Finding George Washington
A long time ago, my family moved from Seattle to Virginia right before my senior year of high school. I lost what was then the world to me- social life, cadres of friends, organizations I had been institutionalized into, my first girlfriend, all the beauty of the great state of Washington- and I was torn to bits. This was some time after I had begun to suffer from GAD, OCD, and BPD seriously (those make you anxious, obsessive, self-loathing, and depressed) and the shock and trauma of the move exacerbated all those feelings. I sunk into a deep depression and resolved to hate everything I could about Virginia, and just have a miserable time.
It was then, in the darkest of times and the deepest of depths I had ever experienced, that I had the most important dream I’ve ever had. I was sleeping in Uncle Bill and Aunt Neri’s antiquarian basement with the stacks of strategy books and ancient maritime instruments, and my swirling thoughts consolidated themselves into something like this:
All my friends in Washington State were out doing commando stuff, running through the forests and enjoying life. I, meanwhile, had been chained to a rock, and I cried out in despair- I could no longer enjoy life with my friends, and I was forever condemned to suffer on this boulder.
But I noticed that I had a fellow traveler. None other than George Washington himself had been chained next to me. With cool, placid indifference, he calmed me down, and we began a conversation. And I learned.
My interpretation of this dream has generally gone like this: when you lose all the great things in life and sink into hopelessness and despair, other opportunities open themselves up to you, even better opportunities than you could have imagined previously. And in my case, the darkness and misery of the move prompted a hunger for greatness and learning on my part- thus I began my journey to study my own brand of liberal political realism with the greats of American history, and found my life’s purpose. Heck, I was even living within a short drive of George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. I suffered, and I grew.
I remember this little dream of mine whenever the darkness closes in around me. I’m still on my journey of finding George Washington, and I find new life missions periodically to add to my list. Reviving the Centrist-Reformist-Nationalist tradition in American politics, becoming an intellectual and political leader in the state of California, and serving my country have all gotten onto the list since the time I was first chained next to the father of our country. And the dark times have intensified and multiplied since then, too. I’ve had an interesting life so far.
Let’s see where you’ll take me next, President Washington.