I have so many thoughts racing through my head, my feet are swollen from being in a car for so long, my wallet is hurting from the drinks and food I purchased, and I am completely exhausted, but that being said I do not think I have ever been so completely happy. Yes, this will be a long post. No, you are not obligated into reading this if I tagged you, but please feel free to browse as I need to express so many things that I never knew existed until this very weekend.
So many people who know me are surprised when I tell them I joined a sorority. I never thought I would rush Greek because of the horror and shame that typically comes along with it. Even when I saw the student paper my freshman year stating a gay sorority was coming to campus. I eventually forgot about it. Even when I started dating someone from it and we spent hours talking about me joining I rejected the idea. I hated the idea of such an institution, but things slowly evolved. I got invited to events, I went to recruitment and then people started asking what was keeping me from joining. I kept trying to make excuses why I could not join, but problematic people left and people wanted me so I thought I would try it out. It wasn’t easy for the longest time. I have this innate belief that everyone secretly hates me (yes, this is trauma induced and not a personal judgement).
Though there have been serious points where I questioned why I joined the people I have connected with and met have always been there. Until this weekend I did not really know any of you except through Facebook and Alyssa talking about the amazing things you have done (yes, she talks about all of you). I thought it was incredible that the strangers on the internet supported me through hard times and it taught me that this was a core value that we desire. All of a sudden though the people on the screen have become people that I have hugged, people that I have almost cried saying goodbye to. I felt myself grow alongside all the people I met and even though it was so much fun there was a lot of learning. I learned about myself, I learned about identity as a group and an individual, I learned that sometimes I should take more risks when I feel scared and vulnerable, and I learned that people will surprise you.
I do not think I stopped smiling once this weekend. The counter is already on for next year, I am planning in my head trips I want to take to visit people while also anticipating nationals coming for their chapter trip, and the feeling that some of the people we look to for leadership feel it is their job to protect us from the world around us.
Sam asked us today to say why we joined and though I often joke that I was forced I realized that until today I never really knew why. I figured out that I joined because I saw so many people doing things together and I wanted to know their secrets. I wanted to know why my partner was willing to be out late at night just to wake early the next day for some organization. I wanted a community that I did not feel on my campus. I found all of these things within GRL. Joining was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Driving home I had lots of time to think and I couldn’t stop thinking of all the people who knew me and were excited that I was around them, sharing space. I almost cry and the look on some people’s faces as I had to say goodbye. I feel so close to this family and I want to protect them with everything I have. Our world is scary and unsafe and I didn’t want to say goodbye because so much can happen before next year, but that’s also why I say I love you so goddamn much.
The hugs I got from people made me realize that our body language speaks volumes. And even with such tragedy happening within our community, itself, there was so much support. There were so much I wanted to say within the letters we wrote for our jars, but there wasn’t enough time to get to explain all the ways you have changed me in just this weekend alone. I have some people that I feel very close with now and I hope they agree with me because I want to grow closer. Through the dancing, the laughing, the crying, winning multiple awards, and the tequila I can honestly say this will be a convention I will never forget. It reinforced that I belong her and that people want me here. I have so much respect for everyone I met and cannot wait for the future. Thank you to so many for being here. Thank you for being so caring and understanding. And to some of you thank you, just, for being protective. Also, thanks for the endless hugs. I have been hugged until I almost couldn’t breathe, but I need more because those are the ones that I didn’t want to let go of. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Also, I love you.
(Here are a couple personal ones, if you read this far) I only did a few, but omg this is the most wonderful group of human beings I have ever been around.
Savannah- You are so brilliant. You are so kind and honest. It has been great seeing you online and you offline is even better. I really do want to talk outside of official things (I know we kind of do, but still). Just please keep being your phenomenal self.
Chase- I am completely and utterly grateful that you have entered my life. I didn’t get to say thank you, but feeling as though someone is there that I can talk about identity and misunderstanding of personal feelings is awesome. It meant a lot that you were so willing to talk about things and were open to more conversations. You are doing a great job. Please keep staying funny.
Miranda- There is so much I actually want to say to you, but I probably won’t. You are one of the people that I was just so swept away by. I had so much fun dancing with you and understanding more about you. I hope we can stay close and maybe figure some way to do something together because I need to see more of your face!!!I honestly miss you so much already; it is honestly not even funny. You are one of my favoritest people in the whole world and are just such a special star. You deserve the moon. I hope things go well in all that worry you and please know I am ALWAYS here. If you want you can have my number and text me at 3am. I wish I had gotten to spend more time with you, but once we did spend time I didn’t exactly want it to end. Thank you for the dancing and the laughs. Maybe one day we can hang out more and do something, like get food. Also, you owe me wine (not really, but I still wish I had gone with and made sure you were okay). Please keep evolving. I believe you can do anything. I look forward to snapping with you and talking with you. I formed a connection with you and that doesn’t happen very often. Thank you for helping with much and I look forward to exploring more with you.
Taylor- I don’t know why writing yours is so hard. I feel as though I just want to talk to you and be best friends with you. Sorry if that sounds weird,but it was so great getting to know you. It was hard stopping the hug and I was kinda glad to know I was not the only one who didn’t want to be the first one to break the hug. You are so incredibly wonderful and an even more amazing person in real life. I want to skype with you and talk about obscure things that don’t make much sense. I definitely want to play games with you, please let us plan things. Also, please let us try and plan things for next convention because I want to do so much and where ever we are we need to make it amazingly memorable. You are such a fun, incredible spirit. I love your entire vibe and you cracked me up so much this weekend. I cannot even describe how amazing it was to connect to someone. We didn’t spend a lot of time, but it was the small things. You touched me very deeply and it is so appreciated that this was a thing that happened. we can text or snap or whatever if you want as well. Please keep being you. There is not really a word to describe you, but you. Like I said there is so much more I want to say to you, but I really do not know how to form it into sentences. Thank you for helping make this weekend amazing.