Oof. That one hurt.
If you’re coming here for funny anecdotes about Edmonton this isn’t the place today. Instead I’m blogging about our neighbours to the south and the Hillary loss.
I can’t even compose my feelings, so this might be a big mess of words, but I needed an outlet for my emotions.
All day Tuesday I was confident, the polls had promised a Hillary victory. And these aren’t just polls that are put out by left-leaning sites or media, it was almost guaranteed that Clinton would win by everyone. And as we look back now, no one can remember a time when the polls have been so off. By the time the numbers started rolling in, I stayed hopeful. Surely we all knew the south and some of the east coast would be voting Trump, but Clinton would pull through.
Then it became obvious where it was heading. I couldn’t take my eyes off the NBC broadcast, Twitter or news sites. I constantly refreshed fivethirtyeight.com (who predicted Hillary had a 70% + chance of winning at the beginning of the night and have rarely, if ever, been wrong in their predictions) and hoped their chances for Hillary would turn back up instead of plummeting like they were all night. But it never happened.
I spent the night oscillating between angry, sad and confused with brief moments of optimism and resignation in there. I went to bed and fell asleep around 2:30am, but had a restless night and wanted to constantly check my phone to see if anyone on Twitter or the New York Times app said it was all a miscount and Hillary really won. I refrained until about 7:15am and faced the new reality.
And now I’m just tired.
I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of being sad. I’ve spent so much time being angry during this year and a half (+) election cycle. So much hate and anger has been thrown around by all sides and I’m just so tired.
Last week on Saturday Night Live, during the cold open, there was a moment when Alec Baldwin as Trump and Kate McKinnon as Clinton broke character to say that this was making them feel gross. I literally teared up. I felt gross, this election cycle just kept pushing and pushing this vitriol at us and we never stopped for a second to acknowledge what it was doing to us.
Click to the 6:40 mark to see the part I’m talking about
I’m tired of being attacked for my beliefs and having to defend those beliefs. I’m tired of being hated for being a feminist and being told that feminists are just “angry cunts” and “bitches” and to shut up because we’ve achieved equality. Because we haven’t. So many people did not vote for Hillary because she was a woman and they thought that women are too emotional or not smart enough for the office. And when a man can have 10+ sexual harassment claims against him and boast that because he’s famous he can “grab [women] by the pussy” and still be elected to the highest office in the world, I don’t know how you can even think that we have achieved equality.
I’m tired of hearing about Hillary’s goddamn emails.
I can go forever without hearing the word libtard ever again.
I’m tired of the media doing a shitty job of covering both these campaigns.
I’m angry with every American who stayed home because they didn’t like either candidate.
I’m tired of defending minorities and immigrants and women and so many other groups against those who have accepted the hateful remarks of the President Elect as being normal or remotely decent.
I’m tired of people telling me that as a Canadian it shouldn’t matter to me, because it does. This election ran the global news cycle for over a year, avoidance for someone who participates in social media and reads the news was impossible. And one look at the dive the stock markets took after it was apparent Trump was the winner shows us that this is going to have repercussions on all of us.
Aside from that, I’m scared for the minorities in the US that are already facing repercussions for being “other” in the country they call home. To see some of the things happening in the days after the election, click here or if you can stomach it, Shaun King is tweeting what I’m sure is just a small portion of the horrible things happening across the US.
I’m sad because by voting in Trump, the majority of the most powerful country in the world is saying that they’re okay with his hate speech, and that they’re fine with banning anyone that doesn’t look like him from the country.
I’m just so tired.
Wednesday morning I woke up sad and angry. I spent less time on social media and the internet yesterday because I couldn’t handle any of it anymore. I wandered aimlessly around the mall because it was something to do and got my mind off things. In the bathroom at the mall a teenage girl watched me as I washed my hands, then as I was drying my hands she whispered to ask me if I had a tampon for her friend, I did and dug through my purse to find her one. I was struck by how good felt to help her. Normally I wouldn’t think anything of it, but for some reason being able to do the smallest act of kindness made me happy. Maybe I was just happy to feel something other than negative yesterday.
By the time evening came I felt good enough to turn on the tv and watched some of my favourite nightly shows and hoped to laugh, instead I started crying.
Sad tears because of this
And then more tears while watching Seth Meyers. Some sad, but mostly ones of hope
By the time I woke up on Thursday I knew I wanted to make a change and stop being negative, to stop being so cynical and to stop letting myself feel this way. Because this is happening and I can’t live like this for the next four years. I realized that these aspects of my life are not making me a good person and it’s not doing good for anyone.
And if I’m being honest here, I have absolutely no one else to blame for this but myself. It’s me who seeks out news stories and tweets about this election. It’s me who chooses to react the way I do and who lets this stuff effect me like it does. I’m the one who seeks out news stories or follow people on social media that I know will rile me up. And why? I don’t feel good. If I were to see someone else doing what I do, I’d judge the hell out of them.
Instead of reading another think-piece about what went wrong or what could of happened if only x-y-z happened instead of a-b-c, I’m going to pick myself up and be the goddamn change I want to see. I don’t want to engage in stupid arguments. I’ll make an effort to control my cynical and/or pithy remarks (this won’t be easy since it’s second nature). I’ll do my damn best to make me feel better about what I’m doing with myself and what I can do to make the next couple of years better for myself and others. I refuse to let any of this make me feel angry, sad, tired or gross anymore.
I realize, these are big words. And if I know anything about myself I know I’m not good at following my intentions unless I make a plan. So here’s what I’ve got so far:
- Stop visiting sites, listening to podcasts or reading news stories that I know will make me angry.
- Stop looking to justify my opinions or arguments by just seeking out others that validate them.
- Explore all sides and educate myself.
- Don’t engage in arguments when I know myself or the other person isn’t willing to listen to both sides.
- Stand up for what I believe in and hold others accountable for their actions
- Stop engaging with media, sites, social media accounts, etc if I don’t believe in what they’re doing. First up, People Magazine. As a gossip lover, this one might be hard but not really because they’re really just low-tier celebrity suck up gossip anyways.
- Trust my gut and stop doing anything that makes me feel gross, tired, angry or sad.
- Stop being bitchy or negative if it’s not constructive or I don’t have any ideas for change or solutions.
And finally, this one isn’t so much related to this particular election, but I think it’s important because it’s one of the top contributors to that gross feeling I spoke about. I’m going to stop passing judgement or being negative about others just to be a bitch or to try to be funny. I’m going to start calling people out on this kind of stuff, because we’re fucking adults. And I hate when myself and others get judgy like we’re still in high school and feel it’s okay to make fun of someone for posting a photo of themselves on Instagram or for wearing an outfit we think is ugly. It feels fine in the moment, but I always end up feeling like shit for tearing someone else down to make myself feel superior for a second. And I think you do too. We’re all out here doing our damn best and it’s hard enough without others throwing judgement on top of everything else to make ourselves feel better about something we’re insecure about. It’s unbecoming. So if I see something, I’m going to say something. I’m not going to lie, I know it’s going to be hard for me because I’ve done this for as long as I remember, but I need to make an effort. And I hope everyone calls me out when I do this.
Anyways, thanks for reading this if you got to the end. I had to get this out, even if it’s just here for me to revisit this post every once and awhile to keep these goals alive and remind myself how I feel right now.
If you found this helpful, great. If not, that’s cool too. I welcome constructive, positive and helpful discussion in the comments.