Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

2009It was a year ago today that I was involved in a life-profound car accident.

Luckily, or should I say because of a higher power, I made it out an accident scratch-free that most people, including the officer that found me in my car upside down, said I shouldn’t have survived.

I won’t rehash the details, considering it’s still vivid in my mind, but I will say a prayer tonight that I’m still here. It set off a year that wasn’t my best, I can admit. From that accident, I had a lot of financial setbacks, including having to buy a car after living years without car payments. Because of it,  I realized that I needed to get my money situation in order.

The accident also reemphasized the importance of family. The night of the accident, I was riding in my car alone, following behind my parents in one car, and my sister’s family in another. Our three cars were headed to a family restaurant, and I remember being upset that no one took into consideration my feelings about riding with them. I had a small twinge of feeling left out, and everything was put into perspective after that night.

I say all this to say that this is a new year, 2009 to be exact. I want to leave all the baggage of 2008 behind me. There are some things I need to do and things I want to try, cause you only live once. I don’t really have any resolutions, per se. I just have this urge to be more involved in my community, and focus on something besides myself, you know.

It all began when I saw Milk a week and a half ago. (The movie was wonderful; you must see it). The film about the first openly gay man to be elected to public office inspired me. It will show you we need people who will stand up for us – and that things really haven’t changed that much when it comes to gay rights. Here we are in the same situation we were 20 years ago, when Proposition 6 was introduced to fire any gay teacher or their supporters in 1978 . Except Prop. 6 was defeated, whereas last year’s Prop. 8 won. Harvey was just getting started politically when he was brutally assassinated. It’s no telling what he could have accomplished.

The other thing I’ve toyed with is writing erotica. It’s been on my mind for a minute. I have a vivid imagination, and I should be putting this stuff down on paper. I hope to have a few pieces published this year, at least that’s my goal. I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on to give me a little inspiration. Maybe Lebron can give me a little motivation, as well 🙂

Oh, I want to lose weight. Just though I’d throw that in for good measure.

I see many good things occurring this year. And I want to be the one to make it happen.

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Yes, We Did: Things Overheard Since Election Day

“After 7 o’clock, don’t call me. I don’t want to talk to nobody. I’m watching the election.”
-My father, who didn’t want to be bothered with any foolishness while watching the poll results. He was joking (I think)

My mother: “Oh, he won?”
My father: “Yeah, he won. It’s over.”
-My parents, talking to both of them on the phone right after the returns showed Obama had won the election and John McCain had already conceded. Apparently, my mother fell asleep before Obama’s victory had been announced on the news.

“A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love. In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.”
-Senator John McCain in his concession speech

“I guess the election makes people hungry.”
-An employee said to a long line of people in the cafeteria at work. She got no response.

“Why y’all so quiet? I’m the one who should be upset.”
-A Caucasian co-worker who was a big McCain supporter. As the black folks in my office began to congregate first thing, we turned silent when he passed, as a sign of respect. This was his response.

“Come January, I’m gonna electric slide down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
-A Black co-worker who of course voted for Obama

“I’m so happy for you all. Y’all needed this. This is something y’all been needing for a long time.”
-A Caucasian employee to a black employee, overheard in the hallway after having lunch with three of my co-workers. We were about to get rowdy, until we found out she was talking about a new supervisor who had just been hired.

“I’m happy. I believe marriage should be between a man and woman, not a man and a man. It’s not right.”
-My co-worker, who was happy Amendment 2 was voted in, which upholds the law that marriage should be defined as only between man and woman in Florida. She believes in gays having domestic partnerships but not have the right to get married.

“I can’t believe we lost.”
-One Caucasian worker to the next, overheard in the parking lot.

 “It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”
-President-elect Barack Obama during his acceptance speech.

Sam Cooke – “A Change is Gonna Come”

Right to Vote?

Although politics has never been my cup of tea, I already know whom I’m voting for. It’s been no secret. I love Obama and what he stands for politically: change and more change. I couldn’t stand to go through another eight years (or even four years for that matter) with a bull-headed idiot running the country. It’s been tough enough watching Bush turn this country into a country with worse debt than a five-year unemployed dude with child support issues up the ass and creditors calling him after 8 p.m.

If I seem a little riled up, it’s because we have a lot riding on this election. The fate of the free world lies with who will win more electoral votes. Personally, I would love to see the first black man in office (and no, Clinton doesn’t count), running things and helping us to get out of this dismal situation. I know he can’t solve all our country’s problems, but at least it’ll be a start.

One thing that irks me about Obama’s campaign success is when black folks say, “I hope he doesn’t get shot.” Yes, he has had opposition, mostly in the form of rednecks who would rather eat shit than see a black man occupy the oval office. But we need to stop being so negative. This man, the son of a white mother and African father, a Harvard law school graduate and Illinois senator, could become the first black president. It’s hard to put into words what this mean.

My father, who lived and survived through the civil rights era, has waited for this day to come. He grew up in a time when there were separate water fountains at the local courthouse and cringed to hear a white man call him boy. He tells me experiences of being considered inferior, when he knew it was simply for the color of his skin. I still get chills remembering his recollection of the night Martin Luther King died, and being under fire by white authority figures. They asked him to tell where the blacks had congregated that night; my father refused. On that night, at that moment, it could have been a different story altogether, one that could have lead to my father being attacked or, God forbid killed, but he said he wasn’t afraid. No person, black or white, would ever make him afraid.

That’s the kind of hardship he endured, so we could have the liberty to vote. That’s why it’s important.

And that’s why Obama’s my choice, because he believes in change. He understands nothing’s going to improve without it. He’s just the man to see this thing through.