Hello beautiful people 🙂
I think we can all attest to the fact that it has been a tough week. Donald Trump is the president of the United States. This is something many of us did not foresee or imagine ever happening. For some of us, this is our worst nightmare. I wanted to write a post about this the day after the results came out, but I felt it was best to wait a few days. Let every thing sink in.
The day after the election I felt heartbroken, helpless, and afraid. I only remember feeling that way one other time in my life. I stayed up until 2 am the night before waiting on history to be made. I didn’t want to miss it. As the results started to come in and things began to look bleaker and bleaker, I trudged to bed with a small hope within me that Hillary could still pull it out somehow.
I woke up to a million text messages, I called in sick to work, and I cried for a few hours. It felt like my world was ending. I was crippled with disbelief, anger, fear, and sadness. I couldn’t bring myself to leave my bed and every time I thought I could stop crying, the flood gates opened again.
Donald Trump stands for everything I am not. I fall into all of the categories he disparages. Female. Queer. Person of Color. My father is an immigrant from Pakistan and a non practicing Muslim. What did this all mean?
I couldn’t bear to face my students because our principal told us to remain professional and unbiased. There was no way I could do that with all of these emotions bubbling over. What do I say to a room full of 14 year olds? How do I instill hope in their hearts at a time like this? How do I bring them together when they stand divided? I had to take care of myself before I could take care of them.
I kept scrolling through Instagram (which in hindsight was a terrible idea) and seeing everyone feeling the same emotions as I was feeling. People were saying they would stand up for me and this was an opportunity for us to fight for what is right. I agree, but at the time I couldn’t see it that way. I could only see the hurt and heartache all of this caused.
I couldn’t bring myself to watch Hillary’s concession speech. I couldn’t bear to watch her apologize while holding back tears. She had not let anyone down. She won the popular vote, which is a huge deal. Americans overwhelmingly wanted her. Americans chose love over hate. Americans chose justice. Americans chose to be seen.
I heard many people saying they were ashamed of the American people and at the time, I felt that way too. But as I began to clear my mind a bit, I felt the opposite. I felt pride and the urge to stand up for what is right in my heart. I went through the stages of grief throughout the day and I spent time with my best friend. We talked things out and shared our feelings. We laughed and we cried. We hugged and reminded each other that the world wasn’t ending. Making the decision to spend the day with her was the best decision I could have made.
I still feel myself aching from time to time over what is happening. The past two days at school there has been a lot of hate and separation in my students. I teach at one of the most diverse high schools in the state of Texas, so you can imagine how great the divide is among my students. Every day after school there have been mini Trump rallies in the parking lot, where students with confederate flags have spewed hate to other students. I’ve seen students in tears daily. This is our reality.
Who knows what the next four years hold? To say I’m not scared would be a lie. I am terrified at what could possibly occur. I could be stripped of my right to marry. I could be stripped of my right to have a family some day. I could be stripped of my right to be protected under the law. This is frightening. But, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to overcome it. Sitting around sulking about this isn’t going to solve anything, but standing up for what I know is right will.
I know we are not all at this point in the process yet, and that is completely okay. Your feelings are valid. You can feel broken and sad and fearful and disappointed for as long as you want. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. You are not alone. You are beautiful. You matter. And I love you. It might feel like the world is ending right now, but it isn’t. We are going to keep on moving.
Hold your family members and your friends close to you. Snuggle your pets. Write about it. Ignite a fire in your bones. Hit a punching bag. Do something you know makes you happy. Dance. Laugh. Cry. Read Harry Potter to remember that all evil has good in it and all good has evil in it. Take care of yourself. Talk. Do not let your voice become mute. Overcome.