I’ve never known how to participate in politics on the internet. Aside from live-tweeting a debate with snarky remarks that I knew my liberal Twitter followers would insta-fave or RT, I really never knew how. I don’t believe I ever posted #ImWithHer and I never called myself a Nasty Woman or told you that my pussy would grab you back.
I silently counted small and big wins and patiently counted down the days to November 8th (and 6th, but for a different race).
I am not wrong for that. I made my voice heard when it needed to be heard. I proudly voted in the primary and in the general election knowing my vote counted and was a drop in a large bucket that would overflow and overturn our country’s history.
I immigrated to the United States of America 17 years and 3 months ago. I was lucky enough to spend the first nine years of my life living in Europe, and also Russia, though that was less lucky. In 1999, my brave, strong, smart, fearless, independent, wonderful mother uprooted me from the third grade and told me we were moving to America — where I could “travel the world with just a passport”.
I clearly remember my plane landing at JFK Airport. Looking out the window, I noticed dozens of blue squares.
Seeing all those pools was the beginning of my American Dream. To a nine-year-old from Europe, a trip to a pool was comparable to a trip to Disney World.
Stepping foot on American soil was the greatest gift I have ever been given, that I can never ever repay.
And I haven’t looked back since. I quickly became a proud New Yorker, made friends with everyone I met (black, white, old, young), swam in dozens (ok, a few) pools. The American flag was my own, I quickly knew all the words to the National Anthem and was thrilled to get up from my desk each morning at 9:15AM to put my hand over my heart and say the Pledge of Allegiance.
When I lined up at the New York City Marathon this past Sunday, a Staten Island native sang God Bless America. Not a single American in that crowd didn’t stop for moment to really hear the words.
My home, sweet home.
In the wake of the results of the election, I want us to remember, this is our home.
A lot of us are sad, scared, defeated, grieving, heartbroken, disappointed, intimidated, hurt and embarrassed. We don’t know how this happened, we’re pointing fingers.
But we’re all in this together. That’s the bottom line, and that’s the truth for everyone.
Getting ready for the marathon there was a lot of fear about the uncertainty of weather conditions — something no runner can control. What I was told was, “If it’s down-pouring – no runner is having a sunny race.”
If our country is sick, nobody is healthy. We are the United States of America, and my greatest, deepest fear is how un-united this morning feels.
I’m not accepting of this outcome, I’m not content or at peace. I am all the feelings I mentioned above.
But I am an American, and this is my home and your home, and my mother’s home, my grandparents’ (new) home, my future children’s’ home and I pledge to the United States of America, and to myself, to grieve and mend, and as the respected Hillary Clinton said, “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”