The first time was really nothing special.
I didn't feel the excitement that everyone seemed to talk about. It was over in minutes and I don't remember feeling any different.
The second time I was a little more prepared, though still confused. I was feeling rebellious and went against everything my parents had taught me. It was less about the results and more about pissing them off. We debated for hours while they threw around words like "risk," "responsibility," and "moron." In the end, I did it my way, though I can't say that it was profound or meaningful.
There have been several more opportunities between then and now, and I tried to take advantage of each one; despite the short-lived courtship and stale promises, I kept my end of the bargain and arrived ready to take advantage of what so many yearn for but will never experience.
Tonight though was different. I came straight from a long doctor's appointment with Andrew, and had both kids in tow. I had brought my little cheat sheet, to ensure a speedy process, because, well, let's face it, doing it with your children running around just makes it that much harder.
But I did it.
And tonight I came in armed with opinions and beliefs in causes that have evolved over time, shaped by the experiences that make up the whole of my life; having babies, raising a special needs child, teaching kindergarten, paying taxes, watching the weight of the world on my husband's shoulders when he lost his job last year.
Tonight I expressed what continues to become my developing voice as time and experiences influence and nurture my passions and desires for change.
Tonight I am wise enough to know
that life rarely comes in black or white
But naive enough to believe
that in the end
what really matters most
is that we get a say*
(even if you're clearly wrong, which, if you voted for ____________and _____________, you are.)*