I was supposed to move to Ohio, but now I’m not.
After seeking work for 6 months and finding nothing, I decided to look in other states. I wasn’t actually seeking work in Ohio but I ended up finding something on Craig’s List (in Ohio) that looked pretty awesome. I’d be living in an “intentional community” in Ohio with a few other people. I’d be volunteering my time in the surrounding neighborhood. The volunteer work was at a food kitchen/farmers market. I’d also be working in the garden and doing community outreach related to food and wellness as this was the main goal of the organization. The house was in a nice middle class neighborhood near Cincinnati. A five bedroom, two story home. I wouldn’t have to pay for rent or food and I’d get a stipend that covered my bills and left me with some extra. The commitment was 10 months.
No. It isn’t a cult.
As a matter of fact, this is an Episcopalian non-profit “praxis” community. You don’t have to be of the same faith to be a part of the program. What you DO have to be is seeking to discover your meaning and purpose in life. You DO have to be 25-35 (I’m a little older but they liked me and said it was okay). You DO have to have a passion for and commitment to helping others within your community and you DO have to be seeking something.
Why I thought Ohio would be good for me:
1. I would be able to pay my monthly bills
2. I’d be in a community of people who had the same outlook/beliefs as me
3. Meaningful work that would probably lead to full time employment
4. I liked the spiritual aspect of the community and I looked forward to learning more about my walk with God and what that even means. Having time and space to sort out my thoughts was very appealing.
5. It would be an adventure that I could document and always remember. Maybe it would’ve changed my life…
I was 85% sure I was going until I received an email from a local principal asking if I wanted to teach English.
I was supposed to go to Ohio. I didn’t respond to the email because I was processing. (you know us introverts can take forever processing one single thought) (my INFPness doesn’t help either) I should also mention that in June I was interviewed at the same school and was hired. I signed an “intent to hire” contingent on a background check and other teachery things. I was at home visiting my dog and my mother when I received this email from the school board:
Well then. That’s lovely. So much for hope. The next day is when I found out my father died.
While I was busy ignoring his email, the principal called me (I found out the other one transfered to a different school). I answered and he asked if I was still open to taking a position there. He assured me what happened before would not happen again. I was worried. I didn’t trust them after what had already happened but he was nice and it felt right.
So, I went down that day to speak with him. It sounded good. Better than the first position I was offered which was teaching English AND Reading. This time I’d only be teaching freshman English. I thought about it for an hour or so and I called him back and accepted the position.
The very next day I was standing in my classroom by 7:15 a.m. wondering what to do next. I was there for about 10 hours that day. On my way home I stopped at Ross so I could buy an inexpensive pair of flats when I received this email:
So, that’s fun. Now I’m a little freaked out and I don’t know if I even want to try to work for them. There’s more to it than just my taking the GK (General Knowledge). I’ve already taken the CLAST test which could substitute for the GK but of COURSE there happens to be NO record of it at the Dept. of Education (although I had to take and pass the CLAST before graduating with my two year degree but never mind that).
The fun part of all this is…I’ve taught before. For two years. Where was all this chaos then?
So, here I am in Jacksonville and now I have a new list of reasons why I’m glad I am staying in Jacksonville:
1. I have good friends here
2. I’m in the midst of the beginnings of a new relationship and I’d like to see where it goes
3. I’ve become much closer to a wonderful couple I’m going to call my spiritual parents. I’ll have to write an entirely separate blog to explain how they have helped me transform my life. (that’s been an ongoing process and I’ll explain more later)
4. My dog is in Florida. (I miss her. *sigh*)
5. It doesn’t snow here
This story ends well because I’ve finally discovered that faith exists and I too, can have some.
To be continued…