This past week a lot of people have been asking me how I’m doing. They know I was heavily invested in this election, and because they care about me they wonder how I’m coping with the way it turned out. The day after was horribly rough, I spent about six straight hours on the couch with tissues next to me, and since then it’s been up and down. I have been terribly sad, angry, depressed, heartbroken, ashamed, and confused in more or less equal measure. But at the bottom of it, it feels like there’s a part of me that’s still waiting to wake up on Wednesday, November 9th. I have finally managed to identify this feeling, however small and irrational it may be, as hope.
It’s the small hope that there will come a day that I can wake up to a country where we don’t believe that a man as crass and bullying as Donald Trump is the best representative of the United States and the person most fit to lead its people. That men like him will NOT fail endlessly upwards despite their misdeeds, their failures, their rudeness, and their complete lack of empathy.
It’s the small hope that there will come a day that I can wake up to a country where we truly understand and support each other across our beautifully diverse nation. Where our personal circumstances don’t take precedence over the good of a nation, and a charismatic swindler cannot convince people to vote for him by pitting them against their fellow Americans.
It’s the small hope that there will come a day that I can wake up to a country where women’s work and ambition is seen on its own merits and not as an implicit sign of some kind of devious mind.
It’s the small hope that there will come a day that I can wake up to a country that uses its position in the world to lead the efforts to fund scientific endeavors to help improve the lives of millions around the planet, and preserve our world for future generations. That works to invest in a future instead of attempting to drag us endlessly back to a past we’ve outgrown.
It’s the small hope that there will come a day that I can wake up to a country where I feel uncomplicated joy and hope for my future, and the future of whatever family I will have. Where I can feel confident and assured that my friends and family will all receive fair treatment under the law, and that their personal lives will not be threatened by their own government.
I understand that I will not be waking up to a country like that anytime soon. Not for years, most likely. And that kind of small hope starts to feel a bit like insanity under circumstances like this, like something in me was broken in a way and is trying to drag the rest of my mind down with it. But as the days go on, and the small hope stays there, perhaps I will find ways to start to make it feel more likely. It will be a hard thing to nourish, buried underneath all the other emotions that are so much stronger right now, but I still do HOPE and I am doing my best to take comfort in that.
I hope that I wake up to see all of you with me on that Wednesday, November 9th. Whenever it may be.