Hillary has been in the game for a long time. To be honest, I didn’t think about her very much before Bill did the Monica thing. After that, I only thought about her in relation to the Monica thing. When she was appointed Secretary of State, I figured she had been around long enough to do a decent job. Then when rumor spread that she wanted that Democratic nomination in 2008, I was like hmm that’s interesting. In the last year or so, I’ve been with her, not with her, and then with her again. In any case, I realized that she has been a person I’ve been familiar with since I was in middle school. Obviously I don’t know her personally, but she makes decisions that affect me or at least affect American society at large. I feel connected to her. So she’s like one of those girls you went to high school with who wasn’t in your circle but maybe she ended up at your graduation party with a friend of a friend and it was all good because she was SGA president and advocated for softer tissue in the girl’s bathroom. You saw her come in and yelled “Fix you a plate, KeKe!” because she wasn’t your friend necessarily but you eff with her.
That’s what Hillary is to me – not my friend necessarily but I eff with her. I grew up with her. She has been at least somewhat influential to me, and these are just a few of the things I’ve learned from her:
If you stay ready you ain’t got to get ready.
People say this all the time, but it’s one of those things that’s way easier said than done. Hillary came out the gate ready. She went to an ivy league, married someone who had crazy potential (lest his wandering eye), and then got straight to work. She parlayed her position as first lady into an influential government position, got some stupid good experience, shook hands and kissed babies, and then came out the gate swinging against Obama in that first go ‘round. She didn’t get the nomination (of course she didn’t get the nomination because she cool but she ain’t Obama), so then she kept doing the things that would put her in position to run again. Now I’m not saying that she had her eye on the presidency when she met Bill or even when she first moved into the White House. And I’m not saying that her every step was perfection, but I’m saying that she probably knew she wouldn’t have an ordinary life and there are things a person has to do to attain and then maintain that kind of thing. The same could be said for any of us. If we want extraordinary, we should be putting ourselves in a position to receive the extraordinary when the opportunity arises. We for dang sure can’t wait to get the degree, wait to take the certificate courses, wait to lose the weight, wait to read the books or write the blog posts. We have to be doing what needs to be done so that we’re ready before we need to be ready.
Bounce back game gotta be strong.
Sometimes you shoot the shot, and that ish don’t hit. Baby. Listen. When I woke up in the wee hours of the night and saw that Hilary hadn’t won that election, I was hurt. All in my chest. Mighta shed a tear. Wore all black the next day. Full on mourning. So I can only imagine her shock. Her disappointment. Her pride, dismantled and crushed by this completely made up thing we call an electoral college. (Wtf is it? Who made this ish?) But then I saw this article not a week later with her taking a picture with a lady while out walking her dogs. She was smiling. Looked fresh actually. And I was thinking, she’s walking them dogs? Man eff them dogs! Trump is president! But y’all, the dogs gotta be walked. Bill drug her through the mud with that Monica thing (and several other indiscretions), her personal emails got displayed to the entire world, she had a few real bad haircuts and pantsuits that I personally trashed her about, but she had to get up the next day and walk them dogs then too.
Bounce back game gotta be so strong that your moment of defeat doesn’t last long enough that you to miss the opportunity to take the next shot. (Read my post about shooting your shot) The thing about being great is that you sort of have to get other people to recognize it. Not always but sometimes. When you want to make a bigger impact and you know you have the talent to do it, you have to convince others that you’re the person to do it. So you put yourself out there. You run for office, apply for the job, pitch the book, start the blog, or open up shop. Then you wait on folks to like it. You take the risk – the risk that other people are too afraid to take. And the thing about risk is that there are odds stacked against you. Odds are, you’ll “fail” sometimes. You won’t get the vote, the promotion, the book deal, the Instagram likes or the business. Sometimes you won’t even get your edges back. It’s so disappointing. More than disappointing. It can be devastating. When this happens, it’s cool to take a minute to get yourself together. My mom calls this your “human time”. You need a while to recognize and validate your emotions. After that minute is over, you gotta bounce back. EVERYBODY has been rejected and every one of us have to learn how to get it back together. Quickly. Because the next thing is on the horizon.
Ultimately, the only person you can control is yourself.
At the end of the day. When the dust settles. When it’s all said and done. When the clock strikes 12. (I was going to try to add another one of these euphemisms here but I couldn’t think of one.) The only person you are in control of is yourself. Your husband can act a plum fool (and Bill showed ALL THE WAY OUT). Your closest friends may leak your emails. Your country might elect a racist, elitist, jerk of a homophobe over you. Your parents might neglect you, your boss might betray you, your dog may even run away. You cannot dictate what they do, but you can always choose to be in authority over yourself. And it really does take a high level of discipline and restraint to be the person you need to be in every situation. I think the key is to know who you are, imagine what you want to become and then decide to walk in that or toward that in every moment. It takes not letting anyone else, even your closest confidants, steer you off that course. When you know yourself and can see the potential in yourself to become everything you’ve dreamed, no one else can call you a loser. No one else can call you a liar. They can’t think you’re unqualified. They are unable to pity you. And it’s because even when you’ve lost, you aren’t a loser. When you’ve lied, you aren’t a liar. When you don’t have the experience they expect, you are not unqualified. You are who you think you are because you are in control of yourself – your emotions, your reactions, your tongue, your body language, your outlook. If you are who you think you are, other people don’t even matter much. They will come and mess some stuff up, and you will still be the best in the game.
So yeah, I owe Hillary a thank you. I have my qualms with her. Like I said, she’s like one of those girls I never hung with in high school and never really wanted to, but she’s always welcome at my house party. “Fix you a plate, Hillary!”