Inspired by: Enneagram
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A Hallmark
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Today was a hallmark day: a culmination of a lot of growth from the past four year from engaging with reality, honesty and humility.

The past four years began with me realizing incongruities in my life and taking steps to discover who I was by who I was not. I sat and processed those thoughts for awhile. I then entered a time of seeking reality. If I previously was not living in reality, then where was I living or what was I living under? Where do I seek it…?

During that quest, I moved to different cities. It was in LA that I somehow sought reality through unreality. Of course, I only saw this in hindsight. This part of the journey allowed me to engage reality and ‘play’ with it. About a year later, I moved to Chicago to engage further on that path. This was good for my soul. I then remained for another 12 months there and basked in that sabbath year while being drenched in the richness of community.

Through this, I was then ready to re-enter the space I previously was in that began this so-called journey. A journey that included meeting some wonderful people that I hope I will know for the remaining time. One in particular helped spur on in an even deeper part of my inner journey: engaging in honesty which was necessary to remain and thrive in reality.

So why was today a hallmark? To others, it may seem insignificant, but to me it was a milestone. Today, moments ago, I turned in my registration form that will allow me to complete a Diploma of Christian Studies rather than a Masters in that field. It’s humbling to me to think that a one year degree has taken four, actually make the five. Four years ago I started, and I’m entering the fifth. Actually, I take everything back: make that four and a half. (And I’m a math minor…)

There were a few reasons in particular that I came to conclude this. First, this choice involved seeing reality than continuing on in ambiguity of the Masters program. When I first enrolled, I didn’t really have a clear cut answer, nor do I have one now. What I have seen, is that I need and desire to learn more! I simply don’t have anything to contribute at this time - and rather than outputting for the sake of outputting…I want to input input input. As my Reading Theory prof in undergrad once said, “You have to have input to have output.” I desire output, but I’m afraid that I need inputinputinput first, and I’m excited for that. So starting was always ambiguous, which one would think it may have been clear cut or why start? That’s something I’ve also am processing. What was I exactly thinking…? I pressed on, though, and at times through the past few days, still wanted to press on simply because it’s a “Masters” degree. For those enneagrammers, that was such the three in me to think…The reality is, though, I’m such a learner, i.e I need to do a lot of learning! Even if I, for lack of a better word but appropriate, bullshitted by way through the program (as an unredeemed three would do) deep down I still wouldn’t feel adequate in knowledge and what that degree represented. I would feel very much that I would be feeding my artificial self or, as what Brennan Manning refers to in Abba’s Child, the impostor. I do feel at this time that I’m gaining a foundation to build upon for the rest of my life about larger life questions and God. To think, ponder, engage, have fun with, play with and be in awe about. A third reason as to why I changed my grad track is that I’m exploring an entirely different program! Counseling Psychology is something that has come up for me time and again and has moved so far as not to move out of my thoughts into action. Having thought of this now in light of my new self, engaging with reality, honesty and humility, I’m actually excited to explore Masters programs in this area and take tangible steps in seeking this route perhaps!

I’m glad that many of you out there already have discovered your love for you life and are passionately pursuing it. Way to go! For me, I’m a little late bloomer, so in addition to humility and honesty, I’ve also had to give myself some grace. Some people know what they want to do, and they do it. Others seem to be on society’s career conveyor belt starting when a kid’s in kindergarten and pushing them to know what they want to do and asking them every step of the way. This style doesn’t allow for exploration or active thought and engagement! I think I was probably some hybrid or none. Regardless, I hopped off the belt, walked along side of it with my college diploma tucked under my arm and rebelled. I was a Whole Foods cashier, a server and a receptionist. Those times were great as it gave me different perspectives on the “latter” and how people treated those on the “latter.” It also created space to reflect about ways to engage with society without becoming disengaged and then a contributor to the conveyor belt of society: aimlessly moving a long…waiting for the day to be done so I can go home and watch TV. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that as long is a person is content with that. Although, there lies irony.

So today, I felt that full circle of growth since stepping off that belt. I turned in my registration form with that last classes I needed to complete the Diploma of Christian Studies. As I say hello once again to school up here, I also say a thank you for everything it’s taught me outside of class and look forward to finishing in December!
Inspired by:Growth, Friends, Enneagram

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