Collecting Pieces that Make a Whole

Why I’m not Committing to One Career Post Grad

Laura Heming | Editor-In-Chief

As I begin my letter to you, I should probably inform you that it is not a joke — a forewarning that is probably necessary considering the rest of the paper is dedicated to satirical humour. I, however, am feeling quite sentimental, as this is officially my final letter to you as Editor-in-Chief, so I decided that I should share my final piece of God-inspired revelation in classical Laura style.

I have been finding myself as of late collecting pieces that I have dropped behind me on my life path of the things that make me, me. I am collecting pieces of dreams I once had, talents, things that bring me true joy, and memories of times where I have felt most alive. The reason they are behind, you should know, is because of a little thing called post-grad pressure.

Post-grad pressure, by informal definition, is the pressure — whether intended or unintended — of parents (most likely) put on their child in regards to committing to a steady, practical career. This may consist, for you perhaps, of grandparents asking at the graduation ceremony how you will transfer your liberal arts degree into a good, hefty career like nursing, teaching or something of the like. For me, it is usually something along the lines of getting in with the Toronto Star so I can slowly make my way up over the years. Usually I will reply with a soft, “maybe”, but in my mind know this is not the sort of life I want to live.

This is not to say that making your way up with a company is unwise. In fact, I believe that shows much commitment and dedication, and I very much respect that. The point I intend to make, and perhaps am making as I journey along this road of impending “post-gradship”, is that maybe I wasn’t meant to pick one thing and hold it for the rest of my life.               

The fact is, I have many loves. I love to write — write insightful non-fictions of things relating to faith and culture, or sometimes just poetry. I love to work with people, and I dream of opening a centre for sex-trafficking victims who need true relationships, need to be shown care, and need outlets for healing such as painting or writing. I love designing and creating — making décor for homes, making floral arrangements, or turning recycled objects into something new and borrowed.

So yes, I have many, many loves. Possibly an incompatible ensemble of loves. But as I keep learning more about the God I serve, I continue to learn how much reason and purpose there is to every one of these passions. Perhaps not every one will land me a mansion in the outskirts of Hamilton, but I don’t think that is what it is about. In a world surrounded with people grasping for money — singing about money, living for money, compromising morals for money — it is no wonder we feel an enormous pressure to make our way up to some place that will allow us to life more than comfortably.

The picture I see coming together for me as I slowly put together my life puzzle is that the pieces do indeed fit together, because every time I drop one, I feel as though I have lost a part of myself. I do not want to lose pieces of myself in the pursuit of money. I want to dedicate my life to giving back to God the gifts he’s given me, even if it is a messy, multicoloured puzzle. The fact is I don’t want to be a journalist who writes about new social work therapies while finding a couple hours here and there to entertain my crafty side. I want to be an obedient, Jesus-serving woman who happens to love to write, speak into people’s lives, and make stuff. I am learning what I choose to do with my life and my time doesn’t define me. It is Jesus who defines me and gives me stuff to do and a personality to brighten the things I do. 

I wholeheartedly appreciate and love the way a close person in my life has decided to start conversations with new people. Rather than asking “What do you do?” or “What’s your field?” he will ask “What do you like to do with your time?” I think this is the way we should approach the body of Christ. Our identity is not what we do or where we work, it is rather the person God is shaping us to be and how he has uniquely gifted us to do so more enjoyably.

And so, there it is. My final piece of insight from my crazy final year at Redeemer. I have learned to notice that God ties little lessons and insights to each little event in our lives, if we only take the time to reflect and notice. I hope you will do the same as you journey through the roads and rivers, however plentiful or dry they may be. Find peace in the fact that everything literally works together. What a great Orchestrator we serve.

So with that, enjoy some light and humorous reading for the end of the year, and thank you for being a wonderful reader of my little letters.