I recently read another blog post from a friend about quitting. She discussed when feeling like quitting to look back on the reasons that you started your journey. I thought about this a lot today. Why did I join Toastmasters? The first and most obvious reasons were that my boss at the time told me to. She wanted me to improve my training and speaking skills. I stayed in Toastmasters in her honor after she died on 9/11 at the World Trade Center. I dedicated my first Distinguished Toastmaster award to her. Since that time I got two more DTMs and led the state to success.
The another reason, I was living in Arizona and just moved her from Florida. I was divorced, my mother was dying and I was living with a man that I knew there was no future in the relationship. I needed an outlet. I needed to get out of the house and meet new people. I filled my life with things to do and people to spend that time with. Most of those people are now my dearest friends.
I wanted to get management experience. I needed to get some management experience because I was going nowhere in my career. I gained the confidence to go back to school and get two degrees (and despite the rumors, I actually did complete all my coursework). I am now managing small IT projects and working in an entirely new field from the one I started Toastmasters in. I also tripled my salary.
I met someone I am spending the rest of my life with and I met him in Toastmasters. It was part of the plan. To meet a like-minded, successful, ambitious man. It did not happen for many years but it happened.
I think I have reached all the goals I wanted to reach. Perhaps, that is why I am so empty when it comes to Toastmasters. I have actually done all that I set out to do. I had thought about running for our Board of Directors but after seeing the emotional, physical, monetary, and psychological toll it has taken on other people, it is no longer an ambition or a dream. I never say never but it is not on the radar. Not a blip.
So if I have accomplished all that I set out to do, is it not the logical conclusion to bid farewell? To move on to the next chapter of my life? Can I stay in a club knowing there is nothing more for me to accomplish?
My hope is that my home club builds its membership by next October. If that happens, I believe I will move on. My other club is social, fun to be in, less stressful. That is where I probably want to be. I always said I would be a Toastmaster until my last breath but time may have come to close that chapter, and let the breath out.