Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Recharge and Reset

I am in shock this morning. Emotionally numb and wondering when the reality of the last twelve hours will sink in. This level of puzzlement and despair that has descended upon me is familiar, I have been here twice before. The morning after 9/11 and in March of 2005. The first is obvious. A feeling of helplessness and horror over observing death and destruction here, on American soil. It brought home, through pure empathy, what so many of Earth's citizens experience on a regular basis. There was nothing I could do except hold my loved ones close and feel grateful for the relative peace and sanity in my own life. The second time was much more personal. The feeling had been growing for some time, but became clear that spring eleven years ago. My marriage was over. How I defined myself and my immediate world was on the verge of a tumultuous shift. One that took years to overcome. Time, forgiveness, love, and a good therapist pulled me out of the depths and helped me find a life and purpose once more. While the events of 9/11 were beyond the scope and control of my quiet, safe life in Midwestern America, the deterioration and eventual end of my marriage was very much due to my and my husband's neglect. Big picture, little picture. Observer, participant. Today feels a little like a combination of these disparate examples. I engaged in political discourse with friends and family and on social media. I informed myself on the issues, donated some money, attended a rally, moved to another state where I made it a point to register and vote. Those activities were all personal in nature, but like the aftermath of 9/11, the implications of yesterday's election results will have not just national, but international effects. The political bed that we are all to some degree complicit in creating, was born out of anger, fearmongering, disenfranchisement, and hate. I'm going to allow myself today to mourn. To attempt to make some sense of how we got to where we are now. Tomorrow I'm climbing back on that horse we call activism. It's more important than ever before that we move forward with love, resolve, and optimism rather than cynicism and bitterness. We had an opportunity yesterday to make history in a very positive way by electing the first woman President. Instead, history of another kind was made. Rising above and overcoming the fact that a man who espouses hatred, disrespect, and abuse of women, people of color, people of other religious beliefs, LGBT folks, innocents who are fleeing their war torn homelands, and, yes, even the handicapped, will soon occupy the Oval Office will not be an easy task. But it's one we must take on. Today I'm hanging out my Please Do Not Disturb sign. Tomorrow I'll be back.

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