The target of my desire
I’m an evangelist of change. I’ve been all in for something else for quite some time. I’m not alone. There are many of us selling this product. In fact, in every campaign, this seems to be big slogan: change.
I was part of a candidacy for the student council in my junior year. The name of our campaign: change. We lost.
It was another era. It was when grunge ruled the world. Back in 1994. You know, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Cramberries, and all of that. My hair was properly long, and so was the hair of two other of my student party. Perfect parity: two girls, two boys. Female leadership. We had a good mix. We just couldn’t compete to four surrealist grunge smart dudes with a sense of humour.
We miserably failed. The grunge high school got what they were looking for: some good old giggles. And something more than just your usual honor role students make-belief. That’s what we were. The good kids vs the bad free-spirited grunge band. Of course we were meant to fail.
I think I might have voted for them. I don’t recall having much of thought in being part of that campaign. I guess I too ignited the bla bla bla on «change». But not enough soul went into that. I didn’t give it my best. We didn’t ignite any passion. There were no giggles in our speeches. We were just plain and dull Lisa Simpson wannabes.
And don’t get me wrong. Lisa Simpson would have made a much better job. She’d raised some issues. Our school had no issues. It was a vanilla high school with proper teachers and a fairly priviledge bunch of families from Escazú, Santa Anna and Rohmoser. I started being the outlier from Pavas when I first got there. I was living at my grandparents house. I was the good old days.
I was no Kurt Kobain back then. I might have looked it, but I hadn’t grabbed an instrument in years. Let alone show some interest for the lyrics in any of those bands who were so in. My mind was somewhere else, around the spin of free kick around the wall, or letting go of basketball because I didn’t make the team. They were too tall and I didn’t pack my basketball sneakers in my suitcase from Karachi. I was just another poser with no real soul.
My readings back then were also quite limited. I’d read what they’d feed me in literature classes that put enough emphasis in having enough lectures from enough sources to grow a conscience of the existance of thought in written form. Yet I couldn’t read through an entire book. My adoption of reading for pleasure had not kicked in yet. I barely knew what I was doing. I was just going with the flow. And life wasn’t really bad. In fact, it was fucking awesome.
I’ve never scaped the essense of feeling out of place, yet priviledge. Those two elements mark trully who I am. I can never feel confortable in the role of trying to tell others what to do. I’m not that kind of leader. I’m just a team player. That I’ve learned in many different ways. By then, I could use my social skills to bond with the people that I wanted to bond with. And I could still make us of my athletic capacities to bond around team sports to pursue the ride of game play. It’s a fun way of learning. That always beats the other way. Yet the other way kept being interersing and exciting for me, so I didn’t fall back into disliking putting enough effort into actually understanding the complexity elements in every mathmatics, science, literature or language classes.
That election where I was part of the «Change» campaign I felt out of place. I also felt like I was exposing myself. In ways I didn’t fully understand. I was thankful to have been selected as part of the team, and I am sure we had s decent programme. We were «A students», ifyouknowaraimin. But there was probably a lack of soul in that effort. A reason to be there, but not enough juice. We didn’t have the juice.
Every time we are under an election period I think of that «change» campaign. So predictable. So vanilla. So nerdy and dull. I didn’t have it me. I didn’t play the game. I stayed within the safe boundaries. I didn’t actually came out of the closet. I was afraid. And I guess, I still am.
I know now that I can share, not without some anguish, that this who I am. That 14 year-old dude, with a sense of pura vida and an impostor syndrome continuosly poping up in a window I can’t seem to be able to close.
Patrick, Will, Yu Chen and William. This last William was the funny guy. A sort of Baudelaire in Escazú. I witty dude with proper grunge and literary taste. The kind of dude that would come to nail it in the arts, or as an author. A kind of Jim Morrison of our time. Will was way out there in the art skills and complex audacity. Patrick was in sinc with all of them. And Yu Chen was true outlier rebelling against all type of stereotypes.
Amy, Marcela, Alex and myself, Golman. Three straigh A students and I guess I was a sort of A- sportsy guy. We were all good kids. Nobody expected trouble comming from us. Except for me, I guess. It was me who had to spice up the ideal of «change». And I just didn’t show up. I stayed in the sidelines. I didn’t play the game. I didn’t write a line. I just sat there and stared.
I clearly need to get this out of my organism. This has affected dearly my political life ever since. Since then, my political participation has been as an observer. And I’ve always felt out of place. I don’t belong. I still grunge, somewhere inside, and I understand that to win a campaign you need to seduce. You need to come up with a plan. You need to understand the context, and the circumstances, and the way to act upon it with a plan. I’ve learned and used strategic planning in my work-life. I’ve used to improve myself. And to deliver a skill set that could actually enable change. And it turns out, now I’m ready.
I like political campaings because it’s the only time where there is just a whole bunch of regular people seeking for your vote. To do what? That’s the whole thing. That’s the big deal. We are still missing on the trully persuasive case for a radical social change. A transformative one. If I was to become an active actor in a campaign, I couldn’t bare to do the same thing I did back in high school: pretend to be. And it would all I could ever do.
You see, in my adult life I’ve also made that red pill image of myself. Or was it blue pill? In any case, I still think that my Flanders side would kick in and I would try to do the righteous thing. I would still be that same lame candidate. Unless I face my own private nemesis and become the outlier candidate, I will keep on living in this lame old status quo, I’m so ready to depart from.
It’s election time in Spain. I’m here again. Exploring within.
«Change» is needed.
I’m the evangelist of change.
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Inspired by the grunch campaing in CDS 1994 Student Council Election, Escazú.
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