FAITH, 2012

These last few weeks I've spent a great deal of time reading the #blogforobama posts, watching with pride the videos my friends have put together. I've high-fived neighbors with signs in their lawns, read and nodded through the various posts and articles in support of re-electing Barack Obama, but until now I've been unable to compose one. Not because I do not support him wholeheartedly (I absolutely do) but because in comparison to HOPE: 2008, I've felt ... impotent. Even uninspired. Like a pom without a cheer.

The hope, we so rallied around as a community in 2008, is gone. Our optimism's diminished and in many cases, expired.

Last election, I wore stickers and t-shirts, wrote impassioned posts. Hoped. I downloaded songs and memorized speeches, chanted during debates, wallpapered my fridge with Shepard Fairey artwork, HOPED.

This year I've done none of those things. Not a one. And because of that I've felt conflicted and detached, ambivalent.

Hope (noun): a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. 

I go back and read the posts from 2008 and feel sad that I can't rally behind our commander in chief as well as I was able to rally behind the idea of him. The DREAM.

It's like looking back on my old letters to Santa Claus with the knowledge that he no longer exists in the way I hoped he would, thought he did. It's called disillusionment and it's what happens to people over time. It's what happens to heroes, and saviors and people who are placed on unattainable pedestals but it's also what happens in our relationships, with our parents and our children and our partners.

I've been thinking a lot about my marriage during this reelection. How tough those first few years were - how I blamed Hal for our turmoil. How we flirted with leaving each other. Didn't think it was worth sticking it out. Decided it was worth sticking it out. Hated each other and loved each other and blamed each other. How all things repaired were once broken.

I think about how, in the middle of one of our most tumultuous months, Hal bought a ring, got on one knee and asked me to stay married to him. I think about why I said yes.

It had nothing to do with hope.

It was faith

I had faith in us. And I have had faith in us every day since.

And yes, I'm talking about more than my marriage but that is what I do. I draw parallels to everything so that I can rationalize decisions - so that I can relate to all the things I feel detached from. So that I can relate to this election. So that I can stand firmly behind the man I will be voting for.

Until now, I've felt ashamed of my inability to get fired up.

And then it dawned on me.

Hope can only spring eternal until reality intervenes. 

That it isn't about the hope for change, but the faith in it.

It isn't the feeling of expectation that carries us forward but the allegiance.

This is not an election built with dreams as its foundation, but reality. And the reality is? Obama is not our savior.  Okay, so now we know. We know we elected a president and not Santa Claus. (For some reason this was really hard for me, the eternal-idealist to grasp and it has taken me pretty much up to this moment right now as I'm writing this to understand this as the case.)

I'm no longer voting for an idea. I'm voting for a people.

***

Anyone who has ever been married knows that when the honeymoon ends, we are left with our faith. That without it, we're doomed.

I am voting for Obama tomorrow because I have faith in my president and what he is capable of doing, protecting, rallying behind. I'm voting with the faith I have in people. In women to make their own choices and friends to marry for love. I'm voting with the faith I have in science and the environment, in education and disaster relief. I'm voting with the faith I have in other countries and their people. I'm voting with 100% faith that Obama represents the best of what we can be as a nation in the world.

Yesterday's HOPE, 2008 is tomorrow's FAITH, 2012.  2008's YES WE CAN is today's TOGETHER WE WILL. 


See you at the polls, friends. 

GGC

8 comments:

amyhv | 4:23 PM

Thank you for giving words to my feelings. The parallels that you draw make sense. You are just like a great teacher using a real life example to illustrate a difficult concept. I was nodding in understanding and agreement.

Beth | 4:27 PM

Thank for this.

PaintingChef | 6:27 PM

Perfect.

theturtlemom | 7:34 PM

It's been difficult to articulate my feelings, too. Thank you, for bringing it to light. I have Faith in 2012.

Anonymous | 8:28 PM

Yes

KJ | 4:35 AM

As an Australian, I really have no place commenting on an American election... But I will anyway because, for better or worse, your election result affects the rest of us. Your Faith in your president gives me Hope for the future for all of us. I will be thinking of you all.

ericka.erwin | 5:55 AM

Thank you for this. I think I've been lacking faith in everything lately - especially myself. If you can't believe in yourself then you can't believe in anything. I'm better than that negative thinking, THANK YOU for reminding me what I was missing. And I already voted for Obama, we can't give up on a better tomorrow!

Emily (CityBaby Living) | 10:55 AM

Thank you for this post. The shift from Hope to Faith is exactly how I've been feeling, but wouldn't have made this type of connection especially to the faith one has in their marriage. I do have faith in Obama and hope that our country makes the right choice today.