Last night I stayed up much too late, watching election results and talking with my daughter, who had voted in her first presidential election, via absentee ballot. We hung up and I gave up and went to bed some time around 2, unable to watch as my state failed to support my candidate and put the other guy within three electoral votes of winning the election.
This morning, I awoke to gray skies and rain, feeling sad, but wondering if maybe, just maybe something had happened between 2 AM and the time my alarm went off.
I dressed in black (my prerogative, for any of you who might be rolling your eyes) and went to campus to teach my 9:00 class, a mix of students between the ages of 18 and 21. Hillary supporters, Trump supporters and, unless I miss my guess, a few Bernie supporters and independents as well. My students, studying to be nurses and psychologists and law enforcement officers, and a few who haven't yet decided what the future holds.
We have that in common.
I felt better after I taught my class. Caught up in the subject matter and the potential in the room, I forgot about politics for an hour and just focused on giving them information they could use not just for my class, but to better understand themselves and other humans.
It was a first step.
And so today, despite my personal feelings, I adjust to saying the words "President Elect Trump." Or I begin to. Even typing them arouses fear, fed by stock market downturns and an increasing awareness that this election has unleashed more than a mere difference of opinion.
But a decision has been made, and it's time to do what we've been looking forward to for weeks -- moving forward. It's time to put the vitriol behind us, put on our big person pants and use the energy that propelled us to the voting booths to propel us toward healing wounds and closing chasms. Toward seeing the individuals behind the votes. Toward taking a stand for the things that matter, just as we would have had the other candidate won the title.
This is still my country, and he is our president. I don't like it, but I respect the process.
Time for wounds to heal.