Finding the “Why”
“We come from a society where we allow people to see us by how we want to be seen, not who we actually are.” – Delegate Danica Roem
Honestly, running for office is more of a “why not” at this point. 2020 is the year of acceleration where we might collectively realize the meaning of life. The lava is rising and we’re desperately trying to avoid a global pandemic by hopping from cushion to solution. What better time to run than “The Year The World Fell Apart”?
It’s funny – every time I’m reminded of mortality, my closet full of masks seems trivial. At one point (pre-COVID) I had considered myself a mask collector: one for work, one for volunteering, one for dance, another for family, etc. I would break the hats out for events and special occasions, marveling at how new they still appeared.
I thought everyone wore a mask for their respective circles and that’s just the way life was. Perhaps, this self-betrayal was the reason I often saw a sea of smiles with eyes reflecting a life unfulfilled. In old America, only the outliers dared to be “different” while the rest of us went about our charades. I resented the pretense of it all but thought this was our fate – that is, until I met him.
The guy who dared to live life with his whole heart; braving to choose his authentic “too much” self over how people thought he should behave. His personality floods the room and you will either welcome the waves or complain about your shoes getting wet. He’s the yang to my yin and, I’m completely enamored with him.
Through our relationship, I’ve learned that you can skip the pretenses and be yourself – wholeheartedly, every. single. day. – and the right people will celebrate you. Imagine waking up in the morning and bypassing the masks altogether on your way out the door. This is the year we stopped hiding behind fear, insecurities, and impostor syndrome because – why not.
2020 moved up the timelines across multiple industries, specifically remote work, sustainability, and maximizing our resources to improve quality of life. But, the 2020 I’ll remember in decades to come is the year I dared to be me without the masks; to chase life with a ferocity; and love unconditionally.
The countdown keeps ticking as we scramble to avoid contamination while preserving some sense of “normal”. Amidst the sweat pants and teleconferences, we discovered our priorities. To live like, at any moment, we could fall into lava and perish forever.
There’s an urgency, behind 2020, to not fail. To make calculated steps but still maintain the lighthearted air of a child playing a game of lava in the living room. Looking back over the past 15 years, I can see how all the volunteering, civic engagement, and education lead me to this point.
2020 is the year we can finally actualize the hashtag that’s often circulated but never truly embodied #OurYear: To be genuine, to be better, and to actively pursue our untapped potential.
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – Marianne Williamson