It’s been a month and a week since George Floyd was murdered a few miles from my house, and a month and four days since I started running operations at BLC Midway to try and help, well, with whatever I can. When I showed up in Midway that day with donations, I dropped everything when they said we need medics. I dropped everything when we needed someone to organize stuff at BLC, and when the community showed up needing food and supplies. That included work, Salesforce community efforts, self care, all of it.
I’ve been struggling a bit, for a bunch of reasons, but the primary thing I keep coming back to is the time I’ve taken this last month to let go of everything else and put my efforts where they matter. I feel guilty. At first I didn’t know where it was coming from, the guilt. I felt bad for taking the time away from work (shouts to my incredibly flexible team for covering for me). I felt bad for basically dropping #SnailMailStickerSwap. I felt bad for not participating in any Lightning Champion or Service Cloud activities. I have been feeling just crummy for NOT letting my life go back to normal.
But that’s what it’s all about.
The way societal pressure pushes us forward, to move on from things, is negatively affecting our ability to grow and change when pivotal events finally shake us enough to feel the drive. It downplays the importance of Black Lives Matter and Trans Rights when deaths are still occurring every week. And so I feel this unbidden need to get back to things, and apologize, and get back into the swing of my “normal” life. But is that what’s necessary?
At BLC Midway, in partnership with individuals all over our community and with the clergy (me! partnering with clergy!), we have been doing our best to listen to what our community needs. At first, it was shelter and safe havens for medics to help heal. Then it was food and supplies while businesses were shut down. Now it’s continued support for ongoing food shelves. Next it’s facilitating learning and growth for anyone who’s felt the fire ignite for them, personally. Then, whatever comes next. Because this is what’s necessary. Getting people to hospitals when EMS was not answering calls. Ensuring households have food and babies have diapers. Keeping laying down tracks when donors and volunteers are starting to run out of steam. This is what’s needed, so why should I feel bad about it?
I came to the realization this week that the work I’m doing at BLC Midway is simply bigger. That’s not to say that I don’t love my job, or that I’m not passionate about Salesforce. But those things will be here for me. Sometimes, the work you do with your life doesn’t need to be your actual job. Sometimes, the people you help aren’t your customers or coworkers, but your community.
That’s okay. I’ll be back, active in the Ohana, as I have the time. I’m back at work and helping to get back and organized as my team still offers me so much grace. Because sometimes that’s what needed.
Sometimes, it’s bigger.