On the morning of November 8th, I stumbled out of bed before the sun, laced up my Nikes and headed out the door to Ashford Park Elementary school. I arrived to a snaking line of quiet people. I hoped they didn’t mind my sweaty face. At least I brushed my teeth.
A few minutes later, a kind woman named Janice handed me a voter card. Maybe it was the endorphins kicking in, but there was something profoundly special to be had by standing in a voting booth at 7:15 am.
Let’s recount. I ran here. No one stopped me on the street. I never feared for my safety jogging in the dark. I arrived at the polling place. No one hassled me. I was handed a voter card. No one tried to keep me from expressing my opinion. And then I clicked a button on a screen for the candidate of my choice. No one forced my hand. And you know what, I got to choose a WOMAN as President of the United States of America.
No matter which side of the aisle you sit on, let’s not forget how incredible important every step of that routine was. You were given the freedom to make your own decision. Your choice wasn’t dictated to you by your race, your gender, your religion or someone else’s opinion. Your choice was in fact, yours.
November 9th was a little tougher to swallow. I’m sad. I’m angered. I’m tired. As the sun set yesterday, I forced myself to pull those Nikes back out of the closet and lace up, because, hey, endorphins.
This morning, my outlook is a little different than it was 48 hours ago. Maybe I’m reaching a new state of grief 😉 Here’s the conclusion: no man or woman in the White House is going to dictate how I spend today, tomorrow, or next week and nor should they any of us.
The best way to move forward is to choose to move forward. For me, that means I’ll choose to love, including those with whom I disagree or don’t understand. I’ll choose to listen, including to ideas I find troublesome. I’ll choose to talk and read and learn and act. I’ll choose to lift up the little girl with a dream and tell her she’s valued, she’s equal, she matters and she can do whatever the heck she wants to do. I’ll keep choosing.
We have work to do. It’s going to take time to put this one behind us. But guess what, we all get play a part in that work. We get to choose how to move forward. For millions of people around the world, choosing isn’t a reality. Let’s not forget that. This isn’t Donald’s work. Or Hillary’s work. It’s all of ours. Let’s put on our big girl pants and choose to make the world a better place. Together.