... the response to this post was very surprising to me. Apparently there are quite a few of you in a period of discernment. I will try to respond to every one's email inquiry as time permits but I think it should be known that I am no spiritual director and hold no authority over matters of faith. Because the religious life tends to be surrounded by a veil of mystery it is only natural to be curious.
I strongly recommend speaking to a qualified spiritual director, visiting communities, or simply writing to them directly. Also, I have heard this is an excellent online resource.