Hope and Change

Right now it’s mid-afternoon on Wednesday and I’m sitting in a coffee shop on the Upper East Side. I have a steaming mug of peppermint tea in front of me and I’m snugly secure in a sweater I “borrowed” from my boyfriend this morning; the sweater smells like him and it makes me feel safe, like he always does, like he did this morning when we woke up and read the news, and he held me in his arms and stroked my hair while I cried. I’m choking back tears now as these words pour out. I’ve been, on some level, choking back tears all day.

So many things have changed since my last words here. I never intended to take such a break from blogging, and there were days I would open up a new draft and think “this is it,” only to get distracted by another errand, another odd job, another meeting, another everything. I thought that leaving the 9-5 world would free up time for me but instead things have stayed just as busy, only this time I’m running around the city rather than sitting behind a desk. I’ve literally never been happier in my life choices, if scared and a little more than intimidated. This busyness in my life feels like early spring, where I’m planting all of these seeds that I hope to grow in the next year and beyond. I don’t mind the waiting, you see. I do mind not knowing the end result.

That brings us back to this morning. When I woke up and saw that CNN hadn’t changed the color of the map since I’d gone to bed. When I read texts from E and G and when I spoke to my sister. When it hit me that this is what we’re moving forward with as a country. I would bet you that some of my politics would surprise you, since as the daughter of a a police officer I have a lot of strong feelings on gun rights, states rights and the political elite. But this election stopped being about policy and progress a long time ago. The election atmosphere became toxic, exposing our shortcomings as a young nation and how far we still have to go to consider ourselves a true superpower in the world we currently live in. I thought the key to that was to continue with progress, not set ourselves back 30 years. I still think I am right. More people thought I was wrong.

I have so many more stories to tell here in the coming days, like why I’m no longer at a desk job, and what I’m doing instead, and what it’s like to blow up your whole life for a dream and watch the pieces fall like ashes on a windy day. I have stories about waking up in need of time with your best friends before remembering that most of them don’t live in brunch distance anymore. But I can’t tell those stories. Not yet. Not today. Soon, I promise. But I can’t today.

Today I can’t read the news because it makes me cry, and I can barely look at children on the streets without wanting to apologize for something I tried to prevent, if only through my lone ballot. But today I’m also inspired by everyone around me who feels the same way. The people that voted for the first time, the people that voted from across the world, the people who recognize our shortcomings as a nation after this long and extraordinarily arduous election. The lotus flower only grows in mud, and the sun always rises on the worst of times. Right now we’re in a tumultuous time of uncertainty and also an uncharacteristic level of hope from people who have been walking around today the same way I’ve been. There are good things coming for us out of this awful moment in our young history. I don’t mind the waiting, you see. I do mind the not knowing the end result.

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