Sometimes things seem so clear and then something happens that makes you rethink everything. As I was planning to step-down as a meetup organizer, the universe sent me a most lovely evening surrounded by great art and people with excellent chemistry. You can’t plan that. It was so organic and synchronistic. When something like that happens, the heart becomes confused. I know that I have had a lot of difficulties and challenges– which I’ve figured my way through– but I’ve also had a lot of successes and built a lot of memories, grown to genuinely care about specific group members and feel gratified when I see people connecting and making friendships with each other.
I never planned being a sounding board when people are frustrated because of circumstances beyond my control. That’s the hard part of what I’m doing. That’s the part where I feel weak and want to quit– the times when someone gripes at me because of parking or the time someone laid into me (in front of someone awkward) because they had trouble finding the meetup spot (even though I sent out instructions 3 times… I didn’t realize the map wasn’t right until it was too late; I didn’t make the map!). Then the people that come to me asking for favors to get out the word about their event but they don’t want to help me do it– they just want it done. I can say no– to do it themselves and use the website. I am a person who wants to connect people and I have feelings and a personal life. If you want more, you have to put in more.
There are sacrifices one makes as a leader. Maybe the answer is to get a thicker skin. I like being nice but sometimes it’s better to be tough. You have to hold your own. If you know you are doing your best, then the fact is it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Sure, I want that acceptance. I’d like to be understood and respected for my work. However, if I can’t get that from outside from every single person, I should remember that I can give that to myself. …and really, the majority of people are either indifferent, having a nice time, and basically just along for the ride. It’s only a couple of nasty people that make a cutting remark and then, thankfully, move on. …and, in reality, they don’t matter as much…
So we were there last night, talking and laughing– eating my homemade chili and a new cornbread recipe. I felt lifted up by those wonderful experiences and moved by some wondrous art that I was not expecting. They made me feel and remember why I do this.
I may not be perfect but I am making things happen. I think that counts for something.