I've been a little overwhelmed lately with ideas, but without the clarity - the vision - to get them into words. My personal life lately is sailing. It's filled with beauty and love and hope and change and happiness. I've always felt less motivated to write when things are just dancing along so gracefully.
Last week we gathered and watched the swearing in of President Obama. It was a beautiful thing. We were able to host an event at my work and it gave me chills to see all of these faces. To hear the applause. To witness such a moment in our nation's history, while surrounded in community.
As it should be.
I was struck by how many people, most who had heard of the event through the Move On website, felt they needed to be there. Many hadn't visited the space before. Most didn't know another soul present. But all stood. All clapped. Some hissed at Bush. Everyone smiled at Obama. A little one squealed. Cheering. A hush during his eloquent speech.
It was the ones who didn't know anyone, but needed to be there that struck me most. They needed to be in community. They could have watched in isolation. In that stereotypical Seattle-freeze-fashion. Curled up, alone, hibernating. But they couldn't.
It was real at that moment. I felt the chills. He's our PRESIDENT. And I'm proud.
I realized that the next time I travel abroad, I'll be representing. This has been such an international story of our lives. People will ask me, inevitably, about him. About what it's like now in our country. And I won't cower in shame. I'll be humbly proud of my country for the first time in a long time. Childhood fed pride isn't the same though. Learning about our nation's history from biased textbooks isn't the same.
This is real now.
I'm going to be a mentor.
I found out I was accepted into the program on Inauguration Day. Not that I was worried about being accepted. But the timing was still perfect.
I will mentor a 9 year old girl. She sounds great. I will meet her soon. It dawned on me what an exciting time it will be to be doing this. Because she can look at our leadership and think to herself - that could be me. Although I think she wants to be a doctor. Not president. But I changed my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up about 100 times between the age of 9 and 18. And then another 1000 after that!
It's our call to action to become engaged. And we don't need to travel to remote corners of the world to make a difference. I've had amazing experiences making change happen in New Orleans. Helping to rebuild. Feeding off the amazing spirit of that city.
But I need to focus that energy closer to home. I have roots here, and I'm committed in my current situation. Committed to work that I love. Friends that I love. A home that I love. A city and a neighborhood and a building that I love. I've found a place in my life that is so right it makes me want to cry with joy. I need to take that joy and share it. And I'm excited to share it with a little 9-year old girl very soon.