November 6, 2012. I was nervous all day. That kind of nervous where you know something big is going to happen but you don’t know when. You wait. You watch CNN. Nothing yet. Life goes on as normal. Work. Students come and go. Some know what’s happening. Some don’t. In the evening, some of the votes start rolling in and even though you are six hours ahead of the closest voting polls and want them to declare a clear winner now, you know it will be early morning before you see a victory decided. It’s best to just head to bed and try to get some rest.
This morning my alarm went off at 7:30 sharp signaling another day of Txoltxan torturing me with Basque grammar and words my American mouth can’t pronounce. I usually turn it off and listen to the hubby snore for five more minutes. But not this morning. I jumped out of bed, ran for my trusty MacBook, switched it on and typed in cnn.com as fast as my fingers would allow. And what did I get? NOTHING! Internet wasn’t working! (Thanks Euskatel! I guess my 50 euros/month doesn’t assure me round-the-clock service.) With no Internet to rely on, I grabbed to remote and flipped to CNN and caught the very beginning of OBAMA’S acceptance speech at Obama Headquarters in Chicago! I have to admit though that at first I wasn’t sure if it was his “Yes! We won!” speech or his “Dang it! We lost” speech. Combined with all the graphics on the screen and me not having any coffee yet, it took me a good couple of minutes to realize that he had, in fact, triumphed! I started to get a little teary-eyed and as I sat there watching his speech emotion took over and the tears streamed down my chubby little cheeks. I couldn’t hold my excitement in and knew I had to share the news with someone. I went into the bedroom where my hubby was still snoring and jumped on the bed giving him some early morning smooches. “Obama won!” I whispered in his ear. “Really?” he said with closed eyes. But he soon noticed that this was eye-opening worthy news and saw my tear-stained cheeks. “You’re crying?” he asked, a little puzzled. “I’m just really relieved,” I responded. Then he hugged me and moments later I went back to watching CNN while getting ready for Basque class.
I will be the first to admit that my knowledge of politics is far from where it should be. I know enough to know that I don’t know enough. Most of my understanding of politics and current events (and my crush on Jon Stewart) comes from The Daily Show. I do read the newspaper once in a while. I watch CNN and BBC every now and again. I have my opinions. I went to college and I consider myself somewhat educated. I’m now able to answer most of the questions I get here in Spain about our voting process (wasn’t able to do that when I first moved here!) and why we have blue and red states. But I also recognize that there is much more to it than this. And I also realize that each and every person has their own personal opinion, sometimes different than my own.
Today, once again, I am proud to be from the US of A. I’ve never shied away from the fact that I was American (it’s pretty difficult anyways with this blonde hair and thick American accent). And for the next four years, whether in Spain or somewhere else, I’ll be even more appreciative of the blessings in my life.