it is like throwing off winter coats and hats and walking down the street with a spring in my step, smiling at strangers and holding my head high; i am no longer burdened with scarves and fear of the cold and the heaviness of the dark. i can wear light garments and have my skin showing and know that i can be warm and can stay out late into the night and be free. the days are longer, the air is warm, and summer is just around the corner.
it’s like being rid of a boss i just couldn’t stand for one more second, but i couldn’t do anything else but to work hard and put my head down and hope i didn’t get yelled at today. hope i didn’t get belittled today. hope i didn’t have to wonder how he could be so rich and successful and be so stupid and petty and unable to spell today. and today i’m watching him leave the company and getting a boss who is friendly and interesting and interestED in *me*, in the company, in the welfare of others outside our office. knowing that my new boss is genuinely funny and smart and competent and so happy to work for him or her. that’s what today is like.
it was like dreading going to school, knowing that i’ll be teased and ridiculed, knowing that i didn’t deserve it, but regretting some silent thing i haven’t done nonetheless, wishing i could be different, wishing i could take something back i’m not. it was like having a heavy heart for all the things i saw coming that i felt i couldn’t avoid, but kept walking right into anyway. but today is like reinventing myself at a brand new college and i have all my future laid out before me and anything is possible. there may be challenges ahead, but i have the tools to learn and to prosper and to succeed.
i feel hopeful like i never have before. like i can truly make a difference … like i already have made a difference like i never have before. i feel like change is in the air and it brought love and hope and faith with it. i feel the strength of countless brothers and sisters around me and i feel the hands and hearts of those who have gone before us. i feel joy and exuberance and light. come! it says. come into a new year. come dancing and singing and laughing. come with your heads held high, with hope in your hearts and with love in your eyes. this is a brand new day and the past cannot be changed, but the perspective of the future can be re-written. we can move ahead, a day at a time, taking each next right action with knowledge and prudence and courage. we can trust that we are being taken care of and act with diplomacy, dignity and grace.
we can do all of these things because we are one things that we treasure so dearly as americans: we are free.