rachel twelmeyer


This is still it

hillaryrc

I cried myself to sleep last night, and so my eyes are puffy and itchy this morning. We failed to elect a leader that will promote goodness, equality, and love, and my son will be five years old before we get to the end of this. I know it won’t last forever, but it’s gonna be long and heartbreaking.

The sun came up this morning, which was a slight surprise as last night all the hope in the world seemed to have magically and inexplicably evaporated.

Yet despite the sadness and the emptiness I feel, I trust that this is still the moment for us, for women, for love, for beauty, growth, and progress. Everything that Hillary represented, and all the hope we invested in her, still stands; and though it may be shaken and dismayed – we are the ones who provide the structure and the strength to that future we ache for, the female future Hillary stood for, and the future we want for our daughters and for our sons. Sometimes it seems easier to have a crusade: to make posters, wear buttons, and chant in front of a banner. But most of the time we campaign for things that may never have a clever hashtag, or a cool t-shirt, or even a collective name: just waking up and diving in and doing good. It seems so much easier to blast our message, to condemn those that oppose it, and to claw till our fingers are raw. But we might just have to love, to care, to be soft and uncompromising, instead of hard and abrasive.

As I cried myself to sleep last night, despite the concerns about friends losing their health care or being deported – in fact it’s hard to sidestep imagining all the ways our leadership could screw us in the next four years – the deepest sadness I felt was for the execution of all the delicious feminine hope that was radiating across the nation for women and girls. I felt crushed that our female representative – the one who was ready to blast right through that glass ceiling – had not been elected, and even worse, that someone who has denigrated women so egregiously has assumed the role as leader of us all.

So we have to fight even harder than we did when we had a united cause. And the fighting may not even look like fighting, it may look like the drudgery of our normal lives. It may look like a fatiguing repetition of “be kind, be good, be decent – whatever you do be decent.” From today, this fight isn’t women against men, and not even bigot versus non-bigot, it’s just those of us who are heart-broken and wary slogging it out to make the good and bright things in this world our rallying call. After yesterday, we don’t really have another option. If we can’t have a woman in the White House, we must be the woman in our own house who is championing for human rights and decency, and caring for our fellow man. If universal healthcare is repealed, then we must be the ones to step in and care for our friends and neighbors. I know that freshly baked bread doesn’t pay the medical bills or cure an ear infection, but it matters.  Last night when my heart was hurting, I called my mom and asked her to console me. She’s the strongest woman I know, and despite the tumult of this election, she will continue to be the strongest woman I know, and that makes a difference.

As mothers and aunts and sisters and friends, we have to be the force for good that permeates our families and every corner of this nation.

 

Thanks for letting me preach. Last night, I kept asking my husband, “What if this really happens? What are we going to do?” I even looked up jobs in London. But life isn’t over; my baby boy still needs to eat, he still needs naps and cuddles, and he’s still going to smile at me, and laugh, and radiate joy. This is still the moment we have been waiting for. I’m so sad that Hillary’s election to the presidency is not the impetus behind which all women can rally and rejoice. But hell, if Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the oval office is what sounds the clarion call for women and men everywhere to stand up and change the world from our own house on up to the White House (instead of the other way around), so be it. Bring it on. This is it.

I’m still in mourning. My heart is broken. But this can’t be the end, this has to be – has to be – the dawn of something good.

 

Other good places on the subject

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