After the campaign ended, I found myself mildly depressed and somewhat lost. Although I knew the race had but one of two outcomes (winning or losing), I hadn’t really ever thought about what I’d do if I lost. I simply jumped right in and gave it my all — never letting my mind draft a contingency plan.
And even when I did lose, I didn’t really have a lot of time to plan for what came next. The Army called the morning after the election to tell me I had several weeks of duty to make up. To be honest — the duty was exactly what I needed. It brought me back to Earth, deflating any ego I may have gained over the course of the campaign. Nothing like being CPT Zeller and having to answer to a slew of people who outrank you to send you back to reality.
After I fulfilled this latest stint of Reserve Duty, I found myself unemployed and watching a lot of TV. My fiance tolerated this at first, but quickly tired of being our sole bread winner and demanded I take a more proactive effort in seeking a job.
Its tough out there. Throughout the campaign I heard countless statistics and stories of just how bad the job market is — but having lived through it personally, its way worse. I lost count of the days I spent filling out endless applications. Each rejection, each unanswered email ripped away at what little self-esteem I had left as the months of unemployment dragged on.
On the positive, I had plenty of time to seriously think on what I wanted to do next. The campaign ignited and fed an entrepreneurial zeal that I had ignored for too long. I realize now just how much we’re truly masters of our fate…captains of our souls…
The world stands ready to be seized by those who dare to take it…one needs only but the will and the courage to do so.
Though the campaign left me in substantial personal debt, I decided I’d devote myself to several simultaneous endeavors. I’d find a job that paid the bills. I’d keep my feet wet in politics and attempt to continue to make a difference.
I started studying my friends, peers, and colleagues who have mastered social media and I became convinced that I could replicate their success. Blog. Tweet. Throw myself out there for unbridalded social consumption, just as I had done during the campaign. Only this time, I get to say whatever it is I truly feel — politics and polling be damned. And, I don’t have to raise money or do call time (at least until I run again…if I run again…more on that some other time…I promise I will one day write the definitive tell-all / Campaigning For Dummies, but not tonight).
A good friend of mine, Josh, eventually suggested I start by blogging and just getting my thoughts out for genuine consumption. Hopefully, with enough self-marketing, I might be able to spin my random musings into some sort of career or accomplishment…
And so here we are. I haven’t dedicated myself to writing this much, this regularly since my deployment in Afghanistan. I blogged my tour during the war, but not on any public forum (rather through personal emails sent back to friends and family). The title of this blog, “Watches Without Time” comes from my forthcoming book of the same title (a collection of my war blog writings).
I don’t know what this blog will ultimately be — though I have a few sound predictions. I’ll write a lot on US domestic and foreign policy and I’ll likely occasionally link to blog posts of others I feel I must share. Every now and then I’ll throw in some pop culture bs (music, television, books, movies, sports, etc.) just to keep things interesting and because I have ADD.
Random thought: I wonder if any other candidates who didn’t win are blogging right now? Thus far, I’m finding it therapeutic.