I awoke on Wednesday morning feeling like I was living in an alternate universe. I felt deflated and exhausted since I had fallen asleep crying a mere four hours earlier. I replayed the vision of how I expected Election night to go - dancing to Chaka Khan’s ‘I’m Every Woman’ on the eve we elected our first female President. I imagined going into my office at Planned Parenthood and embracing all of my amazing coworkers. We did it. We were heard. We made them see how important our work is. We were validated.
I began to cry again as reality set in.
I spent that morning wallowing. I ate my feelings. I took the results so personally. More personally than I’ve ever taken an outcome before. As I passed by a group of older white men talking casually about how ‘they’re really going to have to build that wall now!’ I thought to myself, ‘How lovely it must be to be this unaffected.’ In that moment, I felt the weight of the consequences from the decision our country had made. I felt the abrupt dismissal of so many already marginalized and oppressed people- people of color, women, the LGBTQ population, and people with disabilities.
Scrolling through social media was like an emotional roller coaster. Living in a conservative part of the country will do that to you. On one hand there were empowering messages about activism and enacting change, while others told me to get over it, that my generation was so used to winning things that I needed to stop being such a cry-baby.
But I’m not going to get over it.
And don’t call me a fucking cry-baby.
In that moment, I peeled myself off of my couch. I did my hair. I put on my pro-choice t-shirt and went to work at the place that has given me purpose since the beginning of the year. I talked with my amazing coworkers who were just as shell-shocked as I was. I cried more because I couldn't believe anyone would threaten to take this away from us.
On the way home, I saw a 17 year-old homeless and pregnant young person a coworker and I had been in contact with because she was seeking a resource to better understand how she was going to be a parent. Her belly was bigger and she looked healthy. I was happy for that, and then immediately overwhelmed because her child will be born into a world that will diminish their experience based on the child's race and/or gender.
That day was a day I'm glad I was able to get over myself and show up. I will show up tomorrow too and continue to do this job until some old white dude tells me I can't. I will continue to support women. I will continue to fight for my voice to be heard.
Come at me Trump.