#WhatObamaTaughtMe is a trending topic on Twitter tonight.
It got me thinking… what has Obama taught me in the 4 years that he has been in office? I don’t really follow politics all that well, unless they directly affect me, and I generally disagree with the majority of the Republican mindset, but Obama has been a part of my life since I started college in 2008.
1. I don’t always get what I want. Life is full of disappointments.
I’ve never confessed this to my family, and since they read my blog now, I guess this is another moment of me coming out to them, but I didn’t vote for Obama in the primaries. I liked him plenty, but I voted for Hillary Clinton because I thought she was badass. (and her pantsuits…well, they have magical powers.)
I told you Hillary’s pantsuits are magical.
2. Mixed feelings are a natural part of life.
On November 4th, 2008, I voted for Barack Obama because a) I didn’t like John McCain and b) it was the right, radical thing to do. The next day was a mixed feeling of defeat and victory. When it was announced that Obama had won the election, my entire quad (the dorm area I was living in) erupted in cheers. People ran out to the grassy quad area, started rocking out, and an all-out party exploded well into the night. When I woke up the next morning, feeling like I was part of history and the world was about to change, I also found out Prop 8 had passed in California. I wasn’t out at this time to my family, but I was devastated to know that same-sex marriage was so heavily discriminated against. It was the first of many times during my college years that I realized I wasn’t like everyone else, and that there was a world beyond the gay bubble I lived in.
Me in my post-Prop 8 passing glory. “Farm Animals gained more civil rights on Nov. 4th than People.” (Better treatment of farm animals passed in California; same-sex marriage did not.)
3. It’s important to eat my vegetables.
Okay, so this is a lesson Michelle Obama has taught me, but have you seen the arms on this woman? Hot damn! I’ll eat my veggies AND exercise if it means I can get in half the shape Michelle Obama is in.
4. Everyone has That Piece of Clothing that probably should be burned, but they love.
For Obama, that’s probably a pair of Mom jeans. For me, well, I go through my periods of different security clothing. For me, it’s a black hoodie that doesn’t really fit too well anymore. I bought it when I was 17 to wear at work when it was cold, and it’s been a part of my wardrobe since. I’m dreading the day it finally disintegrates, but, for now, even if I don’t wear it as much as I used to (I’ve discovered the comfort of guy hoodies), it’s still nice to know I have it if I need it.
Obama has his security blanket in his mom jeans…
and I have mine in this awesome hoodie. Don’t you love how awesome I was in high school? Middle finger and all.
5. Promises are promises.
Before he won the 2008 Election, Obama told his daughters they’d get a dog if he won. Guess what? They got a dog. I’ve very much aware of promises I may make, and if I break them, well, I feel like complete crud.
Obama gets major bonus points for the tulips in the background. I love tulips.
6. People you love change perspectives.
In May, Obama made news by saying he supported same-sex marriage. (See my post on it here.) He also said, “You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.” I totally see how much Obama loves his kids, and how they’ve helped him see things through the eyes of a new generation. As a young lesbian woman, I didn’t exactly grow up in a world where gay was okay… but I didn’t grow up in a homophobic world either. Things have changed since my parents were kids, and they’ve even changed since I was a kid. Is having a lesbian daughter ideal for my parents? It probably wasn’t their first dream for me. But you know what? They try their hardest to be accepting, and while they don’t always get it, they sure as hell try. Their love for me is fiercer and more strong than anything else, and I couldn’t be prouder to be their daughter, or to see how much their feelings have grown towards gay rights. They just want me to be loved and to be happy, which is what any parent wants for his or her child.
7. Internet video dubs are awesome.
I just fell in love with the brains behind baracksdubs. He didn’t have me at hello– he had me at “Born This Way.”
8. Even if I go into a shitty profession, my colon will still be safe until I’m 26.
I just graduated with a BA in English. (Please, no Avenue Q references.) I’m getting my Masters in Secondary English Education… aka becoming an English teacher. This does not translate into a huge paychecks, and I’m not really sure if I’ll have good medical coverage. As someone who currently takes a costly medication on a daily basis, this blows. Lucky for me, I can milk great coverage from my parents until I turn 26! I have 3.5 more years until I have to budget for my colon meds on a monthly basis. I’m really excited about this…Thank you, Obama!
9. Pop culture tidbits matter…even if you’re the President of the United States.
I know an insane amount of pop culture news and tidbits, and I blame my unhealthy addiction to sites like PerezHilton for this. I may not know much about politics, but I can tell you the names of all of the Kardashians and other things you probably don’t want to know. It helps when I’m making pop-culture-related lesson plans. Anyway, the President knows his pop culture, and it encourages me to do the same. He also encourages me to eat more guacamole.
10. Be true to yourself, and ignore those who don’t believe in you.
Michelle Obama had a fantastic quote featured in a HuffPost article on her best quotes, and I like to think the entire Obama family believes it. “One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.” There’s not really much else to say in response to this, except that, over the past few years, I have grown tremendously. I have discovered who I am, and I discover more of who I am each and every day. I have learned to ignore negativity surrounding my life and circumstances beyond my control. I can– and will– achieve my goals. I’m one step closer to them everyday.
So, Twitter, here’s my long response to #WhatObamaTaughtMe. What has Obama taught you?