You don’t need to share my faith to be my friend
I set the date: 12 September 2014. Venue: Colour Box Studio. Time: 7:30pm.
The middle of 2014 felt like a 90 minute Saturday morning spinning class on a hangover. I wasn’t sure about my job. I wasn’t sure about Cape Town.
It felt as if life was cutting off my wild bits, holding me, wriggling and squirming, on an assembly line and turning me into another lousy corporate sell out. I was living pay check to pay check. I hadn’t left the country for 2 years. Most of all I didn’t feel like I was making enough of a difference on planet earth.
I came up with a plan. I decided to host a giant event; solo.
I fling myself into situations and recover later (don’t try this at home- makes for great stories, but is a hard way to learn). I decided to do something very radical, challenging, out-of-the box, out of the comfort zone, out of the left field, out of the blue and out of everything.
I’ve always liked events: the people, the pressure, the you never know what could happen and the WOW I pulled it off. I came up with a plan to do something grand and make the world a better place.
Insert “Party-it-up,” date above, featuring 5 local artists, 4 DJ’s and a giant warehouse. All proceeds were to go to Uphold Global (my little best friend’s NGO which raises funds for disabled kids).
Here was the problem:
In charge of marketing: Me
In charge of artists: Me
In charge of venue: Me
In charge of communication: Me
In retrospect, I was unaware as to what it required to pull off something like this and I was unaware of the amount of support I would need from my personal network.
I went at it Like a crazy person
I did radio interviews and I spoke at a local churches to tell them about it. I sent a lot of emails. I made a lot of calls. I organised smoke machines, photo booths, online ticket purchases and flyers. I had bands bring in their entire set up. It was a big deal. I poured my heart, soul and pocket book into it. I made it no secret about what I had invested. I planned this thing months in advance and told (basically) everyone on the planet to come.
I felt ill the entire week of the 12 September. I was so nervous. At the time I wanted to cancel everything and hibernate. The only times I had ever felt that stressed was before my driver’s test (I failed 3 times) and when they made me jump off the high diving board in Grade 3. Horrifying.
THE BIG DAY CAME
The big day came and I survived. Party-it-up was rough around the edges. I had too many artists on-board and we had to rush the last act. The video session didn't work well and the venue was too big. The DJ’s were cool, but people were over it by the time we got there. We did make a fair amount of cash, and the turn out was decent.
I woke up the next day to a 1000 conflicting emotions. On one side I was shocked by the support people had shown me. I'd had big donations put into the event account and people who had brought loads of friends. I had friends who stood at the door all night checking tickets until all hours of the morning. My amazing friend Michaela sold raffles tickets and boerie rolls until everyone had no cash left in their wallets. My bosses at work bought tickets for all the people I work with. It was overwhelming.
On the other hand, I also had people I had long standing relationships with look me in the eye, promise me they would be there, bring a crowd, and never pull through or offer an explanation.
When anyone lets you down, it hurts. Somehow when its a person of faith, it’s worse because when we tag Christian to our life post, we are held to a higher set of standards.
Pick the good ones
As we go through life we have the chance to scoop up all sorts of people from all sorts of places. There are lots out there- good, bad, smelly, funny, grumpy, sleepy, sneezy… Some you keep for a short time and some you keep forever. You get to pick people up, and you get to let others go.
I will always chose the people in my life based on their integrity, care and support. Party-it-up and all the lessons packed into that event made me more aware of this than ever before.
You don’t need to share my faith to be my friend, you don’t need to like the things I like to be my friend. You don’t need to be trendy, or good looking, or even adventurous. You just need to be there when the going gets tough, or I do something crazy (ridiculous and very brave) one night of the year. I don't know if you've had a similar experience?
I hope my crazy experience encourages you to do brave things, but even more I hope it encourages you to support your friends when they try to do something significant.
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