It‚Äôs November 9, 2016, just before Hillary Clinton is about to give her concession speech in New York City. I haven‚Äôt cried for a whole 50 minutes, which is a record and a brief reprieve from the throbbing headache and puffy eyes that I‚Äôve developed over the last 12 horrific hours. I am absolutely heartbroken. I‚Äôm tired, angry, sad, terrified and devastated. I don‚Äôt even know what else to say. It‚Äôs funny how things can change on a dime, but this isn‚Äôt actually funny at all.
On Monday, November 7, I was in Seneca Falls with my best friend at the National Women‚Äôs Hall of Fame and excited about voting for the first female president.
On Tuesday, November 8 ‚Äì Election Day ‚Äì I woke up at 8am, energized, fired up, and ready to vote. I cast my ballot for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, and I dared myself to hope. That hope lasted until about 11pm, when I started drinking more heavily, and was extinguished when I cried myself to sleep at 1am, with votes still being counted.
On Wednesday, November 9, I woke at 3am to the news that Hillary Clinton had lost the presidency, probably for the last time, and that her opponent had won. A man with no government or military experience, who is supremely unqualified, became the President-Elect over a woman who had devoted her life to public service and had 30+ years of government experience. I am absolutely horrified, terrified, numb for my country, and heartbroken for Hillary.
I don‚Äôt know if I‚Äôm necessarily surprised anymore, but with these election results, you can‚Äôt tell me that systemic misogyny and racism doesn‚Äôt exist in the United States of America. And that just breaks my heart even more. I was so excited to finally crack the damn glass ceiling. I even bought HRC shot glasses in celebration (they‚Äôll be arriving next week, so I can collect my tears in them) that said, ‚Äúglass ceiling‚Äù on them. I was so ready. I thought we, as a country, were so ready. I have never prayed so hard in my life for something to happen. I feel like I have emotional whiplash.
I‚Äôm scared because I don‚Äôt know what to expect from this next¬†presidency. It could range from mildly crappy to nuclear war. I‚Äôm normally a very optimistic person, but I woke up feeling discouraged, hopeless and like a second-class citizen in my own country.
Bottom line is, we as Americans, will overcome this. We will be okay. The sun comes out and we will be okay, eventually. I‚Äôve been taking solace in my support group of amazing female friends who are just as devastated and worried about the future of reproductive rights (among many, many other things) as I am. We‚Äôve been crying together, raging together, and trying to lift each other up, even though it is so back-breakingly hard right now.
For those of you out there struggling to cope with the election results too, I just want to say two things. Firstly: self-care is SO important. Read a favorite book; watch a movie; paint your nails; reach out to friends; do whatever you have to do to get through and overcome. Secondly: One of my favorite quotes from Harry Potter is, ‚ÄúHappiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.‚Äù I know it seems impossible right now, but I have to believe that things will get better. I have to believe that someday, we will see our first female president, and we will remember how we feel at this exact moment, and then cherish our new president all the more. Be safe and take care of yourselves, everyone.
Girl Museum Inc.