I lost my race.

I lost.

It’s been 5 days since my defeat and it’s starting to sink in. I’ve analyzed and reflected. My emotions have run the gamut. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. It’s not that my whole life began and ended with this campaign, but it’s been my focus for 8 months. It’s hard to regroup. Reshift that energy. Especially when you’re exhausted in every sense of the word.

I’m not turned off to politics and voting. There were some very deserving candidates that won races Tuesday night amd that won by terrifyingly thin margins so I will always vote because Tuesday night reiterated to me what I’ve always known: one vote does make a difference – in local elections anyway. Usually. When it’s not completely corrupted by other factors.

Something shifted in the campaign atmosphere a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure what it was, but it was almost tangible to me. People started acting funny towards me…. I started to doubt… and to be honest with you, from that point on, I was afraid that a loss was coming.

What’s hard is this place. This going forward. I know things now about people that I wish I didn’t. I was lied to. A lot. And that hurts. A lot. I gave up time with my family that I can’t get back. I spent money I could have used in a more productive way. But mostly, I gave so much of myself. My energy. My personality. My inner strength. And, right now, I feel very empty.

I’m not whining. I made the decision to run knowing losing was a possibility. I’m a big girl. I can lose. I’m just saying, it hurts. I haven’t worked toward too many goals in my life that were not sure things. This was a risk. A risk that didn’t pay off – at least not in the short term.

Going forward, I know that I’ll remember the good things and focus on the good that came from it. But stuffing down my emotions about it all isn’t helping me, and my husband doesn’t deserve all of it. So I write. I write it here….not because I care about getting anybody’s sympathy, but because it’s a form of release. Writing it down in black and white frees me from some of it. Having it read, making it known, gives me some closure.

I don’t see any way to go forward from a big disappointment like this without making some changes. One of the first things I’m doing is whittling down my “inner circle”. On facebook and in life. I’m wasn’t an exceptionally trusting individual before this experience. Dang sure ain’t one right now. I’m not going to be bitter, but I am going to be smarter. And I’m going to learn how to compartmentalize and separate what I do from who I am. For women, that’s a hard thing. All facets of our lives are interwoven and we blend them together. At least for the time being, I’m going to have to have a few versions of myself: employee Allison, acquaintance Allison, family Allison. They’re all one and the same of course, and I’m not talking about being a phony, I’m just going to have to rebuild some protective walls around some parts of me that feel recently obliterated and compartmentalize a little bit more.

I know people mean well when they offer me their condolences about this, but it’s not always easy to accept them. Especially when they say things like, “There’s always next time.”
This wasn’t a football game or a tennis match. This was a job opportunity. This was almost a whole year of my life. This was months and months of doing things that were so far out of my comfort zone that it hurt. For what? I still don’t know.

I tried not to let myself get my hopes up, but I did. More than I realized. I’m not going to feel better about it overnight.
Right now I’m just putting one foot in front of the other and reminding myself daily that I am still the person I thought I was, I’m still capable of all the things I thought I was, and I will achieve future goals. Whenever I decide to set some.
For now, Reagan’s first basketball season is coming up, holidays will soon be here, my grandmother will be moving closer – I am going to immerse myself in my family and all this other stuff……well, it can just fade away. I’ve got more important things on my mind these days.