A post from my EUIP group's blog site. It was my week to write. Thought I'd share here as well.
So we made it into the New Year. In northern Minnesota, sitting around a bonfire with friends and family while it snowed quietly, 2011 passed away around me like a misty breath on a cool night. She drifted away into the sky slowly and suddenly there was room for 2012. Time with the EUI Program is passing quickly for me, and suddenly it’s the time of year to begin to think of what will happen next. I have been working so hard on cultivating and maintaining presence here, in each day, with each client, with each challenge, with each breath in my yoga classes for several months now. Now it’s hard to imagine that I’ll be switching that motion into focusing on the future again. I spent all last spring stressing about finding a job and starting the next phase of my life! It has been so nice to focus on Los Angeles and this journey instead.
But maybe I’m over-thinking this. I think that discovering and exploring our vocation at any point in our lives is about knowing and not knowing all at once. I know who I am and what I love doing and what I think I want to do. I know there are certain things I want to cultivate in my life, some that I want to do in the next few months and years and some I want to do later. Some of these things I am able to create on my own with intention. I can be intentional about getting out of the city and hiking or camping twice a month while I’m still in Los Angeles. I can make sure that I have the discipline to keep working on my book for the next few months. There are other things that I can’t control. I would love to get another job in Los Angeles and stay here. I can’t exactly begin to start looking for jobs today when I’m not available until mid-August. But I feel like I should be trying. I feel like I should be thinking hard about exactly what I want to do and working to make that happen next year, just like I was last spring. It worked out for me really well when I did it that way – I mean, I ended up here, with an amazing job living with three amazing women.
A phrase from my teenage years comes to mind: “Let go and let God” (or who/whatever you believe in.) I think that on the one hand a person like me, who knows what she loves doing and has an idea of how she could continue to do that, needs to put energy and intention into making the life that she wants to live happen around her. Nothing will come forth if you do not put energy into it. As a writer I know a lot about the creative process and have explored mine. Part of being creative is knowing how to utilize your own energy into making things happen for yourself. You need to know how to actually sit down and do the work. But once you sit down and have begun to work, you also have to let go of what you think you want to create and enjoy the process of creation. You need to allow the question at the end to remain unanswered until it organically answers itself. Trust – in yourself, in Divinity, in Jesus, in whatever you choose to trust – and creativity go hand in hand. Prayer or mediation or running or creating art is an important part of letting go in my life right now, in knowing what I love and find joy in and then doing those things so that I can open as many doors as possible, trusting all along that they will lead me to the right place at the end of the summer. In the end, it’s always worked out for me before.
Katy Cashman, Episcopal Urban Intern, 2011-12
Friends in Deed, Ecumenical Council of Pasadena Area Churches