Friday, June 23, 2006


Everyone I know seems to be going through huge life changes.

My best friend recently bought a house; one that will require massive amounts of work before it's really liveable. She also just found out that she's pregnant. She's having a difficult time at her job and thinking of quitting. But the time to quit your job is not usually when you've just doubled your required expenditures.

Another good friend is struggling between deciding to get married or deciding to break up with her boyfriend. She's had a rough year. A good friend of ours (more of an aquaintance to me, close as a brother to her) died this year and she's still grieving. She doesn't know what the future holds and she feels no conviction to get married, but the idea of ending her relationship makes her miserable. Her boyfriend is getting impatient; she doesn't know what to do.

I really don't know what to do. I'm hating school. I know that everyone hates school and that it's normal to hate school. But damn, I really hate school. I feel like I sort of started my program because I was desperately searching for something to do.

I wasn't having a lot of luck finding a job. I don't totally feel bad about it because nobody else who graduated with me was having a lot of luck finding a job either. All of the jobs were in Social Work and it sounded interesting enough. The masters program was shorter than going back to get a second B.A. and carried it with it more prestige, so I thought: "Well, let's go for it. It'll put off finding a job for a while more anyway, and when I get out, maybe I can even get a decent one!"

Besides that, the people in my life I most wanted to impress were supportive of the idea. For all my eccentricities, I'm pretty normal about a lot of things. I want my life to seem meaningful. I want it to seem like I'm pursuing a goal. And I want to make the people who love me proud of me - or, at the very least, not ashamed of me.

The problem is: I don't really like Social Work. I like helping people. I like the idea of counseling and all that. But I'm not huge on bureaucracy. And it seems like my temperament is not right for the job. I love people and I'm good at helping people. In my personal life, I've always been told that I'm a good listener and that I give good, solid advice. But professionally? I seem to have no skill for it whatsoever.

Part of the problem is that I just don't buy into the ethos. It's unfair to say that because, of course, there are a million different ethos' in Social Work. The problem may just be that I haven't found my niche yet. At the same time, I don't know where I'm going to find it, or how.

This past year has been difficult, too, because I kind of lost my support network. I still have friends, don't get me wrong. But the really close relationships have all been strained by external factors. I'm not fighting with anyone; we're all just way too busy to ever see each other. Even with my best friend, when I say: "I'm really hating school" I'll just get a disapproving look. She'll say something like: "Well, you know this is what you're supposed to be doing. Tough it out, it'll get better."

It would be good advice if I were certain it were true. But is this what I'm really supposed to be doing? That's a more difficult question. I've never been convicted that school is the great plan for me. I have to admit that it's worked out extremely serendipitously. It's often been commented that only God could remove the barriers that allowed me to join the program when I did. Nevertheless, I still have my doubts.

I don't know how to find out what God wants for me. I'm less comforted than I thought I would be by the fact that the two friends I mentioned at the beginning of this post have been at this obedience to God business much longer than I have and they're not any less clueless about what they should be doing than I am.