Moving on

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For the past few weeks, there’s been one thing that’s been at the fore of my mind — moving on. For the past five years, I’ve volunteered with an amazing program at a local church. It’s basically been my favorite week out of every year, and I love all of the people involved in it. After my fourth year, the then-current director approached me about taking over after her. I was, of course, ecstatic, and already planning my first year. For my fifth year, I actually helped run the program. But at the end of the week of the program, I was blindsided by something — I probably wasn’t going to be the one to take over. I was devastated. I felt like I had been offered something amazing, only to have it snatched away from me. I couldn’t blame the director — she always tries to do what’s best for the program — but I was beyond unhappy, and at a loss as to what had happened to change the plans for the next year. But there was hope; I was probably going to continue to help the new directors plan for the next year. I decided then  that I would just suck it up and be happy to remain involved in whatever way I could.

This past week, I tried to approach the past director in order to figure out what had happened with the decision. I would have left it alone, but I had heard absolutely nothing from anyone about plans for the program, despite their assurances that I would stay involved, and it was really weighing on my mind. I didn’t really get any answers at all, and what she didn’t say said more than what she did. It’s hard not to think that the decision to pass the program on to others was a personal one, possibly based on my own lack of faith. But no matter what the reason was, I’m now left with a dilemma. Do I attend the program this summer, even as just a volunteer, after being seemingly intentionally left out?

I’m faced now with the impossible task of maybe trying to move on. For the past five years, that program has been my life. I looked forward to that week in the summer for months. Some of my best friends are volunteers and people who attended the program. My wall is plastered with countless photos from those weeks. I had already planned, almost in full, what was going to happen with the program when I took over. Part of me cannot imagine not being involved with the program, but another part can’t imagine going back to it after everything that has happened. It feels like all that has been tainted now, and I have trouble looking back on those five years without some cynicism and unhappiness. I don’t know what to do. Go, and maybe suffer the awkwardness of serving under people who decided not to involved me, and maybe have that affect the mood of the week, or don’t go and try to move on to new ventures, no matter how difficult that may be?

How do you move on from something like this? How do you just leave all of these people who you’ve grown to love over the years, and who you cannot imagine not seeing on a regular basis? How do you go on knowing that there will be people there at the program this coming summer expecting to see you, and being disappointed that you’re not there? How can you let them down like that? But, at the same time, how to do put on a fake smile and try to continue working with the program, and with people who have made it clear that they do not want you involved in any sort of leadership? How do you try to ignore the fact that the reason you were passed over was probably because of personal matters? It’s an impossible decision, but one I’ll have to be making soon.

I just don’t know what to do at this point. I know that if I am not involved with the program, I’ll find something else to do, some other sort of worthwhile volunteer work. But I’ll probably never stop thinking about what happened. I only hope that I’ll be able to get over what’s happened enough that I can look back at those five years and look at all of my photos and feel nothing but happiness for the fact that they happened. We’ll just have to see. Cheers.

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