Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Why did Eilis go back to Brooklyn and to Tony? Whatever the reason, she left all that was familiar in her Irish town, and returned to her husband and a most unfamiliar future. She was growing up. Now, mean Mrs. Kelly gave her a boost, but then the worst of people can sometimes help us make the leap into a new life and that would make all the difference into who Eilis became. Read, "Brooklyn," by Colm Toibin. Many people allow their lives to unfold in some natural, seemingly frictionless way. Decisions are around familiar and predictable choices. Grow up in a familiar setting, marry a boy from the neighborhood, and so on. I don't know why I could not seem to accept the familiar. The familiar was a bad fit for me, and this has made all the difference. San Francisco became my home. I could have stayed here if I would only accept my life. it could have been comfortable. Columbia MBA makes good! I went instead into the Paulist Novitiate, 3000 miles away, for nine months. When I came back to San Francisco that first summer for a visit, I could have stayed. Zeal for my priesthood path seemed a bit tepid and distant, as I dropped into the familiar with friends and places out here. I thought, "Just don't go back." I did go back to the seminary, an unfamiliar future, and it has made all the difference. Growing up is difficult. I think that God had plans, but I did not get the memo, or left it unopened. I left the familiar and I am a better person for it. Of course, many Catholics who have had to put up with me over the years, wish I had stayed out here and died in my sins. Lots of Mrs. Kellys in this world!