Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Morning After

Usually the morning after an election is like any other for me - breakfast, work, lunch, work, home, dinner, bed. Never anything to write home about, just another day - no real changes to speak of. Sure there might have been an election the day before, but nothing had really changed.

Until this morning. This morning I woke up with a sense of excitement, a sense of change - even (dare I say it) a sense of hope.

Sure, there has been plenty of talk about hope, talk about change - and oh, how I wanted to believe it. But I just couldn't let myself. What if I bought into it, only to be let down by the American Public? What if I let my expectations get the best of me?

In the days leading up to the election I started to let my excitement get the better of me, thinking that perhaps the voting public wouldn't let me down yet again. I thought maybe, just maybe the people of the United States could see this candidate for who he is - a smart man, an amazing orator, an inspired leader of communities, a young man with a family, a man who's story is so very American. But I still wondered, could they see all that, see past the color of his skin?

So I put that little spark of hope away. But I kept hearing the buzz, seeing the signs and that little spark kept growing - enough so, that when I went into the elementary school gym to vote yesterday I found myself grinning stupidly. I was actually about to vote for someone, not just vote for the lesser of evils (or worse yet just vote against someone else). I practically skipped out of the polling booth I was so pleased!

When the first results started coming my heart sank. Thank you Kentucky, clearly the nation is not ready to be hopeful again, not ready for change. Thank you New Hampshire for your help, but your 3 electoral votes just aren't going to get us there. Then votes from Pennsylvania came in and I found myself saying, maybe "we can". Then the flood gates seemed to open as state after state turned blue, states that hadn't been blue in a very long time, states that you would never have expected to turn blue (not even if they collectively held their breath) were turning blue. And the spark grew and grew, like the Grinch's heart on Christmas morning.

And now here we are on the morning after. We all have a new President, and I have hope. Hope for our country and it's future - something I've not had for a very long time. I have something else as well, I have pride. I'm so proud of my countrymen and women, I'm proud that we were all able to come together and choose hope, I'm proud that it was the best voter turn out in 45 years, I'm proud that we have all been able to share in such a hugely historic moment.

Current Music: Fanfare for the Common Man - Aaron Copeland (feeling a bit classical today - but seriously, go listen to it. It will give you chills to go with your hope.)


for a different kind of girl said...

Ah! That's just it! This time I actually voted FOR someone and not just made a choice based on which one I thought was the less problematic. How I wish every election felt that way!

I felt proud that Iowa, my state, the one who rallied around Obama in the first in the nation caucus, held onto that feeling and colored our state blue!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

We've got a lot of work to do. But, knowing that we can do anything means it's more exciting to roll up our sleeves and get our hands a little dirty. I, for one, can't wait for what's to come!

Bronwyn said...

I was so proud, I was bouncing off the walls. And I'm Canadian! I can't imagine what it would be like for you guys. It was amazing. I can't wait to see what happens next.

kimmyk said...

i bawled like a baby on election night. such a huge landslide. i absolutely loved the feeling in the air.

i hope it continues for the next 8 and then some.

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