Writing to Find Myself

This afternoon, I submitted an essay I wrote specifically for The Tempest. I guess I’ll have to wait two weeks to see if it’ll be published. If I don’t hear back from them by then… well, I’ll be okay after some cake.

Though I am a little nervous about having my life story (potentially) published on a popular site, what motivated me to write this piece was a recent article written by Sehrish Sarah Khan-Williamson titled “I never thought my stories mattered much.

What particularly resonated with me is the fact that Sehrish went through a similar predicament as I did am going through after getting my Master’s Degree (also in Religious Studies). I even did some interfaith work too, like Sehrish, although nothing like the Pluralism Project.

For the past 10 months – wow, it’s really been 10 months! – I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out what to do with this pretty little degree of mine. After talking to a couple of current PhDs in my field, I’ve finally decided that a PhD is just not the right thing for me now… or ever. And while I kinda had that feeling even before these particular conversations, I haven’t really done much to go forward with my alternative plan of becoming a chaplain either.

I guess I was beholden to the idea that I must continue in the “Field of Religious Studies”. Hyde Park has that affect on ya. But I no longer feel this way. Especially now that I’m married, I’m not really interested in being in school full-time. I know others do it — and power to them — but I know myself. One will inevitably suffer. And I’m too much of an anxious perfectionist to be okay with getting Bs.

So basically, I’m back at square one. Except now, I have Master of Arts degree and that’s gotta count for something, right?

I learned a lot of valuable things during my time at UChicago, but one of the most personally fulfilling was gaining some confidence in my writing abilities.

It’s still a bit jumbled, but perhaps I can write about my personal experiences? Much of it has to do with my faith and my religious practice anyway, so it’s kinda like continuing in Religious Studies? Yeah? I would be my own object of research… without having to do any research! Perfect.

Whatever, I’ll figure it out eventually. But for now, I’m going to continue to write. Hopefully, there will be a happy ending!

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