With Andrew comes a whole new way of being, of looking at the world and my life, and a realization that I have found something that's worth shaking up my universe for. Heck, it's already been shaken to its foundations. I never expected to find someone who's such a kindred spirit. And even if it ultimately doesn't work out, for whatever reason, I am still the richer for it all. This is the future that wasn't going to happen anyway, so hey, it's all good. And the good is very, very good, currently. Yeah, I'm going to have to shake up my life, and make some changes and compromises, and get used to a new way of being. And it will be good for me. I laugh over the fact I'm going to have to find room for more books in the house (mostly about WWII), and room for a desk and computer, as well as his stuff in general. I've been spreading out and accumulating too much, and it's time to revamp, reorganize, and reevaluate the space. Heck, it may finally be time to get a non-dialup internet connection, too.
But it was the call I had with Stewart last night that got me back present to something I had forgotten: WHY I do Civil War. What inspires me, motivates me, makes me feel most alive. Because I got back in touch with a lot of things, over the past week or so. And those who have seen me see the fire back in me, the passion, the willingness to charge into the breech. This is the fire and passion that I once also applied to political causes, to environmentalism, to Native causes. I felt it in my bones again, and it was amazing. I thought I had lost it, turned old and tired and cynical, trudging on with the hope and belief but not the fire. Nope, it was just awaiting the proper stimulus. And the stimulus is that this year, my Civil War club either is remade and started back on a path to viability, or it crashes and burns. MY Civil War Club, the NCWA. MINE. I have ownership here. It's MINE. I helped CREATE this club, and by all gods, it's not going down without me fighting the good fight!
I started humming "The Mary Ellen Carter." Good sign.
I have something worth fighting for. Something that is IMPORTANT to me. And I am about the ideal person to be the VP at this point, because I can deal with all the "smiling bastards lying to you, everywhere you go." I have come through the worst club politics can offer, thank you. And I'm still here. And I can tell it like it is, and if people challenge me, can tell them to fish or cut bait, because I don't want to hear it. I have no problem with alienating and angering people, if that's what it takes. Because once they're mad, you've hit them in a place where they are thinking differently, can be shaped and directed. I can be the dutch uncle, who says "Fine, you want to criticize, YOU deliver an alterative, and make it live. But don't just sit there and whine." I talked to Richard, and he's got his own idea of what he would do with the office, and it's not the position of the VP. He sees this as a vehicle for getting people for the Norfolk. Screw the Norfolk. Don't get me wrong; I love my artillery unit. But the priority now is the club as a whole, and its survival. Richard also sees recruiting as a first priority. I see stopping the hemmorhage of people OUT of the group as the first priority. Stop the bleeding, then figure out what you're going to do to save the patient. Because you can't get more people until you figure out WHY they're leaving. And the big thing about the VP role is event coordination. THIS is what we DO. What fires me up. We put on events and educate the public. And those events are not just educational, but if we do it right, people want to learn more, and maybe come join us. We've been going through the motions, but I think people have forgotten why we are here. They need to remember. I'm also seeing that I need to empower others around me, and see where we can take this to get back on track. I don't care if we have the full spectrum of attitudes in "Confederates in the Attic" from Sacred Trust of Reenacting to "It's a fun party." The point is if the bodies are turning out, and something is motivating them, it's good.
It's funny. People say that I'm more ALIVE than they've ever seen me, when I'm talking about this stuff. And the thing is, I'm getting back to my old self. It's not even achieving the goal, it's the process, the good fight. Heck, I might not be the VP I aspire to be, but I'm sure as hell better than nothing, and I have a vision, which is more than any of the recent ones have. If this organization goes down, it (and I) will go down fighting. And THAT is worth it in itself!