It feels like the end of the world. I want to lie on the floor for the next four years. (The couch takes too much effort and offers too much comfort.) Many of my friends are fired up and mobilizing, but I’m not there yet. I’m still lying on the floor.
I have lived under many presidents I did not like, respect, or trust, namely Reagan and a couple of Bushes. Growing up during the Cold War, there were many nights that I couldn’t sleep out of fear of nuclear war. But this feels different. It seems like our entire identity as a nation has been shattered.
I have a friend who grew up under Apartheid in South Africa. When a group of us were lamenting the election in a group discussion, she said something along the lines of, “Hey, I have lived under an oppressive regime. People still go to work, take care of their kids, cook dinner. Life does go on.”
George Takei echoed her sentiment in this tweet:
As hopeless as I feel, it is the people who have actually lived under terrible conditions that are the only ones giving me anything resembling hope.
It’s not a very large hope, but it’s all I have. Tomorrow the house will still need to be vacuumed, because I will still have a house. On Monday the kids will have to be driven to school, because my driving rights will not have been taken away (hopefully), my gas tank is full, the roads will still be open, and school will still exist.
I have never been as terrified and absolutely devastated about where my country is going. But I have to remember, we aren’t there yet. As convinced as I am that the world as I know it is circling the drain, and no matter how little hope I have for the future, there is a distinction: our world hasn’t ended yet, and if all my worst fears come to pass, we will still have to feed children, get dressed, and find a way to make it through.
It’s not a lot to hold onto, but it’s enough to get me off the floor today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.