I've been back from Carmel for 3 whole days now and have missed it. It's been back to normal in many ways, but I've been faced with some difficult decisions this week.
Before I went to Carmel, I was offered a job that once upon a time, would have made me very excited. Yet, I've lost all enthusiasm about it. In fact, I am considering not taking it. I'm quite happy to stay in this job role (it's the same money and shifts) so there wouldn't be much of a difference anyway. The reason I'm not taking it? Well, is there any point if I am considering entering Carmel in January?
Carmel was wonderful in many ways. And difficult in others, such as getting up at 5.30am and making sure I put enough layers on to cope with the cold (they do have heating but sitting in prayer for an hour-no matter how many layers you have on, can make you cold). I'll speak more about what it was like another time, but I felt it necessary to speak about the tough choices I have to make over the next couple of months.
Work will hold my job open for up to 5 years in case Carmel doesn't work out...but they will only do that from April, when I have been there for 2 years. So my hopes for entering Carmel in January could be on hold for a while if I choose to go down that path. That said, I'm not sure I would even like my job held open for me. How wonderful to be given that chance, but what if things got tough in Carmel and I upped and left at the first hurdle because I had a job to go home to anyway? Would a clean break be best so that I go in with my whole heart and soul? And why wait? 6 months is quite a long time in my eyes. If it feels right, then I feel sure I should join soon.
If they did hold my job open and I felt Carmel wasn't me and wanted to go back to work, I might not get the same area to look after. Therefore, if I took this new role, there would be little chance that I would get the same job back anyway. Hence, that's partly why I don't think there's much point in accepting the position. Especially if I were to do it for a couple or so months.
If I resign from my job completely so that I can enter Carmel in January, what's the worst that could happen? I look for another job, or re-apply for the same one (they advertise a couple of times a year). The thing is, they would want 3 months notice before I return if I have a career break anyway, so I'm sure if Carmel didn't work out, I would be able to find a job in that space of time.
I sound very negative in speaking about leaving Carmel before I have already started, but taking a career break was suggested to me and I thought it a fairly good idea at first, especially with recession taking hold. And the thing is, no one knows when they go into something whether it will last. I just hope that because I have felt peace within my soul when I have contemplated Carmel, that this is God saying that it is the right place for me.
So, what with my parents voicing a degree of objection and with work decisions, it's been hard since my return home. I had felt wonderful on my immediate return home, but have felt anxious and deflated because of the above things I've had to consider. I know I need to be honest with myself and that something is niggling away that I can't quite pinpoint. Once I have done that, then I will be able to move forward and start making plans. I am going to give it a month before I make any decisions about entering Carmel. Indeed, I may even change my mind...who knows. But I hope I don't, as I would really like to enter.
- Carmelite Aspirant
- I've just turned 27 and am entering Carmel on 24th January 2009. My first full day will be on 25th January, the Conversion of Saint Paul, of whose year this is and whose school I went to and sisters I loved. So I am depending on him to help convert me into a good Carmelite! I've wanted to become a nun on and off since the age of 11. Although I can't remember the moment I felt drawn to Carmel, I think it was partly because of reading about St Therese when I was 11 or 12. I feel I may have a natural inclination towards this way of life, altough getting up at 5.30 will not feel natural, I'm sure! I spent 2 weeks as an Aspirant in October 2008 and I loved it and came back feeling that I should go back and see if becoming a Carmelite is the Will of God and my route to holiness.