Today is a sad day for me. Yesterday, the Ontario Young Liberals lost one of its brightest stars to the horrible, debilitating and humiliating event known as...aging out. Yes, that's right folks. DR -- my "Jamaican connection" to the Liberal Party who shares my oh-so-strong interest in politics AND policy -- turned 26 yesterday.
Aging out. It has happened or will happen to all of us -- even the best of us -- but it is still shameful nonetheless. You lose the energy required to get sloshed two nights in a row at political events. You don't get invited to OYL AGMs or Summer Flings anymore (unless, of course, you're an OYL Senator or your last name happens to be Cherniak). You're no longer "hip" enough to be the "life of the party"; in fact, if you're not careful, you might actually break your hip while at a party. No more youth discounts to conventions. No more backstage access to the politicians. No more policy parliaments, no more internships, no complimentary tickets to fundraisers. "What's Sexy"? Apparently, if you're 26 or over, not you. You're just another nameless, faceless not-so-young Liberal.
Then again, it ain't so bad...
When you're 26, party big-wigs actually start taking you seriously. They start hounding you for cash, even though you're not rich enough yet to donate anything of significance. Campaign worker? Nope...Make that Campaign MANAGER. Summer Intern? Forget about it! You're a Senior Advisor to the Minister now! Who wants to be a riding association youth rep when you can be a riding association president? And who knows? Maybe in a couple of years, with a bit more experience under your belt, you may be running for something yourself.
Yes, friends, being old has its advantages. But nothing beats being a Young Liberal. I think DR knows that. And while she is surely glad to be moving on from the proverbial "playground," deep down, she'll always look back fondly on her days in the sandbox.
Happy birthday, Danielle! We'll miss you!
PS: For those who were wondering where I've been these past few weeks, I've been working on a local nomination race. Without going into details, I will say that this is far more intense than anything I've ever worked on, including Leadership.