You know, writing has never been my catharsis. In fact, I’m not really sure what is. I don’t know if I wanted to write this for myself or for others, but for whatever reason, I needed to get something out.
My heart aches profoundly for our country—in particular for the people who woke up this morning scared to be in their own skin.
I am lucky that—although I am a young woman—my fear of a Trump presidency is somewhat mitigated by the immense amount of privilege I have been fortunate enough to have throughout my life.
I have been lucky to live in a world where for the most part, what is good triumphs over what is bad, where what is right and just prevails, where I, as a young woman, have not felt an oppressing force working against what I could do or be. I have lived my life feeling encouraged and inspired.
A world in which both my mother and father told me that I could do anything, encouraged me to take risks, and instilled in me that there was nothing that I, as a woman, could not do or be. This is a world very different from the one that my mom grew up in and from the world that my grandmother grew up in.
Eight years ago on Election Night, I stood outside the White House with a sea of people. All around me, people were crying, people were laughing, people were hugging. In merriment and humor, some began to sing: “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye.” After about two minutes of singing, the light in White House window shut off.
When I woke up this morning, it was hard to lift myself out of bed. As I write this, I am sitting in the dark, weeping onto my keyboard. Through my thin apartment walls I can hear the girl next door weeping too. Yet even now, in a time of both personal and national darkness, I am still struck by the meaningfulness of that moment: it might be a long and hard fight, but in the end, we shall overcome.
Yes, it might be a while, but we as a nation are resilient. Although today was a dark day for progress, if we look at lessons of history we can see that in the end, although it is hard to see, good does triumph over evil—but that takes work.
I have had a hard time looking at the news today. Looking at the map makes me sick to my stomach. Yet the one statistics I have been able to stomach today was—appropriately sent to me by my younger sister. If you do one thing today, take a look at how people ages 18 – 25 voted.
We are going to shape the future of this country. Like any good healing process, we need time to feel sad, to find solace in our friends and family, to cry so hard we laugh and to laugh so hard we cry. But we cannot be disheartened. The good fight is needed now more than ever.
This is not the time to put our heads down. We as Americans have the privilege of being to voice our horror at the results of this election. I, even as a young woman, have the freedom to express my opinion and know that I am entitled to do so.
We can feel sad—and we should. But now more than ever we need to take this as a call to action, so I will leave you with this lesson I will try my hardest to bring with me everywhere I go:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr., 1963
It will take some time, and it will take hard work, but if we do our best, love will trump hate. We cannot forget that.