Solidarity and Love - Goodbye Letter from Yumi

Dear FPYN family,

This is my personal letter to the network as I am stepping down from my position at FPYN as of Friday, May 2, 2014. I don’t know what will emerge after this point for FPYN and only time will tell. I have become increasingly more comfortable in answering, “I don’t know.” when asked about the future. But I have faith that the best will emerge even if I can’t see it now. I have been truly blessed to have spent 3 ½ years doing this work. Being burned out (ironic, I know), my most immediate plans are to take a break for a few months to figure out what is next for me in my life.

The words for this letter are hard. I cannot actually express or encapture the fullness to what this network has meant to me nor what I really want to say to everyone. There is just too much to say. So these are a few of the things that feel most important to me to scatter out there in the world.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. I have so much love, gratitude, and respect for each and every one of you - even those I have never met. I have never been a part of such a warrior community that fights with so much heart. Every time I see or hear something that rocked a community, I think about the people out there in the world holding it down, holding it together. You.

FPYN made me realize that while we are all natural givers, there is a limit to our giving if we cannot learn to receive and keep receiving. At some point, I forgot that lesson in practice even though I knew it in my head. The path to burnout was fast once I got going. Self-care is hard! No one ever tells you that. Even those who teach it get lost. The hardest thing is to figure out what to say no to when it feels like the world is relying on you to keep it together. 

As I bear witness to the closing of a beautiful era, my heart feels like it’s being wrenched apart. FPYN was home to me. But then, because of the news, I am hearing from and about all the initiatives that I didn’t even realize had emerged over the years that are carrying out some aspect of what I see as FPYN work. I am deeply relieved and reassured. After all, FPYN has never wanted to be an organization, it’s a network. Even the network core often doesn’t know the work that the network is doing. What an incredible and timely reminder for me.

Keep fighting and hoping. Don’t forget that to achieve change, you have to do the things that others aren’t doing and it’s not an easy road. But you’re not alone. This Mish Mash right now is 1500 strong, but I know there are more than that in the city right now trying to make the world a safer, loving, and supportive space for the next generation of leaders, healers, and community builders. So every so often, feel free to fall back and let others take the lead so that you can re-charge to stay sustainable in this work. We need you.   

In solidarity and love,

Yumi Hotta