Has it really been eight weeks?! During this time I’ve been gaining traction toward capitalizing on my so-called Existential Opportunity [EO]–in other words, figuring out what I’m going to do with my life. But I’m finding myself too busy to write about it!

In hindsight, a lot of the process of vocational discernment has transpired in ways that are a far cry from networking and online job boards and interviews and whatnot [although there’s been quite a bit of that, too!] I’m frankly not surprised, as heavy involvement in things like the Intersections program and Halftime retreats at Boston College trained me well in Ignatian Spirituality–although I’ve admittedly and unfortunately fallen out of practice! It’s been refreshing to add back a layer of active discernment to my activities–both the mundane and the extraordinary.

So let’s recap.

Pare Down

I successfully purged my possessions [and others’–I’ve developed quite a knack for it…], which enabled me to rent my condo for some immediate cash flow, which eased the burden of being shoeless, jobless and kind of homeless, but–more importantly–taught me a whole lot about the ill effects of clutter in the material sense as well as the metaphysical. Encouraging the purge manifested as a strangely joyful experience.

I recently stumbled upon this poignant quote, so I’ll awkwardly include it here:

Happiness consists in finding out precisely what “the one thing necessary” may be in our lives, and in gladly relinquishing all the rest. For then, by a divine paradox, we find that everything else is given us together with the one thing we needed. –Merton, No Man Is an Island

Roof Up

My cousin and I found an affordable place to live in Boulder, locking me into a year-long lease and resolving [at least temporarily] the geographical conundrum associated with the EO. I’m most aggressively pursuing opportunities nearby, as the expense and logistics of breaking a lease complicate another relocation, and I love my new humble abode; it would be tough to leave! However, none of the challenges of relocation are insurmountable–especially for the right opportunity–so I’ve also placed irons on the fire in several other places including Portland, Bay-area and Southern California, and, yes, back in Atlanta too!

On a different note, stable shelter has, not surprisingly, greatly increased: a) my ability to focus, b) my efficiency in the job hunt, and  c) my general quality of life. I highly recommend it 😀

Soul Searching

This has taken many forms. I’ve performed tangible exercises, such as taking the Strong Interest Inventory to help formalize my reflection and narrow my professional focus.

I’ve read quite a bit. Books and blogs and articles related to professional and personal development. I’ve read to actually keep up on current events and learn things I should probably know by now, which indirectly enhanced the EO quest.

Connecting with family and friends and even strangers on deep levels has proved to be highly revealing and rewarding. I greatly enjoyed dinner conversations with my quasi Aunt and Uncle Debi and Roy, who graciously hosted me under their roof and whose perspectives were highly enlightening. Additionally, a short but timely visit from my friend Blythe reminded me of my BC roots [inspiring the reflection above]. And conversations with like-minded folks like Kristin and Greg White have helped better formulate and organize my often chaotic thoughts.

I’ve spent a good bit of time alone–not in a sad, lonely way, but in a way that removes distractions and erroneous noise, thereby enabling productive reflection. I’ve been fortunate to engage in these moments in places like the serene Sea Island, the Adirondack Mountains, the beaches of Long Island, the magnificent Mont-Tremblant, and, of course, the Rockies here in Colorado! Visiting Atlanta frequently with a new somewhat outsider perspective has likewise proved beneficial.

TriLife

I’ve continued my athletic pursuits! Living in Boulder has provided plenty of opportunities for exercise. And I think I may have finally acclimated to the altitude [all of the travel back to sea level certainly prolonged this process!]

My so-called Swimtervention has progressed to new lows–with a very personal worst swim at Boulder 70.3–and a new highs with exploring foreign aquatic maneuvers called “strokes” [yes, butterfly included]. But apparently I continue to have room to improve in the pool, although I managed to eek out an awesome swim [by my standards] at Ironman Mont-Tremblant. Oh yeah, I tackled this race, despite perhaps [and ironically] the least disciplined training of my Triathlon career.

On that note, it’s quite a relief putting Ironman behind me. Following a training plan diligently, I realize, goes against the grain of my being, just as I’ve continually fled from the conventional in my life. And although I tried to prevent it, Ironman training added a layer of stress to an already stressful period of time. With it behind me, I now feel freer and able to enjoy SBRing to a greater degree as well as invest the significant time and money in other activities and interests without guilt!

But I wouldn’t trade it! Triathlon has supplied structure to an otherwise amorphous existence. It has provided invaluable mentorship from folks like my Coach, Chris Rotelli, and it has also provided professional opportunities in several dimensions. They say that what used to get accomplished on the golf course is now happening on the bike, which I’ve witnessed first-hand! There is certainly something to be said for pursuing your passions, as they might just open doors for you.

Legit Job Hunting!

Yes, this too. Admittedly, my efforts have been inefficient and scattered. Abundant travel and unstable housing certainly hampered my efforts. Additionally, I’ve been actively pursuing jobs in several industries, essentially simultaneously pursuing three different jobs: locums tenens NP, clinical nurse educator/pharmaceutical sales, and marketing positions in the athletic world. I *think* I’ve successfully navigated the overly cumbersome and bureaucratic health care system to transfer all of my NP credentials to Colorado–a process that has taken an inordinate amount of time and money. So, in the immediate future, I plan to take on a 3-month part-time gig to keep me in Colorado for at least awhile longer while I wait and see what happens with a few others both near and far…