NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My Friends and My Place Among Them
Here it is another Tuesday which tells me it is my turn to blog. Its funny really that nothing political is really nipping at me and there is a lot going on right now that really should be. The perfect example of this is the immigration issue the U.S. is facing and I should be all fired up about it today especially after the big march that took place yesterday, but for some reason I have another thought that has been nipping at me ever since I got back from Australia. I'm not exactly sure if this is the place or vehicle to express such a thought, but I figured what the heck its my day to blog and I can do what I want.
When I got back from AU I came home to the very sad news about Adam Stevens passing away. Its not news that you like to come home to. Now I only meet him twice and unfortunately I will never really get to know him. My thinking, here is this 24 year old who has his whole life ahead of him and he had the world waiting to see what he will bring to it and sadly we will never know because he passed away much to young. His passing has caused me to be reflective about if he knew what he meant to his family, friends and to this organization that he obviously cared very deeply for and with that it has made me consider the possibility that my friends and this organization may not know how I feel about them. Before another day goes by I want my friends and the Young Democrats of Atlanta to know what you mean to me.
I have a core group of friends in the Young Democrats of Atlanta. These are the people that I look to for advice, for support, for help and just plain look up to. In no particular order so as not to hurt anyone feelings Nikema, Betsy, Page, Benson, Jason, Tim, Big Sexy,Will, Daniel, TJ and Billy. On Saturday night we had gathered at Betsy's house to celebrate her birthday and while we were standing there in her living room talking about how we are going to turn this state blue again and about how we are going to win in TJ's House District race it became clear to me that I had to tell them how much this group of people mean to me. It was a moment taken from a movie when all the sudden I couldn't hear the music playing or the conversations that were taking place all I had was a feeling of friendship wash over and I knew right there and then there wasn't anything I wouldn't do for any of them. I would go to the mattressess for any one of them if they asked me to because I know they would do the same for me. These people are what one them call"good people". I believe that is correct, but these people are also some of the smartest and most dedicated people I have ever met. Each one of them brings something unique to my life that I have been blessed with. I have often thought I need to channel Nikema, Betsy and Page when I'm not feeling my strongest. If I could do that more than 50% of the time watch out it would be a sight to see. Benson is like one of those one name famous people like Sting, Prince, Clinton and Obama that is all you have to say and that is enough. I once had someone ask me what does Benson do and I said that I didn't know he was just Benson that seemed to be enough. If I had a ounce of courage like TJ I might consider running for something other then Membership Chair, but I think for now I will live that up to him. No matter if he wins or loses he has shown me what bravery is all about by himself out there to run for public office. Daniel and Jason I can always count on for understanding sympathy for the other point of view on things. These two people are exetremely patient with me even when I'm not patient with myself. Big Sexy is the person who I can always count on to make me laugh and blush at the same time. Just when I think I have heard it all from Big Sexy he comes at me with something totaly off the wall that makes me turn redder then the time before. Tim, is the guy who is always free with a hug and he will be the guy I turn to at the bar if someone is bothering me and I say I'm with him. He knows that he can do the same with me if a guy is bothering him he can turn to me and I say I'm with her. Will, well I think he thinks I'm his driver because I seem to be the one he turns to when he needs to pick up at his corner or be driven to the "Bat Cave". I feel special because very few people have ever been to the "Bat Cave" and had live to tell the tale. Will is a neat guy with loads of perspective on life. Billy' s knowledge on Georgia politics makes me glad that he is on our side. If I could have one fifth of his knowledge on Georgia politics I would be in good shape. If you have never listen to him at Manuel's explaining the differences in each House District then you are missing something. It makes you wonder if Billy has any room in his brain for anything other then politics. Even when we hurt each other or disagree with one another I know at the end of the day we still have each other's back. There is not one of them that I could not call upon for anything. This core group of people mean a lot to me. These people are the ones that help make the fight worthwhile. My group of friends help me to keep going when I think that giving up would be easier. These people are the people that I would hate to late down in a million years because I know they would never let me down. When I do not have the energy to keep moviated I think about this group of people and I get back up and keep going. This core group of people mean a lot to me. I wanted to tell them before another goes by. Now, these core group of friends that I have make up just a part of the bigger picture and that picture is the Young Democrats of Atlanta.
I was talking with Daniel last week about where I fit in this organization. I may be the Membership Chair, but I feel like I have yet to find my role really YD ATL. I told him that I still have so much to learn from those who have been around longer then me that I can't seem to get a handle on my place in this organization. Daniel, being wise beyond his 23 years told me that is alright because we are still young, learning and growing. Most of us are still trying to find the same thing you are, but the important part is you found the YD ATL. Daniel is right about that. Maybe I have yet to find my voice in YD ATL, but here I can be myself. I can express my views on politics and social issues and not get strange looks from people. In the YD ATL I can fight for the causes that I hold dear and get a cheer instead of a HUH! I can vent my frustration and angrey of over Purdue or over the Bush adminstration and get a sympathic pat on the back or you are preaching to the choir instead of I think Bush is doing fine job. The point I'm trying to make here I may never have the leadership qualities or the smarts that Emily posses, I may never be as witty and or as clever as Shelby, Justi or Kate. I may never have Carly's spirit or Benson's attention to detail, but I'm dedicated, commited to our goals and loyal to this organization to my friends in it. We all have our place in YD ATL and we each play a role in it. This organization is what you want to make of it. I know what YD ATL means to me. It means extended family and friends working toward a common purpose. Do you know what YD ATL means to you?

Melissa Thompson
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posted by Melissa at 4/11/2006 11:40:00 AM


Anonymous timcairl said...

love ya too girl!

4/11/2006 03:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

"Do you know what YD ATL means to you?"

I thought it was just a drinking club. huh who knew. ;-)

4/11/2006 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger mike said...

They say there is a reason for everything, but Adam leaving is one I can't figure out. I think you are on the right track, keep it up, maybe more will do the same.

4/12/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Shelby said...

Mostly it's heartburn, with some editing mixed in. :-P

4/13/2006 01:56:00 AM  
Anonymous erin said...

Melissa, I think you contribute more than most of the population just by showing up. You don't need to have a set place in the organization- you just need to be yourself and do the best you can. Okay, sorry, getting Oprah again. But we're all trying to figure out who we are on some level; I don't think that ever stops.

PS- No, Mark, the drinking is what you need *after* you become a member. It's like a prescription for the disease.

4/13/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Nikema said...

Can someone share a kleenex?
Love Ya Too Chica!

4/17/2006 11:40:00 AM  

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