The last week has been a bit of a blur. Strike that. It’s been a complete fog.
At this time last week, I was furiously calling and texting my friends as we came to the realization that everything in our country had the potential to change. That half of the people in our country who voted (don’t even get me started on the half that didn’t) had essentially said it was ok for our leader to be a racist, sexist pig who exhibits bigotry and intolerance almost every time he opens his mouth. It was unthinkable to me.
Like… I understand why politically people can be Republicans. Do I agree with many of their beliefs? Actually… yes. Well… I agree with some of them. It’s just that the things that matter most to me tend to align with the Democratic agenda. So I vote that way. Because in my life, things like gay marriage, women’s reproductive rights, equal access to healthcare, eradicating rape culture, increasing funding for education, finding justice in this uncertain and often evil world, and building tolerance for all people matter the most. Because they are personal to me and to the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with. And our president-elect just doesn’t share those same beliefs.
Anyway… this is not really meant to be a political post. So let me get back on track.
As all of this was coming to light, I was grateful to be off of work for a week of much needed vacation and downtime. I was thankful that I was home when my friends needed a couch to cry on. I was glad that I didn’t need to get up for work and could invite people into my living room to rant and yell and get angry and then start planning how we would be different until the wee hours of the morning. I could answer my phone at any time of day to talk to those who needed to just get things out in the open. I didn’t have anything I needed to do but be there, really listening, trying to understand and articulate how others were feeling.
Even as many of the people I love the most were hurting, my heart was starting to heal because I was able to be there for them when they needed me.
I’ve written many times about why I love my house but it boils down to this… when I bought this place, I think I recognized immediately that it was a place that I wanted to invite others into. It was a house that I wanted to build community in. It was a home that could become a refuge to people in need.
To me, my house is more than a building. It’s a model for how I want to shape my life.
Last week was a constant reminder of that.
So as we move forward and start addressing so many of the issues that we thought we had moved beyond and that we have learned we haven’t even touched yet, I invite you to join me in that community. If you need a place to talk, please know that my door is always open*.
And I make this commitment to you… I will do better. I will carve out more quality time for people I love. I will stand up for what I believe in more loudly than I have before. I won’t back down when it really matters to me and to you. Because if you are reading this, you are probably someone who I love deeply. And I was part of the problem recently. Because I didn’t do all that I could do. And I vow that I will find a way to change that moving forward.
That is how I’m lifting myself out of the fog. If you ever need some help, let me know.
*Just give me a heads up so I have time to pop a bowl full of popcorn and crack open a bottle of wine. I find that they help stimulate conversation.