Thursday, March 10, 2011

Just about done

After arising at 5 am, taking two flights, riding MARTA for the entire length of the Gold Line, grabbing a 20 minute nap before the afternoon session, wading through the legalese of an LLC agreement for two and a half hours, dinner with the committee members, and post-dinner drinks, I'm just about out of energy.

But I'm suddenly aware, as well, that the half-dozen people with which I've been riding this organizational roller-coaster for the past four years are about to break up, forever. We've begun from scratch asserting our distinctiveness, we've found common ground under new leadership, we've voted ourselves out of power, and we're about to leave a legacy of secure and clear legal status to our successors. And all these folks, whether they sought this job or were shanghaied into it at the last minute, have been through the entire process.

I have two more years, as does my closest counterpart in the group, the regional coordinator of the Southeast Region, with whom my organization has the most in common. But most of our compatriots are about to abandon us, many with a hearty "good riddance" to the wild mix of anxiety, responsibility, loneliness, and lack of real power that their positions represent. Still, it's a moment to be noticed, and mourned, no matter how little some will miss the job.

In reference to a concern that cropped up so much it become a joke -- the idea of a regionally-elected director going out of control and misusing her position -- I've conceived the idea of a "RED Gone Rogue" T-shirt we should all get. We've felt like rogues at times -- like the academy's underachievers at others -- and always underestimated and underappreciated in many quarters. Things will be different now that we've worked through our stubborn determination to be special snowflakes and submitted to some discipline that holds us accountable to our members and to the national organization whose work we do. But we'll always have the war stories from these few years of tumult that we experienced together.

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