The pain will subside if we stand together

I’ve often been asked by people who know me professionally if I have an “off” button. If I’m ever not cheerful, happy, and positive. Yesterday, some of them saw the darkness that lies within me. Yesterday felt like one of the worst days.

The only way I can adequately put my feelings into words is by comparing it to other experiences. Few times in my life I have felt this numb exhaustion.

The first was in high school, when my first boyfriend broke up with me. I didn’t understand the feeling, and my mom compared it to the death of someone you love. Heartbreak is often the death of a relationship, and your body mourns that death. I barely slept. I couldn’t eat. And I found solace in a summer nanny job that kept my mind occupied and my body busy. Children have healing powers. But even then, I took to writing in order to work through my feelings.

A year later, September 11, 2001 happened. Three weeks into my freshman year at Bradley University and the world felt like it was crumbling. we collectively sat glued to our TVs, terrified, unsure, sad, and angry. We went to candlelight vigils and mass en mass. We prayed. And we cried.

The next time I felt that empty sadness was the first time (of three) my college boyfriend broke up with me. It was an old friend enveloping me in a dark cloud, and I truly wondered if I’d ever smile again. I lived inside my journal. Writing  the same thoughts and feelings over and over in every way I could.

And then, a real and painful death shattered me. My grandfather died. My grandfather, who had lived in our home for ten years. And the raw pain I felt was guttural. I trampled across campus, tears streaming down my face, coating my boyfriend’s pajama pants in mud to find him in the engineering lab because I didn’t now what else to do. I just knew I couldn’t be alone. For months, I’d start thinking of him and just cry. I would think, I’m okay. And then I’d hear a song on the radio or someone would say something that reminded me of him. And I’d burst into tears. My body and mind exhausted from crying, from thinking, from worry. I felt the pain physically.

It has happened several more times since then, but every time I experienced that exhausting, empty sadness, I came out of it, alive. Stronger. With kindness, courage, and resolve.

This week, it truly feels like someone died. Maybe it was democracy, but only time will tell. I have to have hope. And faith. And belief that this is not the end of the world, but the start of a revolution. I have to do what I can, and I hope you will, too, to continue to fight for women, racial minorities, non-Christian religious or non-religious people, the LGBT community, refugees, and any people looking for the American dream.

Bay City, Wisconsin

Bay City, Wisconsin

 

Yesterday, we mourned. Today, we rise.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’m Voting for Hillary. Period.

I voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 Illinois Primary.

I voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Illinois Primary.

I’m not a feminist. I’m a humanist.

I don’t love Hillary, but I intend to vote for her. I intend to share my beliefs. I intend to use my digital platform to support her.  I intend to dedicate whatever I can to helping our country elect her as president, not because she’s a woman, but because the other outcome is too scary to possibly imagine.

I will still share my life. You will still see pictures, videos, and mishaps as Brian and I walk down the aisle and continue our life together. You’ll still hear about me walking into poles, tripping over invisible wires, and stealing my best friend’s car. But if you follow me anywhere, you’re going to see a proud as fuck Hillary supporter. BECAUSE THE OTHER OUTCOME IS TOO SCARY TO POSSIBLY IMAGINE.

Hillary for President. Because the other outcome is too scary to possibly imagine. Click To Tweet

I understand that many of you are planning on voting for a third party candidate, which is your right as an American. But in this two-party system we’ve got going on (one that won’t be changing in the next 3 months), you’re wasting your vote. And if The Donald is elected? It will be partially your fault. You want to change the two party system? Great. CHANGE IT. Petition the men and women of congress. Petition your representatives. But don’t think for a second that Donald Trump isn’t using this two party system to his advantage.

If you can honestly say that you support the racist, sexist, egotistical, narcissistic bigot because you believe in his version of America…there’s the door, if you will. But if you’re more afraid of Hillary than of Trump…why don’t you do a little more research. Why don’t you listen to the horrifying words that come out of that orange-faced mouth every fucking day. He’s not a conservative and he’s not a Republican.

I support Hillary. I’m with her. And I’m ready to use my voice and fight for her election. Because I have faith. And hope. And I believe in her, just like I believe in you. Be better.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!