It's been a long time.
So much has happened between then and now. So much that I can't possibly sum it up in one ...or two...or even three.. longish posts...
So why don't we just start with last Tuesday the 8th of November. Election Day.
I haven't said much since then on social media...or in real life.
First it was shock. Like most of the world. I, like sooo many others thought that Trump would be close...probably painfully close, but not actually win election for President of the most powerful nation in the free world.
I woke up at 3 a.m on November 9 to relieve myself and made the mistake of checking my phone.
I didn't sleep any more that night. Good thing I only lost 2 hours.
For the next two days I went through the motions. I taught my content. I stayed incredibly busy (not hard to do at all) and avoided any mention of politics from my colleagues, friends and certainly disallowed it in my classroom. I compartmentalized until I gained my equilibrium...my kid's future kept flashing in front of my eyes...
The only exception to my maintaining radio silence was to send my Gay Straight Alliance kids a message letting them know that I was available if they needed me... and where they could find me. I also sent them links and phone numbers to hotlines in case things get really, really bad. I saw the hurt in their eyes...I feel like I let them down in a personal way too.
In the evenings... when life started to settle...and I got a chance to do what I do ...research.
I started digging...and digging...and digging... I read lots and lots of articles, analysis, op-ed pieces, blogs, and forums. Pretty much anything I could read from so many differing perspectives desperate to understand what the hell just happened. Especially what might happen to my life...and most importantly the life of my child. I tightened my grip on my emotions, only crying in the shower in the car after drop off. I couldn't let the kids see how anxious I am, sometimes white eyed with fear.
I clamped down white knuckle tight on the emotion.
Several friends who know us reached out...asked if I was ok. Told me that they were praying for us. They mean well and I love them more for it...but their words bring no solace....in fact it took everything that in me not to let loose my grip on all the emotions and tell them how much their churches have hurt us. But I know they weren't to blame... and we need good allies...
So I clamped down further.
The administration kept sending out emails even before November 8th detailing (demanding) along with everything else about bulletin board decorations, cookies for guests, quizzes on how great the school is, our technology and classroom greeters...I wanted to scream and throw things....what does ANY of that matter? But they wouldn't care. They haven't cared. They won't care. So it would be wasted energy and I have very little of that to spare.
So I clamped down further.
After a weekend that allowed me to get one good nights sleep, a bird watching walk in the woods, and see a good movie...I'm feeling at least somewhat coherent about this result.
There are so many things to say...so many things to do.
At 44 years old and walking in the woods with people that were both older and younger than myself...I realized that I am statistically speaking more or less halfway through this iteration of my molecular combination. I am done with most of the searching part. Now I am on to the affecting change part. And I discovered on Tuesday...I have been fairly ineffective at affecting those changes. I had to stand and face my failures this week, as a mom..as a wife...as a teacher...as a daughter..as a friend...as an activist..and mostly as a human. I'm sorry to all of you.
I wondered about the story that I've written so far...what legacy will I leave for my children...for my students....for other humans in my life that I love deeply...for the fallen and the marginalized...for the voiceless and afraid? Emotionally I've been veering wildly from rage and fear back to resolute and then to frozen solid. It's exhausting, and I don't have any damn time to be exhausted. I have to unfreeze and get moving...get my family moving and safe before we get run over.
Given the events of 8 November... I no longer have the luxury of wanting to ride into the future with a leisurely gait at ease with my fellow man and the security of the United States law or the humanity of those around me to depend on to relax a little. Looks like my legacy will be written in the blood, sweat and tears of education and activism. Looks like that I must lose all vestiges of my southern gentility and roll up my sleeves for something more aggressive.
I hope at the end of the next 44 to turn and look back with a big grin at how we closed the door on inequality and misunderstanding, how we snuffed out complacency and illiteracy. I hope to look back knowing that because of people like me this boil on the face of humanity is lanced, cleaned and medicine administered.
I am slowly..releasing my grip...and I hope to be the dragon they rue they awakened. I hope they rue November 8th 2016.
Oh and if you're interested....this is the article that struck cords with me on Wednesday. I needed to hear it. I needed to feel it. Maybe you can open yourself up to feelings too.