I left the AWIT leadership team after my kid was born. This post, and updating this site in general with that change, is extremely belated. So without further ado, here are my two reasons why:
My ObGyn’s test for PPD was to ask me if I had it. I, caught off-guard at being asked to diagnose myself, said No. So I don’t know if I did; I was never medically assessed for it. But I cried every day, often more than once, for several months after giving birth. It was the most miserable, painful, and lonely time of my life.
For that reason, my community-maternity-leave lasted longer than my work maternity leave. And during this time I have realized the second thing.
I like to do things on my own. When in AWIT, I started a monthly hack night, a book club, and a part-time bootcamp. People asked how they could help, and I rarely had anything to tell them. (Thankfully, Shannon Whalen stepped into both the book club and the hack night, and has continued both of those things since I left, and I’m so glad for that. Both Heather Fenton and Shannon also invested a lot of time into the part-time bootcamp.)
I have lots of ideas. People don’t always agree with them, so I started doing things without asking for help, because I didn’t want to be held back. Funny thing is, my failures were on ideas others spoke out against. So there’s something there.
Now that I’ve realized this, and have recovered from my PPD-or-not-PPD, I don’t plan on returning to AWIT leadership. Being in that scenario was an enabler for my tendency to do stuff on my own. I also felt routinely discouraged and unappreciated (possibly a norm of community work?). There’s much more nuance and humbling self-relfection here, but you probably don’t care. If you do care, let’s have coffee sometime.
I definitely want to do something, though. I still have too many ideas, and at least a few of them must be good. I’ll be thinking on this.
I’ll probably look to online communities, since I have a new appreciation for how difficult it can be to attend evening meetups.
I don’t have a pretty bow to wrap on this post. That’s it.