Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted today

After living in the US for over 25 years, I finally managed to become a citizen this year. Today was the first presidential election I participated in, and even though my story isn't particularly remarkable, I've fought back some tears already today thinking about the ramifications of today's election, how long it's taken me to become a citizen (8 years), and the idea that I actually am an American now. (Gosh, the identity crises I've had about that... I can't even count)

I was so excited to vote, that I just couldn't stop. Every time I thought I was done, I'd obsessively look over my ballot again and again. I thought: maybe I accidentally voted for McCain. Oh god, no! I'd immediately break out in a sweat and look at the very black spot next to Obama and calm myself. The giant list of incumbent judges helped me with voting anxiety. I slowly, deliberately colored in those 36 circles, feeling like I was still voting, remembering all the standardized tests I've ever taken, taking deep breaths, thinking: Obama better win. This is my country now. I can't just say I'll head out to Korea (where it's no better anyway). I have a vested interest. I have an American baby. She can't grow up in an America where hate, ignorance, and racism rule. It's important now. I'm voter number 533 in my precinct. My vote counts. Things will change.


Blogger jjongsma said...

Yay, congrats!

2:07 PM  
Blogger misskarenjean said...

Do you know what's amazing? The number of comments I read in the NYTimes, from people of other nations - Pakistan, China, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Korea - that said "God Bless America." Number 533, you are a part of that! Your first election was history in the making, for you, for Ruby, for the US, and for the world.

11:19 AM  

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