I find it hard to believe that yesterday marked a year until President Barack Obama leaves office. The man, who campaigned as an inspirational and transfigurative candidate, has experienced one of the most brutal presidencies in the whole of United States history.
Brutal. Not brutal in the sense of Obama being an authoritarian but brutal in all the criticism he has received and the sheer amount of opposition he has faced at every turn. Every action he has taken or proposed, no matter how insignificant, has received criticism that has ranged from healthy skepticism (which is completely reasonable and expected) to utter hatred and accusations of him being a "traitor", "un-American" and other loathsome terms.
Such language would never have been acceptable under any former president. I think it's important to remember that no matter how much anyone may disagree with Obama and his policies, everything he has done (and still wants to do) has been because he thought it was best for America. He never set out to "destroy America" or to engage in any similar nonsense - after all this time, after all he's been through, he still cares deeply for and loves all Americans, no matter how much any hate him. I also, after all this time, after all I've been through, believe in Obama and I care. I care - about Americans, about Britons, about everyone. Because that's what we should do. That's what "Hope and Change" was about and I believe that message remains relevant.
In January of 2008 - an astounding eight years ago - I lived in Southern Oregon, had two cats, both parents and no official education. Nowadays, I live in Nottinghamshire, have no pets, one parent, some academic qualifications with more on the way and a chance to make it into university. Oh, my universe sure has changed since the pre-Obama world; I am a massively different person to what I was back then.