I fell asleep before the election was finalized, but when Kai awoke for his 3 am feeding, I checked my phone. And have been literally sick to my stomach ever since.
This is not my America.
This morning, I have been reading even more bile, and heartache, and threats, and…well, you know. You have social media too. I don’t need to tell you what they’re like.
Nothing has changed. All that “well, after the election this will all go away” — it didn’t. It won’t. We all said that after the last two elections, too, but look at all the shit that’s gone down since then. The shootings and BLM and the immigration crisis. The hate. The stinking pile of hate this country has become, at the whim of a handful of rich white men.
And odds are nothing will change for the better for at least four years.
But I have to keep reminding myself that nothing has changed. The racists and bigots and misogynists were that way before Trump was elected, and they’d have remained that way if Hillary were elected. The people who rise above that hatred aren’t going to sink into it just because they put that jackass in office. (They, not us; she won the popular vote, dammit.) And I am unchanged.
I am still going to raise my children to be better. I am still going to work every day to be better myself. I am going to do what I can, where I am. I will be the change I wish to see in the world. I will teach my children to do the same. To lead by example, and to show that hate doesn’t get to win. Because, to drag yet another cliché into this post (last one, I promise), when we know better, we do better.
Starting with getting on with my life. This is not the end of the world; it is merely the next chapter. The newest setback. I still have several articles to edit, another 27,994 words to write before NaNoWriMo ends, laundry to do, errands to run, and a family to snuggle. So I am stepping down from social media for a bit and getting on with it. It is not because I do not care. It’s because I feel more useful outside the dialog.
This month’s PopClogs bootcamp theme is “Embrace it!” — and honestly, I could not think of a more perfect theme right now. To me, it means making the best of whatever situation I find myself in. I started the month sick, just as both of my kids also came down with colds. Not the November I’d been hoping for, obviously, especially considering how the rest of our fall went. But raging against circumstances beyond my control didn’t make sense, either. So I decided to try embracing them instead. By which I mean not simply accepting those circumstances, but making the most of them. If we must be sick, we can at least spend extra time snuggled down under a blanket and watch movies together. If we must have Trump as president, we can at least use it as a learning experience, and a springboard towards better days to come.
Regardless of how we feel about the way last night turned out, this is our future. We can fight it, or we can embrace it. Me, I’m embracing it. We’ve gone through a lot as a country. We’ll get through this, too.