An amazing year has come to an end and although the outcome is not what we’d hoped for, I wouldn’t change any part of the experience. I’ve congratulated Jen Mangrum on her win and I am humbled that more than 90,000 North Carolinians cast a vote for me.
The most recent audio book I’ve been listening to is Amy Morin’s 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. I think a few of those 13 items are especially fitting right now:
1. Waste time feeling sorry for yourself: Exchange self-pity for gratitude.
Thank you to everyone who donated their time, money, and energy to this campaign. Thanks to your unwavering support I always had hope, fought for what I believed in, and could muster the energy to travel and confidence to speak about what my campaign stood for.
2. Worry about pleasing others.
Running for a council of state office is hard. There are a lot of different constituencies and the issues are complex. Throughout the race I listened to many different perspectives and refused to rely on simple answers or solutions. I also refused to compromise on my ideals and worked hard to convince others that I offered the best path forward. As much as I wanted to win, I wanted to do it with integrity and I believe I have.
3. Fear taking calculated risks.
I believe we should all take calculated risks. Leaving a fantastic job at NC State was a risk, but I was ready to move on and this was the right risk. I was recently asked about the possibility of returning and as much as I loved working in the college of education, I will not be returning.
4. Dwell on the past.
The race is over. I did not win. I will move on.
5. Resent other People’s Success.
Over the course of a year traveling the state, I have come to know many of the council of state candidates and a few others running in state or local races. It is difficult to put into words the level of commitment this takes not only from candidates, but their family and staff as well. Everyone is working hard, believing they are the best candidate, and trying to convince voters. Nearly all of us lost. There is only one winner in each race. I am choosing to celebrate those who won.
6. Give up after failure.
Failure is an amazing motivator. I’m not sure if I will run for office again. What I do know is that I was given a statewide platform to talk about Equity, Excellence, and Innovation in public education. I will continue to use that platform and continue to work with others to improve public education in this state for every child.