Figuring Life Out as a Catholic Twenty Something

18 Jun

With my college graduation two years behind me, I thought I would have the question answered by now. The question that lurks behind so many decisions, plaguing me and many other young people with uncertainty: What will I do with my life? With my volunteer program on the brink of its completion, I stand in front of this inquiry once again. Now, however, the question seems weightier as practicality and reasonableness enter the play. There is more at stake here: my future, happiness, and finances, the increasingly close relationship with debt, rent, groceries, beer. Adding all of these factors, in addition to the question of where my destiny lies, threatens to throw me into anxious oblivion.

When I was younger, I was overwhelmed with the idea that I was made for something, something definite; my friendships, my experiences, my personality and my strengths were designed for something specific by the Divine. This reality brought on a nightmare of ‘the choosing.’ I imagined myself in front of two roads, one road leading to my ‘right’ career, the future that I was called to, and the other to bad discernment. In this nightmare, in choosing the ‘wrong’ road, I envisioned my destiny altered for the worse.

Now, with greater maturity and increasing experience of choices and their outcomes, I have realized that my life is not a road that merely leads to two villages; it is a journey of paths and encounters, and a medley of decisions. Up to this very moment I have been guided by the Divine in small decisions, usually decisions between two goods. There is not one precise moment in our lives that we are blindly challenged and asked to choose our paths in order to reach happiness; rather, it is an accumulation of small, guided choices. I take comfort in the realization that this question of where my life is leading will always be present. I will continually be challenged to reflect on my work and its influence on my community, my spirituality, and myself.

In the openness of my heart to the Mystery’s will and the freedom of my own will, I am being led to my answer, to my purpose, not in one instance but in a thousand weighted encounters that leave me questioning. As transition approaches me once again, I feel I can meet it with new peace, which comes from an understanding that I am being led in this very moment. My future happiness is not riding solely on this decision, doors are opening and Christ is leading in small and simple ways.

-Colleen Pesci

2 Responses to “Figuring Life Out as a Catholic Twenty Something”

  1. Sara Kovach July 12, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    As a twenty something going through this at times scary, anxiety filled job search process, I really appreciated this blog post. Life really isn’t about rights or wrongs, it is about those small decisions and encounters that happen. It’s about the people God placed in your life to guide you along. I’m learning that right now, so thanks for the knowledge that I’m not alone in this venture. Great post, Colleen!

  2. Colleen Pesci July 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Sara, thank you so much for your comment! Even after writing the article I find myself constantly needing to be reminded to not become overwhelmed with the anxiety of the unknown and trust in the journey. Providence always provides!

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