Wednesday, November 5, 2008
(Yes, I put my "I voted" sticker on my official registration card. It's sentimental.)
The title of this post says it all. I don't even know where to begin. I have this overwhelming feeling that compels me to write something here, but I'm left speechless by the magnitude of the event that I have just witnessed. I think I'm making sense, but you might need an interpreter. You know that by now, though. :)
I voted yesterday. My location was actually right across the street from me, so it felt like I was in college again, rolling out of bed and walking across the street at 8:00 in the morning (ahhh, Coleman). Except this time I was awake. Extremely awake. And if you have ever known me at 8:00 in the morning, that really says something.
I can't describe to you what I felt, how important this process was to me. I have never been so sure of a decision in my entire life, so fully behind one candidate. I knew exactly what I had to do, and it felt so good to use the Constitution-given right to make a difference in a world that recently feels like it's spiraling out of control. I felt so proud. Literally (and I have to admit, this is the first time I am saying this in all seriousness, partially because it sounds kind of cheesy most of the time) proud to be an American.
After casting my ballot, it was as if a tremendous weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. No matter who won, the stress of the election was finally over. I felt like we were finally able to get on with our lives and actually stepping toward change, no matter who was leading us. For the rest of the day, it was as if I was light as a feather. I was extremely giddy, yet at peace with the world, as I knew it was moving forward.
(I know, I was loving the overhead, too.)
Even today, I am unable to get a grip on my emotions. Last night was phenomenal. When I showed up at the event I was attending, Obama was already over two-thirds of the way there. It was like a football game. I almost wanted to go home because I knew we'd won. (But then you never know if McCain had some of that Texas Tech miracle power, and might have come back in the last second.) The moment they declared Barack president felt almost surreal. I blinked and it was true. And all of a sudden, I couldn't believe that America had come this far. That was the moment I was rendered speechless.
The speeches from both candidates were extremely moving. I was thrilled to witness such a historical moment, Obama walking out on stage to accept the presidency. After growing up hearing about the terrors that African Americans have endured, and still do, I am beyond myself that such a positive change has happened in the first quarter of my life. And his slogan, "Yes we can," is so powerful. It is that attitude that will carry Americans through to a bright new world.
This election process reminds me of A Bug's Life, when the ants rally together and create the change they need. It feels good to belong to a colony. :) Seriously, though, I have never felt such a strong sense of community in such a big way. I am so excited about the following four years. I truly feel that Barack Obama will be the change we need.