I woke up with so many questions on my mind today. One easy to answer, and others I’ll be struggling with for quite some time.
That first one was, how do I even get myself out of bed today? That one was simple- I have a daughter who needs me. No matter what despair I went to sleep in last night and woke up in again this morning, her smiling face mattered so much more. But I admit, I really wanted to wallow. I felt like I had the world’s worst hangover: pounding headache, dehydration (from multiple bouts of crying), and unrelenting nausea induced by fear and trepidation.
I know that I worked to stop this from happening. I voiced my support, I gave my money, and most importantly, I cast my vote. But I feel like I failed my little girl, because I wish I had done more. I genuinely have no idea what sort of world she’s going to grow up in now. I wish I had taken the Clinton campaign up on those offers to take a bus up to Pennsylvania to knock on doors or to call people in Ohio.
I’m mad at myself, and I’m utterly perplexed by the millions of people who voted for Donald Trump and by extension his racism, misogyny, and bullying. I’m frustrated at the millions of people who didn’t vote at all. I worry that I’ll be living in fear for the next 4 years, and so many people will be right there with me. And I know that I don’t want to live in fear and anger. I want to live with hope that my little girl will grow up in a country that treats her as an equal. I want her to live in an America where she’ll have the right to make decisions about her body, where sexual harassment and sexual assault won’t be ever present worries in her mind, where people of all races and genders and beliefs are protected. I don’t believe the Trump administration is going to promote any of those things. So I’m hoping the tens of millions of people here in America and all over the world who woke up today in the same despair that I did channel everything that we’re feeling into something positive, something that moves us toward the life that we want for ourselves and our children.
I may feel sad and afraid, but I don’t feel helpless. I’ll be working every day for the next 4 years to change things. I haven’t been officially affiliated with any political party up until this point, but I’ll be voting in democratic primaries from here on out. Because we need candidates at every level of government who share our values and our priorities, and we need to remember to remember that elections aren’t just every 4 years, and I need to do my part in that.
I’ll be doing more to promote the causes and institutions I believe in, many of which are now threatened by Trump and a Republican led Congress (I’m looking at you, Planned Parenthood).
And though it’s the hardest thing of all, I’ll be working to set aside my fear and anger as I pursue answers to the other big questions that are plaguing me. How did we let this man into the White House? What compelled almost 50 million people to overlook the sort of bullying behavior we wouldn’t accept from a kindergartener in a man who’ll now run the country? How do women, minorities, immigrants, refugees, the disabled, LGBT men and women, and members of all marginalized communities fit into Trump’s America? I don’t know if I’m going to find any real answers. But I know that it’s my duty to try. If there’s any chance of transforming this country into the one I want for my daughter, it starts with unifying the one we live in now.