I told myself that on Friday I wasn’t going to go on my phone or social media at all. That was the plan. I give myself a C- for execution on this plan. I did alright for most of the day, but one glance at Twitter on my lunch break sucked me in and then I couldn’t stop looking at all things related to the new president and inauguration.
I held myself together and pushed away negative feelings bubbling up until I read that the pages for LGBT rights, civil rights, health care, and climate change were removed under “Issues” on the White House website. I don’t know why I was hurt by that, I should have seen it coming. Those are not issues this administration handles with thought or grace. But on a very emotional day, it felt like the work of the last administration was wiped out in one fell swoop. I know that’s not the case- but it just felt that way in the moment.
I started crying on the T. Not because I’m a special snowflake who thinks everyone deserves a safe space (I am and they do), but because I fucking care about all of humanity AND OUR PLANET. I started crying because unlike the troll who just became President, I have empathy, a moral compass, a heart, and a brain.
You’d think I would have shut off my phone after this. But no. I kept reading. I kept reading the outrage and concerns. Why? It fucking fuels my fire. It makes sure I’ll never become complacent. It ensures that I’ll never accept #45’s presidency as okay. It guarantees that I won’t normalize this bullshit.
We all deserve better than this- the people who didn’t vote for him and the people who did vote for him.
I will not “give him a chance.” He doesn’t deserve it. I’m going make sure (along with the rest of the majority of this country) that his presidency is an uphill battle every single damn day met with descent, challenges to his decisions/viewpoints/actions, and extremely constructive feedback. I will never respect him. He hasn’t earned it. He has pretty much done the opposite.
I might have felt low on Friday. But on Saturday, I felt powerful. If Friday was for mourning- Saturday was for rising up. Saturday was one of the most inspiring days I’ve ever known. The amount of love and strength shown in the peaceful protests across the U.S. and the world was amazing. I unfortunately had to work and so I couldn’t march, but it gave me life seeing floods of women and men with clever signs coming into where I work. On my train ride home from work, literally everyone on the train was talking to each other- no one had headphones in- everyone was buzzing with excitement, trashing on Trump, and throwing out a good dose of woman power. It made me feel alive.
I’ve read ignorant remarks by women and men who are against the march- people who say “but Trump hasn’t even done anything” or “but women are equal to men” or “where were all of you on November 8.” These people aren’t paying attention. Trump had done enough damage with his bigoted, sexist, cruel, and ignorant words prior to him putting his hand on the bibles on Friday. Women in this country, on paper, appear to be equal to men to many. But in reality, they are not treated as such. If you don’t see this, then you should consider yourself so lucky to have been raised with such privilege. AND lastly, where were we on November 8? We were VOTING for Hillary Clinton. Need I remind you that she won the popular vote by THREE MILLION votes.
When the “leader of the Free World” is someone who doesn’t stand up for what is right- someone who doesn’t outright condone white supremacists, someone who mocks the disabled, someone who talks about taking advantage of women sexually- I’m sorry, but we MUST march to show that we’re not okay with any of that. It’s not okay!
Saturday provided me with much needed comfort and encouragement. I felt really proud to be from Massachusetts. And I felt proud to be an American, again.
Also, being in a better, more positive mental head space allowed me to reflect on the past 48 hours. Not only did we witness a peaceful transfer of power, but we witnessed a nation wide peaceful protest. Let’s not forget how lucky we are that we live in a country where this can happen.
Sunday gave way to more writing and reflection. I found myself asking, what can I do to keep this momentum going? I stumbled across the women’s march’s “10 Actions / 100 Days” campaign while scrolling on my phone. A-HA. So perfect. It is small, peaceful, and respectful, actions that we can all do to fight for the things we care about. I’m really excited about it. Major change, fighting the patriarchy, and doing something about global warming seems VERY overwhelming when you feel like a drop in the bucket. But this campaign hopefully will be things I can do to feel like I’m doing something.
And then I saw Aziz Ansari’s opening monologue from SNL the night before (no, I can’t stay up that late on Saturday nights- plus, on Sunday, by watching it recorded, I can fly by the commercials!). Was it sheer perfection or what? He killed it. It genuinely touched my heart and made my eyes all teary at certain points. And it made me laugh! It was everything I needed today.
This weekend I drank lots of coffee, wrote pages upon pages of my thoughts, lived braless in my oversized wonder woman sweatshirt and leggings, and existed with my hair thrown on top of my head in a messy bun. This is the style and uniform of a woman ready to handle some shit. Lemme tell ya.
Rebellions are definitely built on hope- thanks for that Star Wars. I have hope in the goodness of humanity- a hope that makes me feel like we’ll all get through this. Friday was tough, but the days following have reminded me of the impact we the people have when we’re politically active and not spectators in our democracy.