REAL AND MEANINGFUL CHANGE: 20 MINUTES
I’m giving myself 20 minutes to write this.
Four years ago, I spent election day holed up in an office in Ybor City (7th & Nuccio, I think) jam-packed with a slew of Obama supporters. We were set to drive as many people to the polls and ready to help them with every single question they had. We were prepared and excited – I would say that it was one of the most meaningful feeling that I had experienced in the short life (I was 23). Ask my then fiancé (who I swore was going to leave me because I was volunteering so much), I was in COMPLETELTY.
I think everyone in my generation who supported Obama in 2008 knows what I mean. Everything taught to us about how “anything can happen” was actually happening. We were all pumped. I am still pumped in 2012.
The reason I decided to actually think about this is because today I spent zero hours in a campaign office. I didn’t make one phone call, and I haven’t logged one, single, solitary hour on the phone, knocking on doors or otherwise. I spent my day doing laundry, cleaning up a house (as best as one can be cleaned), and thinking about projects and people that I care about as much as I cared about the campaign four years ago.
I still care about it, but my priorities are different this time.
Thirteen months after the election in 2008 I married my best friend. Before that we had parties with our friends and family to celebrate the occasion. My sister has a video of me (successfully – thanks to whoever told me the toungue on the roof of the mouth trick) holding back tears as Dani walked down the aisle, and my little brother gave the most epic “best man” speech I’ve ever experienced.
I live in a house (financed by my wife’s immpecable credit), and Danielle and I have lived an (almost) 50/50 financial existence ever since.
I have a three-year old puppy that I never wanted in the first place. I can’t believe that I love an animal as much as I love Samuel. I pretty much have a family of my own.
My little brother is in the Philippines studying, philosophizing, and playing basketball. My little sister has an awesome boyfriend and (much like I was at her age) is trying to figure out what to do with her life. (Unlike me, she earned her degree and has a brighter future waiting for her in that sense – hopefully she’s more driven than I am).
My parents are still together and are probably doing whatever 50-somethings do when there aren’t offspring running around the house all of the time. They do, however, always have my siblings’ friends over (maybe empty nest?).
As for myself personally. I’ve remained as hormonal and unstable as ever. That’s not a bad thing. I’ve always felt things really hard. I have never really been a middle of the road type of person. Somehow, a certain set of values and beliefs about life were instilled in me, and I’ve never let them go.
I am proud to say that I’ve never been intentionally mean to anyone, and I’ve done my best to make everyone as special as they really are. I probably fail a lot. I’m still as inquisitive as ever (probably to a fault – sorry for any awkward questions, but I love everyone that has ever entered my life. And yes, I am sober right now.
I’ve had lots and lots of failures: I probably haven’t executed ideas as well as I could have, and sloth becomes me many a times. I probably don’t pay enough attention to my wife, and I’m an asshole for that. I don’t call people back as often as I should, and while I’m better with money, I am still not even close to being the financial guru that my wife is.
Still, I really have everything that I’ve ever wanted. I’ve made a close friend who has made a lot of my daydreams a reality, and I’m somewhat embedded in a community that I’ve always wanted to be a part of. I wish that I was a better husband. I don’t think that I’m a bad one, but I’m sure I could be better. I never wanted to be perfect ever in my entire life, but being with Dani makes me want to be the best ever for her. I’m not sure if that’s healthy, but I have never cared for someone so much.
It’s election night. It’s merely another notch on the candle that is my life whittling away with a steady flame eating away at the wax that acts as fuel and a guage for how much time has passed.
Something is going to happen tonight, and as meaningful or meaningless as it may be, it will not overshadow the cards that life has dealt me. I feel like am surrounded by the most wonderful people in the world. I feel like I let them down now and again, but I think we are all having a good time. I am grateful for everything, and if I can get another four years like the last four, then I will be blessed even more.