My Country Broke Me, and Then Put Me Back Together Again.
When Donald Trump was elected president, my heart shattered into a million pieces. Since that day, the country that broke my heart slowly put the pieces back together.
As I’ve watched my neighbors, friends and even strangers spread love and messages of hope instead of hate, I have healed.
When I Broke
On the morning of November 8, 2016, I woke up believing that Hillary Clinton would be elected president. I voted, and proudly wore my sticker all day with a smile on my face. That night, as I watched the election results come in, my heart slowly sank.
When I woke up on November 9 and my phone confirmed that Donald Trump had won the election, I was heartbroken. I could hardly get out of bed. I even shed a few tears. Maybe I was overdramatic, but at the time, I felt like my whole world had turned upside down. My future, and the future of my country, was a big black hole.
My Facebook feed was filled with opinions about the election. Many of my friends shared my sentiments. They were sad, and some were even scared. Some of my friends were thrilled at the result, claiming that America would be made great again. I couldn’t understand it.
Down the Trump Rabbit Hole
I felt like so many of my friends and so many people in my country were telling me I wasn’t important to them. A vote for Trump told me that it was okay to demean women and attack minorities. That’s something I don’t stand for. While I didn’t end friendships over the election, I certainly learned which of my friends believed in the same things as me.
In the days and weeks following the election, I watched the news carefully. I thought that maybe if I stayed informed and open-minded, Trump would surprise me. Maybe he could be a good president.
I was wrong.
I watched his executive orders, his explosive tweets, his endless lies. I watched people of this country support him as he tried to ban immigrants, build a wall, and take away healthcare.
But along with watching all of these terrible things, I also witnessed something that gave me hope.
Starting to Heal
The people in this country who refuse to accept the things that Trump says and does are the people who have given me hope. The day after the election, I saw so many random acts of kindness from people simply trying to spread love on such a dark day. People were buying strangers coffee, holding the door for each other, and even giving each other hugs.
The incredible number of people who have taken to the streets and participated in marches protesting Trump’s hateful rhetoric has also given me hope. These people are real change-makers. Even if Trump isn’t acknowledging them yet, I know these protests won’t stop. People are willing to stand up for what they believe in, and they aren’t going down without a fight.
These little acts of love and hope have given me the strength to move forward and the motivation to make others smile. Trump’s America is still very young, and it is hard to tell what will happen in the next few years, but as long as people keep coming together to spread love instead of hate, I believe in this country, and I am proud to be an American.