These past weeks I’ve been reading Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen. A friend from TC had recommended it (thank you Heather!) and I finally picked it up when the semester was ending. The book is fascinating. It’s about a 40 year old woman writer, who is suddenly visited by the Virgen Mary on an ordinary Monday morning. Schoemperlen goes on to share with the reader not only her “fictional” happenings while Mary was staying with her, but also the many appearances she has made to different people all around the world through time.
I am in love with this book. It’s one of those experiences where I don’t want to put the book down, but I also know that if I keep on reading it will be over soon, and I want it to last forever. The story has made me think about my mission in life, what I’m supposed to be doing with my time and efforts, and helping me understand, at some level, what this year needs to be for me (I’m still working on that).
I’m a fairly smart person, or so I’ve been told. When I was in high school, trying to figure out what I wanted to study in college (in Venezuela you apply to university with a degree in mind and you follow, from day one, the curriculum set out for that degree) they told me I could study whatever I wanted because I had skills for anything (talk about NOT helping at all). And since at that time and place adults around me thought that humanities would be a waste of my talents I enrolled in the engineering program. As the first year went by I realized I would never be happy working in the coorporate world making money for some big company, which was the expectation, and with a lot of effort, acceptance, and convincing (both of my self and others) I changed universities and programs. I loved science, and still do. I especially enjoyed physics and math, but the overall result of studying engineering was not appealing, I wanted to work with people, children specifically. I ended studying early childhood education, and apparently can’t get enough of it, because I still am. Although, the truth be told, education has no real appeal to me. I am a good teacher (when I have taught) because I know a lot, I care a lot, and I empathize easily, but not because I love to teach. I don’t. What I always wanted to be, and never could, for some reason or another (that’s better left for another post, if so), was a child psychologist. I rather work with children and people in general, on a one to one basis, focusing on their particular and individual needs, looking for ways in which I can help them go through whatever process they are inmersed in. Teaching large groups “required” materials has no appeal to me.
The point of all this unsolicitated sharing, is that I feel that once my doctorate in done this year, God willing my dissertation completion starts running smoothly, what will I do? Will I go back to doing something I know I’m good at, and can do well, but doesn’t really make me tic? Or will I take this opportunity to figure out what my calling is and go for it? I’ve had opportunities like this before, every time I finish a degree, every time I change jobs, every time I move, and lord knows there have been many of those times, but for some reason I always go back to some form of education or somehting that entails it. I have a strong interest in art, psychology, and spirituality but haven’t quite found the way to combine all of these with the work I am overly prepared to. I am a good schollar, intellectual tasks and deep thinking are things I do well, but is this what I was meant to do? I’m not sure.
Last night Tata called from the hospital a little after midninght. Toti was, in her words, insane, and she was very nervous. She called us crying to see if someone could go over to the clinic and help her. My dad and I quickly went over and stayed with them until about 3 am. The doctors gave Toti some sort of sedative to help him sleep since he was restless, which seem to have the contrary effect on him and made him hiper, paranoid, and hallusinative. Toti has been “seeing” (his blind because of the “cataratas” and only sees shadows) ghosts, people and animals, around him since quite some time now. He has never believed in ghosts, last night he explained to us that even though he never before believed they existed, now he is totally convinced. He’s not upset by it, if you knew Toti, you would know he is the most absent minded, free spirit, roll with the flow kind of guy you’ve ever meet. So he is not easily upset or disturbed. Yet, last night he would flow in and out of three very distinct phases: his normal, knowledgeable, here and now, lucid state; his “watch out for Mampulorio (a little black dog he sees frequently)” ghost state; and the hallusinating and bit paranoid “what are we doing here in the middle of the street surrounded by people and mudd, I want to go home” state. We stayed until he calmed down, and agreed to fall asleep and then left Tata (who didn’t want to leave him, I offered to stay with her, but she wouldn’t have it) to look after him and hopefully, eventualy, get some sleep.
When I got home my sister was awake waiting for us and the report on Toti. She listen to all my stories and my impressions on what was happening and then she said “I waited up to talk to you, I think you have a roll to play here, and it’s to be Toti’s spiritual guide”. Apparently she thinks that what I have to do is help him deal with the ghost and feel more at easy. No problem, I can do that, but is that my mission? Is it my roll now, or is it my roll in life? I definitely have a knack for getting people to open up to me and tell me very personal, sometimes “alternative”, things. I also seem to have a spiritual “gift” of some sort and have flirted with the occult, or it has flirted with me actually. So could this be what I need to do next? Or is it something I need to do alongside what I do now?
There seems to be a theme here. Some of the encounters I was having in NYC in the past months, the books I’m reading, the revising what I’m meant to do, my dreams, and now this. I wonder if my mission is much more spiritual than I ever gave it credit. I’m not sure, but I guess I’ll find out.