Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the one where i rationalize not working in politics anymore

Monday night I went to see Ides of March. I know, who goes to the movies on Monday night? I do.  It came highly recommended by my grandparents and I'd wanted to go since I saw the first preview for it months ago. (I'm guilty, just like every other woman I know, of being a devoted Gosling fan. I know, razz me about it later. But seriously. Drool.) I had to drag Matt because it's not his kind of movie and also because he thinks going to the movies is a waste of money (it is).

 I'm going to come right out and say that I liked the movie, and I think you should go see it.

I go to the movies a lot, probably every other week. I fucking love the popcorn. Honestly, that's almost my sole motivation. And because it's socially unacceptable to make conversation in the theater. I need to focus and cannot stand being distracted in the middle of a film. Sometimes I go by myself, sometimes Matt comes, it really doesn't make any difference to me.

SPOILER (kind of, not really).  So, this movie is about about the Ohio Democratic primary and how if this governor wins the Ohio primary he'll likely get the nomination for the presidential race for the Dems.  He's a decent guy, with good ideals. He reminds me of Obama, and I'm sure that's what they were going for.   Anyway the main character (Gosling) is his Junior campaign manager and he really believes in the candidate, he's an idealist. Gosling is this brilliant media mind and everything is going great and then all this bullshit happens blah blah blah scandal, blah blah blah drama, blah blah blah secrets. By the end of the movie Gosling is this jaded, crooked hack just like the rest of them. (sadly. but he's also still the most handsome.)

That's just the gist, go see the movie.

Anyway, I obviously started missing politics as I was watching this Hollywood, somewhat accurate-somewhat-glamorized portrayal of the race to the election. I've essentially cut ties with the presidential campaign after this summer because I got frustrated with it and because I also didn't have the time they needed me to devote, it was basically another full time job I wasn't getting paid for. But I miss it. I miss the whole scene of characters, and the flair for drama and the charisma the complete devotion of energy and attention and shaking hands and making a million calls to people that won't bother to show up to anything, and that's if they don't cuss you out over the phone. I miss the group of people with tunnel vision. But, the same tunnel vision as me.

And then I watched the whole movie. And I realized that I don't miss it that much. I maybe don't miss it enough to go back. Or enough to fore sake all sleep or really any personal life for months at a time and to have no idea what's going on with my family but to know the poll numbers at any given moment.

I don't want to live a life that's exciting for spurts and then an overall emotional hangover the rest of the time. Everything seems corrupt and full of bullshit and bureaucracy. The whole system doesn't need any one person, it will swallow up and spit out anyone when their time has come. I don't need to become jaded and spent and burnt out by thirty. I don't want that for myself.

It's more than just politics too. It's organizing and activism in general. I feel this stuff so much, so hard, that it takes over my whole being. It's exhausting. It becomes an obsession and a compulsion and the only thing that matters, and it never even needs me to start with. And it's lonely. It's a lonely life because sometimes that "good,' that original quest for 'right' or the service you want to do to make the world even the smallest bit better is a cruel and fickle mistress. It doesn't need me as much as I need it.

So, I'll continue to volunteer when I have time and support my causes and try to be a decent person, but I'm not going to stake my life on it, not for the sake of the life I want for myself and the person want to be. I don't think I have it in me. It's hard to say and it sucks to admit because for a time, I wanted it so much. I wanted to be a part of it all and another part of the process and part of the team. As much as I miss the hotels and the travel and the people and the clusterfuck of activity, I don't miss myself. When I'm in it I'm so full of movement, and it feels SO good to be moving, but when it's over, I'm exhausted in every sense of the word. And used up to the point where I can't even get through a few chapters of a shitty novel.

I'm rationalizing. Yes, this I know. But I have to. I'm starting to get that itch. That climbing-up-the-walls feeling that it's time. That I need to be at work rightthisminute for the election. That I'm not doing enough. Fretting over all that I could be learning and doing RIGHT NOW.

Anyway, that's my tangent and rationalization on why I'm going to be more selfish or really just less involved with a process that doesn't even know I'm there.

At least that's the plan today.


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