On Tuesday, I woke up near tears. I looked through pictures of my mother, grandmothers, and great grandmothers. I read about a boy with Cerebral Palsy being bullied and kicked out of a Trump rally and then the tears came. But most of the day I spent in excitement. I read Pantsuit Nation posts on facebook. I made this post about YA authors and voting. Totally blissed out, even having the end tail of the stomach flu wasn’t getting me down.
On Tuesday, I put on my The Future Is Female t-shirt. I wore pearls and red lipstick to vote. On the way home from the polls, my roommate and I bought champagne. We drank a small toast (stomach flu be damned!) when we got home and saved the rest of the bottle for later. I think it’s still sitting in the fridge.
We could still win. We don’t need Florida. Let’s not worry until we have to worry.
I texted my family. I clicked through all the maps I could find. I drank tea. I did yoga. I went to bed hoping, against probable hope, that Hillary would still win.
On Wednesday, I woke up and felt numb. I called my Mom and talking about my students I lost it. Thinking of the black, Latina, and Muslim children who’ve told me about increased bullying and how they must feel and how their safety would be affected, I didn’t think I could stop sobbing. But I did stop sobbing. More of the last two days has been spent figuring out how to teach than figuring out how to process this upcoming presidency. Being sick (a new cold or the old cold returning) doesn’t help, but I think it is helping to keep some of my anxiety at bay.
On Wednesday, five of my writing students read their stories at our neighborhood Barnes and Noble – six girls ages eight to eleven. Black. Asian American. Jewish. Muslim. They stood in front of their parents and read about fairies, vampire poets, middle school girl thieves, and secret ghosts. They read their words. Their words are important.
On Wednesday, my college students talked about why writing matters, now more than ever. They talked about how writing can help you take care of yourself. They talked about how writing can change people’s minds and maybe even change the world.
Writing helps. Writing this, right now, is helping me.
My nana died this summer. I’ve been told her last words were don’t let Trump win. I miss her, but part of me is glad she’s not here to see this.
I’m not embarrassed about wearing pearls and feeling excited on Tuesday. It was incredible exciting to vote for a woman who’s been a hero of mine since before I can remember. But I am embarrassed that I didn’t do more to support the Hillary campaign. I’m embarrassed about my privilege and embarrassed for not using my privilege to better protect our country. I don’t know what will come, but I hope I will do better.
Sending love to everyone having a hard time this week. If meaningful action is what you seek, I hope you find it. If you need distraction or self-care, I hope there are many good books in your life right now. May we all find a combination of both in the coming days, weeks, and (ugh) years.