The intention of this post is not to wallow, complain or hate but simply to share my experience in the aftermath of this very historic presidential election of 2016.
On November 9, 2016 I opened my eyes not understanding the world I had woken up to. It seemed impossible that the sun had risen and people were expected to carry on with their lives. I slept at my friends’ house to watch the election the night before and to celebrate the historical moment when our first female president was elected. As the night wore on, our lively conversations gave way to the disbelief and horror of what we were watching unfold. We all went to bed before the verdict was decided and truly wanted to hope that we would wake up to a miraculous comeback, because surely this wasn’t how this was supposed to end.
The devastation and hopelessness was palpable as we stared at each other in disbelief the next morning. Tears flowed as we watched the class act that is Hillary Clinton deliver the concession speech we never expected to hear. It was painful to watch an articulate, generous, professional woman handle the loss with the grace we knew she would, when her opposition would have behaved like the horrible human being he is. It just seems impossible that sexism, racism, and bullying won when we are taught our whole lives that those are inarguably characteristics of the bad guy.
I left my friends and went to my yoga studio, knowing that it would help ease the ache my entire soul felt. Walking through the city of Denver, the mood was the way I imagine the world felt after 9/11: utter heartbreak. When I entered the yoga studio, I knew that my sentiment was shared as I looked into the tear filled eyes of those around me. I was greeted with a hug from my friend and the instructor of the class. No words were spoken because they were not needed. We just held each other and cried. I hugged strangers in the locker room who were trying to control their sobs before heading into class.
It is hard to put into worlds the devastation our country is feeling right now. I know that the repercussions of this will extend far beyond policy and executive orders, but rather will be felt by the millions of americans whose story will go unreported. There have already been countless reports of unspeakable cruelty being shown to minorities in the name of our elected leader. However, I believe that these would have occurred even if their candidate had not been elected. The seed of hate and entitlement has already been placed in the heads of these supporters and I doubt an election outcome would have silenced them.
The overwhelming message of perseverance that Hillary and anti-Trump supporters have been spreading has been inspirational. We will really find out what our country is made of over these next four years. I would love to see us not respond to this election in the same manner we condemned Donald for during his candidacy, with anger and demanding that someone is at fault for cheating us out of our president. Instead I think it is important to note the positive things that came from the 2016 election. Medical marijuana was legalized in Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota. North Carolina voted out it’s trans-phobic governor, and a number of multicultural women were voted into government offices across the country. These are all signs of a progressing society, even if this giant setback is overshadowing that.
I don’t think it is anyone’s job to tell a shell shocked nation what they need to do from here on out. Please ignore the awful Facebook conversations you are seeing, the relative we all have who is happy about this, and start looking into organizations who are trying to help those who stand to lose the most with this new leadership.
I hope the world is treating you with kindness and you are taking care of yourself.