How the day should’ve gone:
Text my family first thing in the morning, all caps all exclamation points: “WE DID IT!!!!!!!! WE FINALLY HAVE A WOMAN PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Go to class, see my classmates excited to discuss what the future is going to hold, good or bad. Have a healthy discussion about what Clinton would be like as a president. Talk about the readings, do the activity our professor planned out for us.
Have lunch with my friends, talk about our experiences staying up, watching history be made, and share the collective experience of having pride that our country has truly accomplished something.
Come back to my room, be productive, get my work done. Scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, see Clinton’s impact in people’s statuses, see people sharing their stories and inspiring words for what the future might hold for us.
Go to my Flawless meeting and talk with other women of color, unafraid. Joking about what the alternative would have been, laughing as we always do. Smiling as we do. Happy.
Come back to my room, FaceTime my parents, hear the excitement in my mother’s voice. Try to get my dad to crack a smile, which won’t be too hard. Ask my grandma if she’s satisfied now. After months and months of hearing her go on about how it’s time America had a woman in charge, how if India could do it why couldn’t America? After hearing her wish she could vote to be a part of it, how she donated money, ask her if she’s done now and if we can talk about something else.
Go to sleep happy. Go to sleep peacefully. Go to sleep safe.
How the day went:
Texted my parents after three hours of sleep: “Registered for my classes. It was okay, I’ll talk to you guys later.”
Texted my brother immediately after: “Please be safe, I doubt anything will happen, but I didn’t think Trump would win and here we are. You are a man of color, and people are going to use this as an excuse to treat any brown man as a terrorist. Please be safe.”
Got a reply: “I will. Thanks, sis. You too.”
Went to class. Talked about the election and its implications. Our professor had to stop at one point because he got too emotional thinking about how this was not the America he knew. Had a minute of silence while we all let what happened sink in. We talked about what Trump means for media, for journalism. We didn’t get to our readings. We didn’t get to talking about what we were supposed to cover. We were let out thirty minutes early.
Had lunch with my friend. Watched Hillary tell us to keep an open mind, and that she will continue to fight, and that she is thankful for the opportunity she had. Talked about how we don’t know what’s going to happen, about how all the women we knew must feel right now. We hugged because we needed the support.
Came back to my room. Still haven’t looked at news sites. Still only quickly scrolling through Facebook. Tried to sit and do homework, but decided all I really could do was listen to my “Bad Day” playlist, and read my book, because real life was too hard right now.
The women of color in Flawless Brown have been writing all day. Have been comforting each other and offering words of support and hope. Instead of laughing, instead of our carefree smiles, we put our hearts out. We write about how this wasn’t supposed to happen. How this is not the future we wanted, how we are scared, how everything we all stand for is on the verge of being destroyed.
I haven’t called my parents. I don’t know if I can face my grandmother. I don’t know if I can see her disappointed. I can’t face the uncertainty my parents will have of the future.
I won’t sleep well tonight. I will sleep scared. I will sleep unsure of what could happen. I will sleep knowing that I have friends terrified of what could happen to them and their families.
My comfort tonight, and for the all the nights in the next four years, is seeing the outreach. I’ve seen friends post phone numbers asking people to call and talk to them, I’ve read text messages from friends saying they are here for any emotional support, I’ve scrolled through post after post of people saying that we mourn today, but tomorrow, and every day after, we will come back fighting. And so today I will rest and regain my strength, just as I know many of you all will. And then tomorrow? Tomorrow we come back with fire.