My candidate didn’t win. The results didn’t turn out like I’d wanted.
And yes, I grieved. Real tears were shed. Real sorrow was felt. Still is.
For those who may think I’m sad because my “team” lost or my emotions are about sour grapes, all I can say is no, that wasn’t it.
I could go into detail about what it is I voted for or against, but I think that gets us mired down again. You don’t have to understand what I was voting for or against. I know. My actions, who I am as a person, and what I believe will shine through if I live my truth. I don’t have to explain it to anyone.
I hope that I (and many others like me) are proven wrong about the very real fears we have and the speculation we’re forced to do in the absence of real information.
I will reserve judgement until we actually get to see something other than the promises that all politicians fill the airwaves with.
I will continue to respect the office of the Presidency, regardless who resides in the White House. The thing that’s been forgotten since…I don’t know, since I was a kid?…is that you can respect someone and not agree with them. You can respect their humanity and their role and not like what they do. Hate what they do, in fact.
That is my path. Respect and wary watchfulness.
The only thing I can control in this world is myself. How I treat other people. How I react in situations. What I do each and every day.
And at this point, with the election over, and the vitriol showing little sign of slowing down (I never believed November 9 would be a magical day when everyone calmed down), the thing I feel compelled to do is work for the future I want my children and your children and our grandchildren to have.
What does that work look like? I have no idea. I’m lost in a sea of too much information from everyone with an opinion and no direction.
But make no doubt about it, for me, the time to grieve is over.
Now it’s time to get to work.
It’s time to become more informed.
It’s time to use the voice I should have used all along. Yes, I am only one voice, but sometimes that’s enough.
It’s time to participate in the process more than every couple of years in the ballot box.
No more shying away from what others might think. Worrying someone will be ugly and rude is a waste of time. Fearing judgement from people who don’t really want to understand my views is pointless.
I’m not one for protesting in the streets or railing against the current system. Until it’s changed and until someone comes up with a better option, this is what we have.
But this is not who “we” are as America. We are better than the fear that has motivated people for years and years (long before President Obama was elected).
I remember the fear of liberals during President Bush’s years in office and the years of vitriol at the end of President Clinton’s presidency. This isn’t new, y’all. We simply have so much more access to each other, good information, and oh yes, bad information that we see it more often, and it feels more overwhelming.
President Obama said (and I’m paraphrasing) in one of his last campaign rally speeches, that when he bets on America, the American people, and for those of us who believe in hope and love, he always wins.
I want him (and us) to win in the way that I believe he meant.
I believe that we can be better than our fears make us. Our fear of “the other.” Our fear of change. Our fear of loss.
So I won’t fear the next four years.
I will work to help make my corner of the world and hopefully the rest of the world a better place, the country I believe my children (and all children) deserve. I will help protect the institutions that make us America – free speech, freedom of the press, freedom to protest. These are all of ours, even when you don’t agree, and more than our ability to vote, they make us who we are as Americans.
It’s time to stop crying, yelling, and railing at the people who disagreed with us and voted for something different.
It’s time to stop railing at the people who didn’t show up to vote.
It’s time to do something instead of bitching.
It’s time to stop grieving and get to work.