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Even tossing away old adult literacy files seems momentous.  Will I ever get over this vocation that led my life for so many years, that has me so conflicted when I dip a toe into it’s same old helplessness and hopelessness?

So glad not to be in those conversations and meetings anymore.

So sad that after all this work, it is still only the very small victories celebrated.

I know there were successes, coach, but here are some things to get off my literacy chest:

  • I regret never having time to develop the low level Driver’s License curriculum so they don’t have to have the test read to them and can drive themselves to work.
  • I regret that I never got to make the perfect speech about adult literacy – only sad missives that failed to capture the complex heart of the issue and failed to move people.
  • I regret that I didn’t work and research adult education in Canada – the topics from their research conferences are vastly more interesting than U.S. ones.
  • I regret the 2 negative feedback comments I got from the conference I did present in Canada.
  • I regret that my hair looks like shit in the BCM annual report from 2001.  They were supposed to be taking pictures of the adult education programs.  I kid you not, on the inside cover -me (pasty white) and Crystal (African American) leaning in towards each other in front of a US flag.
  • I regret that I never worked to realize the fun idea of a literacy float in Mardi Gras parades.

There are many more regrets from this past life, but I’ve wasted enough time.  These are the ones that just floated through my wrinkled brow on their way out to the place where all purposeless paperwork goes…

 

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I ran a non-profit.  Did I ever tell you that?

90’s “You’ve Got Mail ” reference, sorry.    Shopgirl (Meg Ryan) online chatting to NY152 (Tom Hanks)

My store is closing this week.  I own a store.  Did I ever tell you that?  Probably not. It’s a lovely store and in a week, it will be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap.   I am being amazingly brave.  Soon we’ll just be a memory.   In fact, someone, some foolish person will probably think it’s a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know, because that’s the sort of thing I’m always saying.  But the truth is, I’m heartbroken.  I feel as if part of me has died, and my mother has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right.

Anyway.

It just ended between us a month ago and I’m still in recovery.  It was a complete case of me not listening to my instincts, which had already refused applying for the job twice, when the organization started and when the first director (loved her!) left after Katrina.  But then the third time, it looked like the organization was going to dissolve and I had to try.  I’m smart enough; I care passionately about the issue.  (I was about to finish my masters degree on the subject for pete’s sake!)

But oh did I pay and pay and pay for not being true to my nature.  And you can’t tell anyone, because then you look weak and the organization looks weak, and nobody will donate (or loan) money to you or partner with you or respect  you.  You’re just supposed to suffer in silence.  How can you complain when the people your organization is working to help are likely worse off than you are??

Stress goes right to my uterus these days, this age, whatever it is. You swallow enough and it cuts you up inside, no matter how many times you tell yourself that you have a house to live in, a car to drive, fair health, a family, money to travel.  The many failures weigh out over the successes that seemed harder and harder to achieve.

I tried to resign 6 months ago, but was asked to stay on part-time to help transition to a restructured organization.  NEVER DO THIS.  I did, because I felt obligated and thought I needed health insurance through the year end.

And the very end, ugh.  No going away party (which I would have hated anyway), no card, no thanks for 10 years, and the last 2 days before Christmas not even anyone in the office while I was packing, cleaning and organizing.  I didn’t send out my own mass emails, letters or small notes of thanks either!  (I did get a gift from a good person at the  last big meeting, but he looked embarrassed that he was the only one, and another good person came specifically to tell me thanks and good bye, but I think I spit on him when I said I was going “part-time.”)

So, I’m in recovery from non-profit management.  Working Part-time (oops, sorry) and trying to lay low.  My next step in the grief process is to create an Out of Office message for the email address I’ve had for 10 years to tell everyone who to contact in my place.  (I’ve been officially gone for a month – see the dependence?!)

I do feel like a part of me has died, but am very very sure that things will be right again.