I felt, when I was much younger, that I had a vocation to the Poor Clares and spent six happy months as a postulant.
I eventually left, much to the delight of my family. One of the reasons was that my cousin, to whom I was very close, had cancer. The Sisters were supportive but, perhaps selfishly, I needed to be with our family. I came home and was able to see my cousin the evening before she died.
After a couple of months when I was able to help my cousin’s family a bit, I had to find a job. Someone said there was a vacancy at the school for blind and partially sighted children. I didn’t get the English post I applied for but they offered me one in the Junior Department.
I worked there for twelve years and then worked in a peripatetic service for visually impaired children and young people. One of my schools was for students with profound difficulties and after I retired they asked me to do some multi-sensory work in a new project for young adults with profound difficulties. I do half a day a week and love it.
Forty years after entering the Poor Clares, I don’t think it was a mistake. Perhaps it was part of my vocation but it didn’t lead where I expected it to lead. The God of surprises?