Tag: vocation

Jan 07 2010

Intern intentionality

While looking for information on a different non-profit service org today, I came across the new site of the Episcopal Urban Intern Program (EUIP).  For those of you that don’t know, applying to the EUIP in 2007 led to me moving down to Los Angeles in August of 2007, though not as a participant in the EUIP.  One of the reasons I wasn’t selected was because of my age.  The EUIP is designed for folks approx 20-30 years old.  I was turning 31 in Auguest of 2007 (when it would have begun).  The program directors job was to choose good candidates who would have a good shot of forming a good community.  The interns that were selected were all between 21 and 24 that year (if I remember correctly).  I knew when I applied though, that I was pushing the age range, so I wasn’t too bummed out.  Plus I ended up getting offered a different opportunity to intern in Los Angeles through the Episcopal Church.  While that internship didn’t end up working out as well as I’d hoped it would, it was still a valuable experience for me.

This year, another one of my friends was accepted into a new intern program affiliated with the Campus Ministry at Cal State – Channel Islands…the Abundant Table Farm Project.  She luckily still fit under the 30 yr old ceiling most of the intern programs have.

Anyway, all this got me thinking about those of us in our 30s or 40s (or more) that are searching for ourselves, our spirituality, our intentionality.  Where can we participate in these kind of things?  I know my age group is more likely to be more settled into family life or a career (though maybe less so into careers in the current state of the economy), but there are many of us that are still searching for our vocation…or a vocational change.  Where do we go to find our community now that we are out of school?

I think this is something that I’ll add to my list to explore in the next year.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2010/intern-intentionality/

Apr 15 2008

Sketch 15

I have of late been in a pretty crappy mood.  I’ve been depressed and snappy and generally not too fun to be around.  Thankfully, I think last night helped me take a step away from this lame moodiness.  Last night was the monthly gathering of the “cuddle call” group.  I was in charge of planning the festivities and thought it would be nice to have a bonfire on the beach.  It was great just to be with such a great group of friends that are just so loving and accepting.  I’m so lucky to have found (or been found by) this group of people.

On the job search front…I’m leaning more towards staying in Los Angeles.  Which means probably getting some sort of a temp job at least initially.  I’ll also be looking for a new place to live, preferably for a little less rent than I’m paying now (so under $800/month).  I think I’m going to take the morning off on Thursday and spend some time researching and applying to local temp agencies.

I’m going on a retreat this weekend, we have to hike into the campsite.  I’m pretty stoked to get out of the city and be in nature for the weekend. 

Continue reading

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Apr 05 2008

dwelling in my disasters


Ray Lamontagne – Empty (from BBC Four Session)

I’m not having much luck in my first choice of “things to do after I’m done at Canterbury.”    The craigslist job board for Santa Rosa isn’t providing many opportunities to apply for jobs.  So I’m left with also figuring out what Plan B really is.  Do I stay in Los Angeles, which often sucks away my will, and is so expensive, just because its the easiest option.  Do I look to move back to Oregon, even though I have no idea on how I’d pay to move my stuff back up there?  Is there some other place I should think about going?

Really, like Ray sings above, the whole process has left me feeling kind of empty.  Change is coming and I need to work on making sure its good.  As one of my friends pointed out last weekend in Salt Lake…I sure thought I’d have more things figured out by the time I was this age than I do.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/dwelling-in-my-disasters/

Mar 06 2008

Sketch 9

Looks like I’m a couple days late on posting my weekly sketch again.  This week I don’t even have a good excuse, I’ve just been lazy.  I did end up making it to the Getty Villa last Saturday.  It was a cloudy morning, threatening rain the entire time.  The Villa holds the antiquities collection of the Getty.  Its designed to resemble a Roman villa from Herculaneum.  Most of the collection consists of sculptures, however there is also some jewels, coins and frescoes as well.  It is of course much smaller than the main Getty Museum, but still quite interesting.  Afterwards, I picked up some cupcakes from Sprinkles and stopped for lunch in Little Ethiopia.

I had to take my car in to the shop, it was making a rubbing noise anytime I turned.  Turns out it was just that the power steering fluid was low.  Apparently the power steering box could use to be replaced, because its got a small leak, but its also $750 for the part.  So the mechanic said, just make sure to top off the fluid if it starts making noise.  With an oil change and a few other minor maintenance things, I managed to escape for under $200.  That made me happy, I was expecting something closer (or exceeding) my $600 budget (which I didn’t really have either).

One of my friends posed an interesting question last week.  Which is worse: getting drunk or pre-marital sex?  As I was thinking about my answer to this question, I also thought about how my answer has changed from when I was in high school to now a few years out of college.  My simplistic current answer would be getting drunk is worse.  Not only does heavy drinking damage your body, it has the potential to damage people around you in both your actions and emotionally.  Pre-marital sex…well my views about the institution of marriage in our current political environment effect my answer on that.  I personally have issues with the “civil” side of marriage.  I don’t think we should be regulating who people can or cannot marry, I mean, if two adults love each other and want to commit to each other, than they should be able to.  So back to the pre-marital sex thing, I believe that sex is an important part of our expression of love towards our chosen partner.  It is still something that is very special and should only be done in the confines of a committed relationship.  So for those people that marriage isn’t an option or that have problems with the institution of marriage, should they not be able to express their love physically?

This weekend I’m going to focus on working on my resume and looking for jobs for after the semester is over.  Right now I’m focusing on three places for my job search, 1)Santa Rosa, 2)LA, 3)Eugene/Portland.

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Feb 28 2008

Sketch 8

Last week was a busy work week, as it was the week leading up to my big monthly event.  Since my event was on Wednesday night, I didn’t quite get to writing up my sketch as I was preoccupied with last minute details for the event.  Mainly, I just worked this past week, but I did manage to fit in a couple trips to the beach though, so that was nice.  It is definitely one of the things that keep me sane in LA.

I had a good conversation with my boss/housemate about what will be happening after the semester is over and my job ends.  We talked about the different scenarios I’m considering, and how we can work on making one of them work.  I really think my top choice is trying to figure out a move to Santa Rosa.  Its in Northern California, which is closer to home, and has at least a little more rain than LA.  Its also about an hour outside of San Francisco, a city I enjoy quite a bit.  The challenge now is to find a job, that I can start in May.  At the very least, I need to work through the end of April, but I’ll probably end up working through the end of finals.  Either way I’ll get paid through May 15th, which is a good thing for my finances.

I’m trying to relax a little today, and will definitely be relaxing this weekend.  I think I’m going to check out the Getty Villa on Saturday.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-8/

Feb 12 2008

Sketch 6

Finally a day off!!!

Saturday, I decided to take advantage of the wonderful weather here in So. Cal. and I drove up to Malibu to check out one of the beaches up there.  It was in the mid-70s.  I just sat on the beach, read, and listened to the ocean.  Oh and called some friends in less friendlier climates…from the beach…to rub it in.

In the evening, I met up with the “Cuddle Call” group at Masa in Echo Park.  It’s a group of young adults doing some sort of ministry.  A place where we can learn and build up each other.  I’m glad to finally have something like this.  I’ve really needed some place where I could find support.  Even though it has pretty much come too late, but that’s a different story.

Work is still incredibly busy and stressful.  Compounding it all, I’m feeling pretty disconnected from God, faith, spirituality.  It makes it difficult to come to work with passion for my projects.  I feel defeated by my job and the largely only negative feedback I’ve been getting pretty much the entire time I’ve been working here.  I know that should challenge me to make things better, but right now I just don’t feel like there is anything I can do.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-6/

Nov 24 2007

on thanksgiving…

I realized that this was first thanksgiving I’ve ever had without spending some time with my family.  It’s kinda weird how much its got me down, since holidays at home are always kinda stressful.  It is a weird dynamic, even though they often get on my nerves, I would give pretty much anything to have been home this weekend.

I’m struggling a lot right now.  I’m not adjusting as quickly (or easily) as I thought I would.  I’m not doing my job as well as I thought I would.  I’m doubting if its really the right fit for me.  Which makes me doubt whether or not the vocation I’ve been journeying towards is really where I should be going.  I miss Portland.  I miss the rain and grey skies.

But yet, I do not doubt that Los Angeles is where I am supposed to be right now.  I can’t completely explain it and it often doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  Things aren’t all gloom here either.  I’ve got a couple of old friends that live down here that I get to hang out with once and awhile (though not enough).  I’ve also got a new close friend that I’ve met since being here.  I’ve found a really good church (in Beverly Hills of all places) to be a part of.  These are some of the things I’m thankful for this weekend.  I’m also thankful for my friends in New York, Portland and Eugene…who’ve listened to my whining over instant messaging chats.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/on-thanksgiving/

Oct 02 2007

life in los angeles

It has been a busy few months here in Los Angeles so far.  I think that this has in some way postponed a lot of the homesickness I fully expected to feel.  There has definitely been moments, but those have been quickly put on hold to concentrate on work.  Over the last week, however, it has really begun to sink in that I really live here, and how far away many of my friends are.  Living in LA without a car is challenging and its been difficult to find ways to interact with people outside of the USC community.

Highlights of the first few months:

  • Amazing food discoveries (Like the biggest burrito that I’ve ever seen at a restaurant…and it not being the biggest in LA)
  • Diversity (It’s kinda cool to hear people talk in languages other than English…even though I don’t understand it)
  • The Music Calendar (there is so much going on…its really just a matter of time and money…not whether something is actually happening)
  • Running into old friends at a conference for work in San Francisco that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to initially…but so glad I went to in the end (and seeing a friend from Eugene while I was there as well).
  • Sleeping under the stars on the beach at our Fall Retreat in Oceanside, CA (and the fairly warm ocean water)

Lowlights of the first few months:

  • My diet has been horrible…way to much fast food and eating out in general (and not finding a good grocery store nearby with organic/local food)
  • Adjusting to much longer hours and different sleep schedules
  • Having a hard time finding a “me” outside of USC
  • The Ducks loosing on the second to last play of the game to Cal while surrounded by USC fans.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/life-in-los-angeles/

Sep 27 2006

The Seven Storey Mountain (pt 2)

For my review of Part 1 of The Seven Storey Mountain click here.

Parts 2 & 3 of The Seven Storey Mountain were much more enjoyable for me.  And as a result, I got a lot more out of these sections of the book.  I think in the end I had the expectation of the later Merton who was much more open to non-Catholics.  The harshness of the young Merton (and Father Louis) was a little unsettling for me.

The things that stuck most for me in this section were nuggets of wisdom about discernment and vocation.  Merton’s journey from conversion to the monastery was fascinating for me as well.  My reading of this book has been timely for me.  This was of course a purposeful reading on my part.  With the hiatus of my path to seminary it has been a time to rediscover aspects of my faith.  My faith hasn’t been something I’ve questioned, however I have let it coast somewhat recently.  Its time for me to get my hands a little dirty with my spiritual life again.

I’m going to take a weekend retreat at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey next month.  I’m really looking forward to this time to really focus on my faith life.  There are also a few sections of The Seven Storey Mountain that I plan to meditate over the next month or so.  I’ll probably post on a few of those later on this blog.

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Apr 23 2006

how did i get here?

So I still seem to be struggling with articulating how I got to the point where I am now with my call.  Or more importantly…how I realized my call.  Its been such a long time that I’ve felt that the priesthood is my “calling” that I have in some ways forgotten how I got to this point. 

Vocationally, I have always felt most fulfilled in my career when I’ve working in positions of service.  I’ve had a few different jobs in my short career history. I’m going to touch on four of the significant ones (at least in terms of my vocational discernment).

First: (in chronological order)
My first longer term job during college was at LensCrafters in the lab manufacturing glasses.  This job wasn’t difficult on an intellectual level…once I learned the processes, it was in fact pretty mechanical/repetitive.  But I felt I was truely helping others to see, eventually learning more than just the manufacturing processes, but also many of the skills of an optician.  I think perhaps this when I first began to understand the rewards of living a life of service to the community.

Second:
My second long term job during college was working at Symantec in the Order Processing department.  This was an entry level job that I hoped would get me in the door to something in the tech support/desktop support/IT fields.  I worked there for about 2.5 years.  The last six months of this job was incredibely draining on both my physical psyche and spiritual self.  I think a large part of this, was that I wasn’t able to see my career as doing anything to serve the community.  Now I know that in a way I was serving the community and that in everything I do, I should be doing it in a spirit of humility and servitude.  I just wasn’t seeing it.

By this time in my academic career, I had also moved on to a goal of going to seminary as opposed to getting a teaching certificate.  Since my career at Symantec was stagnating, I decided to leave my job there and go back to school full time to finish my degree.  That way I could finally get started on my goal of going to seminary.

Third:
After completing my final term at the UofO, I began to look for a full time job to support myself while I began the process towards heading to seminary.  At first I looked mainly in Eugene, however eventually I had to expand my search to Portland, as I was having difficulty finding a job.  Part of the problem during this job search was I knew what I wanted to do for a career, however I couldn’t do it yet, because there was still this process to complete.  So in a way I was rudderless.  I ended up getting a job as an “Admissions Advisor” for an online university.  This was basically an inside sales job.  I emphasize inside because while all our leads were supposably “warm,” many of them were actually requesting some other sort of information when they gave us their information.  In our training we were told to find the “pain” of the person we were talking to and use that to help them complete an education and overcome that pain.  For example, this was not long after a couple of hurricanes had struck Florida.  In training we were told ways to overcome the potential students objections for reasons like “Well I don’t really have a computer because it and my house were destroyed during the hurricane.”  Our reponse was supposed to be along the lines of; “Well what better time to return to school and complete your education while you are rebuilding other aspects of your life as well.”

In the end, I could not ascribe to the philosophy of the place I was working.  I wasn’t comfortable exploiting the “pains” of the community for the benefit of my corporate bosses.  I began to look for another job, eventually finding something with a temporary agency at a substantial paycut.  This paycut was worth every penny in peace of mind however.

Fourth:
At my current job, I am a paralegal/office manager for a small local branch of a larger national law firm.  Our firm practices in consumer bankruptcies.  Once again I am in a position where I am serving the community.  One of the things that I really enjoy about this job is the added benefit of some intellectual stimulation and being able to utilize my administrative skills (which I feel to be one of my better skill sets).  For the first time in a long time, I am enjoying my job, despite it just being a job and not a vocation.  More importantly, I am able to live my “priestly” vocation in my current job.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/how-did-i-get-here/