Friday, May 23, 2008

Ch- ch- ch- changes...

As some of you are aware, I recently applied for a new job as the Assistant to the Associate Vice President for Diversity at the University of Wyoming. This morning I was offered and accepted the position, and will begin my new job on June 9th. I admit to being a bit nervous as I have worked at Information Technology for the last 12.5 years, and have only worked here since my sophomore year of college. At the same time, I'm VERY excited about about this new direction in my life.
My new position will involve assisting with diversity training, committee work, and helping with diversity efforts on campus. This is the next step in making my passion my profession, and I'm looking forward to it! This is all happening very quickly, and there will be a decent learning curve for me. I'm leaving today at 12:30pm for a long Memorial Day weekend in Denver, and am so glad to have something to celebrate in addition to taking some much-needed down time. My email address and cell phone number will not be changing. I'm going to be very busy over the next while, first in trying to make things as easy on IT as possible and then in trying to learn a brand new job. Thanks for your patience if I'm less available for a bit. ;) And thanks for the love and support so many of you have given over the last few months. You all mean the world to me, and I can't wait to share with you all the new adventures down the road.

Today's lesson - if you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life. (Yeah, it's not a BGJ original, but fits nicely, I think.)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Highs and lows

I've often heard life described as a roller coaster. Sometimes it feels more like a helicopter, shooting up and down without much forward motion. I had several posts floating in my brain, and most of them are positive. Then I opened my news today and wanted to cry. All of the posts are timely, so here's a quick summary:
  • Milestones: I recently hit 300 posts (this is #302). It's a fun milestone, and I hope everyone has enjoyed reading my thoughts, rants, and adventures as much as I've enjoyed posting them. Thinking about my posts has taught me a great deal about life and myself, and I hope some of the "lessons" have applied to you all as well. Comment more often, so I know what you're thinking too!
  • Speak up, speak out: The Diversity Summit on Monday went well, I think. 85 people sat in a room for 6 hours for the first annual President's Diversity Summit. There were students, staff, faculty, and administrators. I've not heard any negative feedback, but there are a few folks I want to specifically ask. If nothing else, I think we got people talking, and that was the most important part to us.
  • The future's so bright: I went and spoke to a group of students at the high school yesterday. I think it went well, and I managed to keep around 8 teenagers engaged and talking for 90 minutes. Who knew?! Straight kids, not so straight kids. Allies and a Christian student who didn't really know what to expect but wanted to learn more and have a conversation. The high school GSA is going to meet with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes before the semester is out. Talking with them made it clear that there's hope. They're far more socially conscious than most adults, and only two of them had ever HEARD of the game "Smear the Queer." Change works!
  • The weather fits my mood: After a few days of tantalizingly warm and sunny weather, the clouds are rolling in again. The same is true of my mood today. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled yesterday that because of the same sex marriage bans, governments and universities in the state are not ALLOWED to offer domestic partner benefits. Apparently it's not enough to keep us locked out of the chapel of love. On the off chance the dirty homo's can convince a government to treat them fairly and equally, we'll sneak it into the law. Not overly fair since the supporters of the ban specifically told voters they were only trying to prevent marriage, not benefits. There could be a federal appeal, but it's a huge step backwards. Any bets on whether the Republicans will use the term "activist judges" when the decision goes "their way?"

Today's lesson: The journey is never done, and whether it's a roller coaster, a rocket ship, or a helicopter, hold on and enjoy the ride.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Just a few more days

That's do-able, right? I know that students are in the throes of Finals stress. Papers, tests, projects, presentations. Staff on campus feel this same stress. Partly because students have a tendency to scream at us as a result of their stress.

My life is no different right now. I just finished up with AIDS Walk and Drag Queen Bingo. There's still a fair amount of paperwork to do for that, and last night I made the final arrangements for the board's "thank you" dinner for Monday. Today I have at least a 3 hour meeting for PACMWA. We're deciding how to give out almost $40,000 today. As chair, I'm running the meeting, and have spent the last week processing and reviewing grant applications.

Monday is the President's Diversity Summit, which I'm also planning. The facilitator flies in on Sunday. The RSVP list is at 75. It was originally supposed to be about 50 people. I'm expecting 85 by the time we're done. We've had to change dates 3 times. The catering is ordered, the A/V arrangements have been made, the rooms are reserved, and I think we've thought of everything. I have to print the handouts and coordinate name tags with the President's Office. While I'm excited about the event and the chance to get so many important people at the table to talk about diversity, I'm ready for the semester to be D-O-N-E, done.

There are a few other irons in the fire causing me extra work and stress right now, but for the moment I have to keep my cards close. More info will be coming soon, I promise. Add to this a host of friends with stress and drama in their lives who have turned to me for help, a stack of housework, back problems, and perpetual singehood, and you have a recipe for a nervous breakdown. Fortunately, I have amazing friends who remind me of my own advice: left foot, right foot, repeat as needed.

The point of all this: there are just a few more days until the worst of my stress is behind me. The trick is to break it down into parts. Focus on the first step. Worry about left foot first. Right foot can come tomorrow. You don't have to do it all at once.