Monday, November 28, 2016

Hello, It's Me

I don't do a monthly recap on the blog, partly because I'm lazy and partly because there isn't usually much to say. But I was inspired by Jamie's If We Were Having Coffee feature (which was inspired by someone else!) to start doing more personal posts on here. And what better way to do that than to recap my month in LIFE instead of just books and blogging? So Checking In will be a monthly feature on here that will help you guys get to know ME better, and hopefully you'll start sharing your own stories with me. :)

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I honestly was not expecting to take an impromptu, two-week break on the blog immediately following my 4th blogoversary. (And I'm shamelessly going to mention my international giveaway in celebration of it!). I was super excited about starting a new year of blogging, and I had this whole month planned with posts. Seriously, aside from the weekends, my Google calendar was full. And I was doing SO well with getting posts written and scheduled for during the days I work. But... then the election happened. And I just didn't have it in me to write posts or to blog.

I have hardly read this month. So far, I've finished 4 books. I reread The Lumatere Chronicles in comfort (though am still finishing up Quintana), and it has helped, but I haven't had much desire to read. I'm becoming more excited to read some books, but now I feel like I'm running out of time to get caught up, mostly on 2016 ARCs I've yet to read. I so badly wanted to start fresh in 2017, but I'm less than hopeful about that happening. I, um, quit NaNo. I had wanted to work seriously on my Rapunzel WIP but I've felt so uninspired about everything. I don't even know where my days have gone. I've worked and slept and read a bit, but that's about it. I've had no energy for anything else.

I. am. angry. I am so full of anger and stress that I don't even know where to begin. Maybe it was naive of me to be confident that Hillary would win, to be so sure that it was finally the time for a woman president. To have an absolute certainty that people were looking at DJT and recognizing that he would be a terrible leader alone based on his words and actions, and his complete lack of empathy for others different from himself. But I was sorely mistaken, and I was shocked. Yes, I was. In my ignorance, I did not realize just how deep sexism and especially racism still is in this country. I did not expect this outcome, so I wasn't prepared, and I'm feeling adrift now.

I don't really know how family and friends of mine voted. For some, I could guess just based on their statuses and tweets. I know how my mom voted, my uncle, and a few of my cousins. But other than that, I've just assumed. Normally I would not assume, because I try not to do that, but I am doubting that most of them would have voted for Hillary. Their very conservative values are everything to them, so much so that they chose their party over the safety of millions. I am still angry, trying to understand their decisions, but wishing they'd picked differently. I've been told by a few relatives that basically my opinion isn't right and I don't know what I'm talking about. I wrote a post on Facebook, reaching out and asking people to stop telling those who are scared and angry to get over it and accept the outcome. It didn't go over very well, and everyone ignored my second post trying to clarify but still being firm about my stance. I don't know how they all feel about it.

I went to Thanksgiving, and the aunt who had mostly argued with me completely ignored my existence. I know it's not my problem or fault. I know that it's not a reflection on myself. But that cut. I was just thankful no one decided to talk politics. I didn't go to the family Christmas on my mom's side this past Saturday. Both because I've just stopped going and because of this election. Her side is the very, very conservative side, and I fundamentally do not agree with this party on nearly every level. There's a reason I don't talk politics with any of them, and I didn't relish the idea of spending time with people who think I'm just a lost little lamb. The other two relatives who had commented on my first Facebook post talked down to me like I'm still a child. My great-aunt said that she believed that God took over in the voting booths, and I was like NOPE NOT HERE FOR THAT. They deleted their comments that night, but their words still play on a loop in my mind. I'm angry, and hurt. I'm angry that the one time I speak out, I'm told that I'm being fed lies. I'm hurt that no one actually listened to me.

I don't really know what to do, from here, except to try to call them out when they're in the wrong. Confrontation has ALWAYS been hard for me. I've always been too scared to be honest, get angry, with people because of THEIR feelings. But fuck this, I'm done. I feel like I've got less of a filter than I had before, and I'm tired of carrying on when I'm hurt and angry and letting people get away with making me feel that way. My feelings matter too, and those who will try to invalidate them are people I don't need in my life, even if they're family. So it's time to stop being silent. 

I'm dreading the end of 2016 because that means it's the start of four years under this presidency. I fear for my rights as a woman. I fear for the lives of those I love who don't have the luxury or the privilege of passing white and straight. I fear that the world is gonna get turned upside down and that I'll live through what will be one of the worst times in history. I dread everything about this. And I'm not feeling very hopeful about the Electoral College doing what the Founding Fathers intended for its purpose and stopping this from happening on December 19th.

The only good thing that came out of this for me is that my eyes are WIDE open, and I know that I *need* to start speaking up more. I think I'm going to write another post on this, in time. But for right now, I'm taking it a day at a time, trying not to hope just to be completely devastated again. I haven't done my action-items as I'd wanted to this weekend, so I'm pushing myself to do them after work this week, if it's still needed. I've read and read so much about elections and politics over the past few weeks, but I still have SO much to learn, and I want to be educated. This going through life with a veil of ignorance will not help, and I wish it hadn't taken so long for the fire to show up. But it's here, and I'm ready to do MORE than I have ever done in the past. If these next four years happen, they're going to push all of us beyond measure, and thinking about that has not been good for me. So right now, I'm just going to continue to take it a step, a day, at a time. It's helped, and it's also helped having this community, my friends here, who understand and who have given me a place to rant and rage and just be hurt that my family chose wrong. It's been hard, but I've been able to find some comfort and joy. I hope you guys have too!


How are you guys doing? Are you okay? Scared, angry, hopeful? Whatever you're feeling, it's completely and 100% valid. Don't let ANYONE tell you otherwise, no matter who they are to you. I truly hope you have been able to find comfort and a small measure of peace since the election. I hope you have been taking time for self-care because it is *so* important. I'm not normally a positive, optimistic person, but whatever happens, we'll always have this wonderful safe space here. So I know we can get through it together. <3