The world waited with baited breath about how the US election would end, and now a decision has been made. People took to the streets all over the world, in the middle of a pandemic, to celebrate the decision. Now, I am very aware that for many people, almost half of this country based on the election results, that this did not end the way you had hoped, and I am never the type to gloat about this, as I know this hurts deeply for many people I care about. I also know that it could very easily have gone the other way. So, how do we move forward as a country? How do we heal this great divide that has widened even further over the last few years? What steps do we take to begin our pursuit of becoming a more perfect union?
First and foremost, we need to learn once again how to talk with each other rather than at each other. We are all entitled to our feelings and opinions, and right now they are very raw. Being aware of this is of utmost importance. I truly believe that when you get right down to it, there is much more that unites us than divides us.
I feel that when we close our mouths and open our ears more often, we tend to invite in kindness, empathy, and truth. After all, we have two ears and only one mouth for a reason. To be clear though, this goes for all sides. It should not be me versus you or us versus them. It should be all of us together taking a deep breath and a step forward to find ways to make things better for everyone.
Given the magnitude of everything that has happened, I do want to take a moment though to explain what the outcome of this election has meant to me.
Upon hearing that Pennsylvania was called in favor of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, thus solidifying who would lead the next administration, I began crying…sobbing, actually. I could not compose myself for quite some time. It was as if five years of emotions plus all of what’s happened so far in 2020 had come out all at once, and I find it’s difficult to separate out each emotion individually.
I stood behind my sofa on Saturday morning, staring at the TV screen, with tears streaming down my face. Just as a wave of relief came over me that this election it was finally over, another wave of the tsunami of emotions hit me when I realized that for the very first time there would be a woman, moreover a woman of color, serving as the Vice President. To say this is historic is the understatement of my lifetime.
Even now, as I write this, I’m having trouble comprehending just how monumental this is for women. I thought of my Little Sister, who I’ve mentored since meeting her in 2011, and was in awe that this was her very first Presidential election to get to vote in, and this was the outcome. I thought of my dear friend who has a six year old daughter of mixed race who will never remember a time when a woman didn’t hold one of the highest jobs in this country, or the world for that matter. I imagined what it must be like for so many parents to get to explain to their children what the significance of this is and how it will affect their lives in such a positive way.
I watched the speeches given both by the President- and Vice President-elect on Saturday evening. Again, I wept tears of validation that I, a woman, was finally represented in this moment. I found myself questioning over and over why it took this long. What an amazing moment to witness! I feel like I’ve lived through so much history this year already, most of it tragic. This historic moment was different. I knew I would burn the memory into my brain of Kamala Harris standing there in that white suit, delivering the speech so many had hoped they’d witness as some point, thus tearing down another barrier that had eluded women for so long.
The challenge with elections is that there can only be one victor, which means so many are left unsatisfied with the results. For those of you who had hoped for a different outcome, please know that I can empathize, as I felt the same way four years ago. I truly believe that the moment has chosen the right people to lead us, so I implore you to given them a chance just as I did in 2016. We may be separated both physically and politically, but know that I am holding an outstretched hand and look forward to us all taking that deep breath and steps forward to a future that we can all be proud of as Americans.