note: also posted on Solutionaries.
After today, our first week of Summer of Solutions will be over.
It’s been tumultuous, fascinating, inspiring, and overwhelming all at once. I’ve had a lot of thinking to do, and not much time to sit down and meditate.
We’ve had a lot of good thought happening this week. I’ve met some really amazing people that I would really like to get to know. However, my own role in the Summer of Solutions seems to be a precarious one.
I don’t have nearly as much experience as most of the people I’m working with. And while that’s completely fine – I attended the SSC’s training program last summer, I have been working on my campus as best I can, but really, I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as these amazing people, and feel self-conscious about it. I know I don’t have as much experience to bring to the table, and am frustrated with myself for having wasted so much time not organizing.
I don’t want to come up with excuses for my lack of experience. It’s simply where I’m at right now in my activist journey. And I know that this summer, I will learn so much from these people.
What I really hope to do is become a part of a community that won’t break up at the end of the summer. I don’t want Summer of Solutions to be a one-time, one-summer program. I want what happens this summer to continue over into the years to come. I don’t want to start coalitions that then break apart when we’re all in our separate colleges, separate towns, even states.
The thing that I see that will act as the catalyst for this community, then, is to build friendships. I want to befriend everyone in the program, whether or not we are working on the same issues. I want to make unexpected friends, in communities that we enter to create change in society. I want to laugh, invite people to things, make friends, and most of all, I want to be one of the many lungs breathing life into this space.
I feel that the people of Summer of Solutions have so much potential. At the same time, we are in a strong position in history to make major change. With the stimulus package, and the new administration in office, and Copenhagen in December, we have a lot of support and a lot of resources available to us. Now we just need to harness our resources, come together, and find a way to fly.
I’m still not sure what the summer will look like, exactly, for me. I want to work with communities. I want to hook up with already existing groups, as well as dream a new dream with new people and follow it. I also have a research grant, and have realized that my travels will take me away from this community for up to three weeks. So I need to come up with a way to keep in touch with the group while I’m away. That can and will be worked out – I still haven’t got any responses from the people I sent letters out to interview, so I may need to change my plans. I wouldn’t mind changing my plans to stay in town – it would make it much easier to keep the momentum going with Summer of Solutions. But then I would need to completely change the way I’m doing my research project, and the research itself is so new that I don’t know if I could really do it without traveling.
That’s an issue for me to work out on my own. I can say that I am much, much more than excited to be working here this summer.
Remember to fly. Remember to ground.