Tonight, at around 1045pm, my father conceded a Mayoral race to the incumbent Ed Palowski. I could write at length about the problems with this race, and about the admiration I have for my father for fighting as hard as he did (and accomplishing as much as he did), but I'll narrow it down to a few bullet points because there's a wider point I would like to talk about.
However there's one thing that I will remember about today more than anything, and that is the power of the party line. You see, something I never knew, is that in some states, you don't have to read the ballot at the top, one of the first things you are asked is "would you like to vote for a specific party?" Press the democrat button and voila, your vote is tallied, you didn't even have to see the candidates. The same goes for Republican. Now whether or not you agree with a two party system, this already put my father, running as an independent, at a severe disadvantage, because any party-line vote excluded him without his name even being seen by the voter. This meant at every polling station we were imploring people to not vote party lines, and to read the ballot. Even if they voted party lines in the end, they needed to take the time to recognize each race and who was running. According to the mayor's wife (who was at my polling place all day, and, by the way, is an extremely nice lady who had wonderful conversation with me for the 13 hours that we polled together, and I wish her and her family all the best in the world) a large amount of voters take this option and vote their party line.
Now I grew up in a state where I don't remember this being an option, ever, sure you could vote all in one party, but you still had to fill it in as such yourself, and when I voted in New York State, it seemed to be much the same. The reason that this is a problem, is it does not support the American people it supports the American political machine, locking in the two party system even more concretely, and not allowing people to make up their own minds, issue by issue, candidate by candidate. It locks out third party options and essentially nullifies their races. However there's an even bigger issue, and that issue came to play in Allentown on November 5th.
It is now November (duh) and that means it's the month of my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for me, has always been about reflection. It's about time spent with loved ones, be they relatives, or friends, about eating far too much food, and finding yourself generally happy and merry in the company of others. I have said for years that Thanksgiving is about the 5 F's and a B. Family, Friends, Food, Fun, Football, and Beer. But at the heart of all those things is love, camaraderie, community, and relaxation. I saw a post on Facebook earlier today from a friend who was trying a new project, and I've decided to try it too.
So every day this month, I am going to post one thing that I am Thankful for, but rather than have it just be about my life, I'm going to have it tailored to each day. Because I know the things that I am thankful for overall, but I'm hoping this project will help me remind myself of what I'm thankful for on a day-to-day basis. I think it will be a lot of fun, it will be a great way of lifting my spirits each and every day, and if you guys decide to read it, then yay! I'll be posting each one to Twitter/Facebook with the Hashtag #30DaysofThanks and if you all are inspired to do so, I think it could be a great way for people to remind others that life is wonderful on each and every day in some capacity, and we need to see those individual things just as much as we need to look at life on a grand scale!
So, without further ado. Here we go:
November 1: I am thankful for having been part of an educational community that cares enough to keep me, as a graduate, updated on school happenings, and will bring the new head of school to my city for a meet and greet with alumni. The tight-knit Waynflete community is something that has helped me personally and professionally, and I hope to stay connected to it for my life to come.
November 2: I am thankful for the discovery of CrossFit into my life. I went for a 3.5 mile run today, a run that usually finishes with me winded and exhausted, and today I finished it and felt like I could run 3.5 more. That is entirely thank to the 10 weeks I trained at CrossFit Fort Atkinson, and to the people who trained with me and pushed me along the way. They pushed me to be a better version of myself, and it worked!
November 3: I am thankful that I grew up knowing how to be alone. I spent all day with myself, organizing my thoughts, and relaxing. Too many times I hear my friends say that they don't know how to spend time by themselves, and that is unbelievably sad to me. The ability to be happy with my thoughts is something that I treasure greatly, and often find all the drive and focus I need to succeed in those moments alone. After today, I'm ready to take on the world again.
November 4: I am thankful for the invention of vehicles that allow us to span great distances in short amounts of time. Today I packed a bag, walked to a bus station, and within 2 hours was in my dad's car just under 90 miles away. 100 years ago, that concept is significantly more complicated, and can not be planned on the day of. In today's day, if someone is sick, if there is an event, if you just are feeling homesick, you can go and see your loved ones, and that is something that I am so grateful for. I am a homebody, and the ability to go home when I want to or need to makes me feel a little less vulnerable in this big bad scary New York City World.
November 5: I am thankful for a family that continuously makes me proud. Today my father lost a mayoral race to incumbent Ed Pawlowski. Projected to receive less than 15% of the vote, raising less than 10% of the incumbent's budget, and practically ignored by his opponent, my father was able to persevere and win nearly 40% of the vote in Allentown. 40%. No matter the nay-sayers, my father fought, and fought hard, and he proved that the little guy can make a statement and be heard, and I am so very thankful to be his son.
November 6: I am thankful for this wonderful, crazy, upsetting, glorifying, profession that I find myself a part of. Tonight reaffirmed why I do what I do, reaffirmed what I feel that I'm good at, and made me once again fall in love with acting, even without ever falling out of it. That's the power of this world, the power of New York City, and the power of a community so welcoming that they'll always give you a chance. Today I'm so thankful for this profession and for the amazing community of people that I find myself a part of by being an actor. If you're a member of the theatre community in some capacity, I am so thankful for you.
I find myself hilarious, and I use this blog to stroke my own ego. Thanks for indulging me.