Me and goodbye’s don’t get along.
In fact, when I was a kid my dad had to travel for work three to five days out of the week and no matter how frequent, I’d melt into an emotional puddle every time I had to say goodbye . And by emotional puddle, I mean Kim K, shamelessly unglued, couldn’t catch my breath or snot fast enough crying. Thankfully, I grew out of those fits but can’t help be reminded of that same sadness as I bid a similar farewell to our nations Patriarch: President Barack Obama.
I don’t want to scare these innocent, hard-working folks here with me at Starbucks, so I won’t cry like I used to. But Damn.
President Obama’s election was the first time I could exercise the political power I’d learned my female and minority ancestors fought for. He was my weeping grandmother as she watched the election results in awe, each tear a respective representation of the years she's personally endured racism, yet maintained hope. His election was my first time feeling like a complete, contributing, and normal American. He was pride. He was power. He was history.
So, as an official farewell to the man who saved me a ton of money on birth control, I bring to you a compilation. Unfortunately, it’s not a compilation of him doing a bunch of random cool shit like I really creepily wanted to make, but of dope ass women telling us what Obama meant to them personally:
My position at Planned Parenthood is funded through a grant under the ACA, which of course would not have been possible without Obama. I have been able to remain on my parent's health insurance, access affordable birth control, and people that I love were able to legally marry!! I'm going to miss the entire Obama family so much! - Gabby Glenn
Same sex marriage, making the issue of maximum sentences for minor drug offenses more of a discussed topic, commuting sentences and beginning the trend of decriminalizing some drug offenses that are non-violent. But most important for me personally was the ACA; birth control, no co-pay for preventative doctor's visits and staying on my parents insurance are three big ones for me. -Akilah Patterson
Obama's presidency to me meant, exactly what his campaign ran on, hope. There was hope for a nation that built their country on the backs of slaves. Those very same slaves could be afforded any and every opportunity so long as they worked for it. He provided the hope that we were making progress as a nation even if it was slow and steady. & with everything he faced during his campaign it just goes to show that when you walk in your purpose your path will be cleared to achieve it. - Soley
Unfortunately, I didn't get much into his presidency until I realized who was running for this current election. Obama had so much class and it was interesting and refreshing watching his response to "scandals". It was almost as if he never lost the sight of being a father first. So many things that a president has to deal with and he also made sure Michelle never felt out of place. Both of them as a couple shined during his presidency and that's aspiring. It's hard to really know what's behind the behind the White House doors but he seemed to always stay honest, level headed, and practiced the utmost humility. -Savannah
Obamas presidency showed me you could be authentically black in every space. And his level of vulnerability he showed Michelle every chance he could was admirable. I will miss them as our leaders. -Lolo
His presidency symbolized growth as a people & possibilities.....With hard work dedication and resilience you can achieve your dreams. I also felt as though Obama truly did what he felt was right for all people...showing us equality through out his term by various actions. I will truly miss him. -Robyn
Obama was the most positive representation for not only how a man should respect a woman and his wife, but for how the government should view, discuss and treat women under the eyes of the law. And as a black woman, I hope my future husband looks up to him as a guide - because that's where my bar is set. -Morgan
President Obama changed my life because I am an African immigrant and he introduced the deferred action act, that allowed me to have a social security number. Before Obama I never had the right to get a license, go to college, or get a job although I'm here legally. -Fatima
Personally I love that Obama was the first President to be an advocate for the LGBTQ community. Without him normalizing sexual identity and expression I do not believe gay marriage would be legal and I don't believe it would be a topic of cultural discussion. This also opened the doors for transgender rights and public restrooms. He was a catalyst for a ton of cultural and social growth in America and I'm sad he's leaving. -Gregor
Hs presidency gave me a really strong sense of pride in being able to say that the man holding the highest seat in the country was someone who not only looked like me but held that title so eloquently. Like no one could even successfully slap a negative stereotype on his or auntie Michelle's name. -A'zya
When Barack Obama was first elected president in 2008, I was in the 8th grade and had little understanding of the historical impact his presidency would have. Obviously, I knew he was the first black president and that it was a big deal. However, it wasn't until I grew older that I realized exactly how prodigious his legacy would be. He has held the highest office known to man with such admirable poise, while battling not only the challenges of the job itself-- but also the forces of racism in America that desperately sought to destroy him. For me, Barack Obama is a symbol of resilience and the black experience in America. -Liz Brazile
Obama's presdidency for me finally felt like the beginning to an end of a lot of the negative things that had come to define our country. It felt like finally a step in the right direction for many women's issues that were seemingly ignored by previous administrations. It also was a huge moment to have such a present First Lady. She was a role model that showed you can have a successful marriage, while still being a successful, independent individual. -Aysha
Personally as a woman, Obama's presidency meant overall growth. During his campaign I had all the doubt in the world that he would win because in America we live in a nation where white supremacists have taken over the way black people not only live but think. We automatically assume that we can't have anything until someone tells us otherwise. During his term, I gained the confidence to fight through what society expects of me. I was able to grow from an African American girl afraid of college And afraid of the real world to an African American woman ready to concur what is thrown at me. -Ronea
Share what Obama meant to you in the comments below!
And in lieu of my own creepy self-made compilation, here's a more appropriate compilation of him doing cool shit.