Creeping up on two weeks ago, I started a new job. This is the first real professional transition I've had since I began Phase Four of my life, AKA post-grad. My new job is still in a political vein, but now I'm working to raise money and for an issue-based organization and potential ballot measure campaign.
I spent close to two years working for a State Representative, Former Speaker of the House and House Democratic Leader (so many titles), and I must say I've emerged from the experience a different person than when I began. This is quite a relief for me, as I'd be concerned if I hadn't changed in the last two years. My worldview has expanded, and my network in Portland has ballooned. More than that, I've had opportunities to experience upclose democracy, government, politics on the state level. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.
"Politician" has become a bit of a dirty word in today's culture. What comes to mind are not revered men and women of history and democracy like Abe Lincoln and Eleanore Roosevelt, but instead much more slimy and disliked public figures like Anthony Weiner, who should have never hit "send" on THAT text message, and the Sarah Palin/Michelle Bachmann talking heads that really just make a mockery of the whole thing. I can understand the disenchantment many have with government and their elected officials. It's not the most streamlined process in the world, and relatively fraught with red tape. Getting a bill passed in the Legislature takes time, multiple conversations and hearings, and certainly some deal-making. And most of the time, the bill won't even make it out of committee. Sometimes for legitimate reasons, and sometimes because there's one person in the capitol building with the right amount of power who can put the kabosh on the whole damn thing. But hey, this is the system our founders set up, right? If it was easy to get an idea ratified into law, I'd be worried, because in my opinion, democracy shouldn't be easy. It's supposed to be hard, and we are all supposed to participate. But now I'm getting off subject...
The point, my friends, is that I'm starting a new sub-phase of Phase Four. The one where I take new jobs, negotiate a higher salary, and start gaining some sturdier footing in what I want to do with my life. I'll keep you posted!