Turns out, you can go home again…

Three years ago, I started graduate school in Cambridge, MA, excited to get the degree that would open up many doors to me.  And now, three years and one giant economic collapse later, I have a Masters and have spent the last few months being told, over and over again, that I’m now over-qualified for the very jobs that, three years ago, would have required a Masters.

So what does someone with a Masters of Divinity do in this economy?  In my case, it’s meant moving back in with my parents as I try to find a job.  At current time, I’ve applied for three and a half dozen jobs (no, really…exactly three and a half dozen jobs).  It’s a frustrating process.

What does any of this have to do with theology?  In the last four months, I have moved from Boston to MN, from MN to Omaha, from one apartment in Omaha to another, and back to MN.  Each new setting provided new theological challenges.  Working in a hospital, in an ecumenical setting, provided LOTS of challenges.  And so the question becomes: how can I be my authentic self as a theologian and as a Catholic and as a Christian and as a person while living in an environment that may or may not be the best-suited for it?  I find myself missing the pieces of myself that are elsewhere…while I’m VERY glad to be around the Sisters of St. Joseph again (if you want to throw a kick-butt baby shower, invite CSJs!), I find myself missing the mentorship and challenge of the staff chaplains from the hospital.  And while I love my parish here (my parish priest is amazing), I find myself longing for the community and the Spanish and the general chaos of my parish in Boston.  I struggle to be myself when I feel like pieces of myself are scattered.

Anyone have any brilliant insights on how to exist in multiple worlds at the same time?

Becky Chabot recently completed her Masters of Divinity at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.  After graduating from Creighton University, Becky lived in Bolivia and spent a year as a St. Joseph Worker (www.stjosephworkers.org).  Her research interests include Latin American liberation theology, intercultural theology, and social ethics.  When not doing schoolwork, she enjoys Bob Dylan, Doctor Who, knitting, and good Scotch.  She also enjoys figuring out peoples’ Enneagram numbers, Myers-Briggs types, and Hogwarts houses.  Her main blog is entitled A Traveling Theologian.

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3 thoughts on “Turns out, you can go home again…

  1. I hope this gets better for you! I understand what you mean, feeling like pieces of you are all over the place. It’s so hard to figure out how to put everything back together after big moves and big transitions. Be patient with yourself and the process! (I have to remind myself all the time!)

  2. I wish I DID have some brilliant insights about how to exist in multiple worlds at the same time! You are already doing it, so the question is how do you want to do it? What do you want it to look like for you? I imagine you miss that feeling of being grounded in something, in some place. I have always hated those moments in my life where I have a lot of balls in the air. So, no insights, but I hear ya on this. And wish you the best.

  3. I wish I DID have insight into how to exist in multiple worlds simultaneously, as it’s something I’ve never totally been able to master. I face this again as I also plan to move back to my hometown after 10 years away. I’m nervous that all the growing and learning and becoming I’ve achieved in those 10 years will melt away as soon as I’m living in the place of my childhood. I want to hold on to a lot, but mostly being an adult.

    The best I’ve been able to do is say my goodbyes REALLY well. See people, tell them what they really mean to me, journal and process the heck out of the transition. If I’m really conscientious about building closure, I tend to feel as though less of who I am somehow got left somewhere else along the way.

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