Do you think voting is important?
And I don’t.
I turned 18 just before a presidential election. My first time voting felt momentous. My college essay was a first person, short story about election day. I think it was titled something super creative like “The First Time I Voted.” [hopefully you can read my sarcasm] I wish “the cloud” existed back then because I’d love to read it. The applications were due before election day, so I made up the whole thing, but it was an accurate reflection of how important I felt that day.
Until the candidate I voted for lost, the same candidate my state voted for. I am blue in a blue state. It didn’t really matter if I voted, something my dad tried to tell me that first year. To which 18-year-old me retorted, “If everyone in the state thinks like that, we’ll become split!”
I didn’t vote in any midterm elections (is that even what they’re called? the non-presidential ones?) until I worked for Mass Equality, canvassing areas on the fence, campaigning for gay marriage for 2 months prior to a constitutional convention (something I had never heard of prior to that job). They provided a little cheat sheet on each candidate’s stance on marriage equality and I voted accordingly. I didn’t have to know anything and it felt like I was doing the right thing.
As I’ve grown, I’ve realized how important it is to vote in local and state elections. This year I was all amped up about the questions on the ballot. There was one about banning the casinos contracted to be built in MA, one on mandatory paid sick time for all employees, one on forced bottle deposits for plastic water bottles, and one on the gas tax. There’s also a pretty big gubernatorial race between Martha Coakley and Charlie Baker. I won’t get all political and go through how I voted. That’s not the point. The point is that these are the areas where my vote still feels momentous, monumental. Where my vote matters and can change things. These questions and local elections are the reason I vote, now, and not just because it’s a non-presidential year.
However, I’m not going to lecture people on doing their civic duty. It’s not my place and I don’t want people voting just to vote. If they have no knowledge of or opinion on the candidates or the issues, it’s the equivalent of marking all C’s on a multiple choice test. Pointless.
In other news today, I went to my 3rd PT appointment. My homework is to put my old orthotics (these ones really helped me with past bouts of plantar fasciitis) into my new shoes and get used to them. I also have to add an exercise that involves going up on my tippy toes on both feet, shifting my weight to my left foot, and lowering suuuuuuper sloooowwwwly. I don’t remember the proper words, but this is not working the muscle contraction/shortening (which is the heel lift), but the muscle lengthening (which is the heel drop).
My appointment in 2 weeks will be a reevaluation of my strength and mobility to see if I’ve improved since my first visit. I’m pumped to start running again! I think it will be mid-December, but it’s really up to the therapist.