This is a photograph of me and my eldest daughter immediately after I voted. She had the day off and we went to the local polling station. We pressed the button for Hillary Clinton together. She was so excited. Then, we walked to the local diner where I ate a stress-free meal, smiling to local patrons who I imagined felt the same sense of anticipation I did. Our waiter told me in passing that he probably wouldn’t vote because he was going to take a nap after his shift. I didn’t encourage him to vote. And even though I live in one of the top Trump-voting states, I will eternally regret not telling him – or even writing on the receipt – urging him to vote. What could have happened if we had told those people to vote?
We know what happened next. My supposed celebratory glass of wine that evening turned sour and it remained half drunk. I didn’t sleep. I held it together until I started texting my best friend and my mom about the outcome of the election. I sobbed that morning for my daughters. I wanted so much for them to live in a world where a strong, intelligent, thoughtful woman was our President. Where social justice, appreciation for science, and respect for women’s bodies was promoted and accepted. I was – and continue to be – distraught at what a President Trump means for their education, health, independence, and climate. I see very little that comforts me. Worst of all, I didn’t understand that these were still things that we needed to fight for. I now understand, and this is not a mistake I will repeat.
But I also sobbed for me that grim morning. For my mom. For my grandma. Women have come so far in the last century. How dare an opportunistic billionaire with little interest in serving the country – but instead with clear intent in usurping power – take that from us?
I post this because it is my origin story.