I have been having a bit of a tough time lately...am hoping that it will pass just as quickly as (I feel) it came. But this tough time is also an opportunity for me to hold on a little tighter to the things I have that are important to me and to express how grateful I am for them. So that's what this (fairly long...) post is about. Expressing gratitude for those things in my life right now that don't suck :)
Many years ago I made a choice. It was a very big deal to me at the time. I had no idea the impact it would have on my life. I
was (then) a sophomore in college. I never saw myself “going Greek.”
I had been through a whole year away at a big school, away from home,
family and high school friends, and I had done just fine. Done well,
really. Made new friends, found my way around campus, excelled in my
But something was missing.
made the choice in the fall of my second year at college to join a
sorority. Despite some of the flak I have caught for it over the years,
even some of it for my continued involvement with my organization
post-college, I feel so good about that decision I made so many years
ago for so many reasons.
this day, I vividly remember the experience of going through sorority
recruitment. Meeting so many young women in such a short amount of
time, my face sore from smiling, bored of saying the same things about
myself over and over again. I knew from almost the get go the place I
wanted to end up at...and I truly lucked out and got a bid to that very
chapter. On my Bid Day, I remember running towards my new “home away
from home” with so much excitement, trepidation, anticipation and awe.
I knew my life was changing that day. I had no idea then how profound
that change would be.
made the most of my undergraduate years -- in every way I possibly
could. I met wonderful people, I took interesting classes, I tested my
limits, I HAD FUN, I learned who I was (going to be) and what I was
capable of. And a big piece of that, was my sorority membership.
experiences I had within my sorority and as part of involvement in a
campus organization, I began to think higher education administration
may be my calling. On not much more than a whim, I submitted an
application to be an educational consultant for my national sorority.
was honestly shocked that they selected me for an interview. I thought
if nothing else, I would get to see our headquarters and have a good
story to tell. I truly never thought they would pick me.
they did. They wanted me to go on the road the year after I graduated
and assist our collegiate chapters. I think the day I got that call was
one of the happiest I have ever had. I still have the pic someone
snapped of me taking that phone call where I got the happy news. I
really can’t describe in words the sheer joy on my face. But I can
remember the feeling; sometimes, I feel it like it was yesterday.
spent the year in between undergrad and my first year of grad school
working for my national organization, travelling around the country
visiting collegiate chapters and helping them with everything under the
sun. Leadership, scholarship, membership....you name it. I went to New
England, the Northwest and everywhere in between. I also got the
unique and wonderful experience of helping to re-open a closed chapter.
To this day, it is one of my favorite experiences of my life, and a
small space in the middle of the Midwest will forever have a special
place in my heart because of it.
look back on that year now with almost a disconnect. I am in awe and
barely remember the young girl who did all that. Did it all in an era
before wifi, cell phones and facebook. I know it was me...but damn, I
get tired just thinking about it all. Still cannot believe how much I
managed to cram into that short year. To this day, I wish I had taken
that year, I entered a graduate program for something other than higher
education. Just what I felt was best for me at the time. And, in turn,
took a bit of a sorority hiatus. I was focused on my coursework, and,
after that, finding a job and getting my “grown up” life established.
And years passed with no involvement with my sorority. It wasn’t intentional...it was just...life.
spent many years “climbing the ladder”; working my tail off trying to
advance myself, pushing for better, bigger and more. The work I took on
was increasingly high pressure and intense.
if someone up above knew I needed it, a few years ago the opportunity
arose for me to volunteer as an advisor to my collegiate chapter. I was
a little hesitant, but knew I should do it. So glad I accepted the
offer and can’t picture my life today without it.
I have some years under my belt after getting back into the swing of
things. Many years since I criss-crossed the country as a consultant
with unbridled enthusiasm. More years than I would care to admit since
that bid card fell into my hands and changed my life forever.
And I am me. A better me than I ever could have been without this experience.
have my sisters from college who made my undergraduate years worthy of
reminiscing over and these are the ladies that have grown up with me.
We’ve been together over many years, through boyfriends, jobs,
weddings, cross country moves, babies, and more. These women have known
me and supported me for nearly half my life. I cannot imagine my life
without them or their families.
have sisters I consulted with. We had our own sorority within a
sorority and I feel forever grateful that I got to be a part of it. I
can email with these women like I was just sitting with them yesterday.
We developed a bond that was based on our shared sisterhood and grew
into so much more. They taught me what it meant to be a part of the
“bigger picture” and I am proud and thrilled of all they have
accomplished in the years since we travelled.
have the sisters I was always meant to have. That’s how I like to
think of the women from my organization that I have met as an adult.
They are....no words. Many days, they keep me from crying at my desk.
They can always be counted on for a laugh or some neded words of
encouragement. I have no doubt that God knew I needed them in my life
and that’s why they are there now. We are all so different, yet so
complimentary of one another.
I am blessed beyond words.
still get my fair amount of teasing and questions about why a grown
women is spending so much of her free time helping out some sorority
To me, it’s pretty simple really. To those whom much is given, much is expected.
got more than I ever thought I would when I signed that bid card years
and years and years ago. Trying to give back and help others realize
their potential and the value of their own membership is just the right
thing to do, to show my appreciation for all I have been given as a part
of my own membership.