the next steps

Figuring out the next steps for me in this good ole life I’m living is a great big adventure.

I am trying to balance what I want to do, what I have to do, and what I am able to do all at the same time, and there is a swirling mix of feelings as I attempt to negotiate this balancing act. I’ve been really excited, hopeful, anxious, confused, disappointed, afraid, and the list goes on.

Right now, I think I feel uncertain because I just took a step of faith in a direction that does not clearly align with the road I’ve been traveling, and I don’t know exactly where it will lead. Allow me to explain.

For the last eight years, I’ve been discerning and working towards a career in higher education. I’ve felt a strong sense of calling to work with college students, and anyone that knows me well knows this. It started with a desire to help people and matured into a vocation of walking alongside young adults and bringing people together in community. I have felt affirmed to do this with college students who are in interesting life transitions, figuring out who they are, what they want to do, who they want to be with, and so on.

I studied Sociology and Psychology in undergrad, so I could understand how people develop both individually and collectively. I worked at my alma mater and deepened my connections to the university and surrounding community. I went to graduate school and got my master’s degree, concentrating in College Counseling and Student Development in Higher Education. I had multiple internships and practical experiences being with and working with college students, and it all lined up nicely and made great sense.

In ideal theory, the next step “should be” obtaining the ideal job in the university setting that pays me well to serve college students.

In actual practice, the next step is starting an entry-level job at Banana Republic as a “Brand Ambassador,” which is a glorified way of saying “Sales Associate,” and I have no real idea how this will absolutely line up nicely and make the same great sense as everything else.

Hopefully, the feeling of uncertainty makes sense.

Now granted, I am sincerely happy to have landed a job. I’ve applied for countless jobs, and nothing has stuck. The money I make will give me stable access to food, housing, transportation, and then some. There’s nothing negative about this.

Furthermore, I don’t know if you knew but working at Banana Republic means a really nice discount on all brands under the Gap Inc. I’m not a huge shopper, but I do like to look nice and love anything that stimulates my artistic interests, so I will not be complaining when my wardrobe gets an upgrade, when people compliment my style, or when I know “what’s in season.”

What’s more is this—I feel like anything is possible. I have no idea who will walk through our doors or what opportunities will come my way. Maybe I’ll be able to serve more passionately, free from rigid employment expectations. Maybe I’ll connect with people providentially. Maybe I’ll learn something that changes my heart profoundly. I’m determined to see these steps in this unexpected and uncharted territory as an opportunity to live my life more authentically and wonderfully than before.

I just have to believe that good will come. Honestly, I have no complaints about this current situation, just lots of questions. I don’t know what, when, where, or how, and all of me wants to know more, but I trust that the why is for our good and for God’s glory.

Sure, it’d be nice to have the ideal scenario. I am witnessing other friends move forward with this degree, this wedding, this opportunity abroad, this lucrative start-up, and this, that, and the third. I also know that even the ideal has its drawbacks; something always has to give. Thus, with thanksgiving, I will blaze a new trail away from the typical pathways towards higher education, take the benefits and advantages of my current situation (along with its drawbacks), and make this thing work.

Here’s to the next steps at Banana Republic and beyond, whatever they are. Lord bless.

Love Love Love,

Jesse

 

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One thought on “the next steps

  1. Congrats! I believe your approach to this new opportunity will allow you to go beyond the “obvious”. Money, networking, and even discounts are good, but they are only superficial in the grand scheme of why you are there. You seemingly understand that this position is just another opportunity to bring glory to God. God bless.

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