Sort of how I feel right now: I think I can sort of guess what it'll all look like in the end, but it's under construction and I don't really know what'll it'll look like in reality. This is the labryinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, where my friend Will is a super-cool priests.Yesterday, I had my Official Exit Interview with the wardens and the Canon for Transition. (A Canon is a person who works for the Diocese, like Canon to the Ordinary, or Canon for Finance. One day, maybe I'll be a Canon somewhere, and then you can all make "loose canon" jokes and question my mental status. You know, like you do now, but with ready-made puns available.)
I liked an exit interview, because this is feeling like a much healthier leaving. Epiphany has been a huge challenge, but it really was a place where I was able to do some things right. Granted, I'm not doing everything right. I'm sure that most priests would wade right in and work to say goodbye even to the bad relationships. But there are just a few relationships which were so unrelentingtly negative that I just can't muster the energy to want to expose myself to more anger. Perhaps the trauma work does take my "dealing with bad stuff" energy out of me, and I just can't do it right now.
I feel like I really wrapped up a commitment. Last year the wardens and I agreed to serve as if it were our last year on earth. We decided that if Epiphany was going to go down, we'd at least enjoy the ride. And Epiphany pulled out of its nosedive, and is setting sail in calmer waters. Check that one off the "done" list. Are there still challenges? Hell, yeah. But last January, I was looking at a parish that had funds to exist through (maybe) July. Even with fewer pledgers, their income is higher now. That speaks to personal investment and stewardship. Good for them!
The new Senior Warden is a great guy for the job. He's not afraid of conflict, and he has a big focus on "don't let the past rule your life- move on, and focus on the good things now". I think he's hurt that I'm leaving now- he volunteered to run thinking I would stay through the summer, as M wraps up his thesis. I hope someday he understands that for me, that would have changed things: I would have felt like I was walking out midway on a commitment to THIS new Vestry. This way, I really finished a commitment.
At least, the commute was never the breaking point. Yes, driving 40 miles each way was annoying and my car has racked up the miles, and that bugs me. I took pride in my low mileage in Arlington- there were whole weeks I didn't move my car, taking the bus and metro, or biking or walking everywhere. I eclipsed that here. That bothers the green, sustainability side of me. But I did discover Pandora radio, and I have a great iPod mix, so no, the commute didn't break me. Getting pushed off icy roads and having to cancel services when I could not commute in the bad weather... maybe that did. CT has scary, impossible roads. Man, I miss Virginia and its public transit.
So where will I end up next? Right now, I'm really in a holding pattern. I have a great job for the present. M is writing. I am helping him research possibilities. In a way, life is like that AA Milne poem: "Where am I going?/I don't quite know/ What does it matter where people go?/ Over the hills where the bluebells grow/ Anywhere... anywhere. I don't know."