Influence

I have officially become a part of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I’m the brother’s girlfriend’s cousin’s ex-roommate. I’m that girl with brown hair who sat two rows back in your sophomore math class. I am Bigfoot. I am the girl who’s going to the Inauguration.

People have been coming out of the woodwork to wish me good luck at the Inauguration. I’ve had former teachers contact me and tell me how proud they are. My boss looks at me with so much envy it’s frightening. My friends constantly question me about what I’ll be doing and when I leave. My mother gets teary eyed just thinking about it.

People I don’t even know have expressed jealousy and congratulated me on going: extended family members who last saw me when I was in diapers or peers who I see in the elevator occasionally. Everyone. And they don’t just say it to be nice. They look at me with reverence and unabashed interest and tell me they look forward to hearing about it. Like I hold some special place in society. It’s fascinating. I never thought it would hold the interest of so many. Sure, it’s the President and a “celebrity” at that. But when you are constantly bombarded with figures on the dismal voting turnout and told you’re part of the apathetic generation it’s easy to become jaded.

I know I’m lucky to be going. And I’m grateful to be attending such a prestigious event. However, the pride I feel for going to the historic Inauguration pales in comparison to how honored I am to have the respect and well wishes of so many that I care about. The most rewarding part is already over. The actual trip is just gravy.

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