November 8th, 2016, started out normally. There were nerves, but they were minor. The polls seemed to be pointing to a win for Clinton. How Trump had managed to get this far, we didn't know. He was a ridiculous buffoon, a reality-TV hack who was about as un-Presidential as you could get.
But we had the hope that he'd be put in his place by that evening. Clinton would win, we'd be able to celebrate our first female President, and life would go on pretty much the way it'd been going on for years.
Except that's not what happened.
Somehow, he got enough electoral votes to win.
Turned out, enough people actually thought he might be a good leader... or something.
Now we were nervous.
But... maybe his pre-election "promises" had just been hogwash talk. Maybe he wouldn't really do all of the horrible things he'd promised to do, like build a freaking wall between the US and Mexico and kill the Affordable Care Act.
But what about his loyal followers? What would it take for them to realize they'd been duped?
After all, there was his string -- nay, giant ball of yarn -- of lies...
His refusal to condemn white nationalists should be a major red flag, right?
Nope, he still had supporters.
There was his sadistic determination to kill Obamacare any way, anyhow, no matter what replaced it and who lost their insurance in the process.
And then there's his complete ineptitude when it comes to handling anything maturely and responsibly, which might just lead to us getting nuked by North Korea in the near future.
But at least he's reliable about one thing....
I am so embarrassed for my country.
More than once over the past nine months, I've woken up and thought: "That psycho being president was a bad dream, right?"
Sometimes I just want to pretend I AM in a dream, or an alternate reality, where Clinton won, and things are relatively predictable and sane.
But then I remember our reality is the darkest timeline.
My instinct is to act accordingly....
But where there is still an ounce of hope left in the world, I'll continue living in this messed-up timeline, trying to make the best of it.
Even when I do this at least three times a day...
Because what's the alternative?
I'll continue going to work each day, loving on all my students, little kids who hail from all corners of the globe, speak one or two of dozens of languages, and who live in daily fear that their homes will be raided and their will be families deported.
I will continue creating art.
I will continue being kind.
And I will continue to remind myself:
Where there is darkness, shine a light.
Where there is hate, inundate it with love.
Where there is ignorance, educate.
And where there is a chance of impeachment... hope the heck out.