Seeking silver lining

Cheddar (my cat) threw up twice this morning. I wanted to do the same.

It’s raining in Seattle this morning. That, at least, feels right.

I made the conscious and mindful decision to wear black to work today. I am in mourning. I’m ashamed. I didn’t vote for the winner. What I feel can best be described as grief. I know it well. But, under my dark garb of grief, my underwear is still magenta. Inside, I’m still the same person, bright, unapologetic, magenta.

Yesterday, I had Demi Lovato’s “Confident” stuck in my head and began singing it out loud. “What’s wrong with being what’s wrong with being what’s wrong with being confident?” False confidence, that’s what, Demi.

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I recently finished a series on Netflix called Brain Games. It’s about how our brains deceive us, and how much of human behavior is predictive based on how we’re hard-wired. The series resurrected the truth I already knew from learning about confidence intervals in my statistics courses in college. In the show, people on the street are asked to give a range where they are 95% confident the answer to a question is within that range. For example, one question was “How many countries are there in Africa?” I would have to come up with a range, say 1-100 where I’m 95% confident the answer is within that range. What happened in the show, and to most people when they do this exercise? They made their range too small, and they ended up being incorrect most of the time. When the show was made, they counted 57 countries in Africa, whereas if I google it, there are 54. Either way, most people gave a range of, say, 20-50, and they were wrong. Lesson: we place too much confidence in a small range of outcomes which leads to greater disappointment when we are wrong.

Hillary exhibited what, in retrospect, is best described as false confidence in her debates. Hell, I had false confidence that Trump wouldn’t be elected. My fellow Americans were better than that. Even I succumbed to how I’m hard-wired. I misplaced my confidence in the American people. It didn’t feel like false confidence at the time. It felt like common fucking sense. I still had hope we would band together to prevent Trump from winning, so it seemed like Hillary had to be the answer.

Last night, as the events unfolded, so many people in my Facebook feed took this opportunity to spin things positively, make jokes, laugh their way out of a terrible situation. Most of them lived in Australia, given the time difference of the news breaking, just because I have many friends on there from my 3 years living there. But I only felt my cheeks flush, and I wasn’t laughing. I was embarrassed. I wanted to hide. I wanted them not to laugh at us.

This might be the first time in my life where I’m struggling to see the humor in all of this. I’m also struggling to be a bigger person, and accept the outcome with grace. It’s still just as difficult as I imagined it would be. It stopped being funny a long time ago, and as time progressed, it just got more shocking. That turtle on a stump on a deserted dirt road suddenly became reality last night. We don’t know how it got there or what’ll happen next. It doesn’t belong there. Yet there it is.

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I saw people comparing this election to the British BREXIT vote, with my favorite spoof on it being:

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A moving picture came across my news feed of Lady Liberty, her face covered by her hands, hiding from the shame, in shock too:

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I am on a mailing list for which I received an email from CEO of that capital management firm assuring me their portfolio was agnostic over the outcome of this election. I wish I could say the same for myself. It’s so very personal this time. It was personal in a good way when Obama won, and in a terrible way when George W. Bush won before that, too. I’m looking so hard for a silver lining right now. It seems nowhere to be found. I want so much to be a role model, to be someone I can be proud of, to be a bigger person. For 8 years, I’ve listened to “He’s not MY president,” about Obama. I want to shout the same thing from the rooftops, to the people on my bus, to anyone who will listen this morning. But saying it out loud means acknowledging that it’s not true. He is the president-elect of my chosen home. I have no intentions of leaving my home. I just bought my fucking condo. I can’t leave. I did manage to get myself closer to Canada though, just in case.

A place is only as good as the people you know in it. I’m at least lucky that I currently live in Seattle, in one of the bluest states. I grew up in a blue state, and have people around me who are in just as much shock, if not more. Maybe I didn’t think America needed to be made great again. Maybe I thought it already was pretty great, for giving me the right to be who I am without fear. That right feels like it’s been taken away from me. What fresh hell is this?

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I rub my eyes (metaphorically, because I stupidly wore mascara today) and reality is what it is. I wrote previously in Election that a plan B had been found whereby we could have a case for the impeachment of Trump before he ever even takes office. I worry more if his VP choice Pence ever becomes president when we impeach Trump.

I breathe deeply. The road is uphill, and we’ve fought so hard this far, and it feels like we’re losing ground. Our work is cut out for us. As a nation, and as individuals. These next 4 years may not be an easy A. They may be the hardest C I’ve ever worked for in my life. But I know I have to work.

As I waited for the bus into work this morning while it was still dark outside, I chose to listen to my playlist in iTunes called “End of the World.” It seemed right this morning, too. Here is what came through my earbuds when I shuffled that playlist:

  1. Take a Bow – Beyoncé
  2. Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad – Moby
  3. The Rose – Bette Midler
  4. Sideways – Citizen Cope
  5. Overcome – LIVE
  6. Train Wreck – Sarah McLachlan
  7. Dry Your Eyes – The Streets
  8. Mad World – Michael Andrews & Gary Jules
  9. That’s All – Genesis 
  10. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
  11. Still the Same – Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
  12. Ticking Bomb – Aloe Blacc

It expressed in melody and lyrics how my heart feels.

“There are millions of you ― of us ― searching for uneasy answers, trying not to breakdown on the subway, forcing ourselves to pull our shirts over our heads and attempt to somehow be useful in a country that seems to have no use for us, in a country that we are certain does not want us, that we worry will not keep us safe.” (Source: here)