montreal part 2 & the ongoings of life (#adulting)

I am sitting in a cozy little Starbucks on Elgin street in downtown Ottawa right now. This rain (on and off for the past few weeks) reminds me SO much of Van City and the Pacific North West. Man do I miss BC.

 

I promised I would write on Wednesday. That didn't happen. Then I promised Friday. Now it's Saturday. You've been patient with me, and for that I am thankful. Sometimes posts don't always get posted when I want, but I believe that's just the way it is. If you forgot I was posting, well BOOM...here it is! If you were patiently anticipating, thanks for waiting. I appreciate you and I apologize for my procrastination.

 

This post is long overdue. As you probably already know, I moved to Ottawa for a four-month internship/leadership program through my school, TWU at the Laurentian Leadership Centre, or the LLC as we call it. I live in a beautiful historic mansion in downtown Ottawa with 20 other students. We take three classes (in house and run by TWU) and each have our own separate internships. 

 

The last 7 weeks have been nuts. I don't think I have gone to bed before 1130pm or slept in past 830 (mind you, one day I slept until 1230...oops). Life is good, but crazy, but for now I like it this way. Here is a highlight of the last while.

 

PART 1 - THE ARRIVAL

Katie arrives in Ottawa. Katie meets an UNBELIEVABLE human being in the airport lineup getting on the plane in Kelowna. The story would take way too long to explain, so if you want to know more, ask me! In short, I made a friend who goes to school in Ottawa, our flights were the EXACT same from Kelowna to Ottawa and her family ended up giving me a ride to the mansion from the airport. WOW. Talk about God's goodness. 

 

I felt as though the moment I stepped into the airport, my summer was over. God was SO gracious and poured blessing upon blessing on me for the entirety of the summer. I am so grateful for those four months, but it was definitely a feeling of transition as I packed up my gear and moved through the airport.

 

Fast forward a few weeks and I started my internship....

 

PART 2 - THE INTERNSHIP

My original placement was with an NGO (non-government organization) based out of the Glebe (a neighbourhood in Ottawa). I found out about my placement in May and anticipated learning a lot about how a non-profit organization works. I went in for my interview and started work the next day. 

 

I finished my first 7-hour day and came back to the mansion. I sat down and had a heavy feeling in my heart - a feeling of confusion. I felt God saying, "Katie, you're not supposed to be working there". Well, that made me even more confused! I cried. A lot. I had waited for so long to FINALLY be placed where I was, and then all of a sudden, God was calling me to just get up a quit? Was that even possible? I wasn't really sure what was going on and felt as though making any decision would be super rash, so I told myself (and God I guess) that I would give it another day. I went in for day two and it did get better. The people were nice, but I still felt uneasy in my heart. Wednesday came around and I talked to my supervisor, who extended SO MUCH grace to me when I simply requested a new placement.

 

Now, I have absolutely nothing against the NGO that I was placed with. They are wonderful people who do phenomenal work and I will continue to support them, but that was not the right fit. I remember receiving my learning outcomes from my supervisor on that Tuesday afternoon, and thinking, "Wow, this is NOT what I want to do with my semester". It was clear what I had to do.

 

Following my request to change, the next week turned into a HUGE lesson in patience. 

 

PART 3 - LESSON IN PATIENCE

Nobody wants to learn patience. Let's be honest here. It's a great attribute to have and looking back you can say, "hey, yeah! I learned some patience there", but in the moment it's not my first choice. Mainly because I know it takes time, and that's a hot commodity. After my request, I had to wait for my director to contact a new place to work. I was given the choice to work for a local think tank OR an MP on the hill. I was keen to work for an MP, as it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to me to go to Ottawa and NOT work in politics. However, I was not at peace with working in the main hub. I love politics, don't get me wrong, but it is NOT my forte. I'll talk about it, discuss it with you, give my opinion, but I didn't want to write speeches or policy reports. Just not my thing. So I opted for the think tank. I was SO excited to see what this new placement had in store.

 

Fast forward one week of waiting, and I finally got to go in for my first day of work. Wow. God constantly blows me away. From sitting in my room balling my eyes out because I was so frustrated about my placement to being given a desk with a beautiful view, amazing coworkers and an awesome supervisor to boot. It was a complete 360 flip. 

 

Now, I am a communications intern with Cardus. If you want to know more about Cardus (which you definitiely should look into ;) ) check out their website here: https://www.cardus.ca/

 

We are dedicated to redefining social architecture within Canada. This means that we release reports and do research on anything from marriage to family to law to religion to education. We are located SUPER close to parliament and the two other girls in my office are one year older than me and a few years younger. I do everything from posting on social media, editing, researching online, and have been given the amazing opportunity to write articles for one of Cardus' magazines. 

 

Check out my office!

Rachel is hiding behind her desk...Rachel is boss :)

Rachel is hiding behind her desk...Rachel is boss :)

My desk...note the Gatineau parkway colours in the back window and my vast array of sticky notes. Do not note the seemingly cluttered desk.

My desk...note the Gatineau parkway colours in the back window and my vast array of sticky notes. Do not note the seemingly cluttered desk.

Parliament is tucked behind the castle-looking Fairmont Laurier on the right - this is the view from our board room window.

Parliament is tucked behind the castle-looking Fairmont Laurier on the right - this is the view from our board room window.

I think in retrospect, God was testing how I used the extra time that I was given when waiting on everything. There's been a LOT of waiting these past few months. He gave me time during my first week to get started on homework and get off to a good start...did Katie use that time wisely? Nope. Then, I was given another week between placements to once again get a head start...did Katie use THAT time wisely? Kinda. Then, in my second week of my placement, the entire office went to "campout" in Hamilton (no camping involved haha) and I was left to do my work via correspondence. Did Katie use that time wisely? Um, yes. I think the people in the downtown Starbucks know me by my first name now, as I parked myself in the same seat for at least 4 hours each day.

 

With that being said, I am grateful for this test. I've never been tested like this before. It's like He kept giving me another chance to get it right. I find myself being tested at work too, especially learning the ins and outs of journalism. As it turns out, people don't actually email you back instantly (yup, it's true). I was given my biggest task the other day, got right to it and sent out numerous emails, and then sat at my desk for ten minutes twiddling my thumbs. Then I had an "aha" moment....Katie, you have to multitask. Thankfully I am capable of that (#gofemales) and learned that journalism is a lot about waiting. And it's not always your timeline, but whatever timeline of the people you are trying to reach.

 

Along those lines, my faith has also been tested immensely. I explained it to a friend on my team back in Langley like this: the summer was easy. Mind you, a relationship with Christ is NEVER meant to be easy, but the demands on life were not even comparable to those which present themselves currently. I could work, come home, practice and go to church events with ease. Here, I find myself back in a dorm-like setting where numerous events, people and various commitments are tugging for my time. I REALLY struggled with reading my Bible for the first six weeks. It's slowly coming back. I found a wonderful devotional book (18 inch journey by the Helsers of Cageless Birds) that has served as a sweet foundation over the past few weeks. 

 

While my faith has most definitely been challenged in the past, it's never been quite like this. And while I am not tired from the "gogogo", I do find myself in a constant battle of commitments. I am still learning to say no to stuff and still learning to put Jesus first. When there are other things begging for your time, it's pretty easy to let Jesus sink to the bottom of the pile. I know that and you know that. However, I also know that it's in these times, success or failure that He is calling on my heart to come and spend time with Him. 

 

Moving forward, Jesus is my goal. Spending more time with Him, spending more time in prayer. It's easy to become complacent, but also comforting knowing that He is in this crazy adventure with me. If you can, can you keep me accountable to these things? Even with a text? We need accountability people in our lives, and I am asking for your help! (Check out one of my last posts on finding rest and being accountable HERE).

 

Thanks for reading today. OH. And Montreal part 2 is below. Just a few photos from my second outing to Montreal with the AMAZING people I get to call classmates.

 

katie.