The other night Dallin asked me to tell him an embarrassing story. It didn’t take me long to think of one to share, I embarrass easily. Dallin and I have been married for 6 years this month and I love that we are still learning about each other. Dallin got a kick out of this one so I decided to share.
Let me take you back to the year 2004, I was 12 and I was weird. I didn’t have a lot of friends, I mostly hung out with my siblings and my books. I loved my books. I still love my books. Moving on, before this turns into an erotic post about my books.
I was in 7th grade and my Jr. High was participating in a mock presidential election. I was pretty confident I was the ONLY person at my school, whose student population consisted mostly of conservative mormon farmers, voting for John Kerry. The mock election was being held during our lunch hour. To save myself from further ridicule (remember I was already the weird girl) I decided I needed to get to lunch super early so I could get it over with, even then I was all too aware of the anxiety political disappointments can elicit. As this was my first time voting, I’m not sure I understood how it all worked. I think I thought I would have to stand up on stage and declare my vote in front of a panel of political judges??
It was five minutes until the lunch bell would ring. I started packing up my book bag early, something I never did because #teacherspet. I made sure my keds were tied tight in preparation for my sprint to the lunch room. The bell rang and I was off to the races. I ran all the way from the science hall which was on the opposite side of the school!! By the time I made it to the lunch room I was the 3rd person in line to vote. Out of breath and slightly sweaty (I hadn’t made it to puberty yet so yes, only slightly sweaty) I felt relieved and a little silly once I saw the voting booths provided enough privacy that no one would see who I was voting for.
At the end of the school day the voting tally was announced over the loud speaker.
- George W. Bush – 19304937 (I don’t remember the number but it definitely felt like this)
- John Kerry – 2
I wasn’t alone. I never found out who the other rebel voter was but I was glad to know I wasn’t alone. (I’m also just now realizing that it’s possible they inflated the Kerry votes to two as to not make me feel completely alone).
Over the last few years I have been inspired by those who wear their political and religious beliefs like a badge of honor… maybe not those who are clearly in the wrong tho. I still hold mine pretty tight fearing I’ll spark contention or that I’ll sound ignorant and uninformed. I’m hoping to conquer this fear by defending my beliefs with compassion. I’m not nerdily running to vote in secret anymore.
Stand for right, even if you stand alone – Thomas S. Monson
Who else is looking forward to General Conference this weekend?!