Thursday, September 25

All Grown Up...Now What?

So now that I'm all graduated from college and working, I get home from my job and think, "this is it? I went to school for four years to go to work, go back to my apartment, and recover from work watching long-winded news updates about long-winded political candidates?" Hmm. In college I had a routine, which was pretty much class homework, and more homework, and hanging out with people when we all felt like it. But I had a goal, and that was to do well in my classes and graduate.  Now that there isn't the perpetual cloud of homework hanging over my head to fill my time and the laundry list of tests on my calander, life feels a little bit...well...directionless. And for some reason, I always feel like I have to be heading somewhere.
So I sat down to think of all the potential things I could do with myself.

a.) Get a dog and find a husband

Well, not very original. 2/3 of my graduating class has done that already. And really, I don't think getting married should be a goal in and of itself; it should be something I do because I happen to find someone who I want to share my life with.

b.) Write a book

Don't have the life experience yet. Maybe I could write about being a new nurse, but frankly I don't want to think about nursing when I'm not at work. And it would either sound idealistic and sappy or cynical and unfeeling. There's always the God memoirs, but there have been a flood of those lately. And there's the little problem of never having published anything. Moving on...

c.) Apply to seminary

Then the question becomes, "which seminary?" I'm all over the ecclesiastical map. And there's the little problem of having exactly one theology class on my transcript. I love studying theology, but I don't think I have to skill to teach it, and I don't think full-time ministry would be my cup of tea either. I would get another degree, graduate with a pile of debt and have to get...a nursing job. :)

d.) Go to graduate school for nursing

Besides the fact that I think I'm going to puke if I have to write one more care plan, this might be an option down the road. I think I would like being a family nurse practitioner...more autonomy, less hospital craziness. I could work in a clinic for the underprivilaged and feel like I was helping the community.

e.) Transfer to the OR, learn surgical nursing, and then travel around with one of those charity agencies that does surgeries in foreign countries to fix cleft palletes, etc.

Could work...except that OR jobs are hard to come by because they actually have semi-normal hours and all the senior nurses want them. And I think you actually have to PAY to go on one of those mercy-ship type things. And there's the fact that I want to see the world about as much as I want to help that bad?

f.) Buy a ticket to Europe, travel around staying in youth hostals, learn another language, and we'll see if I ever come back.

Too chicken. ;)

For now it's my current option:

g.) hang around in my hometown, work a job I don't mind but don't want forever, audit a class I would rather be taking for real, hang out with friends who are mostly still in college and pretend I'm still in college, facebook fellow '08 graduates at least once a week to tell them I miss them, take a random belly-dancing class with my coworkers, watch election coverage even though it makes me want to run for the hills, and dream about doing big things...someday.


Anonymous said...

You said; "I love studying theology, but I don't think I have to skill to teach it, and I don't think full-time ministry would be my cup of tea either."'re a nurse now. If that's not full time ministry, I don't know what is!

Rachel said...

Right you are...I need that perspective more often.

Ric Wild said...

Glad to see you're blogging again. Know that I enjoy reading your musings on post-graduation life (I can relate) and the random theological reflections. Oh, and nevermind the problem of being all over the "ecclesiastical map." Have you read A Generous Orthodoxy? I think I subscribe to "open-source Christianity" I'm like a religious Wiki (of a Christian sort, of course) or something with contributions from Anglicans and Pentacostals alike. And I think my seminary is cool with this.

Don Hendricks said...

Rachel, welcome to the real world, where we work and come home and crash. It all does work fine with a dog and a husband, which is why I paniced when I graduated college without a wife. It all works out.

My humble and older minister advice is to forget formal classes. Your searching and reading and living in the present will create your future. Traditional church life is in for a major bottom up reformation and paid ministry is going to be rare in the near future. Reaching back for your friends is OK, that will diminish as the years of seperation increase, finding your new community will be the challenge. I, like you, want a church fellowship that celebrates parachoresis, the loving dance of God, but do not want to go Eastern Orthodox to find it. You are a very perceptive person, enjoy the journey.

Don in AZ

Anonymous said...

Don't lose your sense of and experience the world and the incredible cultures God has created. Being a nurse now, there's no place you can't go and continue your ministry. Just don't wake up one day and ask yourself where has time gone or is this all there is?! Love life and don't lose it by fearing to leave your job, your comfort, your "responsibilities" that have probably come from others more than from God.

roy said...

I got here after reading a comment you left on another blog... and deeply appreciate your spirit.
the only piece I'd add to the affirmations here already is to say that doing small things can be very significant, indeed, small things done in love are not small at all.

Anonymous said...


Found you via Halden, and I'm enjoying your posts.

If I can offer you a suggestion about theological studies, it would be to keep Regent College in Vancouver, Canada in mind. Regent likes to bill itself as an 'unseminary'; only half the students are doing an MDiv, while the rest just want to go deeper and return to their vocation or try something different.

I, for example, used to work in a genetics lab, and I might not go back, but after studying at Regent I think I could return and actually understand it as a real ministry.

And, if you're all over the ecclesial map, Regent is a perfect match. We have professors who are Presbyterians, Anglicans, Baptists, Pentecostals, Christian Reformed... and we study Catholic and Orthodox theology and take it seriously. (One of my professors is regularly teased about becoming a Catholic, because of his studies in Nouvelle Theology.)

Anyway, I hope you'll excuse my shameless advertising. Keep up the good work.

Rachel said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Michael! I'll definitely check it out. I just got a new job so the theological studies and probably going to be on hold for a little while, but it's still someting I'm thinking about for the future.

Ian said...

What Michael said!