Thursday, November 10, 2016

I Didn't Expect Today

This godawful election is finally over, and like a lot of people, I didn't expect it to end as it did.

And I really didn't expect how quickly I would need to deal with my own feelings about it—my shock, my dismay, my acceptance, my grief—so I could help others deal with theirs.

It's my job, and I was honored to do it, today, of all days.  This day.  But I didn't expect it, so I wasn't ready, and I probably wasn't very good at it.

What took me aback?

I didn't expect to hold teachers while they wept.

I didn't expect to force the words, "You must get yourself together.  Because you must be your best, regular, uninjured self when you receive your students."

I didn't expect to tell them, "You must prepare yourself.  For children who are repeating what their parents say.  For it being their truth.  You must prepare for conflict and confusion in conversations."

I didn't expect to be angry.

I didn't expect that a night of restless, limited sleep, divided by bleary-eyed iPhone news updates, would leave me so ill-equipped for the emotional upheaval in myself and those around me.

I didn't expect a low-grade headache and stomachache all day.  That my eyes would fill with tears unexpectedly, quickly, and without warning.

I didn't plan to have no words to describe my swirling emotions.  There isn't a word that gathers it up, all together: fear + shock + dismay + betrayal + disgust + loss of hope + insistence upon hope.  Is there?

But I do insist upon hope.  I do.

And I believe things happen for a reason.

So there is reason in this.  Maybe not rationality, or logic, or anything that resembles predictability--but there must be a reason for all of today's unexpectedness.  And I will seek to find it, and seek to understand, and seek to accept.  And hope.

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