I'm in NYC for the election! It wasn't planned, I just so happen to have had work events on the 7th and the 9th in Manhattan, so here I am! And its doing a lot to calm my anxiety, in a weird way.
The people here are vibrant and bright and wear their 'themness' with confidence and boldness. People all over the city today are wearing white, breaking out their pantsuits, and even Trump himself voted in mid-town earlier but was met with a chorus of booing and disdain.
It always gives me hope to travel especially to a city where people are this proud of who they are. New Yorkers seem to not apologize to anyone for their worldview, and not in an overly aggressive or demeaning way, but in a way that suggests to the world that they know who they are. The people of the city today are humming with excitement. They are proud of their decisions and are boldly standing against the hatred of the Trump campaign. For all of these reasons and more, it just seems fitting that I am here for election night.
I've wondered for months what today would feel like. How I would feel in these final hours. The answer is that I am overwhelmed with emotion that we are finally on the brink of electing a woman president! I stayed up late last night, tears in my eyes, watching Clinton make her last stop alongside Lady Gaga. Her final sentences were those of confidence, of hope, of an America that I want so deeply to come to fruition.
And you know what? I have faith that we can see it. I've spent months writing about all the reasons Clinton deserves my vote. I've donated money to her campaign, I've engaged in discussion with undecided voters, I've called out hatred and division among my family and friends when I've seen it. I feel confidently that I have done right by the campaign in working to get Clinton elected. And that has been totally and completely exhausting. I'm tired. I'm angry and anxious and upset that we've had to go through all of this vitriol to get to where we are. Wasn't it just so tiring?
I don't understand how I can be so discouraged and anxious, while being simultaneously the most hopeful and energized about this country I've ever been! But here we are. I do not ever want to go through the last 18 months again, but we will. The work, truly, is just beginning. The hate and lies spread about and towards Clinton will not simply fade away tonight with the close of the polls. It's going to take all of us to love each other, to embrace everyone else's "themness," and to keep working our way towards a much more loving and full America. Are you with me? I'm ready to continue this conversation for another 4 years and see what kind of progress we can make. :)
I'll be on facebook (fb.com/kaitlin.e.elias), instagram (@kaitlinography) and snapchat (@kaitlinelias) all day from NYC if you're interested!