This was the first election that I have been apart of, and the first election night where I lost sleep over it. For most of my life, I didn’t really care about voting or politics in general. As a child they seemed distant, and as a young adult they seemed trivial. Even the 2016 election had little effect on me, before or after the results.
However, this year was different. I can’t tell you why, but for the first time I felt so unbelievably nervous about anything and everything surrounding it. I was checking the polls every two minutes, barely getting any work done at all. I talked to my friends about what we wanted and what needed to happen to get it. I was talking about electoral votes and deciphering which candidate needed what states to win and all the different outcomes. It was, to put it simply, exhausting.
This poem is meant to capture a lot of the different feelings that I felt on Tuesday night. My anxiety and how thinking about certain scenarios made me cringe inside, the rollercoaster of either excitement or despair depending on which way the states were swinging, and even guilty at how others will be much more affected than I am with the results. But I think the idea I wanted to convey the most was how tired I was of it. It is very clearly important and I believe that whole-heartedly, but I would be lying if I didn’t miss those days when I was a kid and I wasn’t sympathizing with all the adults who had to worry about the news headline the next morning. It was nice and didn’t raise my blood pressure at all. My young self had that privilege, and I do not. I voted, and like a normal person, I was concerned for my country’s future. And that’s how I held onto my sanity, and how I still am.
-Jonah J. Sobczak