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Stepping Up and out of the Mediocre

I, like many of you, watched the election results last Saturday. (November 7, 2020) I’m glad it’s over.

I’m no fan of Donald Trump. I’m not entirely a fan of Joe Biden, but I can handle him a whole lot better than Trump. That said, I’m not feeling much like celebrating. This race was too close, and the hatred and division are still hurting our country. There is still work to be done.

Standing in the shower Saturday morning, the phrase “purple waves of grain” kept popping in my head. I’d already had some caffeine, so I don’t know why that particular phrase kept bouncing around. I know the song says, “Purple mountain majesties” and “amber waves of grain”. But I wonder if somewhere in my subconscious I’m craving some purple.

The “blue states” are on the outer edges of the country. The “red states” are in the middle. I live in the red. I know the people who live here feel left out and abandoned by the so-called blue. They feel unseen, unheard and disrespected. The best analogy I ever heard was this: “Say you have stage four cancer, so you go see two doctors. One says, ‘we will do what we can’ and the other says, ‘We can cure you’. Of course, you go for the cure. Now, the second doctor might be lying, but you go there because there is hope. That’s why Donald Trump won.” (I’m not entirely sure who said that as it was on one of the many podcasts to which I listen, but I’ll find it) The people in the red need some hope.

Joe Biden’s win was not a landslide. It was close. Very close. We are still very much a divided country. I hope he and Senator Kamala Harris can figure out how to unify this beautiful place we call home. I think that’s why I kept hearing “purple waves of grain”. I’m craving purple. That perfect blend of the red and the blue. I hope that a purple wave crashes over and covers the entire country. The people in the middle deserve to be heard. But you know what? I’m not seeing the leadership coming forth from either party to create the purple wave. In fact, I’m not seeing great leadership coming from very many places at all. There are a few shining lights, but they seem to be few and far between.

When the isolation order happened last spring, I waited for someone to speak up on behalf of the elderly and isolated. No one did. I waited for a leader to arise who would offer hope or understanding or … something. I get it. It’s a confusing time. The virus is a moving target. But I feel like there could have been something more. Ya know?

I have spent the last week in training to become a better leader. I think I’m a pretty good leader. I want to be great.

I know that I’m sick and tired of waiting for someone else to step up and take charge. I’m no longer interested in waiting. Maybe no one else is leading because it is supposed to be me.

I’ve spent the last two decades focused on the good stuff; raising three amazing children. They’re house broken, kind and compassionate adults and while they’re still my number one priority, they can feed themselves and find the bathroom on their own. The rest is gravy. Now, it’s my turn to focus on me and the service leadership that drives me.

I’m a 53-year-old former housewife who is trying to figure out where I belong between “Mama Karma” and “Madam President”. I know I have a voice. I know I’m wayyyy done with a bunch of ol’ white guys telling me what to do with my time and my body. I’m over being told that I should be small and quiet.

I don’t know if I’m supposed to be leading in the board room, county office building or the statehouse, but I’ll figure it out as I go. There is untapped greatness in all of us. I feel like people are afraid to step forward because we live in a world that is overwhelming and unfairly judgmental and cruel.

But seriously, if we don’t lead, who will?

The mediocre will.

I, for one, am done with mediocre.

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