During the 2004 Presidential Elections, I was a wild woman. I watched the news, the debates, and the commentary after it all, and naturally added my own. I'm sure I scared my friends and family with how vocal I was, not so much at them, but at the TV, radio and newspapers. I was determined to not let John Kerry win. And when he did lose to George W. in November 2004, I felt like I had been largely responsible by willing the American people with all I had to not act stupidly. Sure, some would say George W. was not a good choice for Commander in Chief, but John Kerry was clearly the greater of two evils. Far greater.
The four years that separated the victories of W and Obama brought drastic changes in my political preferences. Not so much in reference to my party affiliation (but, I will admit, in 2004 my Facebook would have read "Conservative" whereas now it says "Moderate") but rather, in how involved I am in the political process. On a scale of one to ten, ten being how passionate I was in 2004, I am around a 2 now.
Although it may not seem strange to any of you, my classmates at BYU think it's weird, and I guess it IS strange, seeing as I am a journalist and should be actively involved in what makes up the bulk of the news. But in 2004 I was still in high school, still in seminary and still playing sports -- thus I was competing for friends, competing in scripture chases, and competing for a state title. I was all about winning and being the best. As much as I liked winning, I realized how often I embarrassed myself with my aggressiveness. (You think I'm loud now, you should have seen me when the scripture chase was on. Oh goodness.)
And so, after 2004 I began to calm down. I was practically done with playing sports-- Bagdad Softball doesn't really count as competition-- Seminary afforded no scripture chases whatsoever duing my junior year, and I was content with being the Mormon, homeschooled weirdo in Bagdad and later in Renton. Plus, I got a boyfriend for a little while and that boosted my confidence enough that I didn't feel the need to win games to feel good about myself.
This progression has continued these past few years to the extent that I avoid board games, would rather not watch important sports games, and instead of competing for friends, I content myself with the ones I have and work slowly for more. The same goes for jobs, internships and the approval of my superiors. I guess if I don't feel like I can achieve the thing without a lot of stress of work, I'm fine without it. In some cases it's ok--my life has fewer worries and stresses--but in things that matter, or things that should matter, I too often settle for less and look back with regret.
How I got from politics to the regrets of my often passive attitude, I don't know. But let me wrap it up with my initial purpose of this post: I don't care about what is happening in Washington, D.C. Perhaps I should--No, I know I should, but I don't. I know most politicians are selfish, corrupt and unsavory, but I can't change them and I can't change this country, so I don't try. I don't watch the news, it puts a knot in my stomach. If I read the news, I read the head line and the first few paragraphs before getting frustrated and checking Facebook. I am, admittedly, one of those ignorant Americans. (But in my defense, I did research the candidates for both Utah and Federal offices before voting last November.) Here is what I am hoping: 1) The American people unite and try working together to get out of the mess we're in. 2) Obama succeeds in his efforts to repair the economy, employment, banks and international relations. Many people want him to fail because then they can say, "I told you so!" But what good will that do? I'd rather him be praised and memorialized forever more if that means our country improves. I want him to succeed because that means we all succeed. (Minus his health care and pro-choice initiatives. Those can be burned a long with the American dollar at this point.)
Hey, today's Mother's Day! I love my mom. And my dad too, of course.