As I begin 2015 in earnest (I arrived back from the U.S. this morning) I am aware that I am in a new phase of life:
I am no longer outrageously young to be a competent spiritual director.
I am five years into my independent academic career.
I can no longer check out of my current life on a whim.
I can’t carry all my possessions (I wish I had a picture of me carrying a backpack on my back, a second one on my front, dragging a wheeled case and a racquet case as I walked from Teddington Station to my uncle’s house when I arrived in the UK in 2003).
I have a mortgage and car payments so I need a monthly income.
I have students who are studying with me – I have an obligation to them and their future.
But I also have resources I didn’t have a decade ago:
I have a fairly substantial cv – I don’t need to put everything I have ever done on it. I can be selective and still have a good record.
I have financial resources. I can choose where I want to invest those resources. I am by no means super rich, but I do have sufficient freedom to make choices.
I have a good network. I do know a lot of people in a wide range of fields, and across all continents. I personally have relationships with them – not my dad or my uncle or third cousin twice removed – these are my connections.
Perhaps most of all, I have the luxury of knowing that I have proven myself in a range of environments. I can and have brought added value to a variety of situations. I am no longer asking if I am capable – the question is where am I called today.
I have made a good life for myself. I can be proud of what I have achieved. So I can dare to ask – where am I called – with a new freedom.