In 2008, when I was in 7th grade, I watched on television in my parent's bedroom as Barack Obama was announced President-elect of the United States.
I wrote down my feelings, my thoughts, my emotions on a piece of paper and put it in a time capsule that I'd made in 6th grade. What I would give to be home right now, to look into that time capsule and see what I wrote, and to recapture those feelings of hope and excitement that came with Obama's election. These were the feelings that made me know I had to pursue a career in politics (shout-out to Mr. Berger). These were the feelings I expected to have today. But instead, I feel quite the opposite.
This is especially true knowing that this election is not really over - the legacy it has left behind will change the course of American politics.
To Secretary Hillary Clinton, I am very sorry. You deserved this more than anyone ever. I cannot imagine the pain you must be feeling right now, especially knowing that you won the popular vote.
To my fellow Americans, specifically to the POC, LGBTQ+, disabled, female, low-income, and otherwise marginalized members of society, I feel your pain and I hear you and I am here for you. Your feelings are valid. And this sentiment extends to those who voted for Trump because they felt left behind by America and/or the Democratic party. I may not be able to directly empathize with you, but I hear you.
However, I would be remiss to not congratulate President-elect Donald Trump for achieving the impossible and for constantly defying everyone's expectations. Your means certainly do not justify the ends, and you brought out the worst in America, but you won, so you have my best wishes.
I am taking my time to lament and to self-care. In this moment of despair and hopelessness, I know that eventually I will be able to pick myself back up and fight like hell for the America I know is greater than this.
I could do none of this without the strength, love, and sources of support and laughter that my friends and family have been over the course of last night and today. I am proud to say that I surround myself with truly amazing people. Thank you.