There was a good portion of my young life that I lived in a fog of indifference disguised as passion and rebellion. I was lazy and disinterested in the world around me. I think that it was a phase of apathy, a phase of feeling like if I didn’t care then I wasn’t responsible for the outcome, I wasn’t required to deal with opposition, and somehow it was just cooler to be indifferent. I wasn’t required to learn, grow, or be challenged.
It was a phase of adolescence that I grew out of.
Not only did I grow out of it, I grew 100% in the opposite direction. I care and I care a whole bunch. I’m proud of that part of my personality and I’m proud to feel like the passionate person who resonates inside of me has found a voice and a place. It’s present in the work I do and it’s present in the life I live, the way I choose to parent my son and the way I choose to stand up against injustices.
I’m going attribute it to maturity, but I’ve only become interested in news and politics in the last few years of my life. I’m not sure how it developed so late. I even went to journalism school and I’m more interested in the world now than I was when consuming all forms of national and local news was a prerequisite of my studies. Back then I only wanted to cover human interest and feature stories. Plus, I set out for a career in public relations rather than true journalism. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I had taken the other road, but either way I came out of college with a pretty well rounded understanding of media and how it works. I understand the biases and I understand the differences between paid and pitched. I understand spin and perspective. I understand relationships, manipulation, and ethics. Essentially, I feel like I’ve grown into my knowledge and I embrace it in a much deeper way at this point in my life.
Today is a special day for Arizona. Today is primary voting day.
Today, I’ll walk into my local polling place and cast my vote in the primary election. This will be my first vote outside of a general election. I’m proud to take my place and participate. I’m proud and confident in my choices. I feel empowered and informed. I feel like I’ve put in the work to understand the world around me and now it’s time for me to participate and make a stand towards the world I want to see for myself and for my family. I’ve defined my values and I’m taking control of my own civil duties and rights.
People sacrificed their lives so that I can be free to participate in this part of American life. I feel honored and privileged to live in a place where my voice matters and I’m proud to be apathetic no more.
There are still tons of states’ primary elections to come and I hope that you’ll participate. If your state has already voted, I hope that you’ll turn your eyes and hearts to November.
I hope that we’ll be a generation of people who care, a generation of people who are engaged and are ready to put in the effort it takes to play a role in our future. May we be informed and calculated in our choices. May we see issues from all sides and make a choice that serves all people. May we stand for the voiceless and advocate for those who are underserved. May we care a whole awful lot.