Today is the first day since I turned eighteen that I did not vote.
This is not a fact that I am proud of. This is even more poignant since NYC is having a mayoral election.
In fact I didn't even know it was Election Day until last night. This is highly unusual for me because after my birthday it was my favorite holiday. But that all changed last year.
I am having trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that it has been a whole year since the world went dark. After last year’s Election Day I felt broken. It was more than just being upset and more than being a sore loser because my candidate didn't win. It was a visceral reaction to all of the horrors of our world that I knew would be coming. It was a fear and panic I hadn't felt since 9/11.
In the past year a lot of those fears have been realized. Each new day seems to bring more bad news. North Korea troubles and the now daily domestic shootings are our new normal. People seem so be so surprised by the violence and the lack of a reaction from our government. But dear readers those are the ones you voted for. They are the ones with the power. And when you were fooled enough to think America was going to be great again, you'll be lucky enough if America is still around in another three years. It certainly will not be the America you remember or long to see.
While many seemed to have been motivated to gather, protest, and unite on social media to share their thoughts, I haven't had the strength. I still feel broken, sad, and disconnected. My blog after last years election (http://bit.ly/2Aiq5kl) remains as true today as the day I posted it.
I no longer read the New York Times on a daily basis or any major news for that matter. I skim the main headlines to avoid all of the predictions I saw coming and tried to avoid with my vote. Those stories only bring out more fear and a sickening feeling to my stomach.
My phone no longer rings “Hail to the Chief” as it no longer makes me smile anymore.
This was more than just one election. It was a change I fear is permanent in our country. If it hasn't gone viral it doesn't matter. And by the time it does too many have been hurt.
Take the case in point Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby. Thirty years of trauma, pain, and crimes before the public knows enough to get agitated. What do you expect when the leader of the free world is a predator himself?
The reason I decided to share these feelings, which are only the tip of the iceberg, is because today is the one-hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage. A right I do not take lightly by any means.
The culmination of my feelings and this anniversary seemed too important not to share.
The suffragettes are women I strongly admire. It took over seventy years for them to succeed where others had failed. I would feel this anniversary were more moving had we finally elected the first woman president, but that goal remains in our future.
I have always known women are the stronger species. For we are the ones to bring new life into this world and manage to continue our daily responsibilities whether or not we have the flu, unlike men who would likely compare that to an untimely death.
We are the ones who have fought in the political arena for rights that men (white men) where granted at birth. We are the political candidates who get scrutinized for our wardrobe, hair styles, and family life while the male counterparts can act out like small children or our animal ancestors with no consequences.
The strength that we have as women gives us the power to keep on fighting even when we sense our causes becoming temporarily lost.
I suppose it is the woman within me that knows my melancholy towards our nation’s future will pass. It is that same intuition that makes me realize I will get up and fight the good fight again, despite the long respite I needed to take.
After all I know one vote does make a difference, and I cherish that it is a right I have.
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