I haven’t written about politics in more than three years. For some perspective, that was my 300th post and this is my 794th. I’m not any less political. And I’m not a person who avoids talking about politics because it’s a controversial topic; I’m a pretty polite person, but three of my favorite topics of conversation are religion, politics, and money. Once I start talking, I kind of forget that I’m shy.
I don’t know why I stopped writing about politics. My feelings about things have changed since the last election, but I am still full to the brim with opinions. I think maybe I began to feel like I didn’t have anything unique to contribute or lost faith that it would make a difference. In truth, I didn’t think to feel sorry about it until right now. Maybe I will find a way to write about politics again.
This, of course, is not a post about politics at all. It has more to do with where I’m at in my life, which I strangely judge by how many significant political events I have watched from the library. I started this job four years ago, and I work at night, so pretty much everything, including (most importantly) when Obama was elected, I have watched here. Most often on a computer screen while everyone around me was quiet.
I don’t know how this activity beat out so many others to become the one that makes me stop and think about how far I’ve come in four, three, or two years, but for some reason it holds a lot of meaning for me. Because every time I watch a major political event inside the library, I think, “this is fine for now, but this is not where I want to be next time.” Feeling restless in 2010, that’s what I wrote. I said I was depressed at the thought of being in the exact same place in two years.
And I don’t know quite what to say to that, because I didn’t think about any of this until I was watching the first debate and then suddenly I thought, “Ack, I’m still here!” But I’ve done a lot of the things I talked about in that post. I said I wanted to travel, but I didn’t know how, and damn if I didn’t figure it out! By the end of the year, I will have visited at least 15 cities, 10 of them new to me.
I must admit that I do get those flashes of panic about how I should be further along in my life. I should have, like, an actual career. I shouldn’t live in a studio apartment. I should understand my retirement savings. But then I also find myself thinking about how I want to travel for weeks at a time and find some way to live abroad for a year or so. I think it through and realize it actually doesn’t matter whether I’m doing those other adult things and they probably wouldn’t make me happy the same way that living in Europe would.
My life is maybe not as radically different as the me of two years ago wanted it to be, especially because she had high expectations that I would be living in a different city. But I feel like I’m moving in a direction and it’s closer to the things I actually want and not the things I think I should want as 30 looms.
I will be spending election night here in the library, and I will be happy but not perfectly content, because that’s just not really in my nature. Instead I’ll probably feel a fire in my stomach to do the next scary thing.