I never watch anything political on TV. I don't watch elections, I don't watch debates, I don't watch inagurations, I don't watch anything to do with politics. I get my political news from reading, and even then I have to read all sorts of articles and bits and pieces written on the same thing before I can feel as though I'm informed on something. I get political viewpoints largely from live conversations. I ask several carefully chosen people, who I personally respect, what they think on various things, knowing that some will approve, some won't, and some won't have a position, but know their history and have a certain sense of people and events that I can understand and relate to.
In spite of my general humbuggery, I watched the inauguration. I just couldn't help myself. And I was moved to tears many times. The last time I was this moved was when I heard Bill Clinton's state of the Union Address from 1999. Remembering that feeling, I looked it up - It's on CNN.com. A powerful speech, one that made me feel proud to be an American.
Today, Barack Obama made me feel the same way. The swelling in my chest, the tightness in my throat, the tears forming in my eyes. Something growing inside me - faith. Faith in others. Faith in people. Because that's who we elect to do these difficult jobs, people. Just people.
Barack is the first president I have ever voted for. I have only voted against candidates in the past. I was disillusioned during the campaign, but I still believed in my fellow Illinoisan. Will he let me down? At some point, probably. He's a human being.
It's just that I feel hope. It's been a long, long time since I felt that, watching a president speak. My hopes and expectations are not grand... but they are there. That's enough to make me grateful.
2009 really is a year of change for G and I, a year of new things. New President. New car. New apartment. Hopefully, new jobs for the both of us. And, hopefully, our first child. That last one's no guarantee, but again, I'm hopeful.