As you might have guessed from the title, this is going to be a politically-themed post. But not about politics. It’s about me!
Last night the country re-elected Barack Obama. Which you probably already know. And I’m not going to parse words and say that I’m not fucking esctatic. Because I am! Not going to hide that.
But like I said, this post isn’t about Barack Obama. It’s about the life I’ve had in the last 4 years, though it’s a journey that cannot be considered without the politics of presidential elections. It is unbelievably crazy to me that life has taken me where it has in 4 years. Boy, do I remember the time of the 2008 election. I was most of the way through college and feeling so much hope for the country. I was enlightened and excited and it was the first time I’d been able to vote in a Presidential Election and the tone of that year for me was just rabid excitement. Joe Biden came to speak at my college and I remember skipping class and lining up outside the gym with my friends to watch him speak. It was one of the most awesome days of my life.
I remember election night. I had gathered with some close friends of mine and we sat down to watch the returns come in. I remember that they called the election so early that someone was in the bathroom–the conversation went something like, “I should have time right? Heck yeah! It’s only 8:30!” And then about 30 seconds later we were all screaming “Get out here, hurry up! They just called it!” and the confusion and jubilation and excitement that followed. We threw confetti and popped champagne and went outside and sprayed each other in champagne and made a ton of noise…we were just out of our minds. What a night.
And now here we are, 4 years after. How much has changed for me! And for the good, too. There was a lot of rhetoric during this campaign about “are you better off now than you were 4 years ago” and blah blah blah and I can definitely say, yeah. Things are great for me. Definitely better. In 4 years I graduated college, moved out of the city where I went to college (and never moved back into my parent’s house), got engaged, got MARRIED, bought a house, locked down a job with benefits and retirement. I’m about to publish a book! Of course I’m better off! Cameron and I are doing amazingly well for twenty-somethings just a few years out of school. We have savings, stock, retirement, an investment in our house, 2 cars, stable employment, health benefits…everything that you could ask for. And it’s not like it just fell into our laps, you know? We’ve had to work for it. But it’s obviously possible for college graduates to get work and do well. You just have to settle at first and start at the bottom of the totem pole. You don’t come out of college and expect to be making 100K in one year. Do we make that much money? Heck no! Not even by a long shot. Do we make enough to get by? Yes, and then some. We are careful with our money and we don’t spend like crazy. We didn’t buy a house that was above and beyond our means. Our mortgage and our car payments are completely affordable. God forbid we lost our jobs tomorrow, we could rent out our house and make money off of it because we capitalized on a low interest rate and had money to put down on it so our mortgage is unbelievably low. We are in a good place right now. It’s possible. So don’t let any of those politicians out there tell you that it isn’t. You just have to be smart and practical.
Anyway, that took a bit of a political turn, but it’s true of my life. We are doing great. The last 4 years have been amazing for me. It’s true, I don’t think that we got everything out of the ‘Hope and Change” lingo that we wanted in 2008, but you can’t just expect everything to be different on day 1. Our country was a mess in 2008. It takes time to clean up a mess, you know? But we’re getting there. The last 4 years have done me just fine–and the next four years are looking even higher than that.
I can’t wait.