Loser of Character
The past four months I worked for the Foster Friess For Governor Campaign, a time in my life that I will never forget. I had some of the best times and some of the absolute hardest. Through it all I came out on top incredibly exhausted, disappointed but satisfied and asking “What the heck did I just do?”
I was the first “Field Staff” to be hired on to the team back in May. I moved up from Longmont, Colorado where I had lived and worked at a church for the past year to Casper, Wyoming my home state. Excited and ready to conquer the world (or the state) I held my head high and pressed on even though I had no clue what I was doing or what a campaign even looked like, but I was eager to learn. It was a slow start at first, getting different random jobs from the managers or going to meetings with them. It all changed when suddenly I was put into a “directors” position and asked to find housing for a team of interns, find those interns and hire them. So I reached out to my many national connections through an organization I used to staff for called TeenPact Leadership Schools on social media. It was quite the rush of things as I was able to bring in more than half of the thirty interns, or associates we later renamed them to. I went from basically having no responsibility to hiring and managing team members quite literally overnight.
Not only was I supposed to be in charge of the team of associates in the “Head Quarters” office, I was supposed to answer citizen emails and phone calls with questions about our candidate, figure out housing while keeping the guys and girls completly separate, educate everyone about the wyoming issues and the candidates stances, update and follow a shedule app called notion, get trained in i360 Data, Field portal, Call and Walk apps, go through Leadership Institute training…twice, plan and set up candidate meet and greets, be with the candidate and be a travel aid anytime he was in my region, put out yard signs on supporters property, get materials to different events, locate and place 4'x8' signs and on top of all of that get atleast 7,468 secured “yes” votes in my region. Pressure on. There were days that I had so much to do I couldnt even tell you what happened the day before because it felt like it was so long ago.
The grind was tough, hard and what seemed like an eternity. Normal life was thrown out the window, sometimes working twenty two hour days back to back for four days straight. But I loved it. Its an environment I thrive in. I am a type of person who likes a bit of insanity wrapped up in the just-do-it mentality, especially when I can get behind something or someone who I beleive in. When there is something, a cause so great, I will pour myself out one hundred and twenty percent without any reserve. This often gets me in over my head. Its a sticky spot, because everything and anyone becomes second place to this new thing I’m being consumed with. Personal life doesn't excist for a while. I become a slave to the cause. Its in those moments when you lose yourself do you truly find the real self. I’m a go getter, never-stopper-till-its-finished guy and thats exactly what I was required to do.
Despite all the negative things I had to deal with throughout the job, there were many positives. I was able to connect and foster realtionships that I know will last many years into the future. I was able to travel nearly 40,000 miles all over the state of Wyoming and see things I had only dreamed of one day visiting. I flew on a private plane, drove ridiculously nice cars — rolled one even and managed to miraculously walk away untouched by the grips of death. Had so much fast food in my life I’m sure we doubled Wendy’s business. Slept in five star hotels, ate five star meals and was able to say: “This is just all part of the job!”
I wasn’t sure what the out come of the campain would be, but I knew I had worked my life away and so did my team. We all stood there bottling up our feelings when the election results started rolling in. Some of us felt shocked, relieved, disappointed, confused, exhausted and beat. We had lost. Everything that we worked for was gone, just like that. Staring out into the lost sea of despair all I could do was accept it. I had to see it for what it was: you lose some. After everything you work for sometimes you lose. But in that losing you find your true self. How do you handle it? Does it drag you down and destroy everything around you? True character shows when everything falls around you, and everything had. I had to push through it, and even though it sucked, I had to show what it looks like to be a loser of character. You don’t let it drag you down, keep your chin up and press on. Despite being saddened by the lost and coming in second place, it was all worth it. I have learned so much and grown to be able to lead and make decisions for the better of the team. I had a blast doing it, even though it didn’t pay off in the end with a win, it paid off with a win of life experience, and that is what made it worth it. You live and learn and keep going, no matter what.