Looking Back On Election Day 2016 in D.C. : Rising with New Hope

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

 

I woke up in Washington D.C. totally pumped for the day. I had had my outfit planned for months, equipped with my Hillary t-shirt and Hillary temporary tattoos, which I stuck to my face and hands and shared with friends. With an irremovable smile on my face and hope racing through my veins, I took on the day.

When I had found out that my high school’s annual trip to D.C. was during election week my senior year, I immediately wanted to go and was ready to send in my deposit. I dreamed it would be the trip of a lifetime, including a historic day that I would go on to tell my children about. I could clearly picture it – “Yes, little Susie, I was in our nation’s capital when the first woman president was elected.”

I guess I wasn’t completely wrong. It was a historic day, just not the one I had imagined.

As my friends and I watched the poll results roll in that night, I desperately clutched onto hope that soon a couple states would turn to Hillary’s favor. My faith in her was so deeply-rooted within me. I would not give up. However, eventually my vow to stay up all night until she won was lost and I forced myself to turn off the TV and go to sleep. I didn’t want to think about the likely result at that point.

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

 

As soon as I heard my alarm sound only a few hours later, I picked up my phone and opened the Safari tab where I had been tracking the electoral votes for each candidate. My throat closed up and I felt like my heart was no longer beating. Shakily, I stood up out of bed and shuffled to the bathroom.

Photo from 270ToWin.com

On the toilet, I began to cry. Sobs wracked through my body and I struggled to keep them silent as my roommates were still sleeping. I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t. I could barely pull myself together to leave the bathroom and get ready for the day. I had never experienced disappointment on such a great scale.

It wasn’t just a loss for my preferred candidate, it was a loss for women. I (and probably lots of other American women) felt like the election result was just a slap in the face – a clear signal that women are inferior, not worthy enough, and not trusted to lead the country. I will not go into detail about the candidates and their campaigns – this was more of a visceral reaction. I was heartbroken for Hillary.

Unfortunately, the trip did not just stop then and there. I had to find a way to make it through a whole day more of sightseeing and conversing with a few of my classmates who were unsympathetic Trump-supporters. Although I was on the verge of tears every ten seconds, I also felt a growing sense of motivation.

 

Starting from that day and through the year to come, that feeling of motivation grew. November 8, 2016 was a loss for women but we have made so many gains since. The 2016 election pushed women to band together and really support one another. From the Women’s March on January 21, 2017, to the recent #MeToo Campaign, women have not backed down. Instead, we have risen up. My hope may have faltered for a brief time after the 2016 Election but now it’s set on hyperdrive and not turning off anytime soon.

Cover from sires.house.gov