People like to ask me questions like “So, when you get back from South Korea (I haven’t left yet!), what are you going to do?” So, instead of a weekly update, I thought I’d provide a “Life Update” that will answer all of your questions.
Academics: This is the top questions, “So, what about graduate school?” At the present moment, I’ve deferred admission to a Christian university (MA in English) located in Abilene, TX. After my Fulbright year, I intend on attending graduate school, but I may apply to the University of Kentucky (I said I never would, not for sure why) to the Departments of English and Library Science. I want to become a Ph.D. in English (come heck or high water), and eventually teach at the university level, and I think both of these degrees will help me achieve my goal. I’m also flirting with the idea of applying for a dual MA in English and Library Science at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Or I might go to work for a year (but it looks like graduate school). Either way, I’m going back to school.
Religion: The second most common question I receive regarding my Fulbright year and after my Fulbright year is the issue of religion. Most older people are worried that I’ll dabble in some strange religion abroad, but I’m sticking with Christianity. When I get back, I’m sticking with Christianity. Upon my return (no concrete date yet), I’ll be ready to profess my vows as a third-order Benedictine nun in the Company of Jesus. Part of my desire to attend graduate school in the Lexington area is so I can remain in close contact with other brothers and sisters in the Company in our geographical area. Also, I would like to remain rooted at St. Aidan’s Anglican for a little bit longer and serve with that congregation.
On the bookshelf: I’m always a reader and that won’t change when I get back. But if you’re asking what I’m reading now, it’s A Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
Marriage and family: In middle and high school, I was super committed to getting married. In fact, the pinnacle of my existence would be to get married. Nobody taught me that, it must be a girl thing (Don’t give me that ‘I’m not like other girls’ junk. You know you’ve thought about napkin colors at the reception). Seriously, I made fake bulletins with the names of assorted bridesmaides, etc.
In college, as I discovered options for not only graduate school, but also my religious life, my attitude towards marriage has changed. I’ve finally understood that among many things, husbands (and wives) are human and do not provide fulfillment. As I’ve seen many times, it’s quite the opposite.* A few people might think I’ve adopted this mindset because I’ve never really dated or been in a serious relationship, but I honestly believe that I can participate in a lot of good as a single woman. I’m not necessarily on the prowl for a husband, but if the “right one comes along” (to credit my mother), I’ll certainly pay attention. For now, because Jesus said so and because of my postulancy in the Company of Jesus, I’m committed to living a chaste life in service to the Lord.
*Don’t read me the wrong way, I think marriage is a wonderful thing as it’s a metaphor for Christ and the Church. It’s a good picture of what it means to keep a promise, too.
Conclusion: I’m very excited about the life that is ahead of me. Sure, I’m a little nervous about leaving my family for a little over a year, but that’s the point of becoming an adult. College has provided me new ways of thinking, and I’m ready to share my ideas with the world (that is, if it’s willing to listen). I’ve also learned what it means to follow Christ and how to live the Christian life day in and day out, despite the monotony and frustration of everyday life. Sure, my ideal of a perfect life has changed since high school and my first years of college (as I discovered that there’s no such thing), but from here, life looks very nice. Very, very nice.