On Monday I will graduate from Project Diversity, a United Way of Central Ohio program for minorities who have shown qualities of leadership for the Columbus community. It has been a long and winding road, paved with tears, milk, laughs, and even some disagreements that started at a “tell all” retreat back in April. Boy, if we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into!
Divorce, death, court dates, job changes, difficult everyday circumstances are just a few of the things Cycle 26 experienced in, what felt like, just a few short months. These people learned more about me in this short time than most people who have known me all my life. We opened up, made ourselves completely vunerable to people we didn’t even know. We put the weight of our success in the project on each other’s shoulders, and we even had to lend those shoulders for a few tears along the way.
I am not the greatest at putting myself out there in some ways, but I am slowly learning to do it just a little bit more. I met a group of people who, might not always agree with me, but will have my back if I ever need them. That’s because I have a lot of dirt on them from the retreat, so it’s more like blackmail! Oh, blackmail, no pun intended! 😉
Seriously, I don’t know if I could have made it through these past few months without this project to work on and the amazing team members to work with. We have become more than teammates, we are a family, and nothing can take that away from us. The project that we completed was just the ancillary benefit, to me. The opportunity to work with and meet new people from much different backgrounds and experiences is priceless. We also bonded with some of best and fabulously gay new friends in Pride Leadership Cycle 10 and I would go to bat for them any day of the week and twice on Sunday because of the hearts of this group.
I wish everyone could experience something like this, because then maybe we wouldn’t be so damn mad and quick to judge all the time. We all have our idiosyncrasies, but damn if that doesn’t make us special and even more lovable. If I could build my own community, I would live in a bubble with PD26/PL10, maybe even with Shayne, Garth, and Nora, too!
To PD26/PL10, I love you all from the bottom of my heart and I hope you know what you all mean to me. You are a part of me, you pushed me, you made me cry. I will always be there for every damn one of you, even you, Kevin! 😉
Reardon out, before I cry! Xoxo