Tuesday evening this was me, ready to shatter a glass ceiling into a billion pieces as we welcomed our first female president elect
Yes, I was pantsuit clad and beyond the moon, round my neck the last piece of jewelry my Da gave to my Nana before he passed, which was then handed down to me when she passed — a heart with each of their surnames engraved, and birthstones embedded, in it. Those surnames are important because, in an age when women were expected to lose their identity in their husbands, my Nana never did, and my Da never wanted her to. That was how I was raised. And I wanted that piece of them to be with me when we celebrated the moment when women finally reached a level of equality we could only dream of before. And then I watched in horror as that all fell to pieces.
For most of the evening I was at an embassy event, trying very hard to keep my abject terror to myself. And failing miserably. But then we went home and watched with our children. I had one child who, literally, got sick because of what was happening. And another, our daughter, the most kind and compassionate person I know, cry because our country — the country we serve overseas — just elected a man who dismisses her humanity and would treat her as an object to be used and tossed aside given half the chance. Such betrayal. Such disbelief.
Yesterday I grieved. Hard. I cried. And, thankfully, I was helped through the day by friends and family as we vented our disbelief and fear to each other. And laughed, and then cried some more. And when I watched Secretary Clinton’s gracious and eloquent concession speech I was even more mesmerized by her then I’d been before. And then she said this
And I broke into ugly tears. Because THAT is the country I want my daughter and sons to grow up in. THAT is the leader I want them to look up to and emulate. Not someone who says not only is it perfectly acceptable to grab women by the pussy but, hell, men are entitled to that.
I still cannot wrap my head round the fact that my country, the country our family has proudly served overseas for going on twelve years now, elected a man who I would not leave my daughter alone with and a man who thinks I, as a bi woman, should be subjected to electroshock therapy. How? How did this happen? How did we get here? I’m going to leave the answer to that question to people more capable of answering it than I am, like Van Jones, whose voice and reason I am even more grateful for than I was before the Tuesday that flipped our country upside down.
Yesterday I sobbed. Today I’ve cried. But I also steeled myself. I have a six mile run to do, I considered slinking back to my bedroom and burying myself under my covers with a glass of wine and a good book. Because that sounds so appealing right now. But that was yesterday. Today is today.
And today I will run. I will run to remind myself that I’m a goddamn fighter. To remind myself that I, like Secretary Clinton, have a fucking spine of steel. To remind myself that I don’t back down. Ever. That my voice, our voices, are needed now more than ever. To remind myself that I have children to protect — not just mine but a nation’s — and I will fight for them with every ounce of strength I have in my body. And my body is strong. It’s powerful. I will run to remind myself that I don’t run from my problems, I run into them, head on. I run to remind myself that I am a fucking force of nature and nobody — not the misogynistic psychopath who is now our president elect, or his bigot of a running mate — can take that from me. I OWN it. It is MINE. And I will never surrender. We are warriors, and it’s time to pick up our proverbial swords.