What a day. I didn’t expect to be so emotional today. I did expect to feel a sense of relief.
Four years ago I could not bring myself to watch the Inauguration events. We had been shown what type of person was taking over the duties of the office. A person lacking character, morals, and the ability to tell the truth.
As an avid news watcher, I’ve had to step away from the news over time as it was a constant borage of quoted lies and constant disrespect to those just attempting to do their jobs.
I’ve watched as cheers went up as the class bully made fun of those different from him or made him feel uncomfortable or disagreed with him. I’ve watched as many rallied behind the bully that celebrated assaulting girls and women. I’ve watched as many intelligent people I know started believing the lies, conspiracies that were normalized by the bully at the microphone.
Today, all the sadness, all the fear, all of anger came flowing out. One tear at a time. Today, the man that represents all those who may have struggled with a stutter or has been deemed as “not normal” took the lead. Today, I watched as a woman, a woman of color, a step-mother, a wife represented millions of women that not only look like her, but have lived lives similar to her upbringing. Today, as a collective we stood and said to the bully, you don’t get the last word.
Today, for the first time in more than four years, I wasn’t worried if children were watching the ceremonies on television. Instead, I was hopeful in what they were seeing, the Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language, a show stopping young Poet, music, and prayers all shared by Americans that look like America-a diverse and deep feeling people.
I’m blessed to work for a company that values diversity, embraces inclusion and pushes us to be involved with our communities. For this I am beyond grateful and feel the responsibility to be more vocal and more focused on how I can better serve as an ally for all.
Today, is just the first step in the long road ahead. Today does not erase the centuries of neglect, pain, repression, and all of the ‘ism’s. While I know the journey forward will be difficult, I am excited to be a small piece of the puzzle.
This evening, I feel my entire being exhale a very deep sigh. A sigh of relief, a sigh of the mountain of work ahead, a sigh of exhaustion that comes from the constant worry of what was coming next.