About a week ago, I woke from my nightly slumber with a start. At the moment I couldn’t quite place my finger on the problem, but then over the next week it all became clear - in the form of a question:
What will happen if Obama loses?
The question hangs over my head every day. Outwardly it's perfectly obvious why - I've been supporting Obama's campaign for nearly two years. But there's more to it that that.
This election has drawn out a new passion in me, one that has boiled over into every aspect of my life. Over the past two years, I’ve completely immersed myself in not only the future of this country, but also in trying to figure out how this country defines me. It’s something that I had never done before—because, to be perfectly honest, from the year 2000 to just before this election season started I’ve felt nothing but a need to distance myself from the label “American”. Guffaw all you want, tell my I’m unpatriotic or that I’m not a “real” American, but I’ll tell you this: it was hard not to reject it after traveling abroad and hearing such anger/disappointment from our friends overseas, after watching my fellow citizens drown in a sea of filth as our President looked down from his plush leather Air Force One seat, after hearing of the lives lost, the trillions spent, and the lies sold on a crap war that should have never even come to pass. So yeah, maybe my disillusionment makes me a bad American or an angry Black woman or something.
Or maybe it’s given me the opportunity to define what being an American truly means to me, claim it for myself, and then believe in it. With all my heart.
So now I’m grappling with the question. The one that keeps me up at night. If November 4th comes and goes, and if (God forbid) Obama does not come out victorious, will I be able to keep my redefined America? Will my passion for this country survive? Or will it implode inside of me, leaving nothing but dead empty space and a shadow of a hope…
But then I check myself, take a deep breath, and remember what my heart’s been telling me for years: everything will be okay. That ease starts with the vote I cast a few weeks ago, lives with the images from the early voting polls, and will come full circle on November 5th when the newspapers hit the stands.
What questions are plaguing you? How are you coping with your one-week-til-election stress?