Four years and four months ago, I arrived in Rome, Italy with my Girl Scout troop. I was seventeen years old, had never been out of the country before, and was suddenly being led from terminal to terminal by my troop leaders, flanked by my equally bewildered friends. What stands out in the blur of sensible rolling suitcases and duty-free shops is a certain train station we spent an hour in, waiting for our hotel bus to arrive. We leaned against the grimy tile, too tired to gush or take pictures. Suddenly, a passerby, hearing our accents, flung both arms into the air: “Barack Obama! Barack Obama!” he shouted, his Italian accent thick, his voice jubilant and echoing.
Four years and one day ago, I was a senior in high school. I was old enough to vote by two months, and did so early in the morning, just after the polls opened. Although my small town was (and is) primarily conservative, I wore my Obama t-shirt to school, and tried to ignore the raised eyebrows aimed at me throughout the day. I watched the election on TV that night, watched the blue spread across the country. And then I wrote the following blog post:
HOPE is a Four Letter Word
A quote I heard on the news right after Obama was announced as the winner, “Tonight I am forever proud of my country.” That’s how I feel. I’m just very proud to be an American (cue in patriotic theme music).
These results are especially cool because I voted. For Obama. About three and a half hours ago. I remember back in fifth grade when I went to this tiny private school, my friend Mara figured out that for the 2008 election I would be the only one in the class old enough to vote. I remember feeling really special, but not really understanding what it meant to vote. It’s just a very strange feeling to have an event predicted when you were eleven actually coming to pass.
Already on facebook the bashings have started. I’m not really surprised, but I just think it’s so sad. You know, if McCain had won, I would have been disappointed, but I wouldn’t have sat there and pouted about it and insulted him. I (hopefully) would have learned to respect him as the leader of my country and I would have prayed that he bring about the change America desperately needs.
Anyway, I guess that there are always Debbie Downers, and some of them will probably come around, or at least keep their negative crap to themselves. We can only hope.
Not very well-written, but the sentiment is one I hope will repeat in my post tomorrow: I want to be proud of my country and my state. I want to enter the workforce a committed, protected citizen. I want to run through train stations yelling, “Barack Obama! Barack Obama!” I want my LGBTQ friends to be shown acceptance and justice, not hatred and discrimination. I want Voter I.D., which will spend excessive amounts of money battling a ‘problem’ that doesn’t actually exist, to be off the docket forever.
I also wouldn’t mind going back to Italy.