Yep, Im going there.
Being a community organizer takes a lot of things. Most of all, I have learned it takes sacrifice. As a community organizer, you will not get the luxury to do all the things you want to do. You will have obligations to the community. From going to book signings, to cooking the burgers at the local BBQ day. These are moments you will lose from your life. These are times that you will put others before yourself and your family. These are the moments you will question later and say, “Was it worth it?”
Hopefully, the answer to that question is yes. Through all the lost weekends, late nights, community info days, and public ridicule that you “aren’t doing enough,” it will be worth it. At the end of your time when you are tired, burned out, and just can’t carry the torch any longer, you will find another who cares as much as you do. They will be full of passion and fire like you remember being when you started. Then you will pass that torch and all the knowledge you have gathered about your experiences on to them and hope they carry on the way you started.
I write this as I am coming to the end of my run in community organizing. For 4 years I have put every weekend into our community and have built a viable, sustainable community of like-minded folks. I have stumbled and made mistakes along the way. I have also triumphed and won battles. Our conference, Atlanta Poly Weekend, is this weekend. It will be the last event in which I am a community organizer. It’s hard to pass the torch on to others and trust that they will carry on with the vision we had. Yet I must remember that in order for growth to occur there must be change. Change is healthy. Change is good.
In fact, my role in the community is changing, and in a good way for me. This blog, for instance, is one of those changes. I moving from community organizer to educator and activist. A natural evolution for me it seems. Teaching and inspiring others is a passion that I have and a driving force for me. I am looking forward to hosting classes and workshops with folks all over the world. I eagerly await the opportunities to sit with law makers and help remove laws that stigmatize and criminalize loving individuals. Most of all I look forward to helping individual people no longer be afraid to be open about being poly.
I hope that if you have the chance to work in your community you will take that chance. It is rewarding, even if no one says thank you. After all, if for no one else, YOU are grateful for your actions.
To those who take the torch and reins to the community I have been a part of building, I wish you all the luck and will always be here to offer advice and guidance. You don’t have to do it alone. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, just polish the rims!
I have no regrets and have enjoyed every moment of my time in this community. Thank you all.
p.s. it was worth it.