People, who have been more kind that I was expecting, have said “Congratulations on your selection.” Of course, I reply politely and take their excitement as a compliment, because it is after all nice to be congratulated, and I have it on the vicar’s authority that people are happy they have produced a training candidate (even if some of them think I am friend of the anti-Christ).
But… my inner pedant is wondering why ‘congratulations’ feels wrong. I suspect this could be filed under ‘over- thinking.’ But. I didn’t do anything, except show up. I didn’t purposely choose this as an idea about what would be next in life. I didn’t have to learn the right words, or read the right books (although understanding how to articulate what ‘vocation’ looks like certainly helped). So ‘congratulations’ just feels wrong – as if I have passed a test or handed in a thesis or done something specific which needed skill or judgement or talent. I don’t know what else folk can say, though – answers on a postcard. I’m not suggesting that this isn’t a significant milestone or that I am not pleased I was accepted: it just doesn’t feel like a moment I want, or ought, to take pride in.
A non-church person described this as a career change – they said “wouldn’t mind a career change as well but haven’t got the courage to do it, so I think it’s great that you are going for it.” It was too complicated to try to explain why it doesn’t feel quite like that. At times I feel completely uncourageous – even quite simple things feel like they will be taxing (‘I have to learn new bus routes’) let alone the Actually Important Big Stuff. I was trying to imagine life without the backdrop of the familiarities here, and it was a bit tricky. I’ve been counting the days left at work (81) – but I won’t get to 50 ParkRuns before I move…I tell myself that everything is all mixed up, that the many uncertainties take their outlet in trivialities…that once there is an approximate shape to what’s happening & I can be completely open about it, I’ll stop worrying about the Amorphous Everything, and importantly, I’ll be well on my way to trusting Him Upstairs.