Four years ago I voted for the first time. I also spent the evening of my first participating election in Grant Park with thousands of other voters, watching the giant screens set up outside the real rally -- seriously like, Oprah was so close to us -- awaiting the country's decision. It was one of the most emotionally charged things I've ever been a part of, because there were so many of us in such a large area. And when Ohio went blue? My god, I thought a hole had been torn in the sky. The feeling was just so big and so great and so hopeful. I will never forget that moment -- of thousands of people crying and holding each other; of cheering in unison over something we couldn't even grasp the magnitude yet.
The successive four years in our country's history is -- and will continue to be -- debatable. Everyone has something different to say about how Obama has affected our country, be it is positive or negative. I'm not really interested in that. What I'm interested in is the monumental shift that occurred that day and is still cascading through today. On November 4th, 2008, America chose to leave the past behind and elect its first black president. Ever. After centuries of persecution and a cultural mindset that has still not even fully healed, we chose to think differently. We chose to elect someone because of who they are as a person, and not the color of their skin.
Four years ago I was also going through my own internal shift. Remember how I told you about the time I was hibernating in my parent's home, afraid to leave for fear of sunlight, and miserably depressed? Yeah, that was then. On the day of the 2008 election, all my screws were still loose and I was staring at my insides as if they were a million-piece jigsaw puzzle that would never get put back together. I was in the middle of personal crisis and I had no idea which way was up or where left met right. I was still broken.
But as if our country were some strung-out crack addict that ODed mere days before the election, on that day it chose to be and do something different than it was used to. In the parting clouds of my own rock bottom, I also had a choice to make. Keep doing what I had been and stay miserable, or do something different. Thankfully, I chose the upward path. I chose to be and do something different.
I won't lie, it's a long road back to the top. But when faced with yourself, where would you say you are failing? Where would you admit your unhappiness? When it comes to your life, what would you say you wish were different? And how many times have you done the same thing over and over again, waiting for the magical day when it changes?
Folks, I'll let you in on a little secret: it was Einstein who told us a long time ago that the definition of insanity is exactly the formerly described. We all have choices to make in life, from the trivial to the serious. From the color of our hair to the personality of our spouse. But what we have to start realizing is that we are not the victims of our lives. Just as our country chose to do something different four years ago you, too, can choose the very same. You are in control of your life. You have the power because it is happening to no one but you. So when the road gets rocky and you begin to see where you're lacking, learn from those around you. And make your choice.
|Yeah, this kind of says it all.|