My husband has asked. My mother has asked. My son has asked. You have probably asked.
I have a thing for Alexander Hamilton. There. I said it. It’s out now. And you know what… it’s not weird… It’s not. My enchantment with “the ten dollar founding father” began a few years ago, coincidentally when the musical became popular. Being the inquisitive person that I am, (not to mention history nerd) I decided to pick up Ron Chernow’s 700 plus page biography. And the rest is history, literally. I loved to read and write before, but upon reading this book, my life changed. I wanted to learn more…I wanted to do more.
I felt a weird connection to this founding father that was almost kindred-like. Somehow, I felt like I had known him before, like in another life maybe. And I suppose that’s what makes a good biographer… they write in such a way that makes you connected to that person of internet (hats off to Mr. Chernow on that one). Upon reading the book, I had the sudden push to write. I wanted to write about everything. Suddenly, there was no need to hold back. Everything was on the table. There was a time that I was so worried about what other people thought, that I stayed mum on things that I felt strongly about. This was my weakness and it held me back from really finding and exploring my passion. Now there are a lot of people who I admire who did their thing, kicked ass, and didn’t give a crap about what people said or thought about them. There are people who suffered, even died for speaking their mind and fighting for what was right. And they are real heroes, friends. But there is something about Alex that I strangely connect with.
I’m not going to give you a play by play of the man’s life. There’s a bunch of books, exhibits, essays, and a freaking expensive ass show all about his achievements. But I will say this, on the 214th anniversary of his death, Hamilton has been the foot on the gas that has fueled the reemergence of this blog, the multiple short stories I’ve written, the notes for the novel I plan to write, and my newest project, theblackbirdscompass.com. This was a cat who was so far ahead of his time, and so misunderstood by most those with whom he worked. For example, at a time when slavery was rampant and colonialism was driving Native Americans from their own land , he stood as a support for those who were persecuted by these atrocities. Needless to say, he was not very popular for it, but he did not care. Smaller in stature, Alex knew that his brain, his voice, and his quill would give him the recognition the giants around earned by simply standing still. He stood for the truth, even if it pissed off his contemporaries (and he did that on a regular basis).
Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.
His ability to change his station mostly through his writing has been an inspiration to me. That perhaps even I could do something with my laptop and use the challenges that I’ve been through, the observations I have made, and the lessons that I have learned to make my mark on the world as well. And although I still struggle with the idea that even amazing things could happen to little old me, I no longer let that fear be my guiding light.
So call me crazy, obsessed even. But I believe everyone has a thing. General Hamilton is strangely my thing, and I can’t help but be inspired by his actions, even when it got him in trouble. I hope that, like him, I can bring about real change and inspire others with my pen as he did, regardless of the consequences.