This past Tuesday was the election for the city council race I was running in. I didn’t win. But then, running against 3 incumbents and 3 other challengers I didn’t really expect to.
I got into the race because, as of a week before the deadline, no one in our city had submitted paperwork to run. Not the incumbents, not any challengers, no one. I figured someone had to step up. Little did I know I was getting into a race that was bound to have 7 candidates running for 3 seats.
It has been a stressful experience for me, but I’ve also learned a lot. The whole idea of running for public office terrified me. I’m not really a “get out there” kind of person by nature…but I’m trying to get better at it.
There were certainly some not-so-shining moments. The woman who slammed her door in my face saying “We don’t participate in THAT sort of thing” when I was looking for signatures to get on the ballot. The online commenter who, after reading a synopsis of my top two issues and looking at my head shot, decided that I was “clueless” and more or less called me a bimbo.
I never got my yard signs. Not having done this before, I waited far too long to order them, and when I called the company that was supposed to have delivered them to me the week before the election, I was told the company owner had suffered a heart attack and my order wouldn’t be able to get to me until after the vote.
It wasn’t all bad though. It turns out, I’m pretty good in a debate. (Or at least my friends who were willing to sit through the hour and a half long video tell me)
After the debate, people in charge of other community groups said they’d like me to work with their group if not elected. (I plan on doing this)
I met lots of families and got a better feel for the community I live in. I found a lot of support online from people I’ve never met in person.
The gaping hole in my bios where my community service should have been convinced me to finally found the moms’ group I’d been thinking about for months.
Best of all, I reminded myself that there’s no reason I shouldn’t be out there. Being a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to forget. G is the center of my world. I’d forgotten for a while that some day (and not that long from now), his world is going to get much bigger than our house. I don’t want to be left behind, and I don’t want to become a helicopter parent, hovering around my kid because I’m too freaked out by what might happen or too un-involved in my own life to have anything else to do.
I didn’t win, but I’m not disappointed. A lot of good will (and already has) come from this campaign, and I’m proud of myself for doing it even though it scared me. Enough of a win for me.
What have you done lately that has scared you, even though it was a good thing?