Like so many in the wake of the presidential election, as an American, a liberal, and a democrat, I am left to wonder what I should do now. I have an almost overwhelming need to do something, but I am not yet certain what that will look like or how it will manifest.
The irony of this situation is that I have been rudderless the last several years. I have poked around and done different things. Many of these pursuits have been passing interests that have sputtered into nothing at all; others have been gigantic shipwrecks that I am still trying to avoid drowning from (and succeeding at for the most part).
To have a direction, a goal, is something I have searched for, and longed for, since becoming a stay at home mom. Though raising a human being is, arguably, one of the most important jobs in the entirety of history and the world, I (most ashamedly on certain days), wanted something a little different, something that I felt had a direct impact on the world, rather than a secondary impact based on how well I raised my child (though that too is important, obviously).
I wanted to have my cake and eat it too… and as most people with similar situations, I never did much about it.
And then the election. Before the election I would have avoided speaking about my political and ideological views. The flagship of my stance was my avoidance in telling people who I supported in the election and why; however, since the election, I have realized that my voice, though limited to those few I know and the few readers I have here, is a powerful one, and by not speaking up, there is a possibility that I had a hand (no matter how small) in our current political (national) situation.
Therefor *deep breath*:
I support Hillary Clinton.
Not only am I #withher, but I am #stillwithher.
I doubt very much that she will ever again be as central in politics as she was these last two years, but what she does and what she has done, continues to inspire me.
When the going is incredibly tough and bordering on impossible, she continued(s) to fight. I know the tiredness that stems from being a woman in a male-centric world. A week ago, I would have never talked about the sexism that I have known and seen my whole life… put on a happy face, understand there is progress etc…. but I am done with that way of approaching this world.
I am done with being a people-pleaser.
Because, I AM exhausted.
I am so tired of fighting against social norms and expectations, but, because we as a nation and world are nowhere near where I thought we were in regards to equal rights for women, or African Americans, or Latinos, or *fill in the blank here, you know who you are*… I am going to keep fighting in hopes that one day I can stop being tired.
Because if Hillary can continue fighting, then, damnit, so can I.
The Yellow Brick Road
But what does that look like?
Therein lies that most important question.
Do I start speaking out? Do I start posting things on my twitter? Do I go back to facebook (after a year away) and start engaging with others… including those whose views are, at times, violently opposed to mine?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am beyond scared to stir the pot. I have read the stories of doxing and that shit is terrifying. I have a young son! The mama instinct in me roars at the thought that my political viewpoints, or social viewpoints, will be expressed at the expense of my son’s safety.
And then I hear what I am saying (or read what I am typing in this case), and I am horrified. Sickened. Disgusted.
Because the very fact that I am scared to voice an opinion because of the possibility of a negative fallout is the exact opposite of the very ideology that created this country.
In other words: unacceptable.
Because my message is simple: all humans matter and love trumps hate.
That kind of message shouldn’t cause violence or stalking or internet trolls, but it does… as I am sure you all are aware. Of course, deciding to come out of the shadows is not really doing anything… yet, but it is a first step towards something.
Where do I go from here, then?
I have fluttered on and off of the idea of going back to journalism, in a grassroots way at least. I am a news junky, so perhaps I could take what I am reading, analyze it and put it in historical perspectives. I don’t know if that will make any difference in changing people’s minds towards inclusiveness and understanding, but maybe it will?
Of course, I realize that kind of blogging is hardly be popular.
I know, through interacting with online blogs for awhile, that most people want messages of hope… they want to feel good after reading a post.The uplifting stuff gets clicks, ask any blogger out there. The negative is largely ignored.
Unfortunately, sometimes that feel good moment is at the expense of thinking.
(Ouch. That was hard to write… still haven’t gotten rid of the “I don’t want to offend people stigma yet.”)
So, if I was to follow a path of journalism in the way that I am imagining it, likely, I will lose a few of you in the process, but maybe I will gain a few more. I honestly don’t know. I DO know I want to do something to promote critical thinking, thereby leading (as it always has and will), to acceptance and understanding. That is the direction I want to help our country move towards (after being shown we have such a very far way to go).
The next step is figuring out how my contribution will look.
What about you, dear readers? Do you find yourself called to action, and if so, in what way? How are you doing it? What is your reality like now?
And if not a call to action, what is your reaction to this post 11/9 world?
What are your thoughts?