Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Life Never Fails to Give You What You Need

Election Night 2008. I remember the night clearly. Rushing from the office around 7:30PM, meeting at a friend’s house where 10-15 people were gathered. Watching the election returns and feeling the excitement that rippled through Soho, extended in to the East and West Villages and straight up to Times Square. It wasn’t long before we had an answer. It started as a whisper, “guys, I think he did it…” Then it was a celebration. Champagne was popped, toasts were made, and cheers were heard in the city streets. Our team had won. Barack Obama was the winner, and the new president of the United States. He had defeated John McCain. We were in a blue state and the blue guy had won.

Tears were shed in the room as our whispers were confirmed, and we headed into the streets of Manhattan to celebrate with 6 million of our ‘neighbors’. What a night to be a democrat. What a night to be a New Yorker. What a night to be where you fit in.
Its been 4 years since that night. Tonight, I worked late as I did in 2008. I left the office after 8:30PM, being the only one in my office of 3 who was anticipating every tick on the electoral vote to file in and be shaded in on Chuck Todd’s electoral map in ‘Democracy Plaza’. I rushed home and into my pjs and in front of my TV to see what Brian Williams had to say. I dusted off a bottle of wine from the wine rack, and poured a glass just as I had in 2008, to sip while the anticipation built.  
But unlike 2008, this election night would be spent alone. Sure, the thought of organizing a ‘return party’ had crossed my mind. But here in the South, cobbling together enough ‘Blue Blooders’ to be called a gathering is tough; and not that it’s about party lines or politics, finding a group of people who are passionate enough to celebrate the democratic values of our country is equally challenging. So I enjoyed the night alone, and celebrated just as much internally as I did in 2008, to see the candidate I voted for win four more years in the White House.
Reminiscing is good. Comparison can be healthy.
As I pause and reflect on where life was four years ago, and where it has led me and where it seems to be going, I realize learning to be alone has always been one of those ‘needs’ I had to learn. It was a necessity, and life did not disappoint to show me how to live independently, to be strong on my own, to be no one else but me.
Sure, I would prefer spending election night with my fellow comrades and not have it be a solo affair. But should it happen in 2016, 2020, or 2024, I will be fine. Or even in 2028J Being home has allowed me to be me, whether alone or in the masses, or perhaps alone in the masses of this red blooded state.
Whether we learn to hold tight to who we are due to politics, or relationships or friends or jobs or whatever the reason…Its one of the greatest values we can ever gain in life.
Yes, life never fails to disappoint. It always prepares us for what is coming next -- whatever that might be.

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