Since it’s not that long after Thanksgiving, I wanted to focus on something I’m extremely grateful for – community. A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a non-profit panel hosted by my University. As an alumna, I was extremely honored to speak to former and current students about my experiences forming my organization and what it’s like to run a non-profit. Before I went, however, I wasn’t terribly excited. I had been dealing with some non-related issues and I just wasn’t feeling very passionate about anything in general. I had no desire to go, but when I make a commitment, especially when my organization is involved, I know that I have to suck it up and power through whatever I have to do.
I’m so glad I said yes to this opportunity, and that I went with an open mind. Speaking on of panel of former students, all of whom were women, was inspiring to say the least. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, but we all have passion for what we’re doing, and know that despite all of the ups and downs, that we wouldn’t want to choose anything else.
It was comforting to hear that so many people struggle and overcome the notion that we need to work ourselves to the bone and without any compensation. I needed to hear how I wasn’t the only one who dealt with guilt over the idea of being compensated for work. That taking care of ourselves is taking care of our organizations and our constituents.
Without this experience I would probably be stuck in my angsty rut, forgetting that taking care of myself is jst as important as the work I’m doing. I’m so thankful that I have access to a supportive community which is passionate and willing to make sacrifices for those passions. I would not be able to do the work that I do without having the chance to voice my success and my frustrations within an open and understanding space.
We need community. I think sometimes I forget that I have this fantastic network, but I’m so grateful that I’m constantly reminded of its existence.