This is a surprise blog. A surprise for Stormy who has been carrying all the posts. A surprise for me who has started many, but no time to finish any. A surprise topic that I wasn’t planning on. Today was a surprise.
I woke up this morning surprised about how I felt. At first I wasn’t sure what it was I was feeling. Just odd. I figured it had to do with the election. I have been listening to my vocal family and friends (including blog partner!) and reading all of the strong posts and comments behind today’s election. And of course, I have been taking part in sharing my own feelings with those I am comfortable with. But for the most part, though I do have strong feelings, I have been pretty calm. Maybe everyone else was feeling for me. Perhaps it was too much raw emotion and anger on all sides surrounding the lead up to today. Maybe I was just ready for it to be over. But overall I was the calm one of those around me. A new behavior for me.
But today that changed. I woke up. I felt. Analyzing the knot in my stomach, I tried to figure out if it was nerves. I thought through my morning plans:
- Bring my son to the orthodontist
- Drop him off at school
- Go vote
That is when my eyes filled with tears. What was going on? It hit me like a brick, I am casting a vote for a woman for president. It was crazy how proud I felt.
Let me stop for a second. This post is not to infuriate people. I am not starting a last minute rally. It is not to convince anyone to change their mind. It is just a personal reflection of how something actually affected me. Surprised me.
As I got ready a long-lost memory struck me. A test I took in fifth grade, and one of the questions was writing what was required to be president. The things that stand out as requirements was being a certain age, being a citizen and being a man. Was that really on my test? I am not sure, but it is a vivid memory so if it wasn’t, my mind as a young girl was imprinted with the fact that being a man was part of being president. Funny I didn’t remember that ’til today.
It was also interesting how in the midst of this surprising emotion, how blessed I was feeling not just about the opportunity I have, but the people around me.
- My dad, my polar opposite on this election. Well, every election. As much as my vote will probably infuriate him (but not surprise him), I respect that he cares and showed me that politics are important and worth fighting about. He never expected nor wanted me to be a quiet, well-behaved girl. I know a piece of him will try to understand how his two daughters may actually take seeing a woman on the ballot. (No political emails dad! I know it’s not the woman you would want. If it was one you would vote for, I wouldn’t probably be able to cast my vote that way but would still smile at seeing “HER” name on the ballot.)
- A mom who is as vocal and dedicated to politics as my dad, just on the other side of the spectrum. A woman who marched for women’s rights and is a proud feminist voter. She raised her daughters to be as strong and stubborn as her.
- My stepdad who will be casting a proud vote for a woman he strongly believes in.
- A daughter who will never get that a woman couldn’t be president.
- My grandma who shared with me at 89 that she always voted her own mind and opposite of grandpa – though she never told him.
- My other grandma who is still alive and will probably cancel out my vote, but who lives her life as a strong woman who is never shy to speak her mind.
- My friends and sisters who represent so many different kinds of success and strength, who prove over and over there is never just one right way to be a beautiful, strong woman.
It is amazing to think there is a real chance a woman can actually be a president. It makes me proud of our country. It makes me proud to be a girl, woman, lady…..I am proud of my tears.
I woke up, I teared up
I pulled up to the polls, I teared up
I voted, I teared up
I wiped off tears my whole way to work
…and then I walked in to do my job. And thanks to strong women who battled for my rights in the past, I have a lead spot in my company. Damn, more tears.
It is a good day. I am glad that what could have been a morning to wake up filled with fear or hate – from the whole attitude of this election – turned out as a day of pride and power for me. No matter what happens, that will stay with me.
Stormy, I will meet you tonight for a drink and to watch the outcome!