So, what’s next?
I am asked this frequently, as most recent graduates are. I do have an answer to this question. It’s not conventional and it’s definitely a work in progress. But it is an answer.
My life is next. Actually doing the things I’ve dreamed of and attempted to articulate for so long. A lot of people have grand careers where they land a job right out of college and/or grad school. I do not. The things I desire to do won’t happen at an accounting firm or a dress store. I’m not a corporate girl, nor will I ever be one. Conventional things are perfectly fine – there is a reason they are conventional! But if I were to do what was expected out of the average MA graduate, I would not be doing something I found meaningful.
Don’t misread me: whatever someone chooses to do with their life is meaningful. Whenever a person chooses to do a job, no matter how seemingly insignificant, they choose to do something for others. All of life is service, whether we realize it or not. Even jobs chosen selfishly serve to help people. The world functions because of jobs. It is true, some are more necessary than others. We would be okay without restaurants, but not okay without hospitals. But we as people enjoy the convenience and fun of restaurants whether we eat out regularly or rarely. Keep that in mind next time you go out to eat – without waitstaff and other restaurant workers you wouldn’t be able to enjoy someone else making and serving your food.
The point is this: whatever someone decides to do with their life is important. Everyone contributes in some way, whether positively or negatively. Different people have different ideas of what is a meaningful contribution and that is okay.
So, this obviously brings up a question: What do I consider to be a meaningful contribution?
Writing. And, someday, teaching.
What does this mean for me?
First: I will finally start regularly posting on this blog – I have a goal of two posts a week. I will also be redesigning and renaming this blog. Even though I am no longer in seminary, I am still in many ways “That Seminary Girl.” However, I am That Seminary Girl who also has a husband, interests, hobbies, experiences, and is in a new phase in life. Therefore, I will be doing some “reinventing” of the blog in order to fit this new season in life. New name and new look to come. 😉
Second: I will be starting the research phase of the first of two books I have desired to write for about a year or two. Those who know me best know that it has been a long-time dream of mine to write a book. But I honestly didn’t know what I would write. I tried my hand at fiction, but for now, that is not the path I plan to take. I would rather keep my subjects to myself and to a few others until I’m ready to share what has been inspiring me these past few years – whenever that time may be. I only ask for patience, prayers, and encouragement as I embark on an equally terrifying and exciting process.
Third: I will soon be searching for either a part-time or freelancing position in writing or editing. I am doing this to keep myself focused and to help myself add more structure to my days. In a perfect world, I’d find a position as a contributor to a Christian website. But, we all know the world isn’t perfect. 😉 I will be happy with whatever God has for me! That being said, if anyone knows of somewhere who needs a remote writer or editor, please let me know!
So, there it is: my “next.” Some of the best advice I ever received as a college and graduate student came from a teacher who later became my boss. It’s kind of her tagline and she is known around campus for it.
Just do the next right thing. Always.
This, the blogging, the books, the (hopefully) freelancing… this is my next right thing. The past six years of my life have been formative. My life, my dreams, and my passions have all been affected by my undergraduate and graduate experiences. I grew so much, learned so much, and discovered so much about God, life, and myself. The last six years were the most difficult and the most joyful years of my life thus far. This is what I have been working for all these years. And if it seems a little anticlimactic to you, that’s okay. Because it’s not to me. It’s a breath of fresh air. It’s me looking at what is before me and saying finally. My dreams are coming true. I don’t deserve that amazing gift but I’m getting it. God is so good and kind to me I cannot even begin to explain it.
I know this won’t be easy. This is in no way an easy way out. Some days I won’t want to write. Some days I’ll want to give up and take an easy way out. But it will be worth it. Doing the things I love and have dreamed of for so long is absolutely, completely worth it.