photo source: The Washington Post

Obama & Me

I will miss President Obama deeply. His empathy, kindness, intelligence, willingness to adjust his viewpoints, and straight up swagger captured so many hearts and minds. He made politics feel relevant and real for the first time ever.

When he was elected into office in 2008, I was going through an incredibly difficult time personally. The night he got elected was the first night in two years when I felt a sense of hope and excitement towards the future. I was inspired thinking if he could fight off all his naysayers and become POTUS, I could get over my own self-doubt and sadness. I swallowed the tears, worked through the regret, often looking to him for inspiration.

Now eight years later, I find myself on the other side of the country, with a career I am thriving in, friendships I feel safe in, married to a solid, loving man, and mother to an unbelievably beautiful little girl.

Lately I feel like I can finally say,

It was hard, but I am stronger for it, all of it.

It wasn’t overnight, but the many small steps that threaded together to make my life today possible were during Obama’s two terms. For that I will always feel personally connected to him.

I am heartbroken to see him go and be replaced by someone that can’t be seen as a role model in any light, by someone we have to put aside our moral compass to accept. I’m torn. I don’t want the next four years to go by quickly because I want to savor every last bit of Chloe’s early years, but I do want them to go by as fast as possible so we can correct the misstep our country has made in electing Trump to the same office as Obama.

But, just as he inspired me 8 years ago, he did it yet again last night in his farewell speech. I truly believe that “yes, we can” get through this and yes, we will all be stronger for it.

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Originally published on my blog: the rose gold.