01454: Trying to Work Together

Today is Blog Action Day, an annual online collaboration among bloggers to write about a particular topic. My "official" BAD post for this year will publish on the Geeky Guide later tonight but I thought the theme of The Power of We might make for a good peg for today's personal blog post. At least that's the theory.

I haven't really been involved in larger group of sorts since my school days. Something happened that had me feeling rather tired of the whole thing by the time I graduated high school. You see, I was pretty active in the student government as early as the 4th grade and I kept that up all the way to my senior year of high school. It was certainly a rewarding experience and it helped me learn a lot about dealing with other people, negotiating compromises, developing solutions, and of course honing my leadership style. That last bit didn't really become better until I actually started working.

Since then, I find myself unwilling to fully commit myself to any independent group or cause. A part of me feels about it. Another part of me feels like I've already paid my dues during my school days and saw very little in terms of returns. Fulfillment is great and all, but then it can only go so far.

I can't pinpoint precisely when I felt so jaded about involvement with other groups in this manner. Maybe it stems from that part of me that felt that group work at school is best done by fewer people in order to ensure quality or something. I don't sound like much of a team player when I ramble on like this, but it's hard to explain using "better" words. These are just the usual kinds of things any introvert might consider, especially one who was always pressured to perform well academically during my school years. It sounds selfish (and it probably is), but anyone who has had to try to accomplish a single goal with a group of people should understand the pros and cons.

This not to say that I don't care about what goes on around me in the world. I do - I have very strong opinions about world affairs and I often lend my voice to sound the call regarding various issues and such. I try to go through channels and communicate with official government channels as needed - yes, I actually email members of Congress from time to time. But I also know that I can do a lot more and try to get more involved.

As of late I've been considering getting more involved with the local HIV / AIDS advocacy movement, since it's a pretty big issue that does affect the LGBT community more than I'd like it to. But my main delimiter is my work schedule and how irregular it can be. Working at night as part of the BPO industry means that when most activities are taking place in the day, I'm probably going to be asleep. Or I can try to force myself awake in order to participate, but normally I pay for efforts like that with blood, figuratively speaking. My sleeping problems over the course of the last week all the way to the weekend are evidence of that as well.

But if there's a will, there's a way. I need to stop making excuses and try to participate in the world more.

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