Unfortunately, God gave us freedom. Even more unfortunately, he respects it. So he always leaves us loop holes. We always have to make a choice.
People say they like that. But when it comes to the big decisions in their lives - much of the time, they'd really rather someone just told them what to do and let them do it. At least, that's been my experience.
We are gifted with free will.
So the call to religious life is almost never given in a vision or a locution or God coming down, hitting us on the head and saying "Hey you - yes, you - this is what you're supposed to do if you want to do my will for your life." No, it is much more subtle.
There is the negative discernment - am I capable of living the life? After answering yes, that doesn't mean that you should - or have to. No, just that the first hurdle is past.
There is the draw. It's gentle. It's internal. It's quiet. Do I like to pray? Do I like "God stuff?" Does the idea of religious life fascinate me? Not that I would admit it. (Okay, so yeah, I like the Sound of Music.) Am I drawn to it? (Again, I'd die before admitting to it.) Do I think that habit is cool?
It's all so small. And it's only an indication. But the call comes in such small and ordinary ways...