Today I’m kind of trying to string together my thoughts and emotions in to coherent sentences. The last 48 hours have been difficult, some would even say it’s been a dark day for American history.
I’ve been feeling hurt, upset, scared disgusted, ashamed and alone. Like there’s a pit in my stomach I can’t get rid of and a constant migraine for two days straight. I woke up at 5 am local time on Wednesday morning (about 1 am in the states on the east coast) and I couldn’t believe, I didn’t want to believe what was happening. My stomach was churning so much I threw up. I felt farther and farther away from my country than the 4,000 km of distance. What we didn’t think would happen, happened and I couldn’t stop crying.
That day I had to somehow bring myself together to teach and I barely could. The second I stepped into school I locked eyes with the principal and one of my English teacher’s. They went to ask me how I felt and I burst into tears yet again. The English teacher I work with took me out for a hot chocolate while I collected my thoughts. One of my French friends offered to marry me (it’s a joke guys but I may take someone up on an offer). The next day after I didn’t even have to say anything, all of the other teachers have looked me in the eyes with a great deal of sympathy, compassion and sadness.
This is not my America. This is not the country I learned to love after I readjusted after my first time in France. Because the America I know is one of compassion. A country that finds strength in our differences. That tolerates people who are not exactly the same. A country that is a picture of progress and innovation. That has empathy. That looks at our history and says we’re going forward, not back. We support Native Americans, POC, Immigrants, Refugees, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and women. I am with you, you matter. Now is the time to be proactive.
Clearly, we are more divided than ever and we are divided because of the fear and hatred that has always been there. I’m am so sorry and saddened we’ve elected a demagogue. We don’t know if the ‘policies’ he’s spouted will be put in place or what views he will express through laws or legislature. To many people the words he’s said are terrifying and maybe some harsh realities that could come true. Words are powerful and speak volumes about a person’s intentions. Things are very uncertain right now. But we’ve got to give it a chance-as Obama has said. We’re a democracy, this means the peaceful transfer of powers and hopefully his administration can help as much as possible. I’m discouraged but I will never stop being optimistic.
We have a lot of work to do. Do not be discouraged. Stand up for the environment, for POC, for Native Americans, for women, for people with disabilities, for the LGBTQ+ community. I am so sorry we are all so scared, it shouldn’t be this way. Don’t let anyone tell you to “shut up” “stop crying” “just accept it”, you have every right to feel however you want to feel. Obviously, we live in a democracy. Make your voice heard and make it count.
I’m also pretty heart broken that the highest and grandest glass ceiling has not yet been broken, it will be soon and I’m sure of it. Even though the takeaway from this election has been: you can be a woman and extremely qualified and the job will still go to a unqualified man. Remember when they go low, we go high.
Wishing you peace and understanding,