The sun rose this morning. That was a nice surprise. Then again, we are a strong people, us Americans; I think the outcome of this election even though confounding to myself and many others, has the potential to bring us all closer together rather than tear us further apart.
I know that I have been naïve nearly my whole life by how rampant racism and sexism is in our culture, what a gift. Sadly, I was thwacked in the face last night by my ignorance while watching the NY Times voter response needle ticking closer to the red section. I watched as states within our blessed country lit up to a valiant blue, or blood red. Then, it was mostly all red. I was shocked. I could not believe that citizens of the world, let alone glorious America would actively vote for that candidate, but the proof was right in front of me. They did. Real-life prejudice was literally beaming off of the screen screaming into my face saying, “We won’t allow a woman to run our country!” That’s what I heard. I am sure that my Black, Mexican, and Muslim friends heard something else, but as a white woman, that is what I heard.
I grew up a tomboy, and am still a proud one today. I love being stronger and faster than boys, and I have been my whole life. For example, I was the only girl on the Chaparral Elementary school flag-football team in the 6th grade, and I had the most interceptions on the team outright. I was also involved in a bit of a love triangle at the end of the season trip to Disneyland, but that is a story for another day. Moreover, from nearly day one, I have always wanted to be equal or better than the opposite sex, and that is why the outcome of this election hurts so much.
Miraculously, when I woke up this morning a surge of relief came over me, because a.) The rapture did not take us, and b.) I believe the election shook America up enough for us to start paying attention to each other. We have to. We have to come together to get through this.
I liken it to prepping for a race. I usually spend months training, eating correctly, and adjusting every other part of my life to accommodate each work out, then come race day, I'm ready. I might have the race of my life, but another competitor, or many, has a better day. Or, everything goes wrong, I get a flat tire, my goggles get punched off my face, or I spend minutes dealing with stomach distress, and even more competitors beat me. Or, I am the fastest on the day, and medals and accolades follow after the finsh line. Nevertheless, the common thread is that I am never by myself, and there is always another race to prepare for.
I can’t take any of it for granted. I need to appreciate my family for understanding my volatile moods, my co-workers for cheering me on, my coach for designing every work out, and my competitors for challenging me. That is what we all need to remember right now. We will need each other these next four years to lean on and learn from every day. All of us.