When the tide started turning and it looked like Trump was going to take it, my gut realized the truth before my head. I still hoped for a chance. I still hoped for better for America. I still hoped for a game seven, when the Cubs were up by a landslide, and then the Indians fought back to tie the game, but then the Cubs still pulled through, even after a rain delay.
But I went to bed knowing the inevitable outcome: we weren’t going to win this one.
I knew because I have faced that disappointment again and again. I have learned that when it feels like the momentum is swinging the wrong way to read the writing on the wall. I have learned that the things I want most are usually the things I’m not going to get. I have learned that victories are few and far between, and that humans will disappoint me again and again. I have learned exactly what my mom always told me: life is unfair ― often cruelly so.
I have learned exactly what my mom always told me: life is unfair ― often cruelly so.
I wasn’t sure how to feel about Hillary Clinton. I’m from Orange County, California, a conservative stronghold. I’m from a conservative religious background. I’ve heard throughout my lifetime that the Clintons are corrupt. I remember Monica Lewinsky like she was my seventh grade best friend.
But I did know that I would never vote for a Trump America. I did know that I desperately want to see more female leaders. That my daughter needs to see female leaders. I did know that while Trump spent the majority of his lifetime in service to himself, Hillary Clinton spent the majority of hers in service to others. I did know that this election mattered, and that the outcome could change everything. I did know that my uncertainty over Hillary Clinton was far less than my certainty that I could never vote for a president who bragged about sexual assault.
But my certainty that a female could bring things to the presidency that our country desperately needs was solidified during Hillary’s concession speech. She came out smiling. She thanked her supporters. She comforted the people around her, offering them words of gratitude and hope when her entire life, and everything she had pushed through pneumonia and public humiliation and a philandering husband and endless criticism for, had crumbled before her eyes.
My certainty that a female could bring things to the presidency that our country desperately needs was solidified during Hillary's concession speech.
In that moment, watching her grace, dignity and warmth fill the room, I remembered: this is what females do. They get punched in the face. They get raped and beaten down and denied promotions and ridiculed and misunderstood and sexually harassed and denied their basic rights and cheated on. They get told they’re too aggressive, too ambitious, too nice, too mean, too fat, say sorry too much. And they keep on going. They get up again and again and make sure the people around them are okay. They wipe their tears and move forward like warriors.
It’s the gift that comes with oppression, the silver lining of being a gender that is constantly bending and shifting and sliding to work around the enormous walls (up next: one between the U.S. and Mexico!) society has set in their way. We don’t shatter glass ceilings; we beat them over and over again with a tiny resilient hammer until one day they crack, and the next they crack a little more. And we offer glasses of water and assistance and words of encouragement to everyone hammering around us as we continue to bang away.
We don’t shatter glass ceilings; we beat them over and over again with a tiny, resilient hammer until one day they crack, and the next they crack a little more.
There is no time for us to get beat up and lie on the mat, licking our wounds while we bleed out. There was no time for Hillary, even though she didn’t merely lose, she lost to someone who is pushing down on that glass ceiling with all 10 of his chubby fingers. She had to put on a brave face and take care of her people. She had to reassure the little girls of America that it would happen one day, even if today wasn’t that day. Females don’t get the luxury of wallowing; that’s for people who don’t have important work to do. We show up, every single day, listening and working and hoping and collaborating and dreaming, with our tiny hammers and resilient hearts.
And we know that one day, maybe soon and maybe not so soon, the outcomes will change. But until then, there is magic in the work.