I have something on my mind. Usually, when I have something heavy on my mind, I turn it over and over in my head, allow it to seep into my throat, onto my tongue and, eventually, slowly, after much mastication, I bring it forth to creep from my lips and I speak it. Not this time. I don’t want this in my mind, it feels like a tumor. I don’t want to twist and turn it and spin it around in my head into something that it is not. Allowing it to seep into my throat and onto my tongue to eventually, slowly chew on it and savor it is going to gag me and I just want to spit it out as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
I am an American. I am a proud American. I love my country. I am proud of our military. By and large, I am proud of who has built this country. November 8, 2016, I thought that things were going to go one way and I stayed glued to the television set with a vast number of other people, all awaiting the outcome of our Presidential Election – democracy in action! I finally succumbed to sleep and when I awoke, I thought I was crushed beneath a blanket of deep darkness. I thought that I couldn’t breathe. Fear began to trickle into the corners of my body, filling me up. I began to feel like something was taking over my peace and twisting it into a mangled heap of adversity. I wanted to pitch a loud and thunderous fit. And. Then. I didn’t.
My rationale set in…forced upon me by a post from one of my dear friends on Facebook, asking me “what if he is actually a good President?” I don’t ever claim to have had this sense of being rational before now. This was a defining “AH-HAH! Moment” for me. Could I be coming into some seasonal growth spurt? Maybe. One thing though, for sure, nothing has changed. Not really. I am still me. The fear that I felt when I first woke up was unfounded, really and truly. Nothing has changed. Not really. The world is still spinning on its axis. The sun will rise and set, per usual. Nothing has changed. Not really. I am looking at a fractured nation, but no matter this important election, the outcome would be the same if tables were turned, only I would be on the “winning” team.
There it is. My EGO. UGH! Because I am not “winning” I MUST be losing??? NO! That’s wrong. I neither won nor lost. I am still me! I am still whole. I still love. I still feel. I am still the most “me” that I have ever been. Nothing has changed. Not really. I am an American. I remain proud of my country.
Only – everything has changed. Really. “What if he is actually a good President?” So now I am starting to feel the burn of a smoldering fire within. An answer looming all the while like a dangling carrot on a stick before the ass that is pulling the cart of my life. Everything and nothing…everything and nothing has changed!
I am a better me because I do not want to hate. I want to be a better “me” and be more optimistic. What is it that I have always said? “If you tell me something, I must trust that you are not a liar and since you are in charge of your thoughts, words, and actions, then I take you at your word.” Who am I to say that the President Elect is not a man of his word? He has never given it to me before, and he has now. So I must apply my usual philosophy. I will take him at his word. “Everyone deserves a chance” I must give him his. It’s only fair. It’s only right. That is a change for me – taking my own advice. Huh. Imagine. Maybe all of this time, I really was right?
Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. I cannot live in fear, because fear cripples, fear causes inaction, fear is insidious and it is what the current media uses as a stick to stir the shit pot of society. I will not live in fear. The media keeps us enthralled with a flat screen, just watching, not acting, while they play a loop of bad news, adding nothing new and ensuring we sit glued to that idiot box and not being stirred to action. I am in that shit pot of society and I now realize that I won’t be stirred in the wrong direction. I will not allow what I fear the most to control me into inaction. I will not willingly allow laws that were enacted to safeguard a woman to be overturned. I will not willingly allow agencies that provide impoverished women with birth control, HPV inoculations, and other gynecological needs to be closed or to have their funding stripped. Yes. Those same agencies provide safe abortion, and abortion is NOT their most performed service. They offer healthcare to women who do not have healthcare available to them, they offer prenatal care, they offer testing for STDs, inoculations against known cancer causing viruses, they offer it all free of charge to impoverished women. If we leave the lesser of us to fend for themselves, we crumble…we weaken our foundation which is built on the lower and middle classes.
Nothing has changed. Everything has changed. I will not allow the people who I love to be mistreated because they love someone of the same gender or feel that they are embodied in the wrong shell. I will not allow fear to spread into the hearts of my family and friends. I will not allow the negative campaign of others to plant a seed in my heart, in my life, in my home. It all starts from home.
For the first time since 1984, I have changed my party affiliation. Why? Because I want to be involved in primary elections. I want my vote to count. It counts in the primary. It counts in the local elections. I want to be a part of the democratic society that this country has created, was founded upon, and has moved us to greatness. I remain an independent person. And now I have chosen to elevate myself by making a change from within and exterior to me I will support the groups, the causes, and the movements that resonate with peace, with kindness, with forward momentum in a positive rhythm because in America, if you do not like something, you change it. You don’t silently rage against the machine and gnash your teeth at the system. You become a cog in the wheel, and you turn toward the greater good of all and with harm to none.
Everything has changed. Nothing has changed.
It is a tango. The rhythm is democracy. Let’s all dance.