the convention bluesApril 16, 2007
It’s over: I am no longer a district officer.
Back in July, I applied for this position as a district officer for my fraternity. I got the position based on a loose fraternal resume and a letter of recommendation from my band directors. Here I was, holding an office now that I really hadn’t wanted. I simply wanted to be on the council enough to decide to suck it up and do my best.
I went all year long (well, nine months) talking to brothers from around the southwest states, doing stuff for them, planning trips, etc. I got to meet a lot of people. I got to do a lot of things. Lots of memories. I could probably go into great length about any of them, but not right now. However, this last weekend was the District Convention. The last hoorah of the year. The big “to-do.”
1. This convention is very busy for a district council person. You have to lead a committee, as well as attend all the general business sessions, present two reports, and help anyone and everyone in any way you can. Luckily, you want to do these things. At least I did/do.
2. There is very little sleep involved in this weekend. There is simply too much to do to sleep at a regular interval. I had to help judge the step/talent show at the end of the first night. I was completely exhausted by the end of it (around 1.30 am) and still had to type up a report to read the next day.
3. The report of the officer is traditionally a very sad thing to hear. It is full of thank yous and tears and goodbyes. I fought this was alacrity, and succeeded. Go editing power! I knocked off a whole page of my report so that I didn’t have to soak up so much time and didn’t have to cry in front of 800 people who look up to me, more or less.
I had to swallow my pride as I watched two of the best bandswomen I know win awards that I didn’t deserve in the least, yet still felt jealous about. I know they deserved them, however. You could have asked me who was gonna win the J. Lee Burke award, and I would have named those two without question. And there I sat, watching them sob and exasperate and hyperventilate over the honor, and all I could think was how shitty I was at this whole thing, and how I could have done better.
I got very emotional. There had been moments during the last week when i thought I was totally going to lose it in front of anyone because of the idea of this whole experience being over. Then, that night at the banquet, it really hit. I go to hug Karen and she’s crying and I start crying, and I’m holding onto her for dear life, and she’s hugging me pretty hard, telling me how proud she is of me and thanking me. How humble is that! She’s the top honoree of the evening, and she’s thanking me! Me! I give her message back to her, telling her how proud I am of her, and how much I’m gonna miss her. Then, I suck it back inside and try to go on with the rest of the evening.
All during the banquet, I was pretty much comatose. Afterward too. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t hold a conversation. I’m surprised I could eat, though there was no trouble there. I left the banquet in shock, went to my car, and sobbed a good deal, screaming “I’m not ready! I don’t want to be done!” I get it out, call my mom, go to the last evening meeting, have a good time and start to honestly feel better. Then I went to a bar and had a beer, and that helped too.
Now I’m at a loss for what to say. I suppose the first thing to say is that it’s okay to be jealous, but not for long. Then I should say that the time is over, life was ready for me to be done, and I should hold onto the memories as hard as I can, because I’ll need them someday.
Then I should say how absolutely proud and honored I am to have been able to spend the time I did with the people I did, and only hope that this weekend was not the last of it. As I said in the report, I was sure that I would run into these people time and time again, and I hope it will be in a spirit of love and collaboration. I will miss them dearly, and now I’m gonna go tell them that.