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Week Five: Coalition Building

I have celebrated of all of my nineteen birthdays… and my fifth birthday twice. I can vaguely recall my actual fifth birthday; the essentials were there: a cake, family, friends y una piñata. At that age, my friends were just the kids that I knew from school and my entire world was my backyard. Fast forward, I’m on Capitol Hill working on data entry while trying to muffle vibrating cell phone. Today my office continued in the same way as always, I walk to my desk and pile through stacks of forms. It’s my nineteenth birthday and the flow of constant text messages and calls coming in to wish me happy birthday have filled my answering system; it’s only 10 am. It’s just another day. As I’m finishing my last pile of form letters, I’m summoned to the member’s office. No one is in the office and I start to become concerned. As I step into the office, I see a birthday cake and my office screams “Happy Birthday!” Most of the office refer to it as my fifth birthday; my fifth birthday, celebrated twice in my life; once as a child, now in DC, my friends sending me countless messages, congratulating me on the fact that I’ve managed to keep myself alive this long; my parents wishing me the best on this day. If that’s not coalition building, I don’t know what is.