Thursday, August 10, 2017

From Longaniza to Hot Dog. Part 4. Second Thoughts

I was very happy when I obtained the assistantship at the chemistry department of the George Washington University in the early seventies. Before I left for New York and then for Canada to change my visa to a student one, I stayed for a short time in Washington DC with my friend and toured the city. During this time I had second thoughts if pursuing graduate studies was the right decision. I was tempted to think I should I go back home to the Philippines instead.

To appease my self doubts, I made an appointment to see a priest at the St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington DC for advice. After Mass on a weekday, I went to meet the priest who had an impatient growl in his face. I asked him what I should do. He looked at me and said I was not in any condition to make a decision. I must have appeared a worried wreck to him.

Since the representative of God above was not that patient in resolving my dilemma, I decided to go straight to Him, God Himself with the help of intercessors. 

Catholics in the Philippines like to pray to their favorite saints like St. Theresa of the Child Jesus or St. Joseph, to intercede for them.  They say nine day novenas and usually they would ask for a sign if their wish would come true.  I forgot now whether I prayed to St. Theresa or St. Joseph for that sign if I was making the right decision.  If I receive a red rose or any red flower during the nine day novena or after, that would mean it was a yes that I pursue graduate school.

It was the Christmas holidays during this time when I was in Washington DC prior to my trip to Canada for my visa status change. When I went to Mass one day, I saw the church decorated with pink poinsettias not the usual red. Wow, God was playing tricks with me.  So what was His answer then? 

Despite the unclear direction from God,  I made the decision to go ahead and proceed with the process of applying for my visa. In retrospect, the pink could be interpreted that God was telling me that there was no such thing as a wrong decision. This is one lesson I learned from one book about how to proceed on making decisions.  According to the author that thought will help you relax and not be too anxious and thus think more clearly. I did not know this then during an important crossroad in my life. I wish I did.

Note:  This is Part 4 of the series From Longaniza to Hot Dog which recounts my immigration to the United States from the Philippines. You might want to read the following:

From Longaniza to Hot Dog Part 1 Brooklyn and Sao Paolo
From Longaniza to Hot Dog Part 2 Muito Obrigada and Baden Baden
From Longaniza to Hot Dog Part 3 Life Changing Question

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