I've struggled with my words and thoughts today. I feel like yesterday and today went by in a blur and I felt very lost. I felt frozen in place. And so I write these words to document how I'm feeling right now. So, if you're tired of political posts, or don't want to hear from another sad voter today, this post is not for you.
As the world knows by now, Donald Trump has been elected as the 45th President of the United States.
I'm not writing to protest the election or call anyone any names or spread any kind of hate. Trump won the Presidential election, there's no question about that. We all had our chance to vote and make our voices heard. This post isn't about that.
I'm also not writing to say that Hillary Clinton was the perfect candidate or even that she was my candidate per se.
When I cast my vote on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, I voted for the Democratic Party. Because it represents the values and beliefs that I, and many citizens across our nation, hold dear.
I voted because I am a woman. I am a mother who worries about her children's future. I am a minority. I have a diagnosed mental illness. I have been sexually harassed and assaulted. I am the daughter of a veteran.
I voted because I believe in tolerance. I believe in equality. I believe in unity. I believe in helping your fellow man. I believe in love. I believe in choice. I believe in a world where differences are welcomed.
When I cast my vote on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, I voted against a candidate whose words and actions do not represent my beliefs and values. One whom I feel will take our country in a direction that I do not wish for us or my children or their children. I voted against a party in which I do not, and have not ever, felt welcome.
In Hillary's concession speech, she said: "Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years but all the time." And after I heard that, I felt a sense of shame because she's exactly right. Showing up in November every 4 years isn't enough. Putting all of my hopes for change and action into one person in an election isn't enough at all.
The only thing that I can do from here is speak up and put my beliefs into action. Whether it's donating my money to a cause or organization that I believe in, or volunteering my time to help my local community. I will use my voice and speak up with our local or state officials. I will no longer sit back and wait and hope for something to happen.
I joked with a couple of my close friends that I was going to wear black every day for the next 4 years, as a sign of mourning. But I am no longer joking, because I *am* in mourning. Saying goodbye to the naive, quiet girl I used to be. She is gone. The woman who remains will be loud in her quest to make a difference. One who vows to do all she can to spread love, hope, joy, and equality wherever she goes. One who hopes to finally see our country free from hate and discrimination.
Alas, the election is over and the United States starts a new chapter in her history. Let's fill those pages with light.