At this point, this post is about two weeks overdue. And that’s because, well, the past two weeks have been...tough [at best]. I think I’ve effectively experienced all the stages of grief [multiple times over] with some pretty low lows and some average highs. I didn’t really plan to use this space to talk politics. In fact, I wanted to carve out this corner of the web to keep things light, but I feel like it would be dishonest if I were to avoid sharing with you what I have been feeling since the presidential election and just carry on with the “usual programming.”
By no means do I wish to dictate what is right or wrong. I’m just telling you the thoughts that have been going through my head lately. Totally up to you if you wish to keep reading. [I sure hope you do!]
At first, I was going to use this post to share with you everything that I was feeling, from anger [people crying regret that they didn’t vote] to fear [yes, those Day 1 of Trump’s America got to me] to disappointment [how could my fellow Americans have elected someone who I feel has explicitly incited and promoted all the -isms] and a whole range of other emotions. But that would take so long, and I don’t think a blog post is the best way to convey those sentiments.
Instead, having taken some time away from screens and actively trying to choose joy everyday, here’s where I’ve landed:
Back in February, I was asked to fill in this blank: “There are two kinds of people...” to which I responded, “Those who listen and those who don’t.” And I still believe that to be true. Admittedly, when I answered the question I was thinking of people like me, women and people of color whose voices often go unheard. But apparently, there’s a whole section of our country that feels unheard-a whole section of our country that lit up red. And I think now more than ever I -we- have to agree to listen to each other. And yes, that means people who disagree with me and yes, effectively, voted differently. So I have been actively seeking out news -real news- to try to understand the other side of this conversation. [If anyone has any correspondents or sites they would recommend, please comment below or shoot me a note].
Personally, I think we slip down a slippery slope when we start blocking and unfriending people who think differently than we do. I understand that others do so for a variety of valid reasons, but I firmly believe that we can only come to some sort of resolution if someone feels empathy for someone else’s experience. How can they do that if they can never hear our opinion (and us theirs)?
I still don’t know exactly how I wish to affect change, but I do have some ideas. What I can say is that I feel more lucky and empowered than ever, at the company for which I work, to be thinking about these questions at a time like this. And I’m nervously excited but ready to move forward.