Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sally On

Earlier today my mom and I were talking on the phone, working out the logistics of whether or not I can make it home the week before the election for a family event. My grandmother is flying my younger brother in and other family members are scrambling to make it to something my older brother decided to throw together at the last minute at the worst possible time of the year (full disclosure: he's getting married).

At some point she got frustrated that I was taking it all in stride. She said, "I feel like everyone expects so much from you, they expect you to handle everything with a smile on your face just because you can."

I said, "I'm fine."

What I didn't say is that I love that my family treats me that way.

I love being the person people can depend on to handle a really complicated crisis with a smile on my face, putting everyone else at ease along the way. It's a point of pride.

When you work on a campaign in an election year, you get to see the cracks in everyone's facade. People who are normally fun to be around, good natured, and well-composed can completely lose their bearing. Others who you might underestimate can be astonishingly competent.

The important difference is whether or not you passionately love what you're doing.

I can be very judgmental (shocking, I know) of people who I perceive as lazy or entitled or overly-emotional under pressure—but recently I discovered, when I had a series of unfortunate events, that I'm not bulletproof either.

But at some point you have to put your shoulders back and sally on.