This wasn't supposed to happen! This wasn't supposed to effect me!
But it did...
Leading up to the election, I scoffed at all of the social media wars on who's the better candidate, who's the murderer, who are the rapists, who's less racist. With all due respect, this made me want to scream my head off watching people morph into these emotional mood swings like an immature teenager trying to manage their hormones.
Knowing that I needed to earn some extra cash, I volunteered to work for the press on election night as a phone operator. I worked the last presidential election and I must say, it was thrilling to watch, first hand, all of the votes pouring into the phones that were manically ringing off the hook while documenting every county from each state I was assigned.
The night before the final day of training, for this year's election, I received an e-mail that I had been promoted to floor supervisor. It blew my mind...This was, officially, my first role as a supervisor throughout my work history...Then the thought came to me...What if? What if my very first night in a role of leadership became the first night in American history that a woman won the presidency?!
Frantically, I examined my black notebook, realizing that I only had two blank pages left to express how I truly felt. As much as I hate to start a new notebook before finishing this one, I knew what I had to do. I barely had enough time to run down stairs and grab the thickest notebook I could find. Much to my surprise, there was only one notebook left in the entire section. This blue one...An eerie reflection of how I chose to cast my vote...
The election turned out exactly what was to be expected...Pure madness. But again, I told myself, enjoy the process and the thrill the night will bring.
By the end of the night, it wasn't so thrilling...I watched as the numbers came in where the winner of the presidency was the person who time and time again, gave the okay to disrespect women. I watched as the numbers came in, that those sleazy men in Hollywood, I encountered from time to time, that felt entitled to my body were once again validated that they always had and always will have power over me. I watched as the numbers came in that the Roger Ailes of American businesses will continue to objectify, sexualize, and devalue women...And America approves this message.
It didn't stop there...
A flash back came to me... A night, my friend reported her rape (by a powerful business man) and watching her no longer feel safe...And recalling how the charges were quickly dismissed, I can't say that I blame her...And guess what? Not only do you need to watch your back, but be prepared to watch your front if you happen to be within proximity of the 45th President of the United States!
After the soul-sucking election night, around 4am, I entered my apartment with the door slamming shut behind me before I could stop it. My husband woke up and held me without saying a word. He could feel that I was deeply discouraged and that once again, I felt like women were put back in their place as the underdogs.
As he was leaving for work a few hours later, he whispered in my ear "Where there is great loss, there's great opportunity".
I woke up in the afternoon and did something I had never done before. I showered twice after realizing I had already showered once. And I found this out by noticing the slimy coat of sunscreen on my face that I had already applied after the previous shower that had not yet completely dried.
I went to work, exhausted and in a fog. I looked at my blue notebook, realizing that I was unable to place the title I had already envisioned - "Heart-Full, Voice- Heard, Glass Ceiling - Busted". It was supposed to be the launch of leadership by an example I am to admire...I couldn't bring myself to write in it now.
I finished the two blank pages in my black notebook, expressing my shock and devastation, shortly before lying down and closing my eyes to escape the ocean of emotions weighing in over the stormy clouds consuming New York City.
I woke up this morning and realized that I had yet to look at my test results from my Strength Finders test, I had taken last Friday. I looked through my results and suddenly, quotes from Hillary's concession speech began to consume my thoughts:
"To all the women who put their faith in this campaign and in me, nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion"
"To all the little girls watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world"
"This loss hurts. But please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it"
Then my husband's words became louder: Where there is great loss, there is great opportunity. I look at my strengths and decided that it is time to determine what they mean to me and choose how I should bring them to good use. A new thought appeared in my mind: What if? What if the fight for leadership and gender equality is not lost, it's only just begun to find it's voice?
And as I write down my strengths, I tilt my head up loud and proud to say this is how I choose to start the very first page of my blue notebook.