And still, we hope.
This post is a little ramble-y. You've been warned.
I've been searching for words since just before midnight on Tuesday, and I'm still struggling. But what I do know is... this isn't what I wanted. This isn't what I hoped for. This is, very possibly, my nightmare.
Don't get me wrong, dear reader, I fully recognize the privilege I wear. I am white. I come from an upper middle class family that takes care of my curly headed crew when we need help getting our act together. True, I am a woman, but I'm lucky. I'm physically beautiful (which shouldn't matter, but seems to). I'm well educated. I have a husband who adores and believes in me, and I will never have to worry about my son not coming home at night because of the color of his skin. I definitely speak from a place of privilege, but I have fears too. Fear of living under a constant trigger warning for the next 4 years. Fear that I will be sexually assaulted again because the new president openly treats women like toys for his own amusement, and that opens the door for others to follow. Fear that my friends of color will never know what it is to feel safe in their own homes. Fear that my LGBTQ friends will lose the rights that they have only been able to enjoy for such a small window as it is. Fear that the entire human race is doomed, due to an impending environmental fallout.
There are so many things to be afraid of now, and yet I have hope that all is not lost. Why? Well, it may not seem big to you, but it meant the world to me.
So, I teach dance. Most of you know this by now. One of my passions in life is training the next generation of musical theatre performers to be able to at least make it through a dance audition without having a panic induced meltdown. Anyhow, at the beginning of class every week, we have a huddle where we check in with one another. We say how we're feeling on the inside and out, and get ready to dance together. We all went around the circle, and few kiddos expressed some sadness at the outcome of the presidential race, and some expressed confusion at the sadness, but all expressed their happiness that this was they day they got to come and dance with me. Anyhow, during our huddle, I reminded them that we were getting close to the time of year where I will be gone for a few weeks while I'm in a show (babies, if you're reading this PLEASE be nice to your sub!), and they wanted to hear (again) about the theatre company that I work for. "You mean, it's like a job?" "Can we all go to your show?" "That exists here in BCS?" "It's so cool that we have a professional theatre in this town!", you know. The usual comments from my crew of 10-14 year olds who show up every week. I forget sometimes that what I do for a living is actually pretty cool, and that they are watching my every move. Anyhow, amongst the usual commentary, one of my kiddos (the one who is so stoked that there is a professional theatre in her hometown) informs me that she has decided that as soon as she "is old enough and has enough money", she is going to open a theatre for people with disabilities.
That may seem like a random thing to have latched onto, but think about it. A 14 year old girl, who is a budding performer and director, has more talent in her little finger than many people even SEE in their lifetime, and she has decided that the goal she is going to work towards, is opening a theatre especially for disabled actors so that they have a voice too. Y'all. This is our future. These are the kids we are raising to take our place. And guess what? THEY. ROCK. They understand what is important. They care about things and people other than themselves, and they work HARD.
And so that is where I am right now, folks. I'm not happy. Devastated is a much more appropriate word. And I may not be looking forward to the next 4 years. But I am hopeful, because I see our future every day. And y'all? It's not too shabby.