Thoughts on the 2016 Election & Tips for Moving Forward

I know, I know – the last thing you probably want to hear is another opinion on this election.

I understand – I feel the same. So much so that I’m doing a total media detox this weekend during our trip and just focusing on the experience of living and traveling and seeing the world.
But before that I have a few things to get off my chest.
I’ll be fully honest this is more so for me than it may be for you, as this will help rid my mind of all the anxiety I’ve been feeling over this election.
Once it’s out on paper, or in this case – text, it’s done. No more dwelling on it all.
So first things first, we’re going to state the obvious facts: Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States.

Yup, I’ll give you another moment to let that sink in again.

Personally, I’m not upset about Republicans winning over Democrats – I’ve never been strongly affiliated with any party. It’s always been about which candidate I believe would do the better job regardless of party affiliation.
And I also don’t believe Trump as President will become some sort of crazy dictatorship and run our country to the ground. There’s enough checks and balances in our system to discourage that.
And while I’m annoyed that I have to look at his smug orange face and listen to his arrogant voice for the next 4 years. That’s still not what bothers me the most.

What bothers me, and if I’m being honest – angers, hurts, and saddens me is the message he campaigned and eventually won on.

And I’m not talking about the “Make America Great Again” bullsh*t
It’s the underlying message.
The message of fear, and hate, and division.

The message that those who don’t look, think, or act like “America” {which apparently require you to be white and have a penis} are not our equals, don’t deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and shouldn’t be allowed the same liberties and freedom in our country.
The fact the majority of our country came out and voted for that message. An alienating, discriminatory, and hateful message – a message I grew up believing was the opposite of America, is what turns me off the most. What makes me anxious for what’s to come and what lays a heaviness on my heart.
There’s already so much tension in our country that started long before this election campaign and I worry not only about Trump, but more so the message he stood for and how many people actually rallied behind it.
It says something about our country and it hurts.
As overly emotional as it may sound, it really makes those who don’t look, think, and act like “Trump’s America” feel unsafe, unrepresented, and unwanted – even those, like me, who were born and raised there.

Which is sad, because the thing that makes America great, is the that it welcomes a diverse culture, it encourages you to be different, and it provides the opportunities to do so.

Or at least that’s what I grew up believing.
But after all this, I’m not so sure anymore.

In all reality – we don’t know what to expect from Trump’s presidency.

He could totally fall flat and not amount to anything or he could cause a tectonic shift in our country and how it runs – for better or for worse.
As of right now, I believe he’s in a very precarious situation as I don’t think he, along with most of America {nay – the WORLD} thought he’d actually win.
With that in mind I think he’ll be treading extremely light compared to his campaign trail.
He’s going to have to be very careful from here on out {or not, because as we saw from his campaign trail he loves being unpredictable!}.

Our country is extremely divided and while I don’t think Trump is the right person to bring us together, the glass-half-full-optimistic voice in me hopes he honestly tries and proves all the naysayers, including myself, wrong.

But for now all we can really do is wait and see.

So I’d like to purpose we all take a big inhale…………..

…………….and exhale, letting all this election shit go.

I know it’s hard to accept {a little part of me dies inside every time I think about it}, but the one thing we cannot do is let the fear of not knowing what’s to come, stop us from moving forward.

Now, more than ever, is the time where we must stand together as people of color, women, immigrants, Hispanics, Muslims, LGBTQ’s – the list goes on – to make sure our voices are still heard.

We are what makes this country so beautifully diverse and we can not let ourselves be forgotten, pushed aside, or broken apart. 

And I know part of the grieving process is anger, and there are a lot of people out there stomping their feet and raising hell – and I understand the desire to do that, because I feel it too. But we can’t allow ourselves to stoop to that level.

We need to follow the example set by Hilary in her concession speech, by our President and First Lady during this time of transition. As Michelle Obama said – “When they go low, you go high.

The fact is, it’s easy to go low, to be angry, and say/do hurtful things to others.

It takes strength and courage to go high. To rise above the urge to strike back. Choosing strength and courage over anger and hate isn’t easy, but it’s what will help us through these next 4 years.

It’s okay to be sad or angry, to cry tears of pain and disgust – I’ve done it several times over the past 48hrs. But let’s not let this bring us down to that level of hate.

We may not be happy about what’s to come, but we will move through it.

So finally, in efforts to detox and restore some normalcy back to life, I want to share some things I’ve done or plan to do to get over this election hangover/grieving period we’re all experiencing.

7 Ways to Get Over The 2016 Election Hangover

1. Avoid all media coverage on post-election news – take the weekend and detox from all the noise, spend time living your life. That’s my plan for our trip to Marrakech.
2. Clean – I scrubbed my apt from top to bottom the day after the election and it felt so goooood. There are few things more satisfying than coming home to a clean house, I highly recommend it.
3. Put on some happy jams and have a dance party – do it while cleaning and kill two birds with one stone.
4. Take the edge off – run a bath, get a mani/pedi, do some yoga, go for a long run, meditate, have a drink, whatever helps you release any tension.
5. Watch something silly & lighthearted – whether a tv show or movie, find something that makes you laugh. It’s the best medicine after all.

6. Talk to a loved one – parents, siblings, grandparents, bffs, whoever; just catch up on life outside this election.
7. Sleep – this has been a long, agonizing election campaign, and while it may not have ended the way we hoped – it’s over {Thank GOD}. We survived and will continue to do so. Tomorrow is a new day and we deserve some rest.
In closing I’d like to reiterate that no matter the color of your skin, your religious or cultural beliefs, male or female, gay, straight, bi, trans, Democrat, or Republican. You matter, you have something to offer this world, and I appreciate you.
And with that I’m signing off.
See y’all in Marrakech!
Peace, love, and lots of light

Photo Credit: Simone Anne