November.

In the four years that I have been writing Extra Dry Martini (really, three years, with any regularity), I have never once posted about politics. I try to keep my subject matter non-partisan, because it’s important to me that this blog remains a safe and welcoming space for everyone who reads it. At times, keeping my impassioned opinions out of my writing has proven difficult, mostly because I am a politically minded person who comes from a politically minded family. My father, who, for better or for worse, taught me how to fight for what I believe in, was a ferociously liberal Irish Catholic Democrat who advocated for social justice, thought the Kennedys were Gods, and never (if I’m being totally honest), met a Republican that he liked very much (or at all).

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I had planned to write another blog post. A post that would commemorate this Friday’s one year anniversary of my beloved Grandfather’s passing with a joyful retrospective about embracing life, about celebrating all of the parts of him that live within me, and about looking toward a still uncertain future with optimism. But I can’t write that blog post. Not today. Because today, one day after a U.S. Presidential election that shocked the world, my heart has been cracked open and I simply can’t pretend to be anything other than consumed by an all-encompassing grief. And so, I am turning to the one thing – the only thing – that has seen me through in times of heartbreak: writing.

I don’t have the energy (or frankly, the desire) to engage in a political debate. The election is over. And though I did everything I could (OK, not everything, but a LOT) to help defeat the man who will become America’s next President, I sincerely hope that he succeeds. Because I want America to succeed. Because I love my country. And because I love my friends and my family and I want all of us – even those who disagree with me (sorry, Dad) – to be OK.

Although I have been politically minded my whole life (I vote in every election, no matter how small, or how local, and I am a serious geek when it comes to studying up on the issues), I never got involved in a political campaign in a meaningful way until this one. Partially because this has been my year of “if not now, when,” but primarily because I truly admire, respect and love my party’s nominee.

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For most of her political career (other than her tenure as Secretary of State), it has not been popular or cool to say that you admire, respect and love Hillary Clinton. And I think that might be the main reason why I admire, respect and love her so much. Because she is a woman who has succeeded in a man’s world. Because she is tough as nails and makes no apologies for her toughness. Because even as she has been consistently, relentlessly criticized by haters for things that have nothing to do with her experience or intellect – her lack of “likability,” her “shrill” voice, her pantsuits – she has spent her life trying to make the lives of those less fortunate than her better. And I admire, respect and love her because for all of those reasons (and for many others), my mother admired, respected and loved her, too.

So today, I am grieving. And I am missing my mother something fierce. But I am not a defeatist. While I am admittedly deeply concerned about the future of my country, I still hold on to hope. I hold on to the amazing human beings – volunteers, voters, and field organizers – that I met while knocking on doors to get out the vote in the battleground state of Nevada. I hold on to the fact that now that I have experienced what it’s like to be meaningfully involved in a political campaign, there’s no going back; I will continue to engage in public service for the rest of my life. And I hold on to the fact that – like my father – the fight within me is fierce, and I will keep that fight going for as long as I can, in all the ways that I can.

Don’t worry: Extra Dry Martini is not going to turn into a partisan blog. I am sure that, in the busy weeks and months that lie ahead, I will find plenty of other things to write about. But today, like so many of my fellow Americans, I am grieving. And if I have learned anything about grief it is this: you don’t heal from it by ignoring it. Sometimes, going all the way in is the only way to go.

Thanks for listening.

Until next time, friends.

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12 thoughts on “November.

  1. Nicely said, Sarah. When a young friend of ours thought about what to tell her children, she said I will tell them, “I voted for Hillary Clinton. She didn’t win…but we will continue to be awesome and be kind to others”. I loved the simplicity of that. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Lots of us are grieving. Most people I’ve talked to don’t understand the grief and think that “it’s been a whole day, get over it already.” It’s so much deeper than that, and I’m glad I know people in the blogosphere who understand that. So this time you’ve made it a safe space by speaking out. We will mourn together, and then we will fight to hold on to our rights, and eventually, we will heal.

  3. Well said Sarah and thank you for sharing. Though you and I may or may not agree politically, I always come back to a simple truth, we are Americans and fellow patriots and as such your politics, principles, values, religious beliefs, etc. are of great importance to me and deserve respect. What matters most to me are the freedoms by which you are able to seek out, express and live by without threat, hindrance, censorship or ridicule. Our freedom is at the very core of being an American and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t hesitate in defending you against those who wish to harm us and dispose of our Democracy.

    Open dialog and mutual respect seems lost upon so many and I feel as though without we will continue taking one step forward and two steps back for a sometime to come.

    Take care Sarah

    Jaime

  4. Well said Sarah and thank you for sharing. Though you and I may or may not agree politically, I always come back to a simple truth, we are Americans and fellow patriots and as such your politics, principles, values, religious beliefs, etc. are of great importance to me and deserve respect. What matters most to me are the freedoms by which you are able to seek out, express and live by without threat, hindrance, censorship or ridicule. Our freedom is at the very core of being an American and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t hesitate in defending you against those who wish to harm us and dispose of our Democracy.

    Open dialog and mutual respect seems lost upon so many and I feel as though without we will continue taking one step forward and two steps back for a sometime to come.

    Take care Sarah

    Jaime

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