two weeks ago, i was ready to pull an all-nighter. i had my wine, my popcorn, my twitter feed up on my phone, my tv tuned into the all-night swedish news, and my computer screen streaming nbc.

i was ready for an epic night and the first woman president of the united states of america.

and, oh was it an epic night.

but, i remember the gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach when i started to wonder if things might not turn out the way i wanted. and i must admit, it was pretty early on. i remember that as that feeling grew, i tried to push it away + ignore it, holding on to every little speck of hope.

by 4am swedish time, i was feeling pretty certain that something horrible was truly happening. still, i tried to ignore it. i held on, waiting for the votes to come in from the west coast. and, when they finally did, and still it was too close to call, at 5 am i decided to let myself sleep for an hour before my alarm at 6 am.

but, i knew i’d wake up to an entirely different world. deep inside i knew.

i woke, got dressed, and ran out the door to a 7:30 am meeting. still with no call on the presidency.

and then, at 8:45, on my way to the school after my meeting, i reached into my coat pocket to pull out my phone. wobbling as i walked over the ice + snow, i read texts from my love, my mom, and my brother. “she conceded!! how did this happen?! it’s over. trump won.”

my mind couldn’t comprehend the thought. the consequences + ramifications were too many for my little brain to handle. question after question flooded my thoughts. how is this possible?! what does this mean?! who? how? why? i just couldn’t understand. i was absolutely in shock.

at work, as the token american, it’s all everyone wanted to talk about. and i was asked (and still am today) by others how this happened?! as if i know. as if i understand.

i still cannot comprehend it all. i am still in shock. i still know nothing. only that this is not the normal that i want to live in.

so, what now? two weeks have passed and i still don’t have my thoughts together. and i really don’t want to talk about it. i am still going through some sort of grieving process, and every time i really try to imagine what has happened i feel a heaviness inside me. and i feel fear. lots of fear.

what i do understand is that i think a lot of people have been + still are crying out for help. a lot of people who have been stuck, who have felt abandoned and forgotten and misunderstood, have been yearning for a drastic change. and all of these people, on the right + on the left, all just want to be seen+ heard. some of them found their hope in the thought of being stronger together. some gave up hope and stayed home. and some put their faith in an outsider who somehow became their savior – someone to look up to who speaks his mind, has lots of money, and is living the life they they all dream of living.

i wonder if many people, desperate for change, just said to themselves… “well, why the hell not?” and then checked the trump/pence box.

for me, though, there is no ends that justify the means.

what i mean is that i have to have integrity behind my vote. listen, i wanted change too. drastic change. but, i was not willing to throw what i value in life out the window. i have my own line. and i will not cross it.

however, cross it, we did. as a nation, broken + hurting, we have now accepted all of the shit that comes with this change that has been chosen. many people got the end they wanted. but, does it justify the means? does it justify all of the hurt, pain, discrimination, ugliness, hate, bigotry, racism, misogany, isolationism, egoism, greed, and immaturity that was came with it?

for me, when we voted in this next president, we basically said to african americans, lgbtqi, women, muslims, mexicans, immigrants, native americans, the disabled, and anyone who doesn’t agree with the right, “fuck you. we want change so badly that we will just throw you under the bus.”

my friends, that may be the statement that has been made, but there is not one bone in my body that believes that it has to be so.

in other words, we do not have to accept all of this as the new normal.

for, it is in these times of trial and trouble and fear and doubt and confusion and misunderstanding and darkness that we rise. we rise and we fight. we take action. we use love to draw us to together. we use peace to speak up. we use our money to support any and every organization that creates + promotes community. we dig deep and light the fires within us and we burn with the passion of justice.

maybe i don’t need to analyze anything at all. because what is, simply is. this is the situation we find ourselves in. as confusing and befuddling and infuriating as it may be for many of us, it happened.

now, it’s time to move forward. to grab each others’ hands, to put pen to paper, to make phones calls, to march, to stand together, to peacefully protest any and everything that divides + separates.

it’s time, my friends. racism, discrimination, sexism, supremacy, abuse, violence, torture… these things are not the new normal.

not in my world.

peace + love. xoxo. liz.