Post Election 2016

I had to go home from work yesterday because I started crying during Hillary’s (and then Obama’s) speech. In a government office where CNN is constantly on, I couldn’t escape it. I cried for my sister, who (due to pre-exisiting conditions) will probably lose her health care in the coming months, if Obamacare is repealed. My boyfriend (a mechanic turned student) would also lose his.  Like many Millenial couples, we’re not married so he can’t be added to my health plan.
I know many, many people in our country are unhappy with the state of their lives. We all had to face harsh realities in the past 8 years. But the key word was REALITY: the USA had a mess to clean up, serious economic, environmental and social issues we had to address. And we were, but the growing pains were VERY apparent. I understand that Obama was asking A LOT of from a country that was entrenched in the way things were.
But I really believe this country was moving forward. Thousands of people finally were able to get insurance. Love was no longer being discriminated against, and my own sister (plus many other friends) was able to finally get married to her partner. We had a president who was actually addressing the fact that our environment was collapsing, and for our kids to literally have a viable PLACE TO LIVE in the future, a major overhaul of the current dependence on fossil fuel was not only necessary but MANDATORY.
And yes, these things changes were extremely difficult for a lot of people. Jobs based on oil, coal and gas were going away, insurance premiums were going up, and people were suffering the brunt of that. I know this. I’m not ignoring this. I see my friends struggling with this everyday. I wish insurance companies and oil corporations had stepped up to offer a cushion for their employees, giving them incentives for being healthy, and ways to transition to green energy careers.  But they weren’t willing to take the financial hit the government was forced to hand out, and it ended up falling on the people. I don’t blame the government for trying to make us healthier and our environment cleaner. These are things that will benefit us in the longer run. But for half of our country, the immediacy of these decisions felt like an assault on their very livelihood. It was like a punch in the gut, which triggered a lot of anger.
For me, when faced with this reality, I had to ask myself “What’s more important? My personal finances or the viability of our planet? My bills, or a very sick person’s health?”  I suppose it all comes down to “me vs. them.” Are we willing to sacrifice parts of our lives in order for others to have a better one? I think that those 2 schools of thought are really the driving force behind what happened during this election. Are we able to look beyond our own struggles, or is the pain, loss, anger and hardship too much for us to bear? I think that when we are in a state of panic over the thought of eviction, bankruptcy, default and poverty (of our children!) we are unable to see beyond those psychological blinders. And as many Trump supporters might say “Why should we?”
But some of us really believe that if we pay our due then the government will return the favor. I am evidence of that. When the housing market crashed, and the economy was so bad I couldn’t afford my own rent, I moved in with my mom and saved until I could find a place (with government assistance). I relied on Head Start (a government funded child care), I lived off food stamps and did what I could (including donating my own DNA to a childless couple) to finally get where I could support myself. It was a combination of hard work, luck (or the planets :P), government help and support from family and friends. I used government programs the way they were intended. I watched my mother in her job as a Social Worker, and saw how our taxes went to work to help people. I saw the struggles, the defeats, the cheaters, but also the success stories (me).
 
I am not an island. I would not be living a reasonably comfortable life without the help of my family and friends and YES the GOVERNMENT. As a head of household and primary breadwinner, I know I cannot do it alone. I too have a family relying on me to support them. I have bills to pay like everyone else. I think both sides of the divide can understand this!  However, I do not blame my struggles on minorities or “illegals taking our jobs” or those who abuse the system. I don’t blame Obama for having to face almost a decade of problems to fix and making some of the most difficult decisions a president can make.
I don’t care that if taxes are high if that means a better education, health care and community resources for our kids. Some people do. I think racism, sexism, classism, and bigotry are behind a great many American’s decision making, but I know that good people voted for Trump too. People who’s lives were thrown into total chaos because of the changes Obama was making. I feel for all who suffered.
But I’m scared. I see people unwilling to be understanding and compassionate. The IDGAF attitude that elected Trump wanted to set a bomb off in our country’s face. OK, but how are we going to deal with the fallout? Who’s going to clean up (if possible) the mess? I feel like lines will be drawn, and innocent people like our children will suffer. There doesn’t need to be a war, but it’s almost as if people would rather see our country become an episode of the Walking Dead than continue the way it was going. And that scares the shit out of me.

Blue

Since my little court drama was first priority (obviously more important than this historic election ūüėČ ) Here’s my short tribute to how amazing and empowered these last¬†48 hours have been for me.

Colorado went blue for the first time in my voting career. In a sea of red states, Colorado and New Mexico joined forces, electing two democratic¬†cousins to the Senate, and¬†declaring Barack¬†Obama as their new president. The¬†disturbingly offensive, ridiculously¬†ludicrous definition of “Personhood” (Amendment 48)¬†was overwhelmingly defeated as well.

I cried. I’ve only had the privilege of voting 3 times so far. My first two voting experiences were depressing, drawn-out,¬†traumatic experiences. At the tender age of 18, my faith in our government was on the verge of being shattered. By 22, I was completely jaded.¬†Now at 26, my vote has finally meant something. This time, instead of sobbing with pure, unadulterated anger, I was crying with utmost and complete joy.

When LB was born, almost exactly 9 months after Hurricane Katrina, I was scared for her. I didn’t want to bring her into a world filled with hate, fear, deception, manipulation and greed. I didn’t know what kind of¬†a future she would have, but I didn’t have high hopes.

Thanks for proving me wrong, Mr. President Elect.

The Eve

After¬†my cell phone company¬†told me I could only retrieve text messages with a subpoena, I transcribed¬†them into a document which included every¬†date and time (from the¬†journal I’ve been keeping)¬†I’ve tried to get Rooferman to¬†discuss a¬†parenting plan in the past year¬†and emailed them to Lawyerdude. He responded with “Its all hearsay, but sometimes the Judge will allow you to present it. I¬†would bring it to court and see what happens.”

Hopefully the Judge will allow me to submit my document as evidence that I’ve¬†made an honest effort to agree on a parenting plan, but¬†Rooferman has¬†been uncooperative, inconsistent,¬† has failed to show up and¬†refuses to¬†meet with me alone.

As of today, no parenting class has been completed and submitted to court by Rooferman, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that the class¬†is now offered ONLINE (which theoretically could mean Blondie or any other human on this planet could complete the parenting class FOR him). I recieved¬†the signed receipt from the certified letter I sent to him this weekend. The name on the card is one I don’t recognize, which makes me wonder how many people are actually living at Blondie’s house.

As hugely dramatic as my life seems right now, I have to stop and remember there is something so much bigger going on. Today is the last day of “W.” After tonight, we will have a new president, and a canyon in history will be crossed. How ironic that this momentous occasion falls so close to my own day of judgement. Saturn and Uranus are at odds, and its obvious.¬†I’ve felt the electricity, hostility and anger of those two entities in the past week, and its all coming to a head in the next 24 hours.

LB is staying with her Grandma tonight. After Rooferman fails to show up tonight, and I get tapped by hippie counselor, I’m¬†immersing myself¬†in the election. I’m letting the excitement, hope and anticipation take me on¬†whatever ride it decides. I’m letting go of the pain,¬†fear and shame¬†of¬†my country’s past, but also my own past, and¬†facing the future, whatever that may be. I’ve decided that¬†what happens tomorrow really isn’t up to me. I’ve done my part. I’ve cast my ballot,¬†done my research, prepared my case, prayed for guidance and courage, and sucked in as many good vibrations as possible.

On this eve of¬†major universal¬†and personal shift, I’m giving up the illusion of control. I will ride this wave into the unknown, and¬†face¬†whatever lies in my future.¬†¬†Chaos? Turbulence? Struggle? Success? Victory? Justice?

It helps knowing you all got my back. I got yours too.

Peace.

Nazi Hunters unite

I think the psycho rednecks in our state took this one just a little too far. Just a sick reminder that for every granola-eating, backpacking hippie in Colorado, there’s a trigger-happy, NRA preaching, Planned Parenthood-attacking, Hummer-driving bigot to negate any positive energy that arises.

Living in a battle ground state is kind of scary right now. I swear if I hear another “Yes on 48” radio ad, I’m going stick forks in my eyes and mail them to the Focus on the Family Headquarters.¬†Or maybe we can all re-enact the infamous¬†“dog head scene” from the movie Fear?

Vomit.

Uncle Fester is coming

This week, my office received the news that John McCain would be making a brief stop in our quaint little mountain town of Durango. Where would he hold his rally? Why at the high school of course. I certainly picked a good year to work for a school district eh?

Our safety director has been on the phone with the Secret Service. Our high school principal is about to eat her hat. The whole administration is biting their nails, wonder why the hell Mr. McCain decided to make a speech at 2:30, when buses, pedestrians, and 1500 teenage drivers will all be attempting to leave the high school parking lot, while the rest of the town tries to enter.

The last presidential candidate to come to the 4 Corners area was Ralph Nader in 2000, and before that it was JFK. We don’t get much political exposure in Durango, but we do stand out from the rest of Colorado as primarily Democrat. When Colorado went red for Bush in the last election, La Plata county went¬†for Kerry. Our college’s student-run Republican club has 3 members. This is probably why the McCain camp chose the high school instead of our Cliff Bar-eating, snowboard obsessed, pot-smoking¬†college campus.

Being a good liberal, I had planned to take my lunch break and go march with the rest of the Democrats¬†before Uncle Fester rolls into. Then I received an email from the Director of Public Information: All school district employees are to remain “neutral” during school hours and will not show any preference to either political party,¬†according to¬†school district policy.¬†

I guess that kills my¬†plan to be¬†Obama’s Mama for Halloween. I may have to take Liz’s suggestion and be a Snow Leopard instead.

P.S. This blog’s content does not reflect the political opinions of the Durango School District, or the employees of that district. Its only the Piscean ramblings of a 26-year-old single mom.