I am confused. I am angry. I am frustrated. I am devastated. I am scared. I am sad.
All day I have been trying to process my feelings and wrap my head around everything that is going on around me. Normally, it’s not this hard. Today, it has been extremely hard. It has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to process all year, and that’s saying a lot. This has been a tough year.
This spring, my mom was diagnosed with an illness that will be with her forever. This summer, my dad was diagnosed with an illness that will be with him forever. In between, I lost my cousin — who was like a second father to me — to cancer. I started the year on unemployment and I’m ending it wondering what the future holds, for all of us. This has been a tough year.
I reached out to a few very important women (and one awesome guy) in my life today looking for answers. And some of them, from very very far way and very very close by, reached out to me. None of them had answers, but all of them had pain. Through them, I was reminded that comfort comes in many forms, but sometimes the most powerful of which is camaraderie. And love.
But don’t get me wrong, this still sucks. It sucks for many reasons, but a huge one for me is all of the sweeping generalizations that have been permeating his campaign, which are not true. I have health insurance because of Obamacare. Say what you will about it, but I am one of those people who couldn’t afford health insurance otherwise. I am a freelancer, no longer in a big, secure corporate job, trying to make ends meet each month, trying to switch career gears and start anew. It’s not easy, and some days I question everything, but it’s worth it. This summer, I had a serious health scare that I wouldn’t have been able to see through if I didn’t have health insurance. If there were no Obamacare. The tests and hospital visits cost thousands and thousands of dollars, which I don’t have right now. Which I’m sure many people will never have, ever. It’s scary. And it’s scary to hear rhetoric about how awful it is and how it’s going to be eliminated. I don’t know what I will do if that’s the case. To me, it’s not awful. To me, it is a life saver. And that is just one of the reasons I’m scared. And sad. And angry. It angers me to no end how people during this election have spoken so flippantly about our current president and all he has done for our country. And I know that it disgusts many of the people around me as well. America IS great. Or at least I thought so until today. Never have I felt more disconnected from the country I live in, a country that I believed in so strongly all of my life. A country that I was proud of. That made me smile when I took out my U.S. passport after a flight home from abroad. A country to which I felt thankful every time I came home to it. Just like I did just this past Monday, only two days ago.
As today draws to an end, I see more clearly that it is the people around me in whom I will find solace. One friend started a conversation on her beautiful blog. One friend is bringing a group of women together to start a conversation in person. Many friends all over the world sent virtual hugs. And my boyfriend and I decided to turn off the TV, turn off social media, eat dinner together at home tonight (carnitas and chocolate chip cookies can do wonders for the soul, I’ve realized) and dance in the living room together to Frank Sinatra. Although it’s harder today than any other day, I still need to have HOPE that love trumps hate.