I made a tough decision last week, but one that had been a long time coming, to be honest. After 16 years of membership, including two years serving on the board of my local chapter, I resigned my membership in both RWA and that chapter. This will not surprise those who have been following this debacle since the events that came to light on December 23. Those who don’t care and have not been following along . . . well, you won’t care about my reasons and, frankly, you’re better for not knowing.
But just in case there is some third group of people who do care and don’t know what I’m talking about, or in case you just want to see what I sound like when I’m being all stern and serious, here’s a link to the twitter thread where I posted a portion of my resignation letter.
I normally wouldn’t share something like that publicly, even though many other writers have done so. But part of the problem with RWA is the dearth of communication and lack of transparency about process and decisions. So it felt important to be clear and open about my decision and the reasons behind it. After 16 years, I figure I’ve earned the right to Say Some Things.
As I mentioned, this has been a long time coming, a response to deep-seated bigotry and discrimination in RWA that might never be resolved. I expected to feel some degree of loss or remorse or maybe have second thoughts. Interestingly, I don’t. It’s more a feeling of immense relief. RWA is not my problem anymore.
It’s a heavy toxic weight off my shoulders, a clearing of brain space, a freeing up of energy. Much needed.
* * *
And then there’s the other definition of resignation, which I also dealt with around the same time:
“2. the acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable.” – Dictionary online
I refer, of course, to my trees. Specifically, to my trees, and parts thereof, falling.
OK, here’s something you might not know about me: I have fears.
Everyone: We knew that.
Me: FEARS, I tell you.
Everyone: Yes, we’re aware.
Me: Good. Glad we cleared that up.
Mostly these fears involve storms, especially storms with high winds. I refuse to qualify these fears as phobias — which I also have, thanks brain — because they aren’t irrational. And they’re different from general anxiety — which I also have, thanks again brain — because they’re specific.
I’m trying to be less fearful and more resigned to the fact that if you have tall pines and massive oak trees in your yard, and I do, and you also live in an area where occasionally there are storms with strong winds, and I do, eventually those trees are going to fall. And they do.
Obviously, it just serves to reinforce my fears, rather than alleviate them, when this happens.
It’s always disorienting to look out the window and see a large piece of tree or a root ball in a place where it doesn’t belong. My poor flowering cherry tree, getting crushed like that. There’s a fraction of a second when your brain refuses to accept what it’s seeing. “How can that possibly be there?”
Followed swiftly by, “How much is it going to cost and how quickly can I get that mess cut up and hauled away before the city gives me a citation for blocking sidewalk traffic?”
Partial answer: Before noon the next day, for the cutting up part. Impressive response time, yard guys. And see how neatly they piled it up?
Still waiting for them to find time in their schedule to come back and haul it away. And send me the bill.
Luckily, as you can see if you look waaaaay up (I’m guessing that’s about 80 feet up, on a 110-foot-tall tree), losing a limb of that size didn’t damage or weaken the pine tree AT ALL.
Probably the rest of it won’t come crashing down with the next strong wind. Or heavy heaping of snow.
Did I mention tomorrow’s forecast is for some unknown description and quantity of wintry precipitation? It might be anything from some light cold rain to perhaps several inches of snow. Or maybe just sleet. Or freezing rain that clings to branches and weighs them down and . . .
So far, I’m one-for-two on achieving various definitions of resignation this month. Fingers crossed I don’t get the opportunity for more practice any time soon.