Part One: The Set Off
I had an unsettling revelation today. I reached out to a few "friends" trying to get some contacts and support on an upcoming Road Show charity trip I'm doing in 3 days. I realize (trust me...I'm the one doing the planning, emailing and fundraising, so trust me when I say I REALIZE) that I do a lot of charity stuff. I love it. It's the main reason I co-founded a charity group a little over a year ago. And I know that for multiple reasons my friends and family can't support every single endeavor I get involved in. That would be crazy! I'm always sending emails or writing our charity newsletter about upcoming events, tweet about chances to donate, post facebook statuses of websites and inspirational stories I think you should read, and talk incessantly and passionately about my involvement when given the opportunity.
But after being involved in countless charity events, ones that I've poured my heart and soul into planning, ones that have aided and abetted in my lack of sleep for days on end I realized I have friends that don't support a single thing I do. And by support, I don't mean financially. Or even volunteering hours of free time. It could mean showing up at an event with a friend to show support. It could be a simple email, or hell even a note on facebook encouraging me for what I'm doing.
I don't do any of this charity work as a means of getting praise or attention. I don't get free cocktail dresses from Oscar de le Renta to wear at the parties. I don't even get gas mileage reimbursement. I do it because I like it and it makes me feel good. But then I think of friend's that DEMAND my support and encouragement when they get engaged, which ultimately requires me to spend lots of money on gifts, travel or bridesmaid dresses. Or the expectation to throw a baby shower for their first child. Or sending a housewarming gift when they buy a new house to show them how much I love them. These are milestones in their lives and I WANT to be there for them. Friends are meant to share those important moments, if and when they can.
But NEWSSSSFAAALASH...just because I don't rock a rock on my left ring finger or I don't breast feed does NOT mean I'm devoid of my very own milestones. This upcoming Road Show and the charity events that I plan are not only changing my life each and every day, but are changing the lives of others. These are huge milestones for me and ones that I had hoped my friends would bend over backwards to support me, take an interest in or at least give me a freaking high-five. It makes me sad to think the people I once considered my closest friends have not shared in the excitement of a single event with me. These same friends that are too busy to forward a flyer, post a link on facebook, or make a call on my behalf for a worthy cause are the ones that don't hesitate to ask me for favors."Do you have Rockets tickets tomorrow that you aren't using?" "Can I borrow that pink strapless dress this weekend?" "Do you mind paying for my dinner, I'm a little short on cash?" "I need a new job, can you make a call and be my reference?" Do I bat an eye? no sir.
(I'd be remiss not to give a big thank you to those that do share notes of encouragement with me and those that come and support my events and take an active interest. This WILL be another post for a beautiful day soon because it does mean the world to me.)
PART TWO: Oh No You Didn't...
Hopefully you read the little tirade above. I was (and sadly, still am) upset with that disheartening revelation. But it's life. Still a little upset, I headed over to my usual afterwork locale, the gym. I picked up my blackberry and sent a tweet about the above situation and then headed off to spinning only to return to a bevy of nonsense. For those that aren't familiar with Twitter, the main thing you need to know is that you're limited to 140 characters in each message.
the tweet in question...
sucks to see "friends" w/ no interest & ZERO support in my charity efforts. Well u know what - I don't give a F about ur babies or weddings
In hindsight, yes, that could have easily been taken the wrong way. Remember, 140 characters doesn't leave a beaucoup of space to write ALL of Part 1 from above. The frustrating part about this ruckus is that people who don't know me (but choose to follow me on twitter) are judging me, and publicly for that matter. Have I ever taken something the wrong way or rushed judgment? of course. And I'm embarrassed by it. But to start an entire revolution and get people to virtually gang up on someone is asinine. To send a tyrannizing message to someone saying I have an "evil heart" is taking it far and wide and landing on another planet. If these folks knew me AT ALL, or even sat in a booth behind me at Applebee's they would know within seconds just how much I care about people...ESPECIALLY babies and weddings.
But understand this. Bringing my charity, that I (and MANY others) have worked so hard to promote and grow, into question is UNCALLED for. By making comments about my character and tying my charities name into it for no other reason than to give your denouncing tweet some leverage is appalling and without merit. Your false and harsh judgement not only added to my already bad day, but you could have easily jeopardized the name of a wonderful charity and all the future good it could bring to those that need and deserve it. Shame on YOU.
I understand that I have 2 twitter accounts (@jaymelamm & @charitychicks) and that everything I say and do not just on twitter but in general reflects upon the other. I do think it's common sense, not to mention common courtesy, that when I post something from a personal account, to leave it at that. I should be granted a little separation between church and state because after-all, I am still an individual entitled to bad days and opinions. I might suggest foregoing this type of accusatory nonsense from the twitter account of your brand new restaurant. Probably not smart for business. I can only imagine you'd want the same if you went out and got hammered or did something that had ZERO to do with a business that you're working hard to make a name for. I'm just saying.
I pride myself on having very thick skin. I think it's a must for the life I live. A life I live everyday to the fullest and without filter. I know I sometimes say things that make people wonder what the heck was she thinking, but that's what I do. When you publicly and falsely denounce someone's charitable and do-gooder status, that hurts. That is the equivalent of hitting a girl below the belt. Especially on days like today, weeks like this, months like the past 14 when I've worked day and night with the only goal of helping others. Dedicated to raising money and awareness for diseases, creating and delivering cards to terminally ill patients, spending entire weekends brainstorming ways to help the homeless or babysitting a child for a single mom that can't afford a babysitter. To spend what scarce free time I have to help others and find ways to raise funds and awareness for worthy causes.
Man, the above sure painted one hell of a picture of an "evil hearted" girl.
One final thought...if you don't like what I have to say or it offends you, simply unfollow me and voila - problem solved.