This election was the first time I have ever voted. I am 28… so it took me 10 years. I don’t have an excuse and I am embarrassed it took me this long to exercise my freedom. Especially because I am a woman and so many women fought hard to win the right that I was blatantly apathetic about for an entire decade. I am sharing my story not to justify my actions but to hopefully show some young people the importance of voting.
Women of my generation have it pretty good. Yes, we are still underpaid but we can vote, make chooses about our own reproductive health, and more women are being elected into political office than ever before. I grew up not realizing how lucky I was because well this is my reality. Growing up I never experienced a major hardship based on my sex, religion, or race. My childhood was by no means perfect but I never witnessed someone fight for anything. I read about it in history books and was thankful as a kid could be but it’s hard to fully comprehend things like The Civil War, Women’s Suffrage, and both World Wars.
I grew up in Kansas which is very Republican and then moved to New York which is very Democratic. Every election I told myself that my vote was meaningless because Kansas is a red state and New York is a blue state. Then I turned 27 and became a mother to a beautiful baby girl. At first the all encompassing love I felt for her made me feel out of control and small. I wanted to protect her from everything horrible in the world but knew that was not possible. Living in the competitive mom world of New York City, I felt bad that my daughter had a mother who wasn’t more famous or well connected.
These feelings were a huge part of the reason I suffered postpartum depression. Then I started to watch the news and pay attention to politics. The more I read the more I started to care about everything. I wanted to at least try to fix the world but again told myself I was just some nobody mom.
I started writing and felt empowered. I met people online that like my writing and that made me feel anything but small. Then on November 6th, 2012 I voted for the first time in my life. My husband and I went to the polls together and took our daughter with us. It was a wonderful experience.
Whenever I see adds or read articles encouraging people to vote they always stress that you can make a difference in the world and should make your voice heard by casting your ballot. This is true but I think you should vote because it feels FUCKING AWESOME.
In our day to day lives it’s so easy to feel worn down and tiny. But one day a year you can make a choice and have a say in the future of your country. Yes, voting is an awesome way to help other people and change the world but you can’t really do either of those things unless you are happy and voting will make you happy. Trust me! Hopefully, it will make you happy for an entire year just in time for you to vote again. So next November, vote and do it for you because you are anything but small.
Janitor at Mom Blog PoopPeePuke.com
Lover of Funny at The World New York Comedy Club