Thursday, December 6, 2012

East Side Catholics, Clap Clap, Clap Clap Clap

Day 6
Prompt from Think Kit by SmallBox:  How do you want to get involved in your community this year?

My parents moved to Indianapolis when I was four years old, and happened to buy an old home on the east side of the city.  There was no connection to this community, but I definitely feel like God had a hand in them landing where they did.

Growing up in Irvington and attending east side Catholic schools made me the person that I am today.  For everything I learned from I book, I learned three things from the people around me.  I am by no means perfect, but I do think I was brought up in a home and in a community where I was taught to appreciate others, to be grateful for and humbled by what I have, to feel confident that I could try whatever I wanted to try (including being on the tennis team in high school even if you were and still are a horrible tennis player) and to try to give back as much as I take.

And it's not just me.  I truly believe that each member of my family are who they are and value what they value, in part, because of this community we became a part of.

When I was grown, I happened upon a boy who grew up in that same community.  He would be quick to point out that he is four years younger, so when I was a senior at Scecina, he was an 8th grader at Holy Spirit; however, this is irrelevant because when we met he was 21 and I was 25...completely appropriate in my book.

Our relationship started and has continued to be the easiest relationship I have ever experienced.  I think this is, in large part, due to the fact that we come from the same stock.  We were raised with the same values, with the same education, and also with the same people.

So, it does not surprise me that we met because he played in my best friend's little brother's band.  Or that all but 1 of our 12 person wedding party were east side raised.  Or that we bought a house in Irvington, where we will raise our children, and will grow up as parents with the same people we grew up with as kids.

I love it!  And I appreciate it more than I could ever put into words.  There is something special about this community of people, and I know not everyone has the same warm and fuzzy feelings about the "small, family environment," but it sure means a lot to me.

Which is why in 2003 I started directing the musicals at Scecina Memorial High School.  Why, for three years, I coached cheerleading at Our Lady of Lourdes.  And why in 2009 I accepted a job at Scecina working to increase enrollment, improve their online and print communication, and, most importantly, fund raise so that kiddos who wanted to go Scecina, but could not afford it, would get the same opportunity I did.

I wanted to give as much as I could back to the community that helped me become me.  So, what are my plans to help this community in the coming year?  How am I going to get involved?

Well, today someone mentioned that they felt like my blog was being written with "valuable sincerity," and while that is extremely flattering, it has also made me conscious that people are actually reading this thing and I better be honest. plans for community involvement...there are none.

Sure I will try to go to the OLL chili cookoff, and I will buy a candle from a Scecina softball player, and I will help my husband make a video for Scecina to use in their fundraising efforts, but that's about all I have in mind at this point.  I took the job at Scecina to give back, but I left my job at Scecina to start a family.  And now I have a little community within this community that is my sole focus at the moment.

I retired this year after nine years directing the musical.  I miss it already!  But I would feel selfish trying to be there Monday - Thursday nights from 7-9PM for three months when I have two little ones and a husband at home.  It just doesn't make sense for my family right now.

Hopefully by making these decisions, and trying to instill in my kids the same values my parents and this community instilled in me, years down the road there will be two more people who want to give back to Indy's east side.  And hopefully soon, I will be able to get back to paying off the debt I owe too.

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