I wanted to make this collage and tell my story back on October 27th when these photos were taken. But to be honest, it’s been dark times at my house. I have been pretty depressed and trying to deal with a lot of personal issues with PPD and a life that is nucking futs.
To be sure I am so totally #blessed (hashtag barf) and I have four beautiful healthy children and a husband who is helping me raise them the best we know how. But life is super hard even when you’re a white suburban housewife. So I can’t imagine what it’s like to be anyone else. When I try to think of how bad it gets for some people, I just become paralyzed with sadness. But I imagine that it’s quite the uphill battle to be anything but a white girl from the OC (except maybe a white BOY from the OC) considering how hard things are for poor little me. And now it’s likely “too late” (though as I type I send my positive vibes out towards these incredibly tight polls) to make a statement about how this election has made me feel.
In 2008 I stood on street corners holding signs and covered my car in bumper stickers for things I believed in, with NO SHAME. None. I was FEARLESS. I stood proudly on the National Mall and watched our country swear in President Barack Obama and it was incredible. I flew without too much fear, I went to the movies and the park and to big events with NO WORRIES.
Then I had four beautiful babies in six years, the first born just 13 months after Obama was inaugurated. And the anxiety and stress of parenting slowly but surely took over my life. It was not too bad after one, and still pretty fun after two. The third made things a little nutty but she was an easy baby back then, so that helped. But then the real post partum set in and it’s been an extremely bumpy ride the last two years. Oh, and I had another (surprise) baby in that same timeframe.
I rub about a gallon of essential oils on myself a day to help combat my anxiety, my stress, my depression. I take Zoloft, but don’t think it works and plan to get off. I need more yoga. I try to not clinch my jaw. I try not to scream at my kids. I try not to eat too much sugar at night. I try to teach my children kindness. And I live under a tiny little raincloud. I’m dealing and I’m making it, but holy hell it’s hard. The last 7 years have kicked my ass. Hard.
Sooooo…here we are…it was Thursday October 27th and I had just picked up my oldest daughter from school. I had the other two girls with me, and we had an hour to kill between pickups every day. I was listening to Michelle Obama at a rally asking women to go VOTE EARLY. That He Who Must Not Be Named must be defeated. That our country’s future was at stake in this election. That our standing with the World was on the ballot. That women’s Rights and minorities rights and immigrants lives and existences were all on the ballot. Say what you want but Michelle can speak straight to the core of someone’s being, if you’ll listen. She’s a tough woman. And so is Hillary. But…
So I looked in the rear view mirror as I sat in the parking lot waiting for Mar to buckle her belt. I noticed my pink hair (editors note: I didn’t dye my hair for Hillary. It was a fun side note, but I dyed my hair pink because I’ve always wanted to and my bosses are all age six and under and I’m leaving it this way because it actually made me feel like a million dollars and like I was maybe and finally my TRUE self. Just for the record.) and then my pink Lululemon shirt, then Keller’s Bob Marley onesie and rainbow tie dye socks, and Holland’s pink shoes and shirt, Mar’s “Always Be Yourself, Unless You Can Be a Unicorn” shirt, and so I snapped the selfie (yes, my mini van is truly THAT dirty.) and drove to the grocery store to cast my vote FOR HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT.
Because I don’t LOVE her, nope. But I don’t hate her. I think the country needs a MOM. And because HE without a doubt scares the living shit out of me as a woman and a mother. Thank the Universe I’m white and have a US birth certificate and a college degree. Because I’m just feeling sick now. 12:32am CDT and they are going to call Pennsylvania for him and that’s when I might vomit.
But we have to try to stand up and say “We are going to be alright, we are going to still be a wonderful country, we are still moving forward. We are not as divided as we seem.” Even if it seems TOTALLY FAKE. Because if you tell yourself something enough times YOU WILL BELIEVE IT. I know this from the opposite perspective.
I have been so hard on myself and down on myself and depressed and mean and sad. And the more I beat myself up, the worse it gets. But when I talk positive, when I sit with a girlfriend who shines light on me and fills me up, when I point out all the Good to my kids and myself, it’s better.
This is going to be hard. It’s going to be weird. I’m shocked at what that man was able to do and say and he is going to be the leader of the free world. You guys, he’s a walking hypocrisy, and a villain. But I’m not going to “just flip out” like you think I am (yes, Jerry Maguire reference because I needed to smile) because that won’t change anything.
I’m going to ride or die with my country. I’m going to not defriend people who voted for him. I’m not going to really say much outside of this blog post because this is already so far outside my political comfort zone that I’m shaking as I type.
So go easy on me because I’m just a white hippie girl from the red OC in the blue California, transplanted into blue Austin in this red state and currently hobbling around with a busted knee and dragging four gorgeous, rotten kids behind me. I’m just trying to sell artwork and get people to understand the benefit of essential oils. (And yes, I will be going through a gallon of Stress Away this week) so just do me a favor and don’t attack me. Don’t argue with me and with each other. Don’t spew vitriol. PLEASE. Respect one another. Maybe he won’t be so bad. Maybe she’ll still win. (She won’t, but I can’t just get there in my head yet) Maybe he will tell us it was all a prank. But it looks like the country has spoken. And while I’m a lot scared of what they have said, I’m hopeful that things will continue to progress forward in this country. That, as Jimi Hendrix said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace”…
Let’s stick together, friends. Let’s not continue to let this shit tear us apart. Let’s try to be graceful in victory and humble in defeat. I typed that and felt nauseous. I’m not going to lie.
Johnny just handed me a bowl of noodles and told me to eat up because “Regardless, we have to be parents in the morning. And do the best we can.”
Yup, we sure do. May the force be with us.