Today is the anniversary of the worst day of my life.
That’s not an exaggeration. And it’s not an easy title to win in my life, either. But the election of 45 to office was, hands-down, worse than any assault I’ve survived or even relinquishing my son for adoption.
This week is also difficult for another reason: my son and his wonderful daddies are moving to Los Angeles. It’s for a job, it’s unavoidable, everyone’s been loving and communicative, and I have family in Southern California so if they were going to move anywhere it’s kind of the best place they could go. And yet, to go from having them a fifteen-minute walk from me to across the continent is breaking my heart.
And then there’s this shitty anniversary.
I had assumed that today would be very triggering and depressing for me, as I know it is for others. This note is, in many ways, for those having the reaction I assumed I would have.
If that is you, here are some resources…
Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up
An amazing checklist of small, practical things to do for yourself if you feel terrible.
This adorable Self-Care comic, which I literally have printed up and taped on the wall in my office.
I take great solace in Joshua Conkel’s “A Queer’s Prayer.”
Also Caitlin Moran’s open letter to teenage girls: “You will never, in your life, ever have to deal with anything more than the next minute.”
Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit taught me that revolutions always start way before the place where the history book picks up, that every little thing we do moves the needle, and that nothing is written in stone.
Danielle LaPorte compiled this excellent list of resources for emotional trauma support (resources are both spiritual and practical in nature).
“Fight Trump as though the world might end; live your life as though it might not.” I wrote this in my advice column a month after the election and found comfort today in my past self’s words.
There is so much to grieve. There is so much bullshit. There is so, so, so much work to do.
Today I feel hopeful.
Not just because of the amazing election results on Tuesday night. Not just because of my new Patronus Danica Roem.
Not just because sexual predators keep getting fired.
Not just because the country is nowhere NEAR as fucked today as I predicted we’d be by now a year ago. We’re fucked, sure. But I assumed that by now we’d be in World War III or at the very least have repealed the Affordable Care Act.
Not just because private citizens en masse have been showing the hell up and keeping their reps from doing awful things.
Not just because the sun is shining today in New York City.
Not just because my friends are doing amazing things like teaching consent workshops, starting Indivisible chapters in their neighborhoods, or standing on soapboxes in their lingerie demanding respect.
Not just because today, in addition to being the day I was made out of concrete, is also the anniversary of the day my partner wrote me one of the most loving notes I’ve ever received, assuring me that we would figure out a way to navigate this new upside-down universe together.
I’m hopeful for all of these reasons and none of these reasons. I’m hopeful because over and over again, one single person keeps saying, “It might not make a difference but I’m gonna do it anyway.”
And the difference that makes is, dare I say it...yuge.
As we keep #resisting and #persisting and voting and calling our reps and protesting and boycotting and shouting and pushing for a better world, I also pray that none of us (myself very much included) become so enamored with our own efforts that we stop becoming better all the time at taking care of each other.
So with all that, here are my questions for you, and for me:
What questions are you avoiding?
What might you be missing?
What might you do to make the world better for people who don’t look like you?
How might you expand?
How might you heal?
How might you be of service?
And when will that start?
With so much love,
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