Thursday, November 8, 2012

¿Cómo se Bama?

We are 2 days post election and I am still on a high!  There aren't really words to do justice to how I feel this week...But I'm going to try to find some anyway! I will try to keep it short because I'm ready for a break from politics too.

It has been a very, very long time since the last time I was proud to say that I'm an American.  Actually, I take that back; I don't think I have ever felt that way.  Most people who know me know that I am not a patriotic person and in-your-face "patriots" really make me want to vomit.  So Obama beat Romney...that makes me happy.  Does that make me finally a little bit proud to smile that I'm a US citizen?  Not as much as some other things that happened Tuesday night. 


Congress has a record number of women in it now - 20 in the Senate and 77 in the House.  Yes, those numbers/percentages are still extremely small (just 20% in the Senate and 17% in the House) but it's something.  Rape Rupert Murdouch was defeated!! Elizabeth Warren elected!! And I have never been more proud to be a Wisconsinite because I was floored when I heard that Tammy Baldwin beat Tommy Thompson.  I didn't think it would happen.  After Scott Walker, I guess I lost a lot of faith in my fellow Wisconsin men and women.  What an amazing victory for both women and the LGBT community - the first openly gay senator!! From Wisconsin!!  All smiles over here.

Then Minnesota, Washington, Maine, and Maryland all passed same-sex marriage amendments.  In the case of Minnesota, they voted "no" on an amendment to officially define marriage as between a man and a woman and in the other states same-sex marriage is officially legal!  Today I looked at an article with photos of couples' reactions as the news was announced and my heart just felt too big for my body.

Marijuana. Oh Mary J.  I had no idea some states were even voting on anything having to do with her.  All I have to say is - Tax that shit.
We can't win them all of course as California did not vote to end the death penalty nor did they approve a law requiring GMO labels on food.

Today I feel new and I feel so much more hope than in 2008 and it has absolutely nothing to do with Obama.  The last year has been a political roller coaster for a lot of the country, and especially us Wisconsinites.  I had been quickly growing more and more depressed about the ability of my country to truly move forward as it seemed that people's answer to hard times was to revert to mind-sets that I thought we'd left behind 60 years ago.  Tuesday's results have left me speechless and restored a little faith in how I think about the American people (hey, just a little though...we still got a long way to go).
All in all, it was such a successful night beyond the Obama/Romney race.  The choice for president is always a choice for the lesser of two evils.  The system needs to change. The two-party system is what makes my country divisive, not the two people who represent one side or the other.  I agree with everyone who says that we are too divided right now, and I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to rejecting someone just because they aren't a "democrat" or vice-versa, so I will be the first to admit that a change begins with me.  I just hope the Romney loss won't leave my "republican" friends feeling the opposite.

Some photos from the Election Party I went to, organized by Democrats abroad:
Hanging with the Prez

Prepared for an all-nighter together

5:30 am Celebrating

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meandering Mind

Leave it to a puente* to get my sleep schedule all out of whack. Usually I'm dying to be off in dream land by this time at night, but I had 4 days to get into bad sleeping habits (a.k.a. up until 4 or 5 am and sleeping until 2 or 3pm).  As I'm laying here awake, I started to think a little one usually does when there's nothing else to do and I can't allow myself to do anymore useless Facebook stalking and I've already watched too many episodes of Downton this weekend (I'm thinking to myself in a British accent if that tells you anything)...

I was thinking about dreams.  Seems odd to think about dreams when I can't fall asleep, but anywho, for some reason I recalled a question I had to answer in my interview for the Americorps job last March about what my dream job and aspirations were.  I was so stumped by this question and I still am pretty sure that my answer was the reason why I didn't get the job.  I said that I didn't have a dream job.  I remember that as the words came out of my mouth, the interviewer immediately wrote notes down on her paper, and I knew that what I had said wasn't the answer they were necessarily looking for.  But tonight I'm thinking about this again for whatever reason, and I'm wondering to myself why this is such a big deal?  It's not just a question you get randomly in 1 out of 100 job interviews.  It's a pretty important thing to people, and it seems like something we need to know about others in order to get a really good sense of who they are. 
Of course I have dreams and aspirations about my life (which I did try to explain in the rest of my answer, fyi) but I don't understand why there has to be such a focus on them.  I guess what I mean to say is that sometimes I feel like there is too much pressure to be a success and to have a dream and to do anything and everything in your power in order to achieve that dream.  Don't get me wrong because I believe that this can also be a great thing.  But what if you're like me and you have an idea of where you want your life to go...but you accept the fact that life is crazy and sometimes it finds us before we find it?  Doesn't this seem much more logical of an answer than "Well my dream is to spend 2 years in a Master's program studying this amazing topic that I have been passionate about my whole life, and then after that to land my 'dream job' doing this very specific thing that I have already been living in my mind for my whole adult life".  That sounds robotic and droll to me.  But for me to say "I have no dream job" sounds lazy.

In the end, I know that I have never dreamed about a job (Work? Gross).  I've dreamed about seeing things and learning more and growing up and meeting wonderful people and making a difference.  I never imagined myself doing any of these things in a specific career, just in any way that life allows me to.  That is what would make me happy, and isn't that what our dream job is supposed to be afterall?

*puente - Spanish word basically meaning a long weekend due to a holiday