Pre-set: I wrote this post on the night of the election, but wasn’t sure if I should post it or not. I decided, now about a month and a half post-election, that I wanted and needed to post it.
I’m sitting here on November 9th, 2016 at 8:12pm in Singapore, 7:12am in New York. It’s been an exhausting day. It’s been an exhausting month. It’s been an exhausting year. It has been a historic 12 hours, and I know I will never forget a single minute of it. While I would love to sit here and turn this situation into a light, fun, witty piece of writing, I know that that’s simply impossible. It was 2:48pm, just four and a half hours ago, when Pennsylvania locked in as a red state; Trump was at 264, and we all knew it was over.
Backtrack about 24 hours. I was hopeful and optimistic that Hillary’s voters and supporters would pull through. I was envisioning a Hillary-run country, and it felt so good. I remembered the first political opinion I ever had and I ever voiced. It was early 2008 and I was little 8-year-old girl watching news on the election. I saw Hillary standing up on stage with a mic in one hand and as poised and graceful as ever. As a naïve young girl, I wasn’t able to understand why we had never had a woman as president. It simply didn’t make sense. But I saw her standing there and knew what a big deal it was. I thought ‘if she can be president, I can be anything I want to be’. It was life changing. And while, yes, my views did change and I found myself swayed by Barrack Obama, the inspiration Hillary gave me would affect me forever. I saw President Obama run our country as best as I think possible. I followed and supported him every step of the way. Laughed when he laughed, cried when he cried, and stood up to make change every time he did. And he did it all with Hillary Clinton by his side.
I was scrolling through my Facebook about an hour after the election was called this afternoon and was not shocked to find a feed full of election posts. People in shock and disbelief about what had just happened to our home. Some even said that it was the first day they were not proud to be American.
I have always been very patriotic. I’ve always been extremely proud to call myself American, and that is still true today. Am I disappointed? Am I angry? Am I sad? Am I confused? Have I lost some hope? Yes. The answer to all of those questions is yes. I am a girl who has a strong sense of independence and who fights for women to be treated equally and fairly. I am the older sister of a girl who I want to see grow up to be strong and independent. I am a student about to go to college who wants the comfort of knowing that the country she is living in is safe and growing stronger. I am a woman who dreams of having a big family of boys and girls and who wants to see her children succeed in what ever way they define success. But most of all, I am a human being who puts strong morals and values before everything else. I do not tolerate bigotry and the objectification of women one bit, and I never will. I am angry, sad and disappointed that the American people have used their voice to support a man who exemplifies everything I fight against. I am confused as to how this man gained the supports he did. I have begun to lost hope in what the American people are capable of. I have beamed every minute of the last 8 years with pride as I saw a nation that I love greatly move towards fairness, equality and justice for all, and it breaks my heart to think that we could possibly be reversing all of the impact the last 8 years has had on our country. But while I feel all these things, one thing has not changed: I am proud to be American. I can say that without any hesitation. I am hanging on to the little bit of hope and optimism I have left, mixing that with my pride, and using that to move forward. An adult in my life came up to me today and said that we have just been handed a big bowl of lemons, and now it’s up to us to make lemonade. We have made so much progress and it’s not the end. It may be the end of the election, but there is so much more work that can be done. #imwithher is not over. I’m still with her and will be with her forever, changing the way women are seen in our country and in our world. It’s going to be a hard fight, but I’m willing to put in everything I have. I will forever and always bleed red, white and blue.