3:42AM. My eyes popped open. Immediately I started to think about my day. I thought about how I wanted to go to my boxing class, get in to work and get an early start, leave work on time and not leave after dark as usual, oh and maybe cook a nice stir-fry for dinner.
Then I had a second thought. "Wait! It 's Election Day?! Aghhhh." My mind began to race: "How am I going to fit waiting for hours at the polling center into my pre-configured schedule today?? Should I leave that until after work? Can I really get out of the office on time or at least before dark? Crap! How am I going to make it all work, and why does going to vote seam so painful?!"
I realized then that I was experiencing my own form of Voter Anxiety. I wasn't worried about understanding the issues or where the candidates all stand. Rather, I was worried about not getting my vote in by 8pm tonight and being that person to let their family, generation, community, and not to mention an entire race down. This nervousness just would not let me rest at 4 o'clock this morning.
Since I wasn't getting another minute of sleep, I knew what I had to do. The thought of going to the polls after work and waiting in line in the cold was not an option. Nope. As I laid in bed, I began to rearrange my day in my head. Soon, I got up, got dressed, and was in line before the polls opened. Standing in a line of about 100 others out to fulfill their civic duty, I realized that I'd won half of my (anxiety) battle.
As cold as it was outside and as anxious as I was to just get it done and vote, I couldn't deny my feelings of nostalgia. It's how I was raised. I was taught (more like scared straight) to vote no matter what. Period. Get to the voting center early. Get in, Get out, and make my vote count because so many before me, my parents, and my grandparents did not have the same opportunity.
And with that humbled anxiousness, I waited in line fist thing this morning to cast my vote and get my trophy sticker! Not only do I feel like I made a lot of people proud, but I made that little girl from Detroit proud too. CNN.com