The Day After

hillary

Two days ago when I posted on my wall, “I hope that I can get over my own biases and get to work tomorrow…” I 100% thought it would be from the position of someone whose candidate won the election and I would be extending an olive leaf to those who do not share my point of view. I imagined celebrating, breathing a sigh of relief, posting the picture above and high-fiving a vast majority of my friends either in person or on social media.

Needless to say there was no celebrating, no relief and no high-fiving over the new president elect. (In full disclosure, there may have been high-fiving over some urine making it into a potty.)

This morning I cried with Van Jones when he thought about how he was going to explain this to his children, read Trump’s acceptance speech, had a come to Jesus moment thanks to Cardinal Colbert, teared up watching Obama’s speech (mostly at the thought of missing him so much) and ugly cried when I watched HRC’s concession speech. I read a lot. Prayed. Thought a lot. Tried to pray some more. I also ate an almond biscotti, a bagel and a Costco polish dog all before 1pm. I must’ve looked like a mess all day because my son asked me every 24 minutes asking me if I was happy or sad. I have nothing new to add to the conversation. I do feel compelled to write to remind myself of what I’ve learned from this election cycle.

 

  1. I am in a bubble…. that I have created. Yes, I live in California. I also reside in one of the most liberal urban centers. Heck my favorite color is blue (Go Chargers/Bears/Warriors). I was sympathetic towards people who had their misgivings about Hillary, but I was sure that given the choice between the two, everyone would see that there was an obvious choice. My friends, Facebook feed and go to news sources confirmed this. I never felt like I needed to say anything because wasn’t it obvious? It wasn’t until the last couple months that I started to learn that maybe not everyone around me felt this way. In fact half of the nation doesn’t feel this way. I was completely blind-sided.
  2. The Trump Phenomenon is real. As Donald Trump won primary after primary, I stopped gawking at him and turned my attention… okay, my incredulity, to his supporters. Yes Trump has unapologetically exploited employees, admitted to misogynist discourse, spewed hateful speech against people of color, LGBTQ+ and women. There are people like that in the world. I have come to terms that I can’t help that. But what does it say about people who are willingly choosing him to become their president? It blew my mind. I started to form this picture of what a Trump supporter looked like – White, racist, gun-yielding, bigot, uneducated, unconvinced by facts, anti-immigrant and angry. And probably from a fly-over state. The more I read about people who have spent some time in rural America, the story becomes less sensational and more nuanced. Their pain and disillusion is palatable. These people who voted for Trump know that they are the butt of jokes. They see it on TV and all over media. I’d like to think that they are just as repulsed about Trump’s behavior, but perhaps they felt like he was the only one that heard them.

    Perhaps the biggest aha moment came for me in the shower today, when it dawned on me that I know what is like to be caricatured.

    Granted I’ve never been called a racist or misogynist simply because of who I voted for or my party-affiliation, I know what it’s like for people to assume things because you identify with a group. For me, it’s being a Christian. I love Jesus. I know that makes a lot of people really uncomfortable in the Bay Area. Just like I have a picture of what a Trump supporter looks like, many people have similar pictures of what a Christian is like, the things they care about, the people they elect and the platforms they hold so dear. When Evangelicals make the eleven o’clock news, I often squirm because, for better or worse, I wonder if my friends think that I support so and so’s behavior or even worse, share the same values as so and so. I find myself thinking, “Wait, wait. Please hear me out!” On the flip side, though I did vote for HRC, I am not on board with every single Democratic platform. I feel the “Wait! Wait! Hear me out!” on multiple fronts.

    I can only imagine that’s how many people felt this cycle about supporting a controversial candidate. No candidate is perfect, they’re just trying to make the best decision for themselves and one that echoes their values.

    For the record, while there is room in our democracy to disagree with one another, we should never make room for the oppression, hatred, marginalization of any person or group. We need to stand up against it every time. But the tricky thing is doing it with humility and resolve without dehumanizing one other lest we become the very thing we hate in others.

  3. I need to engage. If I want to work for the flourishing of my city, state and country, I need to be brave. I shied away from calling out racism because I was too chicken or assumed I couldn’t change anything. I avoided getting into controversial conversations because I’m freaked out by awkward. I chose silence because I was too lazy to type and think after a full day. Lord help me to engage in a way that is productive and builds bridges.
  4. Fighting for what is right is messy. I need to remind myself over and over again that I should not be surprised by messiness. Hills summed it up well ‘Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.’

Here’s to moving tomorrow a little bruised, but a little less prideful than yesterday morning. Let’s get to work America.

2015 in 10

Before looking forward, I think it’s fitting to look back. Grateful for 2015 – the ups and the downs and the Person who makes goodness and beauty from it all.

  1. We moved out of our first home into a new home. I learned that my heart can find its home in people not an address. And though living in your new home can feel like a prolonged AirBnb at first, it eventually goes away.
  2. We threw Wes his first birthday party! I learned that decorating is a lot more fun when you borrow your friend’s Silhouette. Also if you can swing it, outsourcing the food prep to Miguel and 5 Star Tacos is one of the best life decisions I’ve ever made.
  3. Doljabi Ceremonies are a lot more fun when you throw away all the white collar professions and opt for careers that bring people true joy and happiness – chef, barista, crossfit coach, rap artist and those nice people at the Apple store.
  4. We planned our first church wide retreat and survived to tell about it! I learned that you really need a team of diverse talent to pull off retreat. Also – Mt. Hermon is nothing short of magical.
  5. If your entire family contracts a stomach bug the night before an all expense paid trip by your work and you’re having second thoughts about going… just get on the plane and go. You might as well be sick in someone else’s bathroom and sleep in someone else’s bed that you don’t have to clean.
  6. It is nearly impossible to discern the difference between a growth spurt / teething / sleep regression / wonder week in infants and toddlers. I say just pick whichever one gives you the most hope.
  7. We decided to splurge and get NFL Sunday Ticket. It turns out it was one of the worst seasons for the Chargers since I became a fan 10 years ago. And so many of them got injured, I couldn’t recognize half of the team at any given moment. Oh and it may have been their last season in San Diego. Great. Can we get our money back DirectTV?
  8. We attended a great parenting seminar in the fall. I think about the things I learned often. Haunting words (paraphrased): “You can’t make up for lost time. Your kids just want your attention and your delight.”
  9. Toddlers are really great for sparking joy and wonder in your life. Things that make Wesley say “WOOOOOOW”: The automated clothing rack at the dry cleaners, play kitchen ovens, elevators and coffee machines.
  10. We hosted our first Thanksgiving! Special shout out to our double oven. The highlight of that night was watching Tim’s cousin’s kid (second cousin?) read Wesley all of his bedtime books on our bed. Two Thanksgivings ago while I was pregnant, this sweet girl was trying to convince me to name my future son either Percy Jackson, Niko, Ra or Hot Cheeto. What she didn’t know was that I was going through some pre-term labor drama and if someone told me at the time, “Hey, I promise your baby will make it to 37 weeks but you have to name him Hot Cheeto” I would’ve said “Where do I sign?” Wes made his debut at 37 weeks and 2 days. We are still grateful every day.

2015 collage