A google search for the word “UNKNOWN” will provide a host of scary images related to aliens, not to mention a lot of Liam Neeson – clearly I missed that movie.
I’m in my own rather complex mix of unknown at the moment. Right now is the week when potential interns start meeting with potential site supervisors to begin the placement process. With all the work of reading over sites, picking where we want to interview, there’s no promise we will have our internship at any of the sites we talk with. While I understand why, it leads to a whole host of anxiety for me.
In my strengths (Clifton Strengthsfinder) my top strength is Winning Other’s Over. It’s born out of a deep sense of rejection I felt from peers growing up – and I don’t mind, because I’m not afraid of meeting anyone new. But shortly after that are Strategy and Futuristic. Meaning I like to plan my future with all the logistics worked out. I love me making some plans.
I am doing my best to remain open to the process of placement, but on top of that is looming Approval for ministry decision and appointment to my first call synod. This means I have an inordinate amount of unknowns ahead of me – will I be approved during internship or will I be asked to wait for a year? What will I do with my family between internship and appointment if I am approved? We have no answers as to how long that process will take – do I look for a real job so I can develop as a person, or do I work somewhere fun like Starbucks, where it would be easy to move around? How can I do what calms me most and plan if I have so many unknowns?
These unknowns coupled with already existent anxiety, a seminary campus in transition, and family who are not keen about me moving my children farther away has caused me to need a lot of process time. I need to talk about this, the what ifs, and sometimes I need to vent. The problem with this need for discussion is that I know it makes people uncomfortable – bored, what have you – and I’m a “Woo” (Winning others over) and I struggle with asserting my needs if they upset or alienate others. With the help of God, I’m working on this.
I’ve been lucky with having supportive friends in this process who are dealing with almost if not exactly the same sort of questions I’m dealing with. I’m afraid, however, to the outside world, this whole thing looks like a mess – and I look like a pile of complainy-pants.
I ask for patience in the coming months – as I slowly get answers, I will calm down, but until then, I may have particularly high energy when it comes to discussing my future and the many unknowns. I will tell you, that I’m helped by your tolerating my discussing this, and I am always willing to listen to you, too, if only you ask me.