This Week We Mourn, Next Week We Fight

I’ll admit, my post is going up late today. To make up for that, I won’t force a punishment on you, Daniel. Hopefully that will make up for me completely forgetting last night.

I have the day off from work for Veteran’s Day, but instead of sleeping in or laying around, I’ve been working. I went grocery shopping, I’ve washed the dishes, I’ve cleaned the bathroom, and I’ve cleaned the ferret cage. I find if I keep myself busy, my emotions don’t overwhelm me. I’ve been trying to keep it in check all week and it’s been difficult.

This week, the country elected Donald Trump as president. At first, I was scared. I spent Wednesday on the verge of tears, worrying about all of my friends and family who would be affected by his racist, sexist, xenophobic behavior. I was worried for myself as a young, married career woman. Will I be able to pursue my dreams while our country is being led by Trump who has many times demonstrated how he feels about women? I honestly count myself lucky that I’m already married. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like for single women in this country.

Now, three days later, I’m no longer worried. I’m mad. I’m mad as hell and I don’t know what to do with all of this anger. I’m mad that the people of America have taken Trump’s win as a sign that they can start acting like bigots. I’m mad that, despite all of the good people I know and love, hate won in my country over love. I’m mad that despite being an educated woman, I feel helpless and hopeless in the face of my government

So, what am I going to do with all this anger? So far I’ve cleaned out the fridge and worked out three times, but I want my anger to be productive. I don’t want it to fade away or be subdued by stopgap measures like throwing myself into my work or my hobbies. I want things to change and the only way I can do that is change myself.

In this post I’m going to list all of the things I’m going to do with my anger. Not only do I want to give you and our seven readers ideas for what they can do, but I also want someone to hold me accountable and keep me on track. It’s easy to let things go and become complacent, but I don’t want that to happen. I want to become more involved and engaged and I hope that the rest of our generation feels the same way. If we all become more engaged and work hard to overcome the hate in this country, we can make a difference.

Here’s what I’m going to do with all of my anger:

  • I’m going to take an Introduction to American Law class. I took government and politics in high school, but I definitely need a refresher. I want to know more about how our government works and how I can make a difference as an individual.
  • I’m going to start reading the news on a regular basis. It’s definitely easier to read Buzzfeed and goof around on Tumblr, but that won’t help anybody. I want to learn. I want to be engaged.
  • I’m going to learn another language. I’ve been meaning to learn another language for a long time and now I have the energy to do so. I want to expand my worldview and knowing another language is a wonderful way to connect with other people.
  • I want to volunteer more. Right now I volunteer with the local humane society and I plan to volunteer more. I also want to volunteer with organizations that help people who might be affected by Trump’s behavior. I’ve looked into volunteering with a charity that helps victims of domestic violence.
  • I want to start donating to charities I believe in. I don’t have a lot of money thanks to my bills and student loans,  but even small donations help. I can spare five dollars a month and that’s what I’m going to do.
  • I want to start being nice to people. I’d argue that I’m already a nice person, but I could be nicer. I want to smile at people on the streets as I walk by. I want to start splurging on the people I love. I want to start surprising strangers with compliments and small tokens. Love will trump hate, I know it.

That’s what I have so far. There’s more I can do, but it’s a start. I’m going to be a better person so that I can help make the world a better place.

That’s how I’m handling this week, Daniel. How’s your week going?

-EMS

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