With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought sisterly love and compassion was an appropriate topic for this week’s Fraternity Friday- particularly forgiveness. This is a difficult topic for me to broach, but this is all about growth.
When I was an active, I wanted to have a philanthropic tea, but no one was ever interested. I was disappointed but that is life! Once I was back from Ireland, I decided in January 2014 that I was going to host my own philanthropic tea sometime in April or May. I had the time to focus on it, I felt that it was a manageable event, and I finally had the capital to pay for things to be booked. I was ecstatic and so happy to finally be planning it! I mentioned it to one of the actives in the chapter, thinking that if someone wanted to volunteer or attend it would be great but I didn’t want to imply that there were any obligations.
It was about 2 months later that I found out that they were planning their own tea as a philanthropy event, only a week after mine. It was a huge slap in the face- intended or not. I don’t believe there was malicious intent behind it; in fact, I’m positive they didn’t think of me at all. They saw an opportunity for the chapter and seized it. But I was still hugely hurt. This was something that I was incredibly passionate about and had set my sight on for years, it was used without the thought and meaning that I had come to associate with it, and the people that I would have hoped would attend mine wouldn’t attend both and I was the one bumped.
I was talking to another alumna recently about it who was active at the time, and she said that the chapter really needed something at the time. I don’t doubt for a second that that is true, but I also needed it. I was at a very low point, in regards to life in general and Alpha Gam. Junior Circle wasn’t a possibility at the time, and advising wasn’t either. I felt shut out from an organization that I had given my all to, one that was supposed to be there for me, and that I was a fool for thinking that I meant anything to the chapter or the Fraternity. I had tried to make this for myself so that I did have something, and it felt like it was taken from me.
Is it still a hard topic for me? Absolutely. However, I’m no longer angry or stewing about it. It took quite some time, but I slowly let go of it. I realised that nothing was intentional, and that there is nothing to do but forgive them. Collegians don’t always think of alumnae as being their sisters- but we are, and I will still treat them as such. It can be difficult to forgive people that should want to support you but might not deliver what you expect for a myriad of reasons. No matter what happened, I still want to the best sister I can be. Harbouring hurt feelings was only affecting me; they don’t know or care- nor should they. I think it is wonderful that they have found something that brings them together, and that it has become a positive situation for them. I will probably be moving in the future; perhaps I will try to plan my tea again wherever I move!
Forgiveness can be a hard thing. It doesn’t always mean that it fixes whatever happens, but rather that it might alter your outlook on it. These people are your sisters, in an organization that you chose to join. Forgiveness is one of the biggest aspects of life that Alpha Gam has taught me, and although by the very nature of it you have been hurt in some way, it is a crucial lesson to learn.
I hope that this Valentine’s Day you can take a few moments to let your sisters know that you are there for them, no matter what!