when i was in junior high, i wore a “hillary clinton for president” button on my backpack.
yesterday, at 21 years old, i voted for the very first time. yesterday, at 21 years old, i clicked that box next to hillary clinton’s name and chills spread through my body. a smile crept across my face. my feet danced with glee. i felt complete joy, for my little junior high self, for what i thought my country was about to become.
i will never forget that moment. that moment can never be taken away from me.
the second i realized that we may not win – the second i realized that our nation had chosen to elect a bigot, a sexist, a racist, an evil human being over a woman – my heart broke.
i am devastated.
my sadness runs deep. i go from tears to silent disbelief to tears to silent disbelief. i am numb.
i feel sad for my family. my parents have spent my whole life helping me believe and find the good in everyone. encouraging me to speak up, to have a voice, to be informed, to be proud of my thoughts and feelings. we were so excited for hillary. we had tickets to the inauguration. we were so charged and ready to go celebrate our first female president. as a family, as a nation.
reading my family’s text messages from last night break my heart all over again. we go from excitement to determination to shock to horror to hope to devastation.
i just can’t believe this happened.
i feel sad for women, for people of color, for the lqbtq+ community, for the disabled, for non-christians. my mom told me that a muslim student in her class came to her crying today because last night – last night – people were yelling at her. this woman is scared for her safety, in her own home.
i feel sad for hillary. i feel so sad for hillary. she has worked tirelessly, for years, as a public servant. not a day goes by that this woman does not face the most intense hate from the most despicable people. and she always – always – responds with grace and kindness. she always – always – pushes onward and upward, committed to fighting for us. i am so incredibly devastated that we let her down. i didn’t want to let her down. i really didn’t think we were going to let her down.
this morning, i wasn’t angry yet. the sadness was too big to conquer, the sadness was in charge.
i spent my day ridding myself of the sadness, as best i could. i laid in bed, i ate an entire bag of cheddar popcorn, i watched my favorite shows, i took a long walk along the canal. i scrolled through twitter, for hours, soaking up the support. so many comedians and writers and politicians that i admire were vocalizing their sadness, almost welcoming it, in a way. they reminded me that it was okay; that my sadness was warranted. i’m thankful for that. i watched hillary’s beautiful speech. and barack’s. i cried a lot. i hugged my friends. i texted my sister. i let the darkness sit for as long as it needed. we fought hard, and we lost. that hurts.
the sadness is not gone, it won’t be for a long time. but with relief, with grief, comes space for a new emotion. and the new emotions that my body and mind and spirit have chosen are conflicting, but they’re there, together. one is loud and one is soft. anger and hope.
last night, our nation elected a man who does not believe in climate change to be our next president. our nation elected a man who is endorsed by the kkk to be our next president. last night, our nation elected a man who has proudly scammed millions of citizens through his businesses and fake universities to be our next president. our nation elected a man who has sexually assaulted women, who has bragged about sexually assaulting women to be our next president. last night, our nation elected a man with zero political experience, with zero years of public service to be our next president.
all that, and so much more, makes me disgusted. it makes me sick to my stomach. it makes me scared.
this anger, it will fade. i know it. it’s temporary, it’s involuntary, it’s allowed, but not for long. i won’t let it stick around. i won’t let it consume me.
the hope on the other hand – it’s small right now. a little light. a tiny flicker. but it will grow. and with it will come determination, will come community, will come prosperity.
today, i am sad and angry. tomorrow, i will be sad and angry and hopeful and strong.
we will be okay. [right?]