Boxes

I’m in the process of boxing up my life to prepare to move. The process of going from the order of my lovely little home to the chaos of packing is a little unsettling and I’m looking forward to taking this chaos and unpacking it to order when I get to London.

All of my furniture has been sold or spoken for.  My dresser is gone and my clothes and linens are in two large totes on the floor in its place. My armchair is gone. The bookshelves went in a “bookshelves for boxes” trade with some friends who moved a few months ago but needed shelves for their books. My bed is gone and I’m camped out on my very comfy thermarest. The couch will go in two weeks and then I’ll have nothing left but boxes.

Spare moments are few and far between right now, with most of them taken outside of my house: partially because of the sunshine and partially because being at home seems to mean needing to pack.

***

I’m at the library right now. Well, I’m sitting right outside because I overheard staff talking about a fire drill at some point today and I thought I’d rather sit in the sunshine and use the wifi than have to pack up and move mid-way through something if the drill were to happen. There is a distinct odor of urine around me that I hope I haven’t sat on top of. I’ve seen a number of my clients walk by and passed even more on my way to the library. The way that they and I interact in public, while largely driven by them, is yet another set of boxes. Sometimes we exist in completely distinct worlds and frames and there is no acknowledgement of the other. Sometimes, like yesterday, we’ll run into each other downtown and walk a block together, talking and enjoying the day, before going our separate ways.

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Approved and Accepted

Spring is in the air, summer is not far away, and changes are afoot.

Some of you may know that this last year has been a year of a lot of change and transition for me. My temporary full-time position came to an end and so I took a two-month leave and ran away to Africa to hang out with my sister in South Africa for Christmas and New Years. I came home to working two jobs on a casual/on-call basis and have been working (nearly) full time hours at that for the last four months. I’m going to keep doing that for the next two months…

…and then I’m moving to London, Ontario!

Let me back up a little bit further. A little over a year ago, I embarked on a fairly intense process of intentional discernment with the idea of determining whether or not I am being called into a position of ordained ministry – that is, to be a priest. That process has entailed both one-on-one conversations with my spiritual director, the priest at my current church, and the Anglican bishop of my diocese as well as group discernment (what I have called reverse group counselling with myself as the lone ‘client’ and a whole group of people talking with me), formal interviews, and weekend-long assessments. It has been both exhausting and intensely rewarding.

Three weeks ago I had a full weekend ‘retreat’ (aka Church Big Brother) with a group of other candidates from across British Columbia where we were in conversation with assessors from all over the province. Their job was to assess our competencies, strengths, weaknesses, and gifts for ministry. The resulting report heartily recommended that I be approved for training and ordination as a priest.

Step two: school. A funny thing happens when you say you won’t do something. You frequently end up doing it. My standard response to the question of whether or not I would do a PhD when I announced I was doing my MA in Counselling was, “No, because I’d like to be done school by 30.” Well, here I am, past that, and going back to school, not for a PhD but for another Masters. Yesterday I received my offer of acceptance from Huron University College (on the campus of Western University in London – anyone else see the humour of me moving east to go to a school called Western??) to begin study towards a Master of Divinity degree, starting in September.  This is a three-year program approved by the Anglican Church of Canada for training postulants for ministry within the Anglican Church.

As much as I am loathe to leave Victoria – I love it here – I am looking forward to living back in Ontario after nearly 20 years! I’ll be closer to family and friends than I’ve been in years and am looking forward to exploring a new corner of the country. Now all I need to do is figure out how to get my stuff from here to there and collect boxes to put it all in!