No matter what happens, I’ll still be me.
That’s the mantra I calmed myself with in the days leading up to November 8, 2016. Overall, for me, it was a time filled with joy and excitement and pride. But occasionally, dark thoughts crept in. And when they did, it centered me to focus inward in those rare moments when I started to worry that maybe, the polls were wrong. Maybe things weren’t going to go our way. Maybe this world was going to turn upside down. I can’t control anything outside of this body, this mind. But no matter what happens, I’ll still be me. That’s what I told myself.
Except the polls were wrong, and things didn’t go our way, and when I woke up on November 9th? I didn’t feel like me.
I know, the presidential elections were a long time ago. I sat down to write this post the day after. The week after. On inauguration day. On the one year anniversary. The words just never came, or they were too painful to start to work through. Now, as I get ready to head back to my home country again for the year, these thoughts have been bubbling up again and I hope you won’t mind me using this space to explore them.
I know some feel that politics have no place in a travel blog but for me, politics and travel and work and love and all that jazz? It’s all rolled up together in this crazy life – I can’t just pluck out one or two. My parents have been having debates at the dinner table and going to war protests in nearby cities and hosting political fundraisers at our house and taking me with them to vote in local elections since I was a child – it didn’t really occur to me that politics were some taboo subject not to be discussed until I was much, much older. And it never sat right with me.
volunteering at a campaign rally in Boston
If anything, I feel we could all use some practice on having civil, diplomatic, open-minded conversations about things that really matter. You don’t have to agree with every word I say or write to belong here. Life would be boring in an echo chamber. This is my story and this is how I feel, and there’s space in my life and my heart and in this travel community for people who feel all sorts of other ways, too. I believe deep down in my bones that the majority of Americans are good, loving people and we have different ideas of what is best for our country. But if we all keep listening to each other closely and with empathy, we will find a way to meet in a less divisive middle.
So, I guess for me this story starts years ago, on my little sister Olivia’s twenty-first birthday, a moment I think back to often. We were walking through the streets of New York after she’d consumed her very first alcoholic beverage (okay… maybe not the absolute first) and we asked her what her birthday wishes were. She rattled off a very Olivia-like ambitious list that included becoming student council president at NYU (check!), graduating with honors from her self-designed major the Politics of Prejudice (check!), several other items including but not limited to world peace (still working on it), and concluding with the dream we all knew had been a twinkle in her eye for years – working on the campaign to elect Hillary Clinton the first female President of the United States of America.
The real tragedy of the 2016 election — why I chose to wear this fugly old dress while meeting the most famous woman in the world
Well, three years later, after a hard-won internship with the Obama campaign, two years of service with Teach for America in New Orleans and the most dogged, determined, laser-like pursuit of a specific job that has quite possibly ever been undertaken in the history of the world, she nailed that too. We all cried when it was official – Olivia was an official employee of the finance team for the Hillary Rodham Clinton Presidential campaign. It wasn’t long before she was on a first name basis with Huma and eventually, Hillary. I’ve never been prouder.
I immediately planned my 2016 based on spending as much of the crucial final runup to the election in the USA as possible. It was a special time for my family. With my parents amicably divorced but living on opposite sides of the country, it is a rare, precious gift to have the four of us in one group hug, and thanks to the election, it was happening on a regular basis as we all circled the wagons to support Olivia and to contribute in any way we could to the campaign. While I knew I’d cast an absentee ballot in the primaries, there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to stand in that booth in Brooklyn and cast that historic general election ballot in person.
at a fundraiser in Martha’s Vineyard
During the primaries I felt so lucky – the Democratic Party had these two incredible candidates to chose from! While I would have excitedly supported Bernie Sanders as well, once the primaries were over, I felt an overwhelming, explosive joy and pride at the idea that we were about to elect the first female president of the United States, a woman I respect and trusted to lead in a way that reflected our shared values.
Clearly, Hillary Rodham Clinton was and is a divisive figure. But to me she was educated, experienced, and sharply intelligent. She was my successful New York senator, a dignified Secretary of State, and a public figure I’d looked up to and admired since I was a girl. She reminded me, in many ways, of my mom, another women who has always marched to the beat of her own drum and not been too fussed with what the world thought of her, as long as she was following her own internal compass.
signs of the divisive times in a gates community in my hometown of Albany
I’ve made campaign contributions in the past and did so again for Hillary. But this election inspired me to get involved in ways I never had before. I traveled to Boston, to Martha’s Vineyard, to Philadelphia and to New York for campaign rallies and events. I volunteered at some of them. I went to New Hampshire to knock on doors. I registered as a “get out the vote” caller on the campaign’s website, and called voters in swing states every time I had a spare hour. I used my blog as a platform to talk about voting. I talked to friends about Hillary’s policies and helped acquaintances figure out absentee voting. I felt uniquely empowered to be a part of the democratic process in a way I never have before. You know that bumper sticker, “democracy is a verb?” — I believed it.
In the blink of an eye, it was the eve of Election Day. My mom, dad, and I traveled to Philadelphia to meet Olivia for a big rally in Independence Square, where she squired us into the staff section to watch speeches from the full lineup of Clintons and Obamas. I was humbled. As the former, and we thought, future presidents left the stage, Fight Song, the official anthem of the campaign erupted, and I watched with a perma-smile as the square broke into a street party, with people of all ages, sizes and colors dancing joyfully with strangers. This was it, we thought. We made it.
I never listened to Fight Song again.
getting out the vote in New Hampshire
It’s all so heartbreakingly vivid. The next day, we all took early trains back to New York, and I can practically feel my dad and I excitedly hugging on the street in Manhattan before I hopped on the subway to vote in Brooklyn. I remember sitting in my dad’s hotel room, making last minute calls to voters while obsessively refreshing the polls. I remember my sister’s then-boyfriend knocking on the door, and us rushing to get ready to head to the Javits Center, the official campaign HQ, where we felt obscenely lucky to have scored access passes to.
And then, hours later, I can feel the grief in my gut as I watched my little sister watch her life fall apart. As my brain short-circuited and my heart just about ripped in two trying to figure out what this country I love had done. I think this is the part of the story that has held me back from sharing this story for so long – even now, as I type these words, every cell in my body is telling me no, no, no, don’t go back to that terrible night. Tears are falling as I write this. I look back and I can’t help but choke up. I feel such a confusing swirl of emotions… including embarrassment, in a way, at how giddy and hopeful we had been.
at a campaign rally in Philadephia
The next day felt like a terrible dream. The sky was dark and the rain was relentless, and the streets of New York were flooded with grim people wearing black, like they were headed to a funeral. I hadn’t planned to, but I got in the car with my dad and my sister and we all crawled back to Albany, shell-shocked, after sobbing in each other’s arms in the lobby of the hotel where Hillary gave her eloquent concession speech. It’s funny, even in my late twenties, when something terrible happens, all I want is to be in my childhood bed, with the covers over my head, hearing my mom’s comforting footsteps downstairs.
In the months that followed, I felt haunted by a heaviness that followed me all the way back to my life across the world in Thailand. I was traumatized by those hours in the Javits Center, this awful, out-of-control experience I’m at a loss to try to explain. I admit a lot of it was privileged-based shock. I’ve had a blessed life. There’s been little that I’ve wanted, this much, and haven’t been able to bare-knuckle my way to. Yet here was what felt like one of the most important things I’d ever had a tiny, infinitesimal, minute part in, and we’d lost, and I was helpless over the results.
It’s hard to really dig in and parse out what was shock and disappointment over the election results, and what was a crushing hopelessness over watching my little sister suffer and not having a clue in the world how to help her. It was one of the sharpest pains I have ever felt, watching her try to pick up the pieces of the adult life she’d dedicated to this campaign, and recalibrate a new path in a world that felt so cruel and unfamiliar. Few of us, I think, can empathize with how much a campaign drains out of the people who dedicate years of their lives to them. Infinity hats off to those of both sides of the aisle who are patriotic and passionate enough to give so much of themselves in service of what they believe is best for our country.
getting chills on the eve of the election
And then there were these overwhelming why’s that wouldn’t go away. Why didn’t I make more phone calls. Why didn’t I knock on more doors. Why didn’t I reach out to more friends. Why didn’t I donate more money. Why didn’t I spend more time volunteering. Why didn’t I see this coming. Why didn’t I hope less, so this would hurt less.
I had so many hopes and dreams for this election. Expanded protection of our natural resources. Criminal justice reform and the end of privatized prisons. A continuation of our social progress in the rights of marginalized populations. A female president who treated the office with the dignity and respect it deserves.
family time on the campaign trail
Instead, I had a new president who had done and said things that rocked me straight to me core. Who I didn’t trust to take care of this country I love. To remember the land has no one to speak for it but us, and protect its gorgeous natural resources. To be gentle and compassionate to the most vulnerable members of our society. To protect our diversity, celebrate our differences and show the world what has always made America great. To create positive goodwill towards Americans, in order to keep my own selfish desire to travel safe and comfortable.
On inauguration day, I tried going to yoga and ended up with a puddle of tears on my mat. I went home, closed the door, turned off the lights, and went to bed. Since then, I have worked hard to drown out the noise of what he is doing, and focus on the more productive question of what I can do instead.
clinging to hope on that horrible night
It’s been 537 days since Election Day. I look around and my heart swells with pride again at what my family and friends and peers have accomplished, against all odds.
My mom formed a five-hundred-woman Political Action Committee in Upstate New York that raises money for progressive candidates, organizes peaceful protests and rallies, hosts postcard-writing parties, and encourages voting and involvement in the democratic process. My sister landed a job on an important 2018 gubernatorial election campaign. My dad continues his life’s work of fighting to make quality healthcare accessible to the country’s most vulnerable populations. I’ve had friends at the front line of Standing Rock, friends crossing the country to protest injustices, and friends making incredible sacrifices to protect what’s important to them. And while it pales in comparison to what others are doing, and I admit I’ve been guilty of months of apathy post-election, I’ve found comfort in redoubling my commitment to living sustainably, protecting the environment, and inspiring others to do so as well.
my mom’s first postcard party, where the idea for her PAC was born
Five hundred and thirty-seven days later, I am still me, but I’m a different me. A little softer to the things and people that matter most. A little harder to the rest. A little less naïve. A little more heavy-hearted. A little more resolved to live my life in a way that reflects what’s in that heart. And a lot inspired by the determination of one strong woman who never stopped fighting for what she believed in, no matter how many times the world knocked her down.
A new fire is lit.
And to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I have had successes and I have had setbacks. Sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too. This loss hurts but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.
You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. So, my friends, let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary. Let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come, and there is more work to do. – Hillary Clinton
While I didn’t volunteer for HRH’s campaign, I also felt (and still feel) sick to my stomach as to how good people I know and love could vote for Trump. Hopefully, karma is a bitch and life catches up with him.
I found this very healing when it came to friends and family I felt hurt by over the election… it’s been a while but maybe it can bring you some peace? https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/podcasts/how-could-you-19-questions-to-ask-loved-ones-who-voted-the-other-way.html
I have followed your blog for several years now and think your posts and writing are great! I really appreciated your writing above and you opening your heart, even though I come from the other side of the political isle. Trump was definitely not my first choice, either, and I would not try to defend many of his comments. When I was younger I supported progressive candidates, too. I can appreciate how emotional this was for you. I hope you can appreciate the point of view from the other side, also. Millions of us voted against Hillary, because the end does not justify the means including corrupt money raising overseas in the Clinton Foundation, reckless handling of classified and top secret communications and having Obama’s justice department use a fake investigation to get a FISA warrant. Millions of us believe the money we earn is spent more effectively and honestly ourselves, and true giving should be done voluntarily through charities and not by forced re-distribution by the federal government. We are not against immigration, if it is done legally and fairly for those that follow the process. We also look forward to minorities and women being in the top offices including the presidency, because they are honest and because they believe in the American dream and that America can bless the whole world by being an example for freedom, charity, peace and entrepreneurial spirit. We are happy to elect people that believe in the founding fathers and the constitution and the work ethic that made this country great. I have family that has been part of the one payer healthcare system in Canada and seen my older family members wait for years for operations and watched doctors misdiagnose cancer in Canada and agonizingly watched close family members die. I cannot vote for a failed system like this in the USA. I hope you can appreciate probably thousands of your readers have a different opinion than you do. I hope you can treat us with respect and realize we also appreciate your point of view, even though it is different than ours and realize we are also passionate about our cause, just as you are!
Hey Kent, like I wrote in this post, “You don’t have to agree with every word I say or write to belong here. Life would be boring in an echo chamber. This is my story and this is how I feel, and there’s space in my life and my heart and in this travel community for people who feel all sorts of other ways, too. I believe deep down in my bones that the majority of Americans are good, loving people and we have different ideas of what is best for our country. But if we all keep listening to each other closely and with empathy, we will find a way to meet in a less divisive middle.”
Thanks for reading and sharing.
I haven’t stopped by in a while, but I’m so glad I did today.
An incredibly interesting read on an obviously very global event (thank you for allowing us behind the very private curtain).
As a foreigner looking in, it was with shock and horror that I watched the election unfold.
I couldn’t begin to believe that what I thought was the impossible had actually occurred.
The face of the most powerful and influential country in the world would now be the misogynist Trump.
But then I realised deep down I wasn’t all that surprised.
When people feel down, when times are tough, they look for people to blame, and here’s a guy who is happy to point the finger at all of those vulnerable, marginalised people.
Here’s a person who is happy to stir up the mob use false words and distortions of the truth to suit his own needs.
It made me feel sorrow for all the wonderful Americans I’ve met and know.
Now to read your words gives me some hope that perhaps that country can claw its way back from this.
Perhaps one day, those National Parks (I think one of your greatest assets) will be protected again.
One day you’ll have the well-being of people put before the pockets of gun lobbyists, and one day you’ll be like most countries in this modern world and have universal healthcare!
Start small, but continue to dream big!
Thanks Chris. I definitely hesitated to post this as politics are so emotionally charged and of course I have to wonder what blowback this could have for me in terms of audience and income. But it felt strange not to share this part of my story, so eventually, share I did. I’m still dreaming big 🙂
I have been following Alex’s blog for a year, embarking on my own travels. It was extremely refreshing to read someone discussing politics on a travel blog, as she said all life includes travel, politics, love and personal experiences.
Therefore I was equally intrigued to read what comments people put.
Then I saw yoru name and recognised your profile picture.
I lived with Tegan your sister for over a year when I first moved to Melbourne. Her enthusiasm for life and belief in me is one of the things that inspired me to go out into the world and travel myself. I’m glad to see your comment and be inspired by your blog too.
Just popping in to say this is a crazy small world 😉
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt on my adventures Alex, is that in the world of travel, it can be a very small world sometimes!
Keep doing what you do I love love LOVE the way you write xx.
My heart broke as well. As a teen in America, I still dont understand how people could vote for a man like that. However, this struggle has catapulted me into protests and rallies and school walkouts. I’ve taken a more profound interest in the worlds workings, and for that I am grateful
Good for you Cate — I think a lot of people feel the same way. We have been woken up, for sure.
I haven’t been able to write about this yet either, so thanks for this post…it was cathartic. I love Hillary’s words…”Let us not grow weary of doing good…” The upside of this past difficult year is that so many of us have woken up to the fragility of civil democracy. I’ve met hundreds of people – from teens to great-grandmothers – who are newly dedicated to civic engagement and political advocacy. I urge everyone who values an inclusive, caring, just community to find just ONE thing to do towards that goal. When the challenges are so numerous and so great, it’s easy to feel paralyzed. The answer is to just do that one thing, and trust that millions of others share your values and are working on the other issues you care about.
You are an inspiration to all of us! You have been tireless in your activism since day one, when I spent months staring at my bedroom ceiling and moping. You should really feel proud of how many people you’ve helped find their path of action.
Ugh, this takes me right back to all the horribleness of it all. That night, the days after, inauguration day (we were in Belize and out of our room trying to avoid the footage, so of course the cafe we stopped in had it on), even today.
I’m a bit jealous, I must admit, that your family is so awesome in this way. ???? The divide across our homeland is deep, but believe me–it cuts the most when it divides you from the ones you love.
I do know how you feel :-/ While my immediate family is very much in sync, I’ve had some extremely painful division with some of my extended family over politics. I’m probably going to post this link like a million times here in the comments, ha, but I highly recommend this article/exercise from NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/podcasts/how-could-you-19-questions-to-ask-loved-ones-who-voted-the-other-way.html
Oh Alex, I so feel your pain in this. It was truly a heartbreaking night and it’s still hard on a daily basis to live in the reality that this is what our country chose. I can still remember sitting at home with my dog (who had an adorable blue bandana on), eating ice cream and watching the footage. Certain that it would be a night of joy. And then….going to bed at 3am and lying awake, alone and devastated.
It’s so wonderful that your family worked so hard on this campaign and all believe so passionately in fighting for what you believe in. Everyone in my family voted for the other one. They hang his flag in their homes still. It has driven a deep wedge in my family that was once very close. My sister, who was once my very best friend, and I can no longer have a civil conversation unless we stick to shallow topics. Which is really shitty.
I am now volunteering with a democratic senate campaign here in Texas, which gives me a little bit of hope for change and love and justice to be brought back to this world. If we all keep fighting for better things and one day, we will have them. <3
Virtual high five, Danielle! YES BETO!
Okay, (literally third time I’m posting this, ha ha…) but try this with your sister: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/podcasts/how-could-you-19-questions-to-ask-loved-ones-who-voted-the-other-way.html. Sending the two of you healing vibes! Sisters are forever… I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have that rift.
Alex – I found this post to be absolutely beautiful! What a gift you have to be able to express your emotions on a very complicated subject matter without adding fuel to the political fire that our country now experiences on a daily basis. Admittedly, I’ve struggled in the aftermath of the election to express my emotions and disappointment in a way that resonates with my family’s opposing views, so I really admire how fairly you’ve laid everything out.
And I feel the same as what you’ve written here. At the time of the election, I worked for a very prominent national news program and fell to my knees sobbing when the results were official. I will never forget being in the control room that morning, listening to Hillary’s concession speech, while various crew members who have led privileged lives made fun of people who were upset. Even though the entire election cycle had felt very divided, that was the first moment it really hit me just how deep the fault lines were in our country.
For months after, I was very depressed and felt helpless and was not active at all. I distinctly remember having my first panic attack in five years, breaking down in Central Park, a few days after the election. Even weeks later, at a Thanksgiving celebration, the atmosphere was still really sad and we had to make a pact that we wouldn’t talk politics that night, to give ourselves a break. I can’t believe it’s been 537+ days, as it honestly feels so much longer. As sad as I am at the state of our country, it is what it is and now we are forced to confront what was so easily swept under the rug before, how broken our political system is and how divided people feel on very important issues. I’m actually now considering leaving my current career in order to work in the activism/political realm and put my money where my mouth is to make the world a better place and to repair our country. Though I wish this could have been achieved without the heartbreak of this current administration, the only thing to do now is learn from the past and move forward with intention, open hearts, and fierce determination.
To close out this novel of a comment, I’m inspired every day by what Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted the day after the election when someone implied he’d be moving to Canada: “F*ck that. I love this country and there’s more work to do than ever.” So let’s buckle up and do the work.
I feel your pain, truly. Your comment really resonated with me. I love that Tweet and sometimes am sad that I can’t say I’ve done the same. I often have to clarify that while I LOVE my life abroad, I also LOVE the place that made me and still feel deeply connected to it.
I know it’s been a long time, but maybe this can help if you still have tension with some of your family… https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/podcasts/how-could-you-19-questions-to-ask-loved-ones-who-voted-the-other-way.html.
it’s almost easier for me to talk about that night and the next days somewhere like here where i don’t know anybody. i cried myself to sleep. i cried on my train ride to work the next day. i walked straight into my work bestie’s office, a muslim woman who wears a hijab, and walked into her arms and sobbed and apologized. i would not let her walk on the streets to court (we are public defenders) alone because i was scared for her safety for days. i saw old friend’s of mine on the internet saying “it’s just four years there is no need for such hatred” and i’ll never think of them the same way again, because they didn’t walk their friend around the streets to be sure they weren’t being harassed. and days later i went to the airport to try and shut it down while our new government held people hostage because of the color of their skin. i hated those days. but what i hate most about them is how most people i saw were able to continue to go about living their lives. maybe sad, maybe upset, but just living. and other people had to start living in a deeper fear. scared to travel, scared to live their lives. and while most of us have been able to adjust, and find a new fight and purpose (including myself), many many people have just had to continue to live in a new and ever deepening fear. it’s so sad, it’s so wrong, and it makes me so so angry.
Edit:: **months later. Sorry, such a blur.
I know how you feel. I feel very privileged that really, when it comes to the day to day, my life has changed very little, when I know for so many others, their world has been turned upside down.
This post brought tears to my eyes but hope to my heart. Thank you so much for sharing and reminding us all that there is still work to be done, time will move forward, and we must take this (heartbreaking) loss and turn it into fuel for the future. ❤️
A perfect reminder in time for the midterms 🙂
Group hug (cyber) to you and your wonderful family.
Reading this post will make my day much brighter.
Thanks Rick. Appreciate the cyber hug.
Wow! Powerful words, hon. We will not let president trump ruin this country that our ancestors fought so hard for. Yes, there’s a lot of work to do but I think people realize this and will get involved. Thank you for writing these words, they needed to be said and thank you and your family for all the hard work.
Thank you for reading, and for the energetic attitude! I hope people feel the inspiration and the tides of change as the midterms approach…
While I do not agree with your political opinions, I would like to throw my wholehearted support behind what you said about having polite conversations instead of all the hate I’ve seen thrown around social media and in real life.
I, personally, have friends who are die hard Trump supporters, and friends who would see him impeached in a heartbeat. When I started reading this post I thought it would be another “Trump is the Devil” post. Instead, you shared your personal story, along with the emotions you felt. I think if people shared more of their stories instead of just their opinions, it would help detoxify the conversation.
Thanks for this. 🙂
I also have best friends and beloved family members who voted for Trump (or I assume they did.) I think it’s important to have people you love and respect who have different opinions than you… it humanizes “the other side” and reminds you that there are rarely such thing as monsters. Just people who have a very different perspective, and probably have a story that explains why, if you listen.
I came, I saw and I liked, just saying
Thanks for reading Jo-Anne.
I hear you. I feel you. I relate to all these things (in different ways).
The past 18 months, hard as they may be, got Scott and me to do something and that’s delve deep into local politics, both in a fundraising and marketing support way and also on a more grassroots ninja level. Because it all starts local, right? I know that we’re more resourceful trying to shape the city/county/state elections than we are at the national level, and we’ve been pouring every ounce of everything we have into doing what we can (especially with this being an election year). I’m still heartbroken every day at the outcome of 2016 but simultaneously inspired by all the action I’ve seen as a result. It really is a version of the Handmaid’s Tale in real life, isn’t it?
Thanks for the honest post!
I agree — the big national elections are the sexy ones that get all the attention, but like charity, I think politics start at home! I was SO impressed when one of my guy friends I grew up with told me, at our post-election heartbreak pow wow, that he had voted in every local, state and national election since we were 18. Time for me to wise up… if only absentee voting in New York weren’t SUCH a misery.
Also yeah, I was nervous to press publish on this one for reasons we’ve discussed many times. But I figured, what the hell. Be brave.
Thank you and well said….
Thank you, Nadia. Your comment reminded me I never responded to your beautiful email the days after the election. It meant a lot to me, but I was just in such a fog and so focused on my sister I never found the words to reply. But please know, we really appreciated your kind words.
I have been reading, and loving, your blog for a while now, but this is actually my first time commenting. I may not be in exactly the same place as you politically, but I wholeheartedly agree in the need for practicing civil political conversations. Our culture has become a free-for-all of blaming and insult hurling, instead of listening to each other and working on the real issues. Let’s hope that if enough of us practice civility and start demanding it of our political leaders that we will start to see a change. “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every […] house divided against itself will not stand.”
Agree! As I said elsewhere in the comments, I think it is actually quite lucky to have friends that can show you the other perspective in a human way rather than as this caricature. If they are able to communicate their thoughts and emotions (as opposed to just, “I HATE XYZ CANDIDATE”) I think it’s healthiest for a friendship to actually have some of these talks, rather than just to silently resent the other person’s choices. I have extremely conservative friends and I’m grateful when they are willing to talk to me to try to help me understand another perspective.
So well-written, and so much respect to you for taking the chance, being vulnerable and sharing your experience. I agree that it will make the world a better place!
Thanks D, I appreciate it. It can be scary to be vulnerable once your blog becomes a business, but I still want to stay true to my roots, and that’s sharing my story, raw and unfiltered.
I love your positive take on this event. I think it takes great strength to delay writing an article, especially one that you feel so passionately about. I think it’s good you published it now. Now that it carries a positive message for the future!
I definitely think it would have been a very different post if I had written it five hundred plus days ago! Perspective is always pretty positive…
I really enjoy your site. I’m quite a bit older than you but a cubicle dweller who vicariously enjoys the travels you and other bloggers are so kind to share.
I too fully expected Hillary to win, although I was on the other side. I didn’t start out wanting President Trump – I would have taken nearly any of the dozen or so he was running against in the primary. It was amazing to me that one after the other of his primary opponents fell to the wayside. But it is what it is. I am not a Hillary fan and pulled the lever for Trump. And it turns out the country was ready for a change in direction.
But take heart. Everything you and your family are doing is great. I really do believe that there truly aren’t that many differences between people at a personal level. Most of this political stuff gets blown out of proportion. It comes from small people wanting their 15 minutes of fame or just wanting to get a 30 second sound bite on the news.
Most of the gains in the country are made by people working together toward a goal. Take prison reform. If you dig into that issue you know there are places where a die hard liberal and conservative like me can meet to make positive change. You can do it on any issue. But it won’t happen on a Sunday morning talk show I can promise you.
Take heart – the next election is months away and if the country decides that’s enough of President Trump, fine. We move on with a democrat in office.
We’ll all survive either way. This country has 2 1/2 centuries of presidents behind it – some good, some not so good. And guess what – the country keeps moving ahead. Why, because people keep coming together to make improvements bit by bit.
I’m old enough to know, there will always be another election on the horizon. And once it’s over, the next day you get up, go to work or whatever you do all day, and realize that the day frankly isn’t much better or worse than yesterday. If you want it better, you do exactly what your family is doing. You make it better.
Good luck and happy travels!
I think we all were a bit surprised. I felt empathy for my conservative friends and family — I felt after waiting eight years, they deserved a better candidate, even if he did manage to shock us all by winning the electoral vote.
I agree that there are so many places where liberals and conservatives can meet. Just take the public lands issue that I follow very closely. Liberals generally want land public to avoid development and pollution. Conservatives generally want to be able to hunt and fish freely. Together they have been a force to be reckoned with!
I didn’t expect to cry reading this, but clearly there are lots of us still reeling a year and a half later. Thanks for sharing your experience, and for all the positive actions that you and your family are taking – I hope this will inspire others to do the same!
I cried writing it too… I hope it will prove to be somewhat cathartic, in the long run <3
Impressive. I don’t read blogs. Unfortunately I read far less than I want to admit. I stumbled upon this looking to see about taking an enriched air course. Your writing is so captivating. Myself and my wife retired in May of 2016 and traveled the coast of California until July. In July we started on an international travel that lasted 22 months until we came back to the States. All seven continents, 20 countries and have not been home yet. In June I will go back to our home in California, sell it and a rental property and move to Arizona.
I am hoping to get all this done by the end of this year to go out and travel again. Looking to go traveling again for 10 months. Life is Grand!!
Keep up the good work
Sounds like you are on quite the adventure David. I’m glad you found me! Thanks for reading… hope you’ll still around. Oh, and that you’ll do that enriched air course 🙂 It’s the best!
This is an incredibly moving and powerful blog post. Thank you so much for writing it, and for getting involved in any way you can. I too felt a great loss on this night, but it lit a fire in me to work hard at making sure it doesn’t happen again. I wish the best for your sister too! Hope she is enjoying her job.
Thank you Rachel. She is hard at work for the midterms. Hope your fire is still lit xo