Today I did something I thought I would never do. I still thought I never would until as recently as this past Friday afternoon. I had a heart to heart between myself, a half mile stretch of country road, and a poignant, bluesy, bittersweet album that's meant a lot to me for a long time now. I registered to vote for the first time.
Don't pat me on the back for this. Don't tell me I did the right thing, don't tell me it's better late than never. I'm not proud of this. I don't feel the need to explain or justify my former beliefs, but suffice it to say that I did not feel that I could in good conscience participate in my own governmental system by proxy of a general election. And don't call me immature or irresponsible or cynical either. Save it for your own damn children.
But this year...these past few years...it's not even worth discussing. Unlike what I've come to expect from life, it's the world around me that's seen dramatic and turbulent changes, and the changes within myself have been more subtle and gradual. But while I don't regret any decision or non-decision I've made in the past, I do feel in my heart and in my higher self that now is the time for this.
I have chosen to see my right to vote as a burden, chosen to not be proud of it. That perspective too might change, in time. But that doesn't mean I can just keep on denying the process. I guess this is a part of growth. Part of understanding the self. This almost feels like a spiritual epiphany, or "what alcoholics refer to as 'a moment of clarity,'" but just on a smaller external scale compared to the internal significance.
I might still vote absentee. I have a few more weeks to make up my mind where that's concerned. But even in that instance, my vote would still be counted. I would still be represented, and still be representing. That means something to me now where it did not before.
The song itself, the one that struck me, is really about generationalism, finding purpose through parenthood/procreation. That's another topic I've been fervently denying. Maybe I'm using the admittance of one as an excuse to deal with the postponment of the other. Maybe I'm just simply ready for one and not the other.
What is the purpose of my life
If it doesn't have to do
With learning to let it go
Live vicariously through--
You could do the same
It's the least you could do
Cause it's a lonely little chain
If you don't add to it
So go on
"Oh! A voter registration" said the young lady behind the counter, brightly. Evidently there hadn't been a big turnout for these, or not as big as she might've expected or even hoped for. Well, it follows. It's a rainy day after all, and the primaries have come and gone so most voices have been accounted for. "Thank you" she said, colloquially but sincerely.
"Don't thank me," I wanted to say. "I don't feel good about this" I wanted to say. But of course that's not fair, to put her in that kind of position. She seemed genuinely pleased to see the form I'd handed her, and furthermore she's merely doing her job. And in a discouraging sense I'm merely doing mine.
I suppose...that it's been a long time coming.