A few weeks ago, I found myself in California for a wedding on my husband’s side of the family. As luck should have it, a few of my dear friends from college live in the exact town I would be in (San Diego) and we promptly planned a night out over my extended weekend.
While at dinner with my politically like-minded friends, I declared that, should a certain presidential candidate win, I would be moving to wherever in Europe would have me and would they like to join my colony of expats?
“No!” one of them announced automatically. Seeing the question mark on her dinner companions’ faces, she elaborated, “It would probably be awful here, but you can’t just leave when things don’t go the way you’re hoping. You have to stick around and work to make it better.”
Having just entered one of the biggest and likely longest commitments of my life in April (I got married), I get the concept of sticking around through the good and the bad. I can easily imagine spending my life and all the ups and downs in it with my husband, but my passionate and (overly?) opinionated self had left the comfort of my marriage for a night out and had failed (spectacularly, perhaps) in applying that type of fortitude to all aspects of my life.
Sticking around, I think, upon further reflection, could be just what I need.
I’ve done it before:
When I hit bumps in my training (think injury and illness), I stuck around and completed the 2014 Chicago Marathon, which will be one of my life’s greatest achievements. When I felt like no library would have me, I stuck around the job market and application process and finally found peace in my profession. I transitioned seamlessly from supporting Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton when I stuck around the Democratic party after the primaries.
And I’ll do it again:
I’ll stick around my country, America, no matter which candidate wins the Presidential election this November. I’ll stick around the professional sports I Love, namely the NFL (Bears) and MLB (Cubs) despite their problematic treatment of peaceful protest and violence against women. And I’ll stick around this blog and writing in general, even when I don’t write as often or as well as I’d like.
Because, like my friend said, I don’t want to just abandon the things that aren’t working for me just because they aren’t working.
I want to stick around and work hard and make them right. I want to stick around and make them better.
So stick around, won’t you?