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voting, dreams and my psyche

My dreams have always been rather extravagant. They’re long, rolling affairs that flow like a 5,000 page novel strewn with unlikely, but extraordinarily real, appearances from people in both my past and my present. My dreams are filled with emotion, and I wake up feeling like they actually happened with the residue of the experience sticking to me…sometimes for the rest of that day. Sometimes, it’s hard to shake.

I’ve had three recurring dream themes for as long as I can remember about:

  1. Swimming (in pools mostly)
  2. Airplanes (because I’m terrified to fly)
  3. Not being able to see (like when you come inside after being in the blinding sun)

I don’t have those classic and cliche dreams about showing up to school naked or sitting down to a test and not knowing the answers; I don’t have dreams that speak directly to my current goings on or reflect literal and immediate anxieties…I just never have.

But last night, I had a marathon dream in which every thing that could go wrong with my voting activities went wrong.

  • I stood in my line to vote, Barack was at the table receiving ballots, and after waiting for a really long time and getting right up to the front, I realized that I had never checked in and didn’t have my ballot.
  • Then, I went to get the ballot and didn’t have the money to pay for it. (yes, I know it’s free to vote – this was a dream)
  • Somehow, I got back in line and when I got to the front, Barack was talking about his grandmother who just passed, ‘Toot’, and I hugged him and cried with him, but still had no way to actually vote.
  • I finally got my ballot and went back to get in line but now it was miles long.
  • I waited and waited…and several other nutty things happened.
  • Then, just as I got to the head of the line, Barack and his children had their lunch break, they turned around to the other side of their table, and we were told to go find another line.

Over and over again, I’d find myself in line, at the voting building, only to realize that I still hadn’t managed to vote.

Oy. It seems that this election has done a serious number on my psyche…my subconscious is feeling it.

I live in a tiny town on a tiny island. I will vote today…I know that…so maybe my anxiety was as indirect as usual…maybe it was for all of you (who I can’t control and are likely to face interminably long lines and broken voting systems).

So, do me a favor…vote (early, often and for Obama) and let me know when you did…it’ll put my mind at ease.

Update: I voted. I cried when we got to the polls, when I saw someone holding an Obama sign outside – I was so overwhelmed with how amazing all of this has been. It took exactly 12 minutes from start to finish, beginning of the line to out the door. I stared at the Obama/Biden line and the oval that I had filled in – I wanted to remember what it looked like after I left. I wanted to make sure I had done it right.

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Good for you…my voting moment was almost surreal. Almost no one there…punched my buttons for Obama and Kay Hagan and the rest…gave some careful thought to locals…didn’t get a sticker, but everyone was freindly…feels like the calm before a really big storm.


  • Julie Roads says:

    Woohoo, David…thanks for sharing.

  • Denise says:

    I voted early (for Obama) but the closer we’ve gotten to today, I’ve found myself uncharacteristically emotional or as my sons would say – emo. The emotions have stemmed from the sadness that divides us on prop 8 in California to the racial tensions and hate based messages that are at times expressed towards Obama.

    The best of the emotions however, come from a place of hope. The same hope I had as a little girl in a forgotten community is alive and well today. That little girl grew up to have an amazing life and the woman she became is still full of hope backed with a willingness to roll up her sleeves and work towards giving everyone else that same chance. That means voting for what I believe is right and just, sharing my views even when it’s not popular, and never selling out my beliefs.


  • Julie Roads says:

    Well, Denise…you just made me cry. That was really beautiful – thanks for writing that down and sharing it with us.

  • Lea says:

    I woke up today with a nervous stomach and a serious propensity to emotional outbursts. AND I’m starting work on my first paying copywriting project (woot!)… so I’m trying like heck to stay focused.

    Today is an historic day, and I am so proud to be part of it. At yesterday’s rally with Michelle Obama in Littleton, CO (her last one!), I was overwhelmed. In what sometimes feels like a still-red state, I was amazed at the enormous turnout — for the (hopefully) first African-American First Lady.

    While we didn’t make it into the rally, we sat outside with lots of others — hundreds of smiling, hopeful faces — and we all surged to the door when Michelle came out to speak to us. I quickly lifted my six-year-old onto my right shoulder, instructing her to “keep snapping!” with my camera, maneuvered my 2-year-old, my backpack and the stroller with my left hand, and pressed in as close as we could. I must have looked like a circus performer! I was laughing & cheering hysterically.

    We may have only gotten one or two good photos of Ms. Obama’s forehead, but we also came away with something else: a sense of belonging to our community, of participating in the process… and of making history. I hope my girls will remember it forever.

    Awesome post, Julie. Your passion is contagious. :)

  • Julie Roads says:

    Thanks, Lea…I’m so jealous that you were there. I’ve never in my life wanted to meet a political figure. Now it is a life goal to see Barack (and Michelle) …I know I will. They’re bound to come to MA at some point, right?

  • Sue says:

    I didn’t sleep well either so I was up to see the long lines forming – the poll folks said there was a line by 4:30 am here in Richmond VA. My wait wasn’t so bad – I was in and out in under 30 minutes, but I’m hearing from friends that their wait has been upwards of 4 hours.

    Now I’m doing GOTV calls and trying not to get lost in my RSS feeds. I’m excited, proud and pretty emotional, but it all comes down to getting people out to vote.

    Keep your fingers crossed that we’ve done enough to turn VA blue!

  • --Deb says:

    I was so excited to vote today, it was almost an anti-climax. No line. No waiting. No muss, no fuss. In and out in five minutes–with 2 of those being the walk to and from the car!

    They didn’t even have “I Voted” stickers….

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