The countdown has begun and the end seems so close. I feel it in my fingers; I feel it in my toes (No, Christmas is not all around but I couldn't resist quoting one of my favorite movies).
What do I feel? CPE is a constant beratement of that question. I've gotten pretty good at being honest with myself and hazarding a guess at the feelings that are coursing through my body at any given time.
The feeling right now? Excitement and Dread. E and D.
1. No more verbatims! (It's surprisingly quite difficult to retain and write down conversations that I've had with patients/family members at the hospital).
2. I can't wait to visit with my family and friends in Colorado! It will be especially great to spend time with my parents, whom I have been particularly wishing I could be with. They have both been through a lot this past month, since my father had surgery to remove cancer that was localized to his thyroid. Looking forward to mountain adventures, sitting out on the deck, thrifting with my mom, and nights out in Old Town.
3. I GET TO GO HOME. Berkeley feels like a bright little piece of my heart that is longing for me. Maybe it doesn't actually miss me, but I certainly miss it. It will only be my home for two more years and I intend on savoring every last minute of that time.
4. I have recognized quite a few gifts within myself this summer and I am thrilled to discover the ways that what I have learned will transform my experience as a seminarian in class.
1. Finishing CPE means that I have to work on and finish my endorsement essay for candidacy. BIG DEAL=bundle of nerves.
2. I have loved getting to know the staff at Nationwide Children's and part of me will be left in that hospital as I leave. I have been touched by the huge hearts of the patients, family members, nurses, doctors, and support staff. What a wonderful place to be and it is hard to leave.
3. This summer has really affirmed my calling to be a leader in ministry, whether that means being a chaplain, a pastor, a CPE supervisor, etc. I feel grounded and secure in the path of seminary. Yet I remember quite clearly the feeling of being lost last spring. Being in class fogged up the connection between my head and heart. I dread that I will forget the calling that I feel so deep in my soul; the calling that brought me to PLTS in the first place. I want to find a balance in the action of helping others and learning the theology and doctrine so that I am most equipped to be a spiritual leader.
I hold the E and the D dearly as I prepare my heart and head to continue on to the next part of this journey. What a transition this will be; PLTS is going to be a brand new community. I am forever changed by this summer. I will leave here armed with confidence in my voice and perspective, knowledge of my judgements and growing edges, and empathy that goes beyond my understanding.
Now to keep focused in present as I have 7 more days to talk with people on my units, 2 more on calls, 1 verbatim, 1 theological reflection, and a few evaluations to get through. Whew. Oh, and be immersed in an abundant social life here in Columbus. And.....GO!