I had goosebumps on my arms, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I'm fairly certain I cried. I also proclaimed, right then and there, out loud to myself in my room of exile, that I had just watched what was sure to become the first black president of the United States of America.
Tonight I watched that same man, stand on a stage in Houston, Texas after winning yet another state (Wisconsin) in his quest for the White House. And while I am a Hillary supporter, while I'm still loving this race, I have no problems admitting that Barack Obama is a Change I Can Believe In. My mom, a very diehard Hillary supporter, even spoke up with her own, "Yes We Can".
The torch is being passed. The future is looking bright. And this country is awakening from a hard, cold 8 years. A change is on the horizon
One definition of home is any place of residence or refuge. That day, on the sand with my feet in the water I stared across the gulf before me and the island behind me and discovered something that I hadn't known I'd been missing. A place of refuge. Solitude. Peace.
Jon explaining his happiness: That's why I'm in a cheerful mood.
Jon: Because I feel loveable.
I put my arm around his shoulder and laugh.
Jon: Right now? Not so loveable.
I moved away the summer before senior year. I got accepted to UK. I took care of my sick grandmother. I made friends with a group I would have never befriended before. I fell, hard, for a boy who'd never love me. I made bad decisions. Good decisions. Sometimes no decisions at all. Life changed. Our friendship changed.
And yet. On a sticky summer night at my new house, in my new backyard, away from all of the fuss I was reminded of what makes family. How certain friends are different. We laughed and cried until it hurt. And giggled. Cause that's what teenage girls do best. Lots of giggles.
So I'm sitting here at my desk this morning, eating cold chinese food and anticipating 8-10 inches of snow.
Seriously, March?! This is your idea of a good time?
Most of the time I'm okay with being a Size 16 American. I really am. I don't think it's productive to spend time in this life, as short as it is, hating my body or the way I look. And it sounds ridiculous but I can't imagine myself with a skinny body, I just don't think it's built to be that way.
Then it happened. The most charismatic, surreal, unbelievable politician I've ever laid my eyes on arrived.
Let me tell you this, everything you've ever heard in relation to Bill Clinton in person is true. He commands an audience like no other, is well spoken and has this way of looking into a room full of people and making you think for a split second that he is speaking only to you.
It reminded me, that for all of my outward happiness, for all of my confidence that I try to project, it is still very hard for me to go through life with this empty feeling. This sort of sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'm going to have to forge through my entire life on this Earth...alone.
I realized in that moment that a Philly Cheesesteak is not something you learn about in a high school text book. They don't set aside a day in school to teach you the merits of sliced beef with onions and peppers. It's something you learn from exposing yourself to culture and the world around you, and what better tool than through television?
In my lifetime there are many things I thought I knew about myself, or the way my life was going to go. Like how I never wanted children, would graduate in four years from UK, would never enjoy frugal living, wouldn't dream of having savings accounts and investments and by now I'd have gone to Europe at least once and met some beautiful Greek man of my dreams. I would also never do things like garden or work my hands through a container of cow shit.
Oh how life makes liars of us all.
May 13 (great blog block 08)
- called my mom's dog, "the baby jesus"
- changed her name to "el diablo"
- then back to "the baby jesus"
I simply adore rolling into parking lots in the middle of the night, with the lights illuminating the view. How around 3 am you have to crank up the air conditioning to force yourself awake as you drink shitty cappuccinos and prompt the rest of the car into one more rousing session of "sing it if you know it". Or that feeling of hitting the Florida state line at 5 am, where the wind immediately shifts and everything begins to feel stickier.
I did my Civic Duty today and voted in the Primary. I'm happy to say I helped lead Hillary Clinton to victory tonight, even if it ultimately doesn't mean much. I've dreamed about casting a vote for Hillary in an election since I was in high school. Today, in that booth, I stopped for a second after voting, soaked in the beauty of that name at the top of such a historic ballot, and smiled. I might not get to vote for her in the fall, but today I did it. Such a powerful moment.
Later on my father asked me why I felt the need to take a picture of the dead bird my brother had killed. And I gave him the honest answer, "So I can have it for every Christmas party and family gathering from here until eternity."
And I meant it.
But other than that, I've ate too much and been way too lazy. Which means one thing: success so far.
Since I strive to maintain a level of honesty on this blog I will say that telling you that version of the story just isn't quite fair. Because when I'm being honest, both with myself and you all reading, I will admit this one thing: vacation kicked my ass.
There is absolutely, without a doubt, one certainty in life: we will all die. No matter how many anti aging creams you use, medications you take or exercises you perform, you too will succumb to death. I know this because I had an aunt once who lived through a massive heart attack, spent the next 3 years of her life eating rabbit food and walking 2 miles each day only to have Breast Cancer strike her down at her otherwise healthiest period in her life.
Death is funny that way.
Off the wall names I like:
The piece de resistance came a few days after we returned from vacation when he doused the mother effing hell out of my plants with a combo of Miracle Grow and Sevin Dust. When he was finished an entire 5 pound bag of Sevin Dust was gone and my garden looked like a scene out of White Christmas.
I might not ever get good at this. It could go the way of all of the other crafty things. But as for now I'm interested enough to try. Because above all else there is something deeply satisfying about a stack of beautiful fabric.
But at the same time I'm mourning the loss of a friendship over something so surprising and uncomfortable. Racism, injustice and bigotry exist in this world, I'm not naive enough to think otherwise. But I suppose it hurts a bit more when you find out it's lurking right under your own nose.
And this is the moment that made putting up with my 5 year old Alex P. Keaton all worth it. Proud, not that he is is a Democrat, but that he is making informed decisions all for himself at the ripe old age of 13. Proud that in moments like these, he reminds me of myself.
I have my Jonny today. The Cappello family does not. But I hope that somewhere, somehow, they can find solace in the fact that today someone besides themselves is remembering their Jonny. And the brilliant love he brought to his family for his short time on earth. I know, there is something about a Jonny that is so bright, so loving, so full of intense passion for living. What a light they must have lost.
I think it can be said that the camera does add 15 pounds to a person. And the pantsuits might be a little deceiving. Because Hillary Clinton is the tiniest, most petite thing in real life.
I want to marry Keith Olbermann. And have little journalistic, glasses wearing, intelligent babies who speak in really long political diatribes from birth. Yes, I realize I'm setting myself up for lofty disappointment with this dream.
Thank you for this election. Thank you for changing the way the political game is played in this country. Thank you for reminding us that there are no pro-America or anti-America parts of this country, and that education and intelligence are not things to be afraid of.
But most of all, thank you for giving me hope again. I was worried I'd lost it.
We did it. We really freaking did it.