The photo above was taken on the streets of downtown Seattle on the evening of November 9, one day after the election. Here’s a short video of that protest as countless scores took to the streets:
It had been a long, emotional day leading up to that.
The morning had been like a terrible hangover. I felt like crying and throwing up. I hadn’t slept. I couldn’t believe anything I was hearing on NPR Morning Edition as I tried to go about doing normal things like taking a shower and getting my clothes on for work. Nick and I moved around our apartment listlessly.
I don’t own a car, so I walk to work everyday. As I began my journey to a meeting downtown I looked at everyone I passed in disbelief. It was a gray and cold morning. My eyes were filled with tears threatening to start rolling down my face.
I tried to make eye contact with everyone I saw to get a sense of if they felt like I did. I ran into an acquaintance who I’d seen at a bar recently. We were uncharacteristically curt. We kept walking.
The guy I was meeting for work downtown didn’t show up. I usually would’ve been pissed about a no-show, but I instead felt relief that I didn’t have to try to talk about anything other than the fact that Clinton was about to be live on a stage giving her concession speech. In an unusual move Clinton didn’t give her concession speech the night of the election, she waited until the morning after. I was on pins and needles waiting to see if she could pull a trick out of her pocket. I sat in a downtown coffee shop and listened to Clinton’s speech on my phone. Her campaign was over.
I walked into my office at TeamChild later in the morning around 10:00. I saw one colleague, an attorney who represents expelled and incarcerated kids (mostly kids of color, some LGBTQ, some homeless, some immigrants). Her cheeks were wet with tears. We just looked at each other, silently.
Another colleague saw me, shook her head and said, “Don’t even talk to me about it. I just can’t even.”
A third colleague who’s mother is an immigrant from Jamaica looked at me and said, “What are we going to do? This is unbelievable.” I posted this to Facebook shortly after:
Here’s a picture of me and my colleagues at TeamChild. This picture was taken on December 14, 2016:
I made it through the day by talking with some of my closest friends and checking the news constantly. I continued to post on Facebook. I was desperate for connection. As I left the office at the end of the day to get as quickly as I could to the comfort of my apartment, our Director of Operations told me she was going to the anti-Trump march (pictured at the top of this post).
I had wanted to go too, especially now that she was going. I wanted to be part of this history. But, I decided self care was more important on this day. I needed to be in my apartment with Nick and close the door on this world as I was starting to ask the question, “Who am I going to be?”