Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 303-Love and Sanity

Dear Mr. President,

250,000 people showed up to restore sanity in Washington DC. In Seattle, and in cities around the world, satellite rallies were held by those who couldn't make the trip to DC. I don't know if this speaks to the mood of the country or merely to the size of Jon Stewart's fan base, but it certainly lifted my spirits. I feel like, no matter the differences between my views and each of theirs, the people at those rallies are my kind of people. It's nice to know we're not nearly as alone as many of us feel.

Sanity has probably been my number one goal in life for the last year or so. I spent so much of my life feeling like I was at the whim of my impossible to predict emotions and the equally confusing way others treated me. For me this has meant avoiding intense romantic relationships. Being in love has only brought out the worst in me. Witnessing the way it has had similar destructive effects on family members and friends hadn't done much to convince me otherwise. This year, as I've worked to figure out what it is I want from the people in my life, I've started to realize how much my political passions have always played a role in grounding me. When I was going through one of the more difficult break-ups of my life, campaigning for you helped keep me sane because it kept my life in a much more reasonable perspective. Once the campaign was over, I felt completely lost and, not surprisingly, basically lost my mind. Getting back to that sense of perspective through this project has been amazingly good for me. One of the best parts of this blog has been the way it has helped me find the people in my life who value me for my political passions and who support me even when they don't agree with me. And, as I begin to define what is important to me and what is important about me, I've begun to notice more and more examples of healthy relationships among my friends. Watching one couple today, who act like their remarkable affection and respect for one another is the most normal thing in the world (much to my unending puzzlement) I even began to imagine I might one day find that for myself. It makes me think that perhaps my cynicism came not from observation and experience, but was itself shaping my perceptions in order to reaffirm a belief I'd already held.

I think many liberals feel like we're constantly surrounded by crazy people. I feel like this rally offered an opportunity for many of us to realize we're not alone, that our outsider status was a product of our own cynicism and not a reflection of reality. We're not at odds with the rest of the country; we are the majority. The majority of this country is pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-reasonable regulation, taxation, and social services. There is more that unites us then divides us. The system frustrates us, the corruption and stagnation that prevent our country from fulfilling its promise and potential for good. I think that being told we're not the crazy ones will be helpful and inspiring to many on the left who have struggled for years to understand our place in a national discourse dictated by FOX news. If no greater good comes from today's rally than the reassurance that we're not outsiders, that we have a place at the table, well, I think it was probably worth inconveniencing really all of Washington DC for a day or so. Who knows, if I had managed to make it to DC, I might even have found myself a boyfriend.

Respectfully yours,


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