My First Time
today is election day.
eight years ago i participated in my first election. i was ecstatic to finally be able to partake in the electoral process. i remember voting with my mom when i was little, waiting in line, filling out my kid ballot, getting my 'i voted' sticker. everything about it was exciting and even at a young age, i knew how important it was.
fast forward to eight years ago casting my first vote in the presidential primary. i went with my mom again, during my lunch break as a senior in high school. i walked over to the library and confidently voted for hillary clinton. as you know, she didn't win the nomination that year. shortly after the convention that year, once president obama became the democratic nominee, i had the opportunity to see him speak in my hometown and was incredibly moved and fired up. i was all in. hope. change. the whole shebang.
that fall i started college in pittsburgh and, boy was it an exciting time. one chilly evening in november, my friends and i made the trek from our dorm downtown to duquesne university to vote for obama. i remember vividly stopping at the jamba juice on the way for some fuel as we waited in line for over an hour. that hour could have been frustrating. it could have been annoying. a hinderance. a waste of time. usually anything you have to wait over an hour for isn't worth it. but this time. this time i was happy to do it. i was proud to be standing in that line for an hour. i would have waited much longer. finally making it inside the polling place, my fingers were freezing cold and shaking, from cold or from excitement i can't be sure, but i was beyond excited to cast my vote.
my friends and i made the trek back to our dorm where there was a big party happening to watch the results come in. we had snacks, a big projector, and lots of confetti just waiting to be popped. i remember sitting there with baited breath watching the states turn blue and red. we were waiting for california to be called. you could cut the tension with a knife. they cut to a commercial right before we were all sure the state would be announced, and when they came back there was a huge photo of obama declaring victory. we celebrated all night long, confetti flew all over the room.
i'll never forget participating in that historical election. but this year, today, is such a different story. for me, as a mother and as a woman, there is so much more on the line. i took my children with me to vote early last weekend. i want to include them in this process like my mom did with me. but this time, as i submitted my ballot, i felt more anxious than excited. and on the drive home, i couldn't hold back the tears. tears of joy, for voting for the first woman nominee, for someone who shares my ideals and beliefs, for another mother. a woman i can relate to. we've had 200 years of fathers. but a mother? having a mother in this white house? that would be something truly incredible.
i'll be up all night again watching the results come in. this time with my husband, in our living room, folding a few baskets of laundry and sipping our boxed wine. hoping beyond hope that things go our way. this country is already great. i hope it stays that way.
if you haven't voted yet, please go do so. vote for someone who shares your ideals. vote for someone you think will pursue the best interests of the people of this country. vote for someone who you trust to nominate the next supreme court justice and someone you trust with the power to launch nuclear weapons. just vote.