In a comment to a post of BitchPhD’s where she wonders whether or not to stay in academia, Pronoia writes of a fascinating way to figure out which choice is right for you:
When my wife was in discernment for the convent (long story), she learned Ignatian discernment, which teaches that the places we’re called to go give us great peace in our hearts, even if it’s otherwise difficult. To discern, you should live for 24 hours as if you’re making one decision, and pay attention to how you feel. You should live for another 24 hours with the other decision, and pay attention to how you feel. The decision in which you feel interior freedom and peace is the right decision for you.
I know when I’ve made the right choice. It’s the time before you’ve chosen that’s painful. I’m not sure whether I’d be able to truly live 24 hours as though I’d already chosen knowing that I hadn’t, really, but I think I’ll try.
Not now. I’m not in doubt right now, I’m sure about the big things.