Like many college graduates, after graduating I still had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and was unsuccessful at finding a new job to go along with my shiny new degree. But one thing is for sure, I felt a deep need or calling if you will to go out and see the world and to serve. After attending an informational presentation on the Peace Corps, I was hooked. It was going to be the perfect way for me to see the world and use my degree in Biology to help serve people. As time went on I became more apprehensive about applying, two years was a huge commitment to go live in some foreign country by myself and I wasn’t quite ready for that. Nearly a year went by of unemployment and then working odd jobs until I finally worked up the courage to start looking for jobs that I actually wanted to work.
Late one night while searching random job boards I happened across a posting for the Episcopal Service Corps. I had momentarily given up my dream to join the Peace Corps, but this new Service Corps I had never heard of seemed even more perfect for me. It still gave me the chance to get out of my small town life while dedicating a year to service. The thing that drew me in was that not only was the ESC a service corps but you also had the chance to live in intentional community with others your age who are going through the same things in life as you. It was this kind of unspoken support system that I subconsciously craved.
I had always lived in a small town in Montana, and grew up at my grandparents’ house in the country miles away from another human being, so I often considered myself a hermit and one who loved to be in solitude. As I have gotten older, a more adventurous side of me has peeked through, longing to see the world after a trip to Italy and wanting to experience different people from all walks of life. I lived in community in my dorm as a freshman and sophomore in college and since experiencing that, I learned that maybe I wasn’t such a hermit after all and craved to have that kind of support system again. I was very happy to know that with the ESC, even though I would be away from home for a year and moving to a completely new region of the country it would not be like the Peace Corps where I would have to go on my journey mostly alone.
Here in Houston with TX-ESC, I have a great community with my 3 new brothers. Some days are more stressful than others at our host sites, but at the end of the day we can all come home and vent to each other and offer up support and prayer, something that would not happen if the program was not set up for us to live in community.
I am slowly but surely figuring out the next direction I want to go in and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year has in store for me. I look forward to building on our relationships within our little ESC community.
Paige, Community Family Centers in Houston.