Retreat in Marywood

Two weekends ago I attended a retreat at the Marywood Center in Orange. I must admit, one of the best retreat centers I've attended. We get our own individual rooms with a sink and a communal bathroom. I was all ready to come up there with my sleeping bag and what a nice suprise! I love having no expectations, everything always seem to work out better when you come into thing with an open mind. I was utterly not prepared at all for the retreat and had no idea what was in store for me.

The only reason why I thought of attending was because of my old buddy, Father Tri. He suggested that I go and thought it would be a good experience for me to participate with the CLC Vietnamese Community. So I thought to myself, "Why not, I have no plans for that weekend?"

Honestly, have I not gone, I think I would have regret it. It was one of the most uplifting retreat I have ever participated in. In addition, it was so relevant to what was going on in the next phase of my life. If anything, it was a lot of reaffirmations in pursuing a career in teaching.

It's something that I had always wanted to do, but never figured out why it I was so afraid until this retreat. What got me into teaching was from my youth group growing up, they left an imprint in my heart that I will never forget. Also, I always wanted a career in which I felt passionate about. Finance was fun while it lasted for me, being able to work in NYC, working long hours with a great team, getting my licenses, meeting new friends and building my experience...but in the end, I felt as if a part of me was missing in this type of occupation. I never felt my full potential and personality was shown through, I guess I never felt at home.

It's funny, but with teaching...the thought always came back to me and I think my desire to pursue deepened as time went by. Sort of like falling in love and being honest with your true feelings is what I would compare it to? Through the retreat, I realized a lot of things and it's that I'm not scared of what's going to happen when I do go into teaching. I understand there's gonna be some type of difficulties to go through, but I think I was afraid of what I was going to lose. The financial security kept on playing in my mind. However, being in this industry for almost 7 plus years now, it's time for me to let it go. I rather be rich in spirit and feel complete.

It's exciting, I honestly can't wait to start school...I swear sometimes I think your career is a relationship. I feel as if I'm falling in love all over again and going through the honeymoon stages and having all these dreams for the future.

At the end of the retreat, I met two young girls, who were both in 2nd and 3rd grade. It was the two exact grades I plan on teaching also! Their name was Lucia and Theresa, isn't that cute? They are named after saints. Anyhoo, I was conversating a bit with them before mass and when we all had to say our goodbye's, they gave me a glow-in-the-dark rosary that they made and said it was something for me to remember them by. I was definitely touched. I wish I have future students like them one day, I would feel completely blessed! :)

There were some interesting topics that I remembered for the retreat. Seriously, I never felt so alert in my life through every workshop. The active listening, cura personalis and personal vocation were the three that hit home for me. Thanks Father Tri for always being my spiritual guide throughout my college and young adult years! You will be missed in LA.