This Election: A Blessing in Disguise?

I'm at Treeline Roasters, chugging coffee. I woke up last night at 3, 4, 5 am, each time in a blind panic. My shirt was soaked with sweat. I woke up again at 7, this time with tears that carried over from a nightmare I was having. 

What more could possibly be said at this point? On all my social media feeds, in every nook and cranny of the news, the entire spectrum of human emotion is vividly expressed. I had initially wrote a journal entry for today that spoke to empowerment. I, like so many others, anticipated Hillary's victory with arms waving ecstatically. She's served our country her whole life. She is respected across the world. She isn't perfect, but she's more than qualified. She was possibly the most qualified candidate we've seen in years. Her victory seemed as sure as the sunrise.

What more could possibly be said about Trump's upset? Or in other words, what do I have to offer to the conversation?

But then again...Hold the phone. F*ck that. My voice is important. Your voice is important. For many of us, we're being rattled out of complacency. This election may be the best thing to ever happen to our country.

Last night, when I left an election-watching party in the cellar at Plonk, I saw a man across the street. My womanly alertdar sounded. He stared at me, watching as I crossed the road. He yelled at me, "Hey! You! Come back!"

I felt terrified. I felt like prey. This wasn't the first time I've had this experience, nor will it be the last. And in most cases I'd think, well, that was messed up and scary and I'm glad I scraped by with my pussy in one piece. But now, the interaction carries new meaning. This election fully drug the creatures of darkness into the light, and we witness the extent to which sexism, racism, and general hate born of fear and generational trauma exists in our country. 

I've felt many things in the last twelve hours, and all these emotions have been reflected back at me . Fierce, fierce anger. Fear. Lots of fear. Escapism. Pain. Disbelief. And then some have sought the light, calling for love, compassion, and empathy when all hope seems lost. Others call for action, to funnel the anger and hurt into local and national do-goodery. 

Here's my plan of action. I'm sharing it with you all so you can hold me accountable. I'm also sharing it because we need to converse about our hopes, dreams, and-most importantly-plans on how we can turn this election into a blessing in disguise. 

Five I'm Gonna's

1. I'm gonna feel what I feel when I feel it until I can come closer and closer to compassion and hope. We're experiencing some major upheaval here, folks, and instead of suppressing my grief and anger, I'm gonna let them run cold and hot through me. All too often we suppress what needs to be felt. I'm gonna feel it and hope to learn from the pain. 

2. I'm gonna stop putting off "be more informed" on my to-do list and actually read the news EVERY DAY. I'm gonna dust off college notes on how our political system works, both on national and local levels, and stay up to date on what legislation is being debated. 

3. I'm gonna donate time and money MORE CONSISTENTLY to local causes that create the change I wanna see in the world. 

4. I'm gonna try really really really hard to empathize with the half of our nation who voted for Trump. I'm gonna try to better understand the roots of racism, sexism, and the fears fueling hate. I'm gonna try to chose love over hate, again and again and again. I'm gonna try and be nice to every person I meet, ask questions about their lives and question my judgments if they arise. I'm gonna try and get out of the bubble I've created around myself out of my own fears and try to internalize realities different to my own. 

5. I'm gonna keep working on healing the wounds I carry within me. Because our country obviously hasn't healed from centuries of oppression, on national scales, within the home, and within the self. It starts with the self. It starts with the self.

More from Better World