Closed Eyes and A Semi-Cleared Head

You know, I just spent an entire day crafting a 1500-word blogpost on the most talked-about topic today, knowing fully well that hardly anyone would end up reading the entire thing because it’s longer than the last 7 essays I have had to write combined, and knowing that people have such divided views and mixed emotions on the whole situation.

But I feel infinitely and dumbfoundingly relieved.

This is why I made a blog, so that I could be able to share these kinds of things without any feeling of judgment, any feeling of wasting someone’s time, any feeling of insecurity and discomfort.

I needed an outlet. My brain is somewhat hyperactive. It’s always busy, always thinking about something. There’s always something on my mind. I can’t remember the last time I was actually able to sit down and clear my mind.

Yes, my blogs hardly make any sense most of the time, but that’s insight into my brain. That’s how my mind works. I write how I think, and there’s something really nice about having that one place where you are not limited by professionalism and social etiquette.

I should have made a blog a long time ago.

Shell shocked

*I apologize in advance for all of the spelling errors and the sharp transitions between different scenarios*

I don’t think I have ever witnessed as dark a day in America since 9/11 as yesterday (11/9)

It was rainy and gloomy. It was said that even Washington D.C. was mourning.

I saw my friends who always showed hope and optimism in their eyes walk around yesterday in darkness and vacancy, as if their breath had just been taken away from them.

I walked down the path to my class (already running 10 minutes late, but I didn’t care because I had a restless night) and while walking, I didn’t hear anything for the first time.

Silence.

I felt and heard a bubble of silence around me. It was like everytime that someone passed me down this path, no one said anything. Maybe because it was out of pity, maybe it was out of guilt, maybe it was out of sympathy, empathy? Whatever it was, I felt it. People turned their eyes to the ground. Others looked at me with sad eyes. Some people gave a sad smile as if they had heard that I had lost someone, like I had lost something.

Freedom.

I wasn’t a big fan of the silence. It made me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. It was as if looking at my skin color was an automatic indication that I was not with Trump. On the contrary, there were definitely a handful of people my color who sided with him (only God knows why, but they did). Of course, I could not bring myself to support the guy because he conflicted with too many of the values that I held true and dear to me.

I meant to write a blogpost about the election yesterday, but I couldn’t motivate or energize myself enough to do it. I didn’t think I would be so physically and emotionally affected by this whole election, but it has actually taken a toll on my mental state.

I could hardly even wake up yesterday. I had a hard time falling asleep because I couldn’t come to terms with the result.

What just happened?

The night before, my dorm held a viewing party to watch the election. The entire main lounge was full of people. I was coming in and out of the room because I had homework, but it seemed like I couldn’t even focus on it. I didn’t get any studying done, because I was so distracted by it. Every time that I heard yelling or shouting come from the lounge, I would run to see what had happened. I also saw that people were also doing the same thing as me. I just kept popping in and out. I was suppose to be studying for a Biochem quiz for the next morning, but I couldn’t. It didn’t work. And meanwhile, my roommate was asleep during the ENTIRE thing.

As in, she went to bed at 6pm and slept throughout the night. She got up at around 11:30 just to see results, and then she went straight back to bed. It was as if it didn’t really matter to her. She seemed unbothered by it. I don’t believe she even voted because she never got the absentee ballot in the mail.

I really didn’t like her, but anyways…

I saw the main room. They were worried. They looked stressed. I remember when I first came into the room and saw that the votes were 120-97. I was utterly confused. I was wondering who were these people who were voting for him? How could so many people agree with his policies? With his ideas, his plots? I was scared, because I really couldn’t imagine a future with him as president.

So I kept faith. I kept on holding on to the fact that more states would make the right decision.

I was actually suppose to have a dance rehearsal until 11pm that night, but I convinced them to cancel so that people could watch the elections. Thank God that it was cancelled, because we would have missed the majority of it.

When I saw the news… it was an unexplainable feeling.

It was about 2 am.

I had finished talking to my mom who had gone to bed because she had work in the morning. She didn’t really watch the election all the way, so she didn’t know until the morning about the results.

I, on the other hand, went to the main lounge only to see that the entire room had cleared out. Everyone went home. It was at that moment that I was scared. No one was rejoicing, no one was even watching the elections anymore. Something had gone wrong.

There were about 7 people in the room just staring at the screen. They all looked tired and worried.

I looked at the screen and to my dismay, I saw 266-215.

What. Was. Happening?

This couldn’t be. There was no way. The polls leading up to this day told me otherwise. All news stations were pretty confident that Hillary would have an easy win. There was no way that this man who was the laughing stock of the US, not to mention the world, was about to be president.

I sat down  on the blue couch on the side with my Biochem study guide in hand. Anderson Cooper and some other guy with a beard and glasses were talking about the election and they were giving us updates. 5 minutes later, I hear a woman on the screen say that there has been some breaking news…

Hillary had conceded.

It was at that moment that the whole room went silent for a second. Even the news anchors kind of went silent for a slight second. It was shock. It was finality. It was unbelievable.

The news anchors asked the lady if she was sure about 2 more times, and she said yes, it was confirmed.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, what I was watching. My eyes stared in horror. Some people in the room started crying, shaking their heads. Someone yelled at the screen, “Bullsh*t!” Other people stormed out of the room. I was still sitting there motionless, my mouth wide open in shock.

It wasn’t until I saw Trump walk to that podium with his family and supporters behind him, and I heard cheering, I saw all the bright red caps reading, “Make America Great Again” in white bold letters…

It was a horrifying sight.

He came up to the podium and confirmed what everyone now knew was a fact, “Hillary called me and conceded… It’s over”.

I lost it.

My eyes welled up with tears and I quickly walked out of the room, went to my room, sat at my desk, and cried.

I cried for all those people who looked to America for hope. I cried for religious freedom. I cried for same-sex marriage. I cried for peace. I cried for safety. I cried for the undocumented. I cried for the children. I cried for families, even my own. I cried for my parents’ efforts for a better future. I cried for my mom who received her first taste of freedom when voting for the first time. I cried for the future generations. Hell, I cried until I forgot what I was crying about.

I felt like I had just lost all hope for humanity in that one instance. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t feel anything. I felt numb for a second. I felt vulnerable. I felt like I had let my entire family down. I felt lonely, hopeless, drained, stressed, tired, sick, angry…

I even stayed awake until 4am just watching the news some more, still not processing what had just happened. I was waiting for the news to say that it was a joke, that they were wrong, they weren’t done bringing in votes, the girl didn’t know what she was talking about.

Everyone had gone to bed. It was just me in the lounge. I stared at the 6 people discussing the elections on CNN, including Anderson Cooper.

I don’t know what it was, but I couldn’t stop looking at him specifically.

I’ve already expressed how much I loved Anderson. He’s my favorite news anchor because I feel like he’s the only one to be very real with people, to not act like the omniscient, indifferent onlooker that most anchors like to emanate.

That’s why after the results came out, I wanted to see his reaction. I wanted to feel justified in my feelings towards these results. I wanted to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt something. Anything.

And I saw it.

I believe it was how he kind of stumbled through his words while talking to the other anchors (who seemed perfectly okay with it, I might add). Though he was wearing glasses, he just seemed kind of shocked. His eyes were kind of squinted, as if searching for words or trying to wrap his head around what had just happened. He wasn’t standing still like he usually did. He was swaying, he was talking alot with his hands.

And it was at the moment that I felt a little better. Just a little bit.

But when CNN decided to take a commercial break, I saw Trump’s face shown on the Empire State Building with red, white, and blue lights on it, and it just looked scary, so I turned off the TV.

I went back to my room kind of in a daze.

I feel much better today now that I have had the chance to talk about it yesterday and hear from others about their emotions. It was comforting to know that I was not alone in my feelings.

The day after the election was a gloomy one. No sun, no light. Just darkness, moisture, cold, cloudy.

It was comforting though to see how my university dealt with the matter. When I say that this thing affected my entire school… I wasn’t kidding.

My inbox was full of people emailing, checking in on people, saying that they were okay to not feel okay, telling them about all the mental help programs on campus, offering condolences, giving time and their space to people who wanted to talk, saying that they understand that this election did not result the way that they had hoped…

The response was somewhat overwhelming. It was as if we had all lost something in this election and professors were completely understanding. So many people received extensions on papers, postponing of assignments, no deductions on participation if they were absent, it was very heart-warming. And some professors called in sick and said that class was cancelled. It was almost like there was no class that day because my classes were pretty empty as well. In my Biochem class, the entire first row was empty. I had a quiz that morning, but I missed it because I could hardly wake up on time. I was outside of the room along with many others who decided not to take the quiz, and there was a guy talking to his friend, saying how badly the results were. He was cursing and yelling, getting emotional, and it just seemed okay with everyone around him because we all felt that way. We all understood him.

When I entered, even my professor was a little shocked to not see me sitting in the front row as I usually do. I had never missed a quiz in his class. He seemed a little sad, and I felt his eyes on me for a second. And then the class started. Obviously it was really quiet.

I was the only one sitting in the front row, and I don’t know what happened, but I was sitting there and I think that’s when I really started to think about what would be happening to my next 4 years.

A single tear rolled down my cheek while sitting there. In the middle of lecture. And then another. I had to quickly get myself together because, I mean hellooo, I was sitting in the front row!

And I was the only one in the front row! I didn’t want anyone commenting on me getting emotional. I didn’t want the pity or anyone looking at me with those sad eyes.

I managed to get through that lecture, not retaining a word of what he said, and I went to my physics class. In there, it was also quiet. Many people hadn’t shown up for class. During that class, I knew that Clinton would be talking, so I sat in the back and opened my laptop to watch her speech. Normally, the professor would’ve told me to put the laptop away, but I guess today he just knew that no one was in the mood, so he didn’t say anything.

I watched the speech, and it was a sad one. Hillary was wearing purple along with her husband. She had walked out, and it was not very evident, but her eyes were somewhat red. But she still looked great. She was smiling and bowing her head at all the claps and cheers given to her. She kept clearing her throat to hold back tears. I really congratulated her on how strong she was. I wouldn’t have been able to do what she did and still does.

I skipped my physics lab because I just couldn’t handle it right now. I wasn’t mentally there. My mind kept going back to the election with every situation. So I sat in the biology office and did my physics homework due that day. It should’ve only taken me an hour, but it instead took 4 hours. Part of it was that I was with a friend who definitely wanted to talk about the election, so we kept talking about it while working. People would come in and we would talk to them about it. So yea, it just became more of conversation than actual work.

There was someone who I had not spoken to since last year. We were not on good terms. She came into the office and I easily went back to physics while she was talking to my friend.

We used to be good friends, but due to many circumstances that had happened during the summer, we were not friends anymore.

So she came in, and I was surprised that she was even talking to someone next to me given that she never wanted to even be in the same vicinity as me. When she left, she said “Bye you guys.” I couldn’t tell if she was talking to me because we hadn’t talked in months and there were other people in the room. So I didn’t say anything, but maybe I should have. She came in again later, but I still couldn’t make eye contact with her. I couldn’t even talk to her. I couldn’t tell if she wanted to.

Maybe due to this situation, it made it okay for us to talk, but I just couldn’t bring myself to talk to her. Plus, I was scared that things would just go back to the way they were after all of this kind of calmed down. So I said nothing. I worked on physics, and acted like she wasn’t really there.

I kind of wished I had said something.

That night, I had a Nicaragua trip meeting, and even the coordinator said that she had skipped her workday today because she couldn’t handle it. She made us go around the room and kind of say how we were feeling. It felt comforting to know that not one person in the room felt okay, and it was okay.

Right after the meeting, there was a debriefing facilitated by a group on campus. Soo many people showed up that they had an overflow room. It was just a time to talk about how we were feeling and initiate dialogue in groups. My group talked about how we weren’t comfortable with the idea of so many people agreeing with many of the things that Trump said. We wondered what went wrong, gave possible explanations, talked about how this affected us directly and why we were bothered by the idea of his as president. We talked about how college campuses tended to be more Democratic and why that was. A guy talked about how most of his family was Trump supporters, and how he felt distant from his family. I talked about how a friend had told me that on the night of the election, when Trump has won, he had heard cheering down his hall. When he went to see what was going on, they yelled at him “Border control! Border control! Go back to your home!” Everyone was shocked that this blatant racism was already starting. We also addressed how we felt a little weary about friends who voted for Trump because it felt like they did not respect them as a person.

After the talks (which were super comforting I might add), my vice president talked to us. It was at that moment that I realized that even the people in high power such as him were not okay with this. He knew that there was a problem. If he knew there was a problem, then there were many others who were not okay with this.

After that debriefing, there was another debriefing in my dorm lounge. People talked about how they felt, and how they were dealing. Even religion came into it. Many people believed that these were the final days, but they also felt like some religious people were giving up. While some felt like God had deserted them, others felt like God was teaching America a lesson.

One thing I really took away was that though the times looked bleak, we needed to stay optimistic and stay encouraged. It is definitely hard right now, but somehow it will get better. This is just the beginning.

My roommate was there. And this may have been the first time that I noticed that people kind of felt how I was feeling.

Alot of what she was saying was… just not what people wanted to hear at this time.

She talked about how the way she dealt with troubles was by assuming the worst. She said that she knew that things get bad and she knew that Trump would win, though not by as big of a margin as he did. But she accepted the fact that life is bad, the world is evil, and that’s just the way it was.

Well, that didn’t sit well with people to say the least.

One girl blatantly said that she did not agree with her and that it was not the way we should look at life. Of course, my roommate tried to justify herself many many times, but it wasn’t working, it only made matters worse. It came to a point where someone else had to interject and say that people deal with things differently and that we needed to recognize it.

Shortly after, my roommate quickly left the room.

After leaving the room, many people were talking about her, and for a good reason I guess. They were going off saying that this girl needed to nkow when she was wrong, and that it was not okay to feel the way she did. Some didn’t know that I was her roommate, so when I said that, they looked at me with shocked eyes and they said , “I’m sooo sorry.” I was just like… yea I know. Even my RA was in there and said, “Now y’all see what I have to deal with” and she even looked at me and was like, “She knows what I’m talking about.” I laughed, but I knew that she was right, and it felt good knowing that people didn’t think I was just crazy when I talked about just how much I had to go through in the room.

Well, this morning (11/10), she called someone and started loudly saying how she felt like her opinions were not taken into account, and that she didn’t understand why people didn’t see it the way she saw things. She said how she thought the open space was not really an open space and that the girls were close-minded, and that she didn’t like it here and so on and so forth…

And mind you, she was yelling and cursing and going down the halls on the phone, so you could tell that she wanted to be heard by everyone. She even left our room door open. And this was 9:30am, when some were still asleep.

Well, she came back to the room and… needless to say, someone was not happy about this. On the other side, I could hear a girl yelling in the bathroom to someone in the bathroom with her, saying that “This girl needs to realize when she is wrong and that she needs to calm down. She should know that everything that she was saying was wrong.” I went to go and fill my water bottle to hear a little bit of the convo. The last thing she said was, “You need to tell that girl to check herself.” That’s when I realized that she was talking to my RA who also lived in the same suite as us. I walked into the room, and well it was a little awkward. I mean we already don’t talk, but still…

She called back the person she was talking to and said, “I don’t know why this keeps happening. I know that I’m going to be transferring, but I feel like anywhere I go I will have the same problem.”

I just grabbed my coat and bookbag and left…

On the night of the election, I was confident.

I was confident in the fact that America was smart, that they were accepting, respectful of other cultures, of other people. I was confident that atleast more than half of the population was in favor of peace, of unity. I was confident that Americans would make the right decision and vote not only for themselves, but for this country’s future. I was confident that people would not vote to condone more violence, murder, racism, dehumanization, rape, injustice,

I was confident that she would win.

As for the emails… no politician is perfect. In fact, a majority of the tactics used in politics involve pulling strings here and there, calling up the people that you know to help you get to high places, and this idea of justifying acts using utilitarianism where things  that may be unlawful and unjust are done for the greater benefit and the common good. Every politician has done it, but since she’s in the limelight, of course the media will exploit this to no end.

I do understand that what she did was wrong, but her evils couldn’t possibly be placed on a similar scale to Trump’s. The only thing that I know that man does well is business.

It hurts to feel like my vote did not matter. This was my first time voting (yes, that may give you a small indication as to where I fall in age), and I was excited. No, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe that I would be able to do such a thing as an American citizen. This is something that my ancestors could not even imagine me doing. My mom also voted for the first time. She was so happy. She texted me saying that she went to the voting booth and casted her vote in. That same day, I decided that I needed to cast my vote in quickly.

Especially during times like these when it may seem like the voices of the smaller number are not being heard as much, it’s comforting to know that there is a right that we know cannot be infringed upon.

Unfortunately during this election, this right was abused.

11,000 votes for Harambe?? That’s equivalent to a medium-sized college all wasting their vote away! I was horrified, and am still in shock at the fact that people could waste votes on that while there are people in America who still do not even have that right.

I also am surprised at the huge discrepancy between poll results and the results given throughout this election by newpapers and articles. Being in such a position to swindle the decisions of voters should not be taken lightly. Thoughout this election, people thought that Hillary would win. Hell, I became soo confident in my thoughts that I almost didn’t vote thinking that my vote wouldn’t matter

America tends to hold this strong egocentric idea. When I say ‘egocentric’, I mean the thought of America and only America, the idea of only taking care of their own and no one else. If you ask many Trump supporters why they voted for Trump, they will possibly tell you statements along the lines of, “I want my America back, the way I remember it,” “My life won’t change significantly, but I want the government to be about the people instead of themselves,” “I don’t want another Clinton in the White House. It will give our government a bad rep,” “I don’t want to lose my job to immigrants,” “I want to feel safe,” “I don’t want the US to be in such a huge deficit anymore, ” “I don’t like Obamacare. I don’t have to use it, but it was a failure,” “He knows how to make deals that will make America great again,” “I completely hate Trump, but I want conservative laws,” “I want the American dream, and that’s what I’m getting with Trump”…

I… I… America… I… I.. I… America… America…. I… I.. I… I… America…

Let’s think about this…

America is a world superpower. Why is that? Only God knows, but it just is.

We have wayy too much power in our hands just to only think about ourselves. The rest of the world is depending on us for almost every aspect of life. We are suppose to be the most-advanced people in the world, yet we are failing at even choosing the right leader.

In fact, we put the least-qualified man in the position to take over the world. No political experience, never been in a war (besides business conflicts), didn’t study law, hasn’t the slightest clue as to the structure of this government…

I bet some politicians are pissed at the fact that a man who didn’t even need to study law could become the president of the United States while those who have been working in politics all their lives could barely even get on the ballot. How messed up is that?

I have two friends studying abroad in France, and when they heard about the elections, they were as shocked as everyone else. The next day, French journalists stopped them and came up to them, asking them about the election: what were their thoughts? How did they feel about it?

The fact that the rest of the world also saw that this situation was not right, it wasn’t good… And the fact that controversial leaders such as Putin are congratulating him… does anyone else smell something fishy there?