And I blogged not that long ago about visiting his Senate office.
Well, now that the election’s over, Cory Booker’s wonderful, sweet, beautiful office staff set up a few minutes for me to talk to the Senator I admire.
I actually interviewed for a job in Cory Booker’s office years ago. Obviously, I did not get it. But I really enjoyed everybody I spoke with (of course). And I sort of kept in touch with the Cory Booker team a tiiiny bit.
And they told me that if ever I found myself in DC to let them know, so I could stop by.
After I lost The Nightly Show, and had nothing but free time on my hands, I wrote ’em saying I could hang in DC whenever, if that offer was still on the table. And they set up a meeting for me and Cory Booker’s Chief of Staff.
As you may have heard (definitely heard if you’ve been reading this blog… so sorry about the one-track-minded-ness lately), I was sexually assaulted earlier this year. [Again, sorry to mention it again, but I promise you it’s very relevant to this post.]
I had written in my request of what I wanted to meet with Cory (or his team) about was that I basically wanted to talk about what I talked about on this very blog yesterday. You know, how do we forgive, and what do we owe people and all of that?
I believe SO hard in what Cory preaches – to be kind to unkind people. They’re the ones who need it most… But, as I talked to his team about… Right now, I just don’t know how. I’ve tried to be kind. And it is so hard for me after all of this… I just don’t know – what do I do?
Well, Matt, Cory’s Chief of Staff was really kind and helpful. He said that I’ve already done my part to be kind. I showed empathy. I allowed the man to explain himself, and that man’s explanation was, “I know you didn’t want to, but you needed to.”
And so now, I owe him nothing… (In fact, Matt said I owed him nothing in the first place. I didn’t owe him the ability to explain a sexual assault… But I especially owe him nothing now.)
It was a really rejuvenating, inspiring conversation. And he kindly told me he would do what he could to get me a few minutes with the senator.
After the election, I was slated to fly out of New York (because I had a Marine Ball to go to).
I got an email the day after the election asking if I’d like to catch Cory at an event he was doing in New Jersey!
What (practically) perfect timing! I wasn’t working that week. I was already in New York. I could easily get to Jersey. I did have to change my plane ticket to fly out a day later. But who cares? I did that and then went to Cory’s event the next next.
I got to talk to him for a few minutes afterward.
And when I told him what I said here – that I sooo believe in being kind to unkind people, but in this instance, I’m struggling so hard to understand how –
He told me kindness starts with yourself and that I should be kind to myself by allowing myself to feel these totally valid very strong emotions.
He *thanked* me (can you believe that – how sweet) – for going out today and sharing my story… And he thanked me for not allowing myself to be silenced… He told me to keep talking and that maybe it would give someone else courage to talk in the future.
He always knows the right thing to say. (My goodness, I can’t wait to campaign for him for POTUS in 4 years… I’m assuming. I’m not that close enough with his office to know what’s going on there… But I’m an American citizen, and we all know what’s going on there, right?)
Anyway, a random selfie story to leave you with: After Cory’s talk with me, I asked if I could grab a picture. (I want a picture every time I see him!) Even though Cory loves selfies, I had yet to have a patented Cory Booker selfie…
So, we grabbed one… But when I looked at it, the lighting wasn’t great and we were kind of blurry. Oh no!
But so many other people were bothering him that I thought, “I have plenty of photos. This’ll just do.”
And I went outside. While I was waiting for uber, I happened to start up a conversation with Cory’s driver. And when Cory came out, he said hi again. Then I was like, “Well, my opportunity is staring me in the face right here!” So, I sheepishly asked if I could have another selfie and he was so graciously sweet in obliging – not just obliging, but obliging with love and excitement in his voice.
We practically did a selfie photo shoot, he took so many. Haha. We kept making slightly different faces and laughing. Funnily enough, the one I thought was “silliest” (where I was trying to look too model-y or pose-y – like, in a funny way) was the one that actually came out best (pictured in this post).
So, thank goodness for Cory Booker. I went to the source – my role model – for advice (and selfies). And he did not disappoint (on either front).