Hemingway was overwhelmingly correct when he told us to “write hard and clear about what hurts;” as easy as it would be for me to write a post about Christmas movies (which I love) or Kenny Chesney’s new album, those posts would be a lie if this one didn’t come first. If I didn’t first expose and attempt to understand my visceral reaction to the election and the anger and betrayal I still and will most likely, always feel. I don’t want to preach and I also don’t want to repeat the same arguments we liberals have heard and screamed at the top of our lungs against, our now, President Elect. So. I’m going to write a letter to my sister instead.
Over the past few years I have witnessed you grow into a seventeen year old woman whom I am so, so proud of. Your naïve opinions on “pro life” have blossomed into “women should have the right to choose, even if I’m not sure I could make the same decision” (which I would like to take credit for but I don’t think I can), you have defended minorities to your small minded friends and you have gotten so angry at the stories of police officers who abuse their power to personally hurt others.
You’re a fighter.
You, like our father, fight relentlessly for the underdog. Which is why, if I’m honest I can’t see you being anything but a lawyer, (but do whatever makes you happy). You, like our mother, go out of your way to help people; sometimes to a fault. You, like your sister, believe in innate human, environmental, and animal rights. You, like our family, love the United States and the progress we have made as a country which is why I know you’ll have trouble (as you should) coming to terms with a Trump presidency.
And that’s why I cried on Wednesday the 9th. You’re the (biggest) reason why I can’t come to terms with the election results. I can’t imagine you growing up and going to college in a county where rape culture and “locker room talk” is normalized, I don’t want you to fear the availability of birth control or abortion, and it breaks my heart to hear that you revoked some of your college applications because you, like I am, are scared to go to North Carolina. Things I took for granted growing up in America for the past 20 years; a country I now desperately want to flee from and become an ex-patriot. But times appear to be changing and I know you can never leave home like me, so, that’s why I need to you to:
Keep fighting; be safe.
Grace, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you’ll change the world.
But, please take care of yourself physically and mentally while you’re doing it. Be wary of overly friendly college guys, take ownership over your own body, fly in the face of those who seek to oppress you, and, once in a while, pause to take a breath of fresh air; find a release. I’m not exactly sure how you find yours, and sometimes I worry that you don’t, that you’re so preoccupied with helping others, you forget about yourself.
So I’m going to tell you my secret: go hiking with Addie. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that that dog loves us more than anything and the look on her face, the pep in her step when you take her on a hike (or walk for that matter) will inevitably put a smile on yours and remind you that the world isn’t all bad. And only when you’ve had enough time alone in nature, come home rejuvenated, knowing that that feeling of happiness and contentment is exactly what your fighting for on a personal and national level.
And, oh yeah, call me once in a while. Stay strong like I know you will. I love you.
featured photo credit: photo credit: Walter A. Aue <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/54350362@N03/28999645651″>But O that I were young again!</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>