I am exhausted right now friends. I definitely stayed up too late last night texting my best friend in New York City as we processed what was happening. I also did not sleep well. I tossed and turned all night long. So, today I will be getting through with plenty of coffee and a smile for everyone I see.
Friends, I know I am in shock today about the values our country chose last night, and I know many of you are too. My heart goes out to everyone who is grieving in some way the outcome of the election. This is a morning I am grateful to not be a mother, and to not be working in the school system yet. I honestly do not know how I would explain to a child that asked how someone who has blatantly expressed, through both words and actions, choices that run counter to what we teach children every day. Someone who bullies others and makes fun of people who are different, someone who expresses hatred and intolerance instead of walking with people in love, grace and kindness. If a child looked at me today with questions in their eyes, I do not know that I could answer them well.
However, I do know that part of the beauty of the United States of America is the peaceful transitioning of power. I know that the people I interact with daily at work and in my community are good, hard-working, loving people even if our politics are different. I know that I will continue to live my life loving others, expressing my heart through writing, creating a kind environment around me, and trying to live out my faith. Today, before serving grilled cheese to the students, I will pray for our country to experience healing through neighbors reaching across yards that once held divisive campaign signs to see how they’re doing and come together as we approach a holiday of thanksgiving and community.
I like to believe that Election Day and Thanksgiving are so close together so that as we move forward, we can reflect on the good in the world, the good in our country, the good in our state, the good in our community. That we can find joy and thanksgiving through surrounding ourselves with those we love and reflect on the closing of one year and the opening of another. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because it encourages you to be grateful for the life you lead and the blessings you have, and its an attitude I try to live out every day. This Thanksgiving, I will be especially grateful to live in a country where its okay to disagree and have dissenting opinions because through debate and dialogue our understanding of those who are different from us can only grow stronger.
As we move forward, I am choosing to continue my quest for kindness, love, compassion and empathy. I am choosing to be thankful to have the opportunity to vote and express my political convictions. I am choosing to continue my passion for mental healthcare advocacy and reform. I am choosing to pursue my desire to become a school counselor that can help students become kind, brave, compassionate leaders. I am choosing to live a life of joy and kindness.