I am struggling, admittedly. I am struggling to escape social media, the news, fear, ignorance, and the balance of not putting my head in the sand vs. not being so angry that is ruins relationships. Trying to unite us yet make it clear I do not believe in hateful words spoken by our next president. I go from being fucking pissed off, to being accepting, to being hopeful, to being scared, to being exhausted….and then wanting things to go back to normal.
As I have written many times, it is all about balance and perspective. So, I do believe that time will answer a lot of the questions. Yet, I don’t know how to balance this with a need to act in some way. I have people I care about that voted for Trump (and Clinton). And while I love those individuals and I don’t think you are racist…..it is hard for me to imagine anyone ignoring such hateful words in order to see a different America. I have so many questions yet I don’t want to ask them in fear our relationship will be damaged. Voting for some is a very private thing. They are not vocal and chose their candidate without fanfare and social media so how can I be aggressive in my questioning when they didn’t push their views on me? Is it fair to judge when they didn’t judge me? Yet I have so many questions like, if you don’t believe in racism or sexism or hate, then why would you vote for a man who represents that and built his political platform on those very things? If you yourself are a minority who he wrote or made statements about in a very hateful way…..Did you read his tweets and comments to the press? How did it make you feel? In history, we have had times where hateful people have risen to power and when ignored, it has led to very extreme things. Many say they are not bigots or racists but just believe he will evoke change. Yet, we don’t yet know what that change will be. And we do know, he is a very hateful angry man in what he has shown so far. So how do you manage this?
I am an independent. I am not someone who tows a certain party line but votes on the issues and the candidate. And in a normal election year, I honestly would not have this type of struggle. I honestly don’t enjoy politics. But we had so much hate this year. I can’t get past it. And now it is just creating more hate. For the first time in my life, I am questioning my safety and freedom. And I am genuinely worried about a large majority of people I care about. An intense feeling given for so long I have been passively watching politics and living my life day to day. Some will roll their eyes at this and say, just give it a chance. It will all work out. But even if things are okay (which I pray they are), how did we say it was okay to be hateful and be a bully? What happened that people I love and respect chose to support a hateful, bully?
What I struggle with is the role I play in moving on. I am someone that loves deep, always gives everyone a second chance, is optimistic to a fault, and strives for balance and perspective at all times. I am not an extremist. I am the opposite of that. I strive for peace.
So, as I work through this and participate in the Women’s March on Jan 21st and deal with my own path forward that is a mix of hope and anger and peace at times…..I will say we probably all need to step back and refuel a bit. And find ways to laugh and move forward.
So here are some tips regardless of how you individually feel that I have been trying or reading about:
- Get involved in your community. Instead of just voting (which hopefully you did), volunteer and donate. Make sure you put your vote into action.
- We signed up to volunteer in the DC area this weekend. Please do so in your own community.
- Start to build relationships and love your neighbors. Focus on getting to know your diverse neighbors more.
- Keep informed.
- Get out in nature. Enjoy the parks and our beautiful country.
- Take a break from it at times. Turn off your phones. Read a book.
- Talk to people and maintain your friendships. We are all reacting differently so be patient with one another and try hard not to judge.
- Appreciate that we are all different. Teach love and the importance of the words you use. Be kind.
- Get sleep, eat, and find a way to laugh
- Spend time with puppies and kids
I leave this afternoon to go to a Friends Thanksgiving. Friendsgiving. There I hope to not talk politics but just hug and appreciate people.