For two weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post. What can I even say that would sum up the last two and a half years of my life. How to wrap it up eloquently and make what I write be read in the best light possible.
Last Monday was my final day as Director of Marketing for GeekGirlCon. I know this is probably a bit shocking, especially for those of you who know my passion for the organization and feminist activism.
Since August 2010, when GeekGirlCon had its first fateful meeting, I’ve poured my time, energy, and know how into helping make GeekGirlCon the amazing organization it is today and helping build the foundation for the greater future. I made many conscious decisions to put different parts of my life on hold or, in some cases, neglect them. I served most of my time with GeekGirlCon as both President and Director of Marketing, juggling the two roles, and then since November, only as Director of Marketing.
(If you haven’t met GeekGirlCon’s new Executive Director Amanda, you should, as she’s awesome and helping take GeekGirlCon to its next step.)
For anyone who’s gone the entrepreneurship route, whether starting a business on your own, as a group, or just helping out, it’s a ton of work. And GeekGirlCon was no different — just as needy and rewarding. Though GeekGirlCon solely is a labor of love as all positions on staff are 100% volunteer roles.
As our first convention in October 2011 rolled around, I had to convince my mother to come help out. She didn’t really understand what we were doing. All she knew was that I hadn’t come to see her in a long time, rarely had time to talk on the phone, and when we did connect, I kept talking about this GeekGirlCon thing obsessively. But when the doors opened on October 8th — where she helped at the registration desk — she “got it” as she told me later. My mom understood what we trying to do, how big it was, and most importantly, for our relationship, why I hadn’t come to visit. She even came back for GeekGirlCon ’12 with my stepfather in tow.
Of course, visiting my mom wasn’t the only thing I’ve purposefully put off. In the past two and a half years, I’ve had a lot of changes in my life, great and bad, and racked up a huge amount of personal debt (of the non-monetary, taking time for myself kind of debt). I’ve changed jobs, broke off a 5-year relationship, fallen in love with someone new, put personal projects on hold, and neglected my mild, yet chronic, health issues. I’ve been asked at my job to step up my contributions to the team and company, and most weeks found myself feeling guilty for never having time for my GeekGirlCon work and letting down my marketing team and the larger organization.
While I stepped down, GeekGirlCon’s mission of bringing women and allies together to celebrate our geekiness is still something I strongly believe in and will continue to support as a non-staff member. Expect to see me at events or in other places. I trust each and every one of GeekGirlCon’s current and future staff to do brilliant work to carry forth GeekGirlCon’s mission. And I cannot wait to see the great works that GeekGirlCon will be doing in the future.
I’m incredibly thankful for GeekGirlCon and proud of what GeekGirlCon’s doing to change the dialog and create safe spaces for women geeks and our allies. I’ve learned a ton along the way, and I’ve seen the wonderful things that we can accomplish together. I also got to accomplish many of my dreams, including running a business; making a meaningful, feminist impact on the world; and meeting a ton of amazing geeks who care about GeekGirlCon’s mission. Nothing makes me more happy than to hear a story about how GeekGirlCon has changed someone’s life or just made them really happy.
I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing next, in my new spare time, but I do know that I have no less than two vacations planned this year. Though I’m sure the future will be awesome for both me and GeekGirlCon.