I seriously thought I would post this sooner.
I had a schedule laid out. I was going to write this post at my desk on Tuesday morning before my roommate and I left to go vote. The tone was going to be light-hearted. I had planned to share some of my election memories. I’ve got some strong ones, but none of them compare to last week.
I opened Facebook on Wednesday morning. I had kept tabs on the election results for the entire previous night. I had gone to work with my best friend a few hours earlier, and he remarked that I was giddy as I was dancing to X’s “Fourth of July” followed by XTC’s “Here Comes President Kill Again.” The latter is not a song you can really dance to; I sat in my chair and finished my weekly radio programming.
On Wednesday morning, I could hear my roommate stirring as the sun wasn’t quite up. I knew what she was doing; the light from her phone had been bright. I wanted to ask her, but I didn’t. I needed those three extra hours of sleep.
I cried. hard. I had to be at work in half an hour. I texted my mom, but she was too shocked for a phone call. My roommate knew the news I would wake up to. She scooped me up and we hugged for a while.
My friend had tweeted something along the lines of how he felt uncomfortable being funny on the internet. It didn’t fit right. My daily route of crafting a dry and/or witty tweet seemed trivial as hell, so I didn’t. I didn’t really know how I could craft a witty take on the absolute disbelief and pending fear brewing. I frantically texted my boyfriend, “what do I do now?!”
We couldn’t really think of an answer to that question. I knew in the meantime that I had to keep going with my normal routine; I could soothe my feelings with some Clash. I played a “double shot” of them on the radio as I sat in my shift, and talked to my co-workers for the first time; we were ALL asking the collective question of “what now?!”
Several days later, my answer still isn’t completely clear. However, my Dad came to my aid through a text message. I was very upset that I couldn’t be with my parents right at this moment. I knew their confusion was as vast as mine, and I wanted to sit in my living room. I wanted to hold my cat. I wanted to ask “what now?!”
I told my father that I loved him.
He said, “I love you too. We must keep fighting the good fight.”
I started to cry for a different reason. His words brought a clear landscape; we can’t ever sit idle. We must stand up for what we believe in. I’m going to make my voice heard, and I am going to provide love and understanding for those who may feel afraid to do so.
I am still extremely frazzled. I didn’t go to an on campus protest on Wednesday night. I stayed in my dorm room and streamed the experience through the Facebook live videos of several friends. My roommate went to go see what was going on. I opted to stay glued to the confines of my room.
I’m not going to do that forever. Of course not. I went out and voted, because I firmly believe that I could make a difference. No matter how big or small my contribution is, I’m going to give a little especially before I can give a lot.
Right now, I’m still sorting through the kinks. I’m struggling with wondering if it is still okay to do so. I’m asking what I could do as an individual to contribute to the greater good. I’m still asking myself how I’m going to “fight the good fight” as my father encouraged me to do. For right now, I’m going to love.
I’ve laughed a lot, too. I’ve hugged my friends tightly. I’ve told my significant other how much I love him. I finally got to hug my dad last night. I’m taking the necessary steps to talk back and fight back! I was STUNNED when I saw a student at the protest tell the camera that we should “accept” what had happened. I’ve heard several times that the desire for protesting and speaking out was a “pathetic” one.
I’m going to stay informed. I’m not going to stop listening to and watching the news. I’m going to take what I hear as an extreme learning experience. I’m going to educate myself on the steps I can take to help everyone in my community. I am part of a community. I will stand tall. I will be present. I will be aware. I will be a source of love and kindness.
As I take the steps to combat my own uncertainty, I will do something no different. I’m going to be peaceful. I’ll be understanding. I want to be an ear. I will be an outlet. I will be awake, aware, and alive.