Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Personal Update (or, why I'm moving to Nebraska)

There have been a lot of big changes in my life lately, and I thought I would post an update here about where I am now (vacation), where I will be next year (Nebraska), and what I hope for in the future.

I graduated from Dartmouth on June 14th with a Bachelor's in Government and Native American Studies (after the most grueling finals period I'd had in all four years). Pictures here. I stuck around New England until June 30th in order to attend the wedding of two friends at Dartmouth's Mt. Moosilauke and spend a weekend in Cambridge, MA to tour Episcopal Divinity School and retreat at the Episcopal monastery there, the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE). Now you know why, until last week, blog content has been sparse! :) After hanging out with friends and family in Idaho for a week, I spent July 7-18 in Arizona's White Mountains with my grandparents. The rest of the summer will be spent driving/camping around Montana, generally hanging out, and attending more weddings. NH, MA, AZ, ID, MT... this may well be the last summer vacation I ever get, so I intend to milk it for all its worth!

On September 5, I will move to Omaha, Nebraska, to take part in the Episcopal Service Corps's (ESC) nine-month long Resurrection House internship. In a nutshell: I will live in an intentional community with three other interns in a house next door to the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in urban Omaha. 50% of my time will be spent working at a local parish, doing whatever they need me to do; 25% will be spent at an internship TBD, hopefully something environmental; and the remaining 25% will be spent in spiritual direction and theological education. I am also planning on going through the formal discernment process while there and would like to take vacations to Buffalo, NY for a wedding and, if I have the time, Washington DC to visit the many friends I have there. It's not quite the year I was expecting, but it looks like a good program, the DC job market was tough, and the priest who interviewed me sounded really cool, so I went ahead and accepted the program's call. I look forward to new friends and mentors and to an exciting year.

I only know for sure what the next year looks like, but I have a rough idea about the five years after that. I'm hoping to find an entry-level policy job in DC when the ESC program ends in May. I'd like to stay in DC for a couple years - working, hanging out with my many friends already there, doing the first year or two of EFM, and possibly getting a Master's from GWU - and then move on to an Episcopal seminary, which will take three years. I'm still learning about the various seminaries, so can't tell you which one I like best yet.

I have a few goals/dreams/ideas for life after seminary including joining the military as a chaplain and getting a PhD in international relations, but as they say, the best way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans. I'd have to be an idiot to think I can plan out the next 15 years of my life: the discernment committee could say no; the bishop could say no; the seminaries might reject me; the DC job market might be too tough; the Army could reject me; I could change my own mind and goals; God could show me something new and better; I might have a family that requires a different path; so on and so forth. In short, life happens.

I only know one thing for sure: assuming my limbs and my lungs are intact, come September 5 I will be moving to Omaha, and I wanted to be sure to invite my readers along for the ride.


WR said...

I look forward to reading about your experiences there!

green libertarian said...

I think you'd make a fine Chaplain in the Army, and God knows they need more Chaplains that not of the fundamentalist stripe.

Jordan said...

Politics aside, I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store.

green libertarian said...

The Chaplain:

Nathan Empsall said...

Thanks, GL and WR.

Jordan, re: politics, I'm beginning to think that while our philosophies and (most of our) candidates are quite different, we seem to come down on the same side of the issues more often then not. Lately, you've got Sotomayor on one side, but health care and climate change on the other.

Jordan said...

Actually, I support Sotomayor's nomination. I just wouldn't go to a cocktail party with her.

That's my devil advocacy-ness-ity. Whatever.

In all honesty, 44 could have picked a much worse candidate than the Wise Latina.

Jordan said...

Oh and I was referring to green libertarian's comment. You know trying to keep this post on what it's about: you.

Dogwalkmusings said...

So you're going to become a flatlander! Lol. In the land of Warren Buffet no less. It should provide a study in contrasts on a multitude of levels.