I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I posted a blog. Really since I wrote anything at all. I have felt compelled to sit down and write several times since mid May, but honestly I just haven’t been in the right head space until now.

I’m at a crossroads.

Not theBritney Spears 2002 hit movie kind of crossroads full of adventure and whimsey. The kind of crossroads where no matter what you do or which way you go, it could be the worst or the best. There’s no real way to know one way or another. And right now I don’t even have access to the other roads. I’m just stalled out, waiting for someone to come help me.

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DRAAMAAA.

It’s really not all that rough. I mean, I’ve gone to Hawaii since the last time I blogged. So bust out your world’s smallest violins for me. Thanks.

But follow me on this journey for a minute, because I’ve been here before and if you’re someone who has also had no direction, more education than the economy can hire you for, and a passion to be new (aka a millennial), then you have probably been here too.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING WITH MY LIFE.

In the last two months I have been HUSTLING. I have spent my time either applying for jobs, researching jobs, working on my resume, and studying for my teacher certification exam. Not having a job is a full time job y’all. I have a job next year, but I want to be a teacher, not a teaching assistant. I’ve also gone on two trips since June 3rd and I’m leaving for a third tomorrow morning at 4am.

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Parris family vacation to the Big Island
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My grandfather’s memorial service in Townsend, TN

All in all I know I’m incredibly blessed. I hate that word, but it’s true. My life is pretty spectacular. My internal struggle comes from a place of deep uncertainty and identity crisis. Maybe not crisis, but definitely identity wishy-washy-ness.

Basically, my future path holds teaching, which is my favorite thing in the world to do, but how do I go about it? Where do I teach? What do I teach? These are the questions I’m wrestling with.

I wrote about my experience in the church a few months ago. You can read more about it here. But for now, I’ll sum up my story by saying that I have known what I was supposed to do since I was 13 years old. I was in 7th grade when my calling was set in front of me. I have worked every single day on fulfilling that call in one way or another for 17 years. And back in October I put that dream down and walked away from it. I am still mourning that loss in deep, unexplainable ways.

I have studied and studied until my eyes felt like they would fall out of my face for this certification test to be a teacher in the state of Texas. I passed the test just last week. I can now teach in a classroom in any elementary school in the state of Texas… so long as one hires me. And currently, no one has hired me.

I’m a planner. I need to know what’s up next pretty much all the time or I will sit around and do nothing and just be anxious. My plans RARELY end up the way I thought they would, but I grasp onto these plans now so that I don’t feel like Jack watching my future be safe on a door while I freeze to death in the present when clearly there is more than enough room for both of us on the door.

So, let’s call this part Plan A. I get hired in a school for the 2017 – 2018 school year to teach general education at an elementary school. That would be pretty sweet and I’d be really excited about it. It’s what I’ve been on track to do for the last few months and my hard work would be paid off. Fantastic. I get to keep attending my church, Servant Church, which is the best church I have ever attended and I’m in love with. I get to serve as a lay person in a bunch of awesome different ways and be in both the education and church worlds. That sounds fantastic. Right now I have two tentative maybe I could get an interview with schools. So far, nothing has happened really, but I’m holding on hope that something will happen soon.

But then there’s Plan #1. I did that on purpose, because I can’t decide which one is actually more in line with what I want, because I have no idea what I want. Ministry jobs that would be AMAZING keep shoving themselves in my face where I would be a fool not to go for it. Like I said, 17 years of one dream doesn’t just go away.  I applied to be the associate campus minister at the Wesley Foundation at UT, here in Austin, a job I was genuinely excited about, but I applied too late and that door was closed pretty immediately. The exact same day I took my certification test the DREAM youth ministry job became available. Progressive congregation, I know most of the staff, downtown church focused on inclusion, politics, and social justice, and I would be so great at it. I had several people tell me to apply, so I did. And I had an awesome interview. And I have no idea what to do with that.

And then there’s plan B/2 where I just drive for a rideshare and go back to school for… something. I don’t know what, but something. Probably masters of deaf education.

And then there’s plan “please don’t let this happen” where I’m a teaching assistant again. Not that I didn’t LOVE my job as a teaching assistant, because I really really did love it and would love it again, but guys, I cannot AFFORD to be a teaching assistant. I was working 3 jobs to try and scrape by and it was exhausting. For my own mental and physical health, I can’t do that again.

To wrap up, I have several options of what I will be doing for a job, but I actually only have one, my “please don’t let this happen” plan because none of the other options have actually offered me a job, much less an interview.

So that’s where I’m at. The next three weeks of my life will be spent traveling. First up is Guatemala for a pilgrimage with Servant Church. Then I’m road tripping with my dad for 10ish days to New Mexico and Colorado. My goal for these trips is to be open. I want to be open to all the possibilities, maybe even ones I haven’t planned for, and to experience everything with open eyes and an expectant heart. I’m hoping for direction and guidance and praying that the Holy Spirit come and shove me in one direction. At least give me something to focus on so that my heart isn’t so divided.

Pray for me, friends. And tell me how I can pray for you. So many of us are in seasons of change and adjusting and I want to be in prayer for you as well. You aren’t alone in this soul wandering.

There but for the grace of God, go I.

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