As I sit in the warm sunshine at my favorite coffee shop, I’m finally feeling like a person again.
The past couple days were rough.
I woke up Tuesday morning full of hope and optimism, but went to bed drunk and anxious.
I woke up yesterday morning with tears in my eyes that still haven’t really left, and went to bed a little bit high and still anxious, though the weed did help a little.
(By the way, congratulations to all the states who legalized recreational marijuana. You won’t regret it, I promise!)
I woke up this morning still a little sad, but hopeful. We all seem to be clawing ourselves back up from rock bottom and getting back to it.
Online today, people are sharing their support for each other, and promising to do more. They are encouraging people to donate, volunteer, and raise awareness for groups like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, National Immigration Law Center, and many others. Even if laws or policies change, these groups will still be around to help fight the good fight – they just might need more of our help if they no longer get as much help from our government.
People are beginning the painful process of healing by taking action – and not just protesting or creating hashtags. They are hugging their neighbors, saying hello to strangers, and silencing bigotry on the street. They are coming together in prayer, in tears, and in little coffee shops like the one I’m sitting in right now to talk it out. Even here in Seattle, where people are known for being a bit…frosty…people seem a little friendlier and gentler than they were a few days ago.
So while I’m still lugging around a rock of anxiety about what the future holds, it’s a little smaller than it was yesterday. I hope that in time we can breathe easier, but not all the way. We still need to keep that pebble of anxiety in our pockets, a reminder that the next 4 years aren’t going to be easy for many of us.
It’s going to be a very hard road to keep the country going forward now that we have a president who is determined to set us back 50 years.
For the women reading this, keep trudging along. We’re used to doing twice the work for half the recognition – and unfortunately, that’s not going to change any time soon. Taking the high road might be harder and more dangerous, but the view at the end is worth it. Keep telling girls they can be whatever they want, and hold the women in your life to a high standard.
Now is not the time to give up and go home. Now is the time to teach little girls that yes, part of being a woman is dealing with setbacks. Part of being a woman is about getting your heart trampled on. Part of being a woman is enduring men in power who believe women should be pretty, silent, and obedient. Part of being a woman is being told no, but ignoring it and moving on anyway.
Show the girls and women in your life that we are strong, powerful, intelligent, and determined. We are not a reflection of what our next president thinks of us. We are a reflection of what Hillary Clinton thinks of us. She may not have broken this glass ceiling, but she showed us that someday one of us will. Someday a woman will be president, thanks to the sizeable crack Hillary left in that glass ceiling to help whoever she is break through, once and for all.
For the men reading this, keep trudging along too. We know you want a better life for your mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, and sisters – and we know not all of you voted for our new president (even if the news wants us to think differently).
Be a good example for the boys in your life who look up to you, and hold the grown men in your life to a higher standard. Don’t just tell the women and girls in your life that you respect and support them – show it. Show the world that you are not a reflection of our new president and his misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, homophobic views. Show the girls and women in your life that you value us for more than how we look, or how submissive we are. Show the world that you’re hurting and nervous too.
This is where we are right now – where I am right now. Though it may seem bleak right now, we’ll get through it. Get outside, bask in the sunshine, and take care of yourselves. We have a long road ahead of us, and we’ll need all the strength we can get!