Dear Hillary Clinton: Thank You

 

Dear Hillary Clinton,

On Nov. 10, in the aftermath of the election outcome, I realized something.

You saved me.

Without even knowing you were doing it, you saved me from my emotions, you saved me from my fear and most importantly, you saved me from myself.

In late August, the woman I love broke my heart, and since that day, I haven’t been myself. The past three months have been filled with vulnerability, tears and pain that I never thought I was capable of feeling. I had plans of sharing my life with this person, and when those plans abruptly vanished, I didn’t want to accept it. I was losing weight, losing focus on my schoolwork and losing passion for the things I love. I didn’t know if I would be OK.  

Meanwhile, it was the heat of election season. So much was at stake. I was rooting for you, and you were rooting for me, too.

As a journalism student at Michigan State University, I was very excited for Election Day. Our journalism school gathered into the Spartan Newsroom to cover local polling locations, to interview student voters and to provide updates on the election outcome.

But the evening of Nov. 8 found me going to sleep much earlier than I had previously imagined. As more and more states turned red, I was feeling scared, disappointed and emotional.

Waking up the following morning, I grabbed for my phone, and it was flooded with messages from friends and family about how they couldn’t believe what had happened. I immediately started sobbing.

And this is where the political becomes the personal.

For months upon months, I couldn’t have been more confident that I would be watching the results come in on my TV screen, celebrating your victory with my girlfriend by my side. Not only did America elect a known racist, sexist, xenophobic candidate, I didn’t have my partner by my side to grieve these results.

All of my innermost sadness and pain was brought forward from the election result. On Nov. 9, I was at my most broken.

I watched your concession speech. I started crying even harder. I could see the pain, tears and sadness hidden behind your poised smiles. I could see your fear, and it’s like I could feel it too. But you didn’t give in. You expressed your gratitude - you were counting your blessings.

“This loss hurts,” you said, “but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

Your words gave me hope. But I needed more time to process what had happened. I made a vow to myself - and others - that Nov. 9 was for mourning. I was in mourning of not just the election outcome, but my relationship and my changing future. And Nov. 10, I said, would be for collectivizing.

And believe it or not, that’s what we did. We banded together, and we cried. We cried, and we made each other feel safe. But when we woke up on Nov. 10, we were ready to fight.

For the first time in three months, I wasn’t crying anymore.

It wasn’t until then that I realized how indebted to you I felt. It wasn’t until then that I knew I wanted to live each day with the strength, resilience and courage that you demonstrated at your concession speech. A strong, fearless woman is who I am - and who I desperately wanted to become again.

Hillary Clinton, I thank you indefinitely for reminding me of who I am. Thank you for reminding me of my truth and encouraging me to always be that. Thank you for showing our country love and reminding me that I am deserving of any chance or opportunity.

I thank you, not just for me, but for all of us. Thank you for being a champion for women. Thank you for overcoming every insult, doubt and setback just to keep fighting for us. Thank you for your heart. Thank you for being a fighter.

Above all, thank you for showing us that no matter the circumstances, we are always stronger together.

I’ll always be with you - fighting the the good fight and refusing to compromise. Love you, Hillz.

Sincerely yours,

Caitlin Taylor