I keep finding myself in the same dilemma.
It started with sds. good, old, trusty sds. a staple in my life for a couple years. i give credit to sds for my radicalization, for my found passion, for my involvement, for my friends, for a sense of belonging and community, and for my general growth. sds pushed me to think about things i never spent much time thinking about. sds made me believe (and then disbelieve) in a revolution. sds taught me to put my faith in people, in each other. without sds, i very seriously doubt my ability to critically think and question the socialization i've been developed in. sds was great. i met new people with new ideas, i got angry, i pumped my fist in the air and yelled at the bourgeois for not taking to the streets, for telling their children to step in line, for working 9 to 5's, for shopping at walmart. i went to workshops, i learned strategy, i participated in difficult conversations about race, about privilege.
but after a while, i got tired of yelling. i got tired of pumping my fist and talking about a revolution inside a classroom, followed by commercial music and cheap beer. i wanted more. i wanted to do something, to effect something. i wanted my new found ideals to be put into action. real action. not a action, but to turn my ideals into something concrete, something tangible.
i stuck with it. i went to the meetings and talked strategy. how to best achieve something, what experiences i had to share. i tried to delve into what our purpose was, who we are, what we want, and maybe most importantly- how we are going to get it. but, when athens sds chose the campaign for winter quarter to be to 'end the war' i felt like i failed.
the strength of an organization should not rely on any one person. likewise, no one person should feel their identity- their success- is that of an organization.
sds was no longer what i needed for personal fulfillment. granted, no organization will ever provide fulfillment, but if it doesn't add to it, then maybe it's not for me (anymore). and after a certain point of trying, i had to realize sds was not able or willing to transform itself into what i needed. but the trick to it is, i still think sds is important. i still believe in the organization, in the purpose. without sds, i would not be who i am today. i want other people, other big eyed and open eared students at ou to have sds around. it was so important to me, i wanted it to continue. to be there for the next person, to guide someone else into their own being.
when i decided to stop going to sds, i knew it might be to the detriment of athens sds. i was hoping that was not the case, that it would live on. so far, it's future is up in the air, but it's not looking good. that makes me really sad.
leaving sds was a good choice i think. but, as i grow frustrated with other organizations, i keep asking myself- at what point do the meetings, the discussions, the grand plans, become road blocks to my ability to do things. i think a big part of it has to do with student organizing. i feel increasingly frustrated and disempowered by student organizing- across campus, across the state, across the country. maybe it's because i'm moving on, i am realizing within a few months, i won't be a student. maybe student organizing is based on a population i often don't relate that well to, feel frustrated with, yet self associate with. but maybe it's not me, maybe there are very serious problems within the 'movement' that should be addressed. and if all the people who see these problems choose to leave- because they are frustrated, tired, disempowered- will they ever get addressed or will they continue to fester?
i wonder- how long do i stick it out before i drop out?