"In the unlikely story that is America there has never been anything false about hope." -- Senator Barack Obama
The first time I heard Senator Obama utter that line, I wept. I wept for many reasons: the state of my beloved country, the state of our political discourse, even the state of my own beloved Commonwealth. But the main reason I wept was for myself.
Because when I first heard that line, I was hopeless.
The divorce was bearing down on me like a runaway semi with no brakes. I had made some costly mistakes at work and what was once a refuge from the turmoil in my life had become an uncomfortable place to be. I drank too much. I felt overwhelmed by everyone and everything.
And then I heard that line.
I know this sounds corny as hell, but I'll swear on any book you want me to swear on that this was the moment that the clouds began to part for me. Just a little bit. It took weeks of trying to believe those words and then to commit them to action in my own life.
And now, life is so different.
The divorce is in my rear view mirror, no longer a dominant presence in my life. Yes, it has informed who I am now, but I have not let it define me. Work is better. My social life has improved. I've even lost almost ten pounds on Weight Watchers in the last month.
But all of those things would have been impossible without believing in the audacity of hope.
I proudly cast my ballot today for Senator Obama for many reasons. But the biggest one is the hope that his words gave me. They are a gift that I will always be thankful for.