asked if I would like to join the Junior League, I totally balked at the idea.
I sputtered excuses like, "But I'm not a soccer mom," and "That's really not my thing," and "Why would you even THINK of me for this?!" Crestfallen, these ladies looked around at each other like they'd made a huge mistake. (And who can blame them?)
Then one friend, Ruth McMillan, gently informed me that it was a very big deal to be asked -- especially with no family ties in the area, and convinced me that I should at least go to an informational meeting before making a decision.
Thinking of longtime colleague, friend, personal hero and very active JLJ member Beth Hansen, I did.
When I walked away from the informational meeting, I was hooked. So what if many of these ladies were addicted to social gatherings and wore feather boas to meetings? This group was a great organization, and they buckled down and got things done in the community. Big things. Much more than piddly ol' me could ever do alone -- that's for sure.
So I joined. For months afterwards, I never told my own group of fun, hip-to-be-square, young professional or just-out-of-law-or-med-school peeps. I would turn down offers to meet at Keifer's on Tuesday night because of "community service meetings," or say I couldn't go walking on a nice night because of "a prior obligation." Understandably, my friends started getting suspiscious. Finally, they staged what I still feel was an informal intervention, where they casually asked what these community service obligations were all about. (I think they feared I was in some sort of trouble with the law.) :-)
I finally admitted to being part of the Junior League. The girls immediately got it -- they knew that as a proud Coast transplant, this was not something I wanted or needed on my resume', yet after a good chuckle, they seemed to appreciate my motivation. The guys had no clue, as many good guys don't. (One even asked if I would go on to the Senior League afterward.)
My time with the Junior League of Jackson (JLJ) was immensely rewarding. I met new friends, got to know other acquaintances on new levels, and was introduced to a ridiculous number of community needs and organizations that I was formerly unaware of.
I've joined Forum 35, and am excited about the volunteer and community activities I can hop onto with that, but the League is a different level of community service, and I think I might just be ready to test the Jr. League waters again here in BR.
So....maybe so. It's a huge time commitment, and I don't have a lot of those demands right now aside from work. But I always felt I was part of something bigger than me, and so worthwhile. And at the end of the day, I'm thinking that's just what this redhead needs.
I'll keep ya posted. I know you're all sitting around and waiting with bated breath -- just wondering how RJ's world will turn next. ;-)