A little about me, and I….
If there’s one thing I have taken away from working in politics is that one of the most powerful things we possess is our own personal story. Nothing else can make people listen to you than the words, if you can find them, that lets others know where you’ve been, where you’re at, and where you’re going even if you don’t even know yourself. I’m not talking about how things found on your drivers-license or resume’. I’m talking about those words, those stories, that are dripping with your heart and soul. As a campaign worker our story is used to let others know why you’re doing what you’re doing. To show others why this issue, campaign, or candidate is important to you on a personal level. It lets others know that you’re in this with them, that you believe in it as much as they do. I love telling my story as I think it’s a powerful thing that you always carry around with you. It’s your life, you can never forget to bring it with you.
As I began thinking about this recently, I’ve thought about how much my life is a contradiction. Maybe that’s the case with us all. As Pascal said, “We are only falsehood, duplicity, contradiction; we both conceal and disguise ourselves from ourselves. I thought I’d tell you a little about me and my contradictions…
I have met two Presidents, but have never met my biological father.
I have confidently given speeches in rooms full of hundreds of people, on live TV, and with national press, but I have never once have had the nerve to approach a girl in public and ask her out.
I’ve attended a lot of parties thrown by my friends, but never had a birthday party growing up where my friends were invited. I was always afraid no one would should up and was ashamed that I lived in a trailer because I thought everyone else lived in big, nice homes.
I can rattle off statistics and information on a number of topics, but I feel like others think I am dumb more times than you would know. Work, college, etc.
I love the thought of receiving an award, a plaque, or some kind of recognition, but I feel embarrassed when someone gives me a compliment on the job I’m doing.
I’ve witnessed history, love, and sunsets that have left me in awe. I’ve also witnessed domestic violence, discrimination, alcohol induced rages, and children suffering from horrible diseases more times than I can count.
I fear rejection almost as much as I do of the thought of having cancer again.
I love taking pictures of myself with friends, at places, or just for the hell of it, but I’ve only looked at myself in the mirror without a shirt on a handful of times for the past several years. I find my body with all its scars, stretch-marks, and extra-weight painful to look at. I literally cringe during the rare times I look.
I’ve had a problem with sleeping my entire life, but growing up I was in constant fear of dying in my sleep and not getting the chance to repent for my sins. I’d wake up in hell. It may sound silly but I feared nighttime more than anything growing up for that very reason.
I’ve never thought of suicide, but I’m scared I wouldn’t want to live anymore if I lost my mother or grandparents.
I love where I come from and hate where I live at the same. The people I have met here have been some of the most incredible I have and probably ever will meet. I’ve also met some of the most vile and horrible people here as well. It’s like that anywhere I would imagine. I love the mountains and will forever call them home. I also hate how sometimes they seem, to me, to be a metaphor of the walls people in rural areas put up to separate them from “others”.
I am passionate about every thing I do and every cause I support. That’s partly because when I was younger, I was on the opposite side. I fight for anti-bullying causes today but didn’t give it a second thought when I saw it growing up and in school.
I’m huge supporter for LGBT rights now. That will never, ever change. Know what my biggest fear was growing up though? Being gay. Even though I was brought up in a religious home, one that I’ll add would have supported me if I were gay, I never really believed it was a choice. With how society viewed it I imagined it was one of the worst things you could be, particularly in other people’s eyes. I thought if I were gay my life would be miserable because I could never, ever tell anyone and would either have to live a life lying to people or pretending I like girls. My support now, I think, is partly because of the guilt I have believing such horrible things like that. I also believe it made me realize that’s what some actually gay, lesbian, transgendered, etc. kids and adults really feel like every day of their life.
I witnessed multiple family members suffer from mental issues growing up. I felt so sorry for them and angry sometimes. It wasn’t until I was 23 that I realized and admitted to myself that I suffer from mental issues too: depression and PTSD. I denied it vigorously to family members if mentioned and doctors if they asked. I started to look back and see that I’ve spent most of my life suffering from depression. I also realized what doctors noted years ago which is that I suffer from PTSD from my bouts with childhood cancer and the treatments I endured. I’ve had very minor issues with anxiety until this past May when I was in the hospital recovering from surgery to have a pituitary tumor removed. Everything from the smell, the sounds, the hospital gown, to the central line in my neck reminded me of cancer/chemotherapy, and I had more panic attacks than I can count.
I love swimming. I would love nothing more than to go to the local pool like I did when I was growing up and spend hours every day just swimming. I’d love to go to the beach and swim in the ocean. I haven’t swam in a public pool since I was 13, though When I was going through treatment during the summer of 2003 I went to the pool in St. Paul. I had no hair from the chemo but I had never really cared until. The entire time I was there everyone stared at me, some laughed, yelled jokes, and made fun of me. I never went back, even now at 25.
I’m pretty open about me being an atheist, particularly online. I, however, haven’t told a single person in my family and probably never will.
Many of you know me as a book lover today. Most probably don’t know I loathed reading well into my late-teens and thought it was a waste of time.
I say I am an only child if you ask me. In reality, I actually have an older half-brother and a younger half-sister on my biological father’s side. We all have different mothers and they, like my biological father, have wanted nothing to do with me.
There’s very few times that when I look back on my 25 years, I am proud of what I’ve been able to do. I also always usually end up thinking I’m a failure in more ways than one by the time I’m done.
Fighting poverty is one of the most important things I am passionate about today. However, I was completely ashamed of it when I was growing up. I believed others would think I was poor, ignorant trailer-trash probably because I thought I was too.