Today, after work, my mother and I got ready and went to the polls. It didn’t take very long. It was only the second time I’d ever voted. The first time was when I had just turned 18 and graduated high school. I voted for Barack Obama. I was so thrilled when he won, knowing that in my first ever presidential election, I had voted for something that actually turned out to happen. It was a cool feeling. I skipped the next few elections because I was away at school and didn’t care too much about the local issues, not enough to take the time to come home, at least. So today was the second time I’d voted.
I had this weird feeling, like I was just filling out another one of those bubble tests to show how much I’d retained throughout my education. And in a way, it was the same. What had I learned about each candidate, and how their views related to my own? Which one was best for me? It’s just a bubble. It takes two seconds to fill in and then the rest of the ballot, for me at least, is basically just local stuff we’ll vote on again soon anyway. It’s just a bubble and a sticker and a drive home.
And at home, I cried for about an hour. Why? Well, because the people I live with drive me batty. My mother and her husband, that is. Mostly the latter. It was back to just another usual day, full of confusion and anger and sadness at the state of my life, scrambling to pack boxes in a fury so I can get out of here, move in with my Grams, and bid my mother goodbye, and good luck.
I watched Sabrina cartoons and Doctor Who online for hours. I forgot everything (and not just due to the Silence). I forgot that I had worked today. That I had to work tomorrow. That I’m not sure if the guy at work is flirting with me. That I had voted today. That I had missed the turn and mom reminded me where we were going. That I had cried so intensely just a few hours before. That I live with someone who disagrees with everything I stand for. That anything at all was wrong. The only thing I didn’t forget that whole time was my boyfriend and how much I love him, and I never stopped texting him. He was the one that told me, “Obama won!”
Then I remembered.
I remembered that today was a momentous occasion. That something really very important had just been decided in a, truthfully, really strange way. A lot of people in the world—and in my country—agree with my viewpoints, think the way I do, care about the same issues, and care so strongly about those issues that they make it a big part of their lives. And a lot of people just don’t. I think it’s sad that whatever happens, some people have to be upset. I wish we couldall just agree, or live separately with the rules that make us each happy. But we live in a democracy. We had to choose. And I am so, so happy with the choice that was made. Even if you’re not. I can’t be sorry about that.
All day long, I ran through scenarios in my head about living a life where I love the monarch from whom we gained our independence more than I love the leader of my own country. I am happy to say that today is not that day. (Though, I still love her. And England.)
I’ve never liked politics. I’ve never liked history as it was taught in school. I’ve never felt a particular connection to this plot of earth I was born on, or its rules, or its mechanics, or a fair amount of its people. Even four years ago I couldn’t say I did. But today, I feel extremely proud of my country. For, I think, the first time ever. And you know what? I am sorry not everyone could get what they hoped for. But what some people hoped for is a life that takes so much of what I love away. And I’m not sorry they didn’t manage to do that.
I don’t know who I’m thanking. But thanks.
And on this blog, I can add on and say that for one, I am thanking Athena. She is the first deity that really sprang out to me this past year and made me think, I'm so stupid for not hearing her sooner. But I still didn't make the real effort to get to know her personally. I had merely done a bit more research but really added nothing more to what I already knew, just a few small facts here and there. There are other deities I talk to more often, even. But today, at work, surrounded by so many people who are just... ignorant and rude and childish and so close-minded that I know if they knew who I really was, more than just a housekeeper, they would not support me... I simply had to ask for her help. This is such a big issue, and so important to me. I didn't have time to myself, so I just spoke to her while I did my job. Cleaning a room, taking out garbage, I "spoke to [Athena] like [I] was talking to a friend," as the country song says. It was a last plea for a girl who knows better than to be over-confident in her candidate, or in the humanity of her people.
I don't know if it had anything to do with it, but thank you, Athena. There will be proper thanks later on. Right now, I'm sorely upset that I don't have any wine with which to celebrate, and sorely upset that I'm not already out of the house where my mother's husband hates everything I'm celebrating. But, lacking a toast and all my supportive friends at my side, thank you. Thank you, ALL. And good night.