My heart is hurting. It hurts not because my side lost or because I supported a candidate that, according to an archaic system, failed to win. My heart hurts because I feel like society let womanhood down.
We had begun to build a world where young girls could shop in toy aisles not splattered in pink and plastic household appliances. We had begun to build a world where girls were encouraged to learn how to code. We had begun to build a world where a woman running for president was taken for granted.
Now, that feels like it has halted.
My heart hurts, but it does not lose faith.
I was lucky enough to be raised in a household where sons were valued as much as daughters. I was lucky to be raised in a household where my tests scores were put on the fridge at the same level as my older brother's. I was lucky to be raised in a household where my dream to someday become an astronaut was not scoffed at, but encouraged and wholeheartedly supported by my father. He never laughed or told me to "go inside and play with my dolls." He never reduced me to my physical appearance. Instead, he took me outside and taught me about the stars - he valued my intellect and my passion.
I have faith that one day, if we truly fight for it and never give up, my sisters, brothers, sons and daughters will all be able to be valued equally for their own intellect and passion and not be reduced by bigotry or misogyny.
I have faith that this day will come even after these past few hours of perceived failure.
When I was a child, my mother gifted me with an incredible metaphor for perceived failure: one day, my mom was in a car accident. She was terrified and embarrassed about what she perceived as failing and being inadequate. After confiding in my uncle about her setback, my uncle proclaimed that he would rather sit in the passenger seat with my mother at the helm than anyone else. "Why is that?" she asked. "Because now that you know what it feels like, you will do everything in your power to ensure it never happens again."
That is what this week is to me: a car accident. We are terrified and embarrassed, but we sure as hell won't let this ever happen again. We will rise smarter, stronger and more capable of progressing forward than ever before.
We have been knocked down, but we will fight tooth and nail to make sure that we don't stay down. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure that my mothers', sisters' and daughters' voices are NEVER silenced by the feeling of inferiority. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure that my fathers', brothers' and sons' minds are NEVER tainted with the feeling of superiority. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure that equality is achieved.
My heart is aching, but it sure as hell ain't broken.