Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Loss of Innocence

Donald Trump has been named the 45th President of the United States.

This is a post about how that makes me feel.

I know political posts can be annoying at best, hurtful and divisive at worst, so I understand if you don't wish to read any further.

I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. And it wasn't because the autumn air was crisp and my bed was so perfectly warm, with our two dogs snuggled beneath. And it wasn't a result of staying up until half past one, a glass of forgotten Merlot on the coffee table and a racing heart in my chest.

It was because I've never been so overwhelmingly sad.

I cried this morning as I read the official news of Donald Trump's victory. I cried harder when I thought about how his presidency could affect my friends, my family, and my country's future. Would gay couples now be denied the right to marry? What about refugees fleeing for their lives? Would they be sent away? Was rape culture not only going to continue but thrive in a country where the leader thinks it's perfectly acceptable to grab women by their pussies?

It's sickening.

For the record, I don't see Hillary Clinton with rose-colored glasses.

Deep down, I can't shake my moderate core. And I still identify as a practicing Catholic. I voted for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. And while my political beliefs have admittedly started to lean left over the past four years, I know I would have considered voting Republican this election had the candidate been someone else.

But Hillary Clinton grew on me. Not just because she was "not as bad" as Donald Trump but because she's intelligent, brave, and tenacious. She somehow kept calm during those terrible debates. She showed grace and patience during this election. She inspired me.

This morning, I mourned something bigger than a Clinton defeat. I mourned the loss of America as I believed it to be.

As the electoral college results began to roll in, I watched in horror and disbelief.

And today, I had to face the heartbreaking realization that Americans are much more racist, sexist, selfish, and hateful than I could have ever imagined. Apparently "making America great again" was worth the price of so many minorities' rights and dignity. It was apparently worth blindly following a leader with no experience and no plans.

I'm an optimistic person who likes to believe the best of people, and today, I just couldn't. It felt like part of my being had been broken.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I hope to feel more like myself again and to have the energy to figure out an action plan for how I can help spread positivity and progress. I saw that a coworker of mine decided to donate to a bunch of charities that will benefit the groups threatened by Donald Trump. How awesome is that?

I know our country will continue marching forward. We won't be ruined by this tyrannical man.

But this evening, I need to do some grieving for my own loss of innocence.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Worst Fear (Well, One of Them)

On Saturday morning, I usually drive downtown to work out at my company's gym.

This past weekend was no exception, as I cheerfully whipped my car into the garage and up to the second level. There weren't many spots left, so I pulled into one of our "Fuel Efficient Vehicles Only" spaces.

When we first moved into our new building, I wouldn't dare park in any of these spots. I am a rule follower to the extreme, and I figured you needed to drive a Prius or something to park there.

Of course, it didn't take long for me to notice that I was the only person in the universe following this rule, and considering gas-guzzling SUVs and giant trucks were among the crew parking in these spaces, my little Corolla seemed to meet these low standards.

Anyways! So back to yesterday morning.

I got out of my car and was walking toward the stairs when a guy called out, "Hey! I didn't know they made a hybrid Corolla."

Oh. My. God.

I was totally being called out! This was my worst fear!
My face grew red and I stammered, "Uh, they don't? At least I don't think so. I mean, my car has good gas mileage. It's pretty efficient."

"Ooooohhhkay..." he said sarcastically, and even though I knew he was joking around, I was annoyed.

"Hold that elevator!" I replied, choosing to ride down to the ground level with him rather than taking the stairs as I normally do. "Listen, SUVs and huge cars like that usually park there. Everyone does what I just did. It's not a big deal."


He looked so smug! I hated this random man.

So, I stopped irrationally explaining myself and just lied.

"I work here, and they told us it's okay," I (sort of) bluffed. "Okay?"

"Ooohhhkaayy!" he winked, waving goodbye and strolling toward his group of friends. "See ya."

The nerve.

What a jerk.