It’s my column, stupid

Story by Charlotte Dekle

I’m having a little bit of a crisis — I am turning into James Carville. For the uninitiated or those who have never seen my phone’s lock screen, James Carville was Bill Clinton’s campaign manager for his successful 1992 presidential campaign. My fascination with this man was cemented when he became my lock screen this summer.

When people see my lock screen, “why?” is their typical response. Over the summer, HBO Max Recommended the Bill Clinton campaign documentary The War Room to me. It seemed like a sound recommendation given the amount of times I have rewatched The West Wing on the platform, and my burgeoning interest in the political sphere is apparent. 

Watching this documentary unleashed an entirely new era of my life. Carville’s commentary in the documentary was chock-full of witty insights, including a jab at George Bush’s failed campaign promises “read my lips? No sir, read the record” or indicating that Bush was “so last year.” 

In this campaign, Carville outlined three important messages to focus on. First: Change vs. more of the same. Second, It’s the economy, stupid. Third: Don’t forget healthcare.

These kinds of pithy slogans were typical of the Ragin Cajun’s contributions to the campaign. After exerting all of my witty energy on my first round of college applications, I am depleted. I, typically, pride myself on my writing ability. I have never been sporty, a math whiz, or a gifted musician. But I have always been able to write. So right now, as I stew over my computer, having no idea what to write or how to make it sound, it scares me. 

So I turn to my idol for inspiration. 

To start, I need change. As I have officially settled into the groove of senior year, the novelty has worn off. The taste of college is so near. With college will come new experiences and freedom. I will no longer be constrained by the drudgery of school bureaucracy. All of my teachers are lovely and my classes are interesting but after four years of an odd/even three-100-minute-periods, I could use a change. 

Second, it’s my column, stupid. There seems to be some idea in my head that this column has to be a perfect representation of me. They have to be relatable yet personal, smart yet common. But now I realize that this is my column and I could write whatever I want. I do not need to be beholden to the idea that this column has to be all I am. If my column isn’t good, that doesn’t mean I’m not good. I am not my writing ability. 

Lastly, don’t forget health. Both mental and physical. As Thanksgiving is coming up, I need to start focusing on the more positive aspects of my life. I am healthy, my friends and family are wonderful, my teachers are supportive. I even discovered a new musical and new television to watch. Life is good. I mean this part genuinely: Read my lips, I’m grateful.

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