA, I was reminded of financial stresses. I had so many people try to dissuade me from the Theology path. "There is no money in it." "It's hard to find jobs (that aren't teaching) in the field." Sometimes I would cry just thinking about how much pressure I felt to finish the program and start working... and to forget about the Theology MA.

We all know what happened. I failed. I got sick. It took me about 6 months just to get out of the underweight category for my weight/height. It took another 2-3 months to get rid of the anemia. Why? I overworked myself. I let the outside pressure blind me. I'm not blaming others. I made my own decisions. I know friends tried to root me on because they know how financially stressed mom and I have been since dad's death. With how much we pay for rent (ridiculously high in this city), bills, etc... we can get really stressed out. Friends just tried to use that to motivate me. They meant went. However, I should've listened to my heart which was leading me down the path I'm currently on.

This past year has been about learning to trust God. I still get the same talking points from friends. "The field is hard to get into." I know. "You won't earn much." That's okay. "You will probably end up teaching." Well, it's a good thing I have years worth of experience as a tutor and a teacher's aide so I know I can handle it. With my anxiety no longer being an obstacle, I've already taken the first steps to get involved in teaching and working in youth ministry.

I've prayed about my vocation (small v) long enough to know when I'm blinded by fear (which is also a lack of trust in God). While I know that getting a Theology MA won't bring as many employment opportunities as an SLP MS would, I'm doing something that I feel that God wants me to do. That's enough for me. He will provide. I still think I had to fail in order to humble myself from the years worth of academic pride that I had accumulated. I'm okay with that. It's helped me grow as a person.

The more "On This Day" updates I get from Facebook, the more certain I am that I made the right decision in the end. It was right for me to let go of my academic pride and to take care of myself -- something which was hard but that I learned was necessary. God has been providing for mom and I in little ways (seriously, how are my novels still selling when I don't actively advertise them?) and I know He will continue to do the same after I finish this program.

I know these "serious" blog posts haven't been popular but, you know what, it's my blog. Yes, I do see everything as a learning experience; as another opportunity to learn to know and love God. Yes, I share these experiences because (for me personally) I know how someone's experience can help inspire/motivate someone who may be in the same boat. I'm sorry if people don't want to read them but it's just who I am and these are my thoughts and for that I won't apologize. :) This blog has always been titled Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer because it's what I share in my life. :)

Anyway, just something I wanted to share my experience about learning to trust because I've seen friends in similar situations that I was a year ago. Trust God and let go of outside influences. Thank everyone for their support (even when it feels like they're trying to steer you in a different direction) but remember that He is the one who will lead you down the exact path you're meant to be on. :)

That's it from me for now. I rented Cinderella (which I never saw in theaters) and Little Boy (which I did watch in theaters) from Redbox and I want to get to them tonight. :D

I hope y'all have a great rest of week. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


AnneMarie said...

I love this! Way to follow where you believe God is leading you. People will probably be talking about how underpaid Theologians are until they land in their graves, but that doesn't mean we should shy away from the study of Theology! Goodness me, the Lord always provides! What a beautiful, humble journey of trust!

Also, I think it's cool that you can see how far God brought you in one year-what a great way to keep perspective on life! I've been trying to do that a bit myself, because I moved to a new city a few months ago, and while I'd love to automatically have tons of connections, friend groups, and familiarity here, I'm discovering that, "Oh, those things don't happen automatically." Haha! So I've been trying to keep perspective of, "I've only been here a couple months. God has done great work, and I've been getting involved. I can't be expected to know half the Catholic population overnight." :)

Also, I am loving your serious posts! It's a great way to really think about life in general :)

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thanks, AnneMarie! :D

Oh, yes. Starting over in a new place is always hard... especially if you're an introvert (not sure if you are or aren't). Do they have any groups at your new parish?

AnneMarie said...

:) I'm not an introvert, so I always kind of thought that, "Oh, everything will suddenly click everywhere!" And they do have groups at my parish which I'm starting to get involved in, but coming out of a super Catholic college setting (since I just graduated), it's definitely an adjustment!

Anonymous said...

God's will doesn't always make sense to the world. (I guess most of the time it doesn't, haha!) God will bless the fact that you're following where He is leading you.