We had such a wonderful party planned. We wore pantsuits and we got a Trump piñata for the kiddos and there was champagne and miniature hot sauce party favors, because Hillary Clinton loves her hot sauce. It’s been an ugly, ugly election cycle, but my friends and I promised ourselves: election day would be all about celebration. Just joy and laughter and coming together to celebrate. We were so confident . . .
I woke up on November 9th at 2:30 am face planted in my couch. I had fallen asleep there, crying. We had watched the acceptance speech and I wept into Jeremy’s chest. Bitter, ugly, heaving tears. I woke up at 2:30 tangled in my couch, and stumbled to bed. And I woke up again this morning, at a more reasonable hour. I turned over, snuggled into Jeremy, and wept again. Body-wracking tears. I fell asleep crying and I woke up crying.
I spent most of the morning feeling numb. Intermittently weeping. It felt like a nightmare. It couldn’t be real.
I’m sure many of you are feeling the same way.
Jeremy has been researching expatriation. He is really into Belize. I have other friends who are seriously talking about a California secession. California got it right this election, like we always do.
But I couldn’t think about any of that. I couldn’t think. It felt like physical trauma. I didn’t know how to make sense of it, how to accept this, how to move forward.
But then I had to face the world.
Damian had taken Waits the night before, so it was time for me to pick him up at school. The first time that I would see him. And I was trying to figure out how I could look into the eyes of my child, who I have promised never to lie to, and navigate a conversation about this. I felt so despondent.
Until I did it. I picked him up and we sat in the car together and I said, “Trump was elected. How does it make you feel?” He was fighting back tears, trying to be brave for his mama. But he asked me, “When will Trump start making my friends leave?” My sweet 6 year old baby is legitimately worried for the safety of his friends.
And that’s when everything changed for me. I realized that I couldn’t leave, I won’t run away and hide. And I felt my fire returning to my body. Because this isn’t about me. None of this is about me. It’s not about me or my trauma or my tears.
And now, I feel Lit Up from the inside.
And I want you to feel Lit Up too. I am ready to get radical, and I want you to be ready, too. Because when I looked around my party on election night, I was surrounded by Mexican Americans. Gay Americans. And a whole, whole lot of Nasty Women. And that’s what this is about right now.
So please, take care of yourselves, my friends. You will need your strength because a fight is on the horizon, and we ALL need to be there to meet it. We need your body, and your voice, and your action to fight for our black and brown brothers and sisters. Our queer community. Our Muslim friends and neighbors. We need to come together and we need to come strong.
That night there were four of us left by the time Clinton called to concede. So we opened the champagne that we had thought would be for celebrating, and instead we toasted to each other. We toasted to friendship. To community. To finding your tribe and holding them close.
I’ve been thinking about my mom a lot over this past week. Thinking about how she raised me to be a warrior, and to always fight for justice. She died when I was 9 and I know she would have loved so much to vote for a woman president.
But I’m honoring her today, by choosing love. I choose LIT UP, RADICAL LOVE.
And I’m ready to fight for it.
♥ ♥ ♥