Dismembered by a Political Hack Job
I Won't Quit
The Decision to Run for Office
I live in a small town, which I love. After ten years of working in the community, volunteering and participating in every fundraiser, charity event and feel good project I could find, I discovered that I love to serve. I want to help people improve their lives.
Whether it's the little things, like collecting food for the local food bank, offering a free massage to a woman after her last chemo treatment, or donating yoga classes to disenfranchised youth, I want people to feel better in life, because they know me.
I am a hands-on person. I try to make the world a better place, one step at a time, in the ways I can affect. I try to be kind and show compassion. I try to withhold judgement of other's, knowing full well that we all have our own trials, tribulations, and weaknesses.
With this heart of service, I decided to run for city council. The woman who was vacating the seat in my district suggested I run, and although I am not a politician, I agreed. I want to make the town a better place for the current residents, as well as for anyone who is fortunate enough to move here in the future.
Little did I know, the depths to which people sink, even in small town politics.
Crushing the Spirit
My Alter Ego
I have an alter ego. She is an online panty seller. I created my alter ego about a year ago, and she is fun. She gets to do all kinds of crazy things that the real me would never do.
My alter ego is hot and sexy in a way that I never get to be in real life. My husband loves my alter ego, although she only comes out when he and I are out of town. She doesn't break laws, but she is gorgeous. She's never gotten into trouble, but she does get into exciting adventures with my husband.
My alter ego has a lot more confidence, enthusiasm and hutzpah than I could ever muster. She empowers me to stand up and be brave, when I feel like melting into the floor.
When I decided to run for office, my husband and I discussed "Mystee Crockett," and what to do with her. I naively figured that since it was a different name, no one would figure it out. I thought, in my own logical mind, that the Mystee Crockett box, the yoga instructor box, the writer box, the mom box, and the public servant box could all be maintained separately. They are all different aspects of who I am, but they all have their proper place.
I didn't really want my kids to know about my alter ego, for no other reason than that they think I'm ridiculous. They already roll their eyes at me, and I didn't want them to be embarrassed by the idea of their mom doing things online. It's not how you want your kids to think of you.
I don't bring Mystee to yoga. She isn't a part of my massage business. She doesn't contribute to my writing. Each of these aspects of my life sees a different part of me, just as it should be. The Om-Chanting yoga instructor would never show up to a city council meeting. For that, I bring the professional, who knows how to dress properly and who is a strong leader.
People who don't know me think Mystee is hot. People who do know me think I am plain, and a little weird. I'm "out there," with my yoga and always talking about kindness and peace. But, I embrace the plain, yoga teaching, massage therapist, who works on healing, because that's who I am. I am a healer. I am a writer. I am a leader.
But I also embrace the wild, exotic Mystee, who dances and dresses up in heels and has fun without the boring me. When I invented Mystee, she brought a lot of fun into my life and into my marriage. She showed me that it's okay to have fun and to be cute, even when you are 50.
My alter ego showed me that I don't have to settle for just being the plain, nondescript yoga instructor. I can also be something more. She showed me how to let my hair down. A little. I'm still pretty reserved in real life. But I'm not so afraid.
She doesn't detract from who I am as a mother, as a wife, or as a community member. Instead, she offers me a chance to be something more than what I usually am. She empowers me to be better than what I was, and that is what I hope others learn from this experience.
People may not like how you show up in life. Rather than let them destroy you, stand tall, be brave and breathe deeply.
The Shot Heard Round the World (or at least around town)
- Panty selling may cause candidate to drop out of race | KUTV
(KUTV) — A city council candidate in Evanston, Wyoming, is dealing with blow back after community members discovered what she thought was her secret identity online. Candidate Deborah Reno, who works as a massage therapist and yoga instructor, worked
Politics is Not for the Faint of Heart
Yes. I sold panties online. I admit it. That does not make me a weak or bad person. It is a small, tiny part of who I am. Moralistic politics and fake news would have you believe that this is all encompassing, and that an unsavory action makes you an unfit leader.
I believe that divisive, destructive and hurtful behavior shows weak character. These types of tactics are designed to instill fear and shame. They crush the spirit of people.
I tell my yoga ladies, never hurt the heart. The tender heart easily bruises and you can destroy people if you try to hurt their heart. Instead of hurting and embarrassing people, communities would be stronger if we empower people to speak their truth, to be true to who they are, and to let their own unique voices be heard.
I should have known better than to ever enter into the world of politics. It is not for the weak. I am not weak, but I am gentle and kind and loving. These things are not characteristics of a politician. These are characteristics of a healer, a writer, and a person who wants to make the world a better place. That is what I am.
Yes, I should have known that the internet is a big place, and nothing is secret. Yes, I know (because I tell my kids all the time) that you can choose your actions, but you can't choose your consequences. Yes, I know that people will look at me differently now. Yes, I made a choice that not everyone would make. I chose to run for office.
I cannot quit. I love the town I live in. I love the people who live here, and I have a desire to make this place better than before. People deserve a choice, and people deserve to have leaders who value them exactly where they are. People deserve to be seen for who they are and not crushed because they don't fit some cookie cutter mold.
When politics stops being hateful and hurtful and destructive, then maybe more kind, caring and compassionate people will lead. Until then, we will continue getting what we've always had.
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Deborah Demander Reno