In a few hours, the people in my community will determine my fate for the next few months/years/rest of my lifetime. I haven’t told anyone. Those who knew found out from other people. This is my confession.

I’m running for a directiorial post in our HOA.

I am the youngest candidate in the short history of our village. I realized the reality of this yesterday when all of our “party’s” representatives gathered together. I was a scared little doe trying to act confident, but my big, panicked eyes betrayed me. With most of the candidates belonging to my parents’ generation, they observed me with a distant fascination. The first few minutes sent my mind into overdrive and my mini Lizzy Maguire (did I spell that right?) version alternated between screaming, running around, hitting the wall with her head, and staring blankly into space. The very genuine attempts at making conversation whizzed over my head. And in the rare case that it hit me, I responded with a monosyllabic groan higly reminiscent of R.

“Good job, Anne! You completed your zombievolution.”

I felt undead for a long time now. It didn’t help that my early mornings were spent walking in a sea of peers who shared the same state. Just like a pack of zombies, we trudge on everyday half-asleep with one common goal, “Home.” I died a slow, numb death working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for the past 15 months in a job that sucked my health, sapped my energy, sedated my passion, and stifled my dreams.

But then, the president said something that made my stale heart beat.

“Matatanda na kasi kami, panahon na para ipasa sa mga bata sa organisasyon. (We’ve grown old, it’s time to raise up young people who will take our place.)”

He looked straight at me the whole time and my Criminal Minds (the series, not the actual brains) background kicked in. I checked signs, any sign, that he didn’t mean that. I almost gasped audibly when I didn’t find any. No longer was I in a table of my elders. I was in a table of mentors.

One of them added, “Marami kayong matututunan habang kasama namin kayo (You’ll learn a lot while you’re with us.)”

I smiled and nodded eagerly. My heart started to flutter. Then the president (you just have to love this guy) hit me with a defibrillator. Oh, and he didn’t yell, “Clear!” so it didn’t just shock me.

“Marami rin tayong matututunan sa kanila. (We’ll also learn a lot from them)”

I beamed.

I don’t know what the future holds.

I may or may not win. That is not the point.
I’m still scared, scared enough to spend the night jumping in and out of sleep. That is not the point.
At the end of the day, after everyone’s varied reactions which will make for a thousand awkward moments for me, I may finally learn how to communicate. That is not the point.

I have hope. Hope that this group of leaders wanted to bring the young people into the mix. Hope that they see us, hear us, and consider us when they make decisions. Hope that they trust my generation to lead not after drilling us into submission, but while working hand-in-hand with us.

That is the point.

Passion is the fiery forest fire that sweeps through life. Love is the bonfire that brings people together. Hope is the fleeting sizzle of a flame that sets both of these in motion. That was what I needed, that is what I have now, that is what brought me to life.

Overall, I am still grateful for yesterday.