In This is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz writes, "As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it's the end."
I can't help but think about how it all started. Seeing the position. Applying, interviewing. Picturing myself walking with purpose (and a perfect silk press, purr) through hallowed halls. A seat at the table just for me. Creating opportunities for others. Doing well, while doing good.
My dream came true. I was doing the work! People wiser than me warned me not to get too wrapped up in any job or title, that politics devours normal people. I took the advice to heart. Still, I never tired of saying, "Hi! I'm Risikat Adesaogun, Press Secretary and Deputy Communications Director for Minnesota Secretary of State, Steve Simon." It was a mouthful. A perfect, clout-laden mouthful. I called, people answered. Ideas became action. I couldn't wait to wake up and do meaningful work. As this chapter comes to a close, my world feels quiet.
How can I begin to make sense of these chaotic, rewarding, grueling years? I'm certain my thoughts will materialize into something more coherent later on. All I have now is gratitude.
Next for me is heading up the Communications department at the City of Brooklyn Park, which happens to be my hometown. My mind is somewhere in the space between excitement and terror. The same mix of emotions I had almost exactly two years ago. I want to do well. I want to do good.
One of my ballet teachers recently described an elegant way of spurring us dancers to action before going on stage. The chant we whisper-scream, an urgent prayer for excellence: Don't fuck up! Don't fuck up! Don't fuck up!