In 2008, I was 14 or so when Barack Obama first got elected to office. I didn’t really know much about anything back then. I mean, I was 14! I knew it was a historic event. Time passed, I turned 18. I voted for Obama. I was really excited about the fact that I could vote. I always knew I was a Democrat because it lined up more with my beliefs that the Republicans. That’s not to say I agree 100% with Democratic policies, but generally, I do.
When I was 11 I woke up in the middle of the night because I was scared that the Earth wasn’t going to be around forever. I was 11, and I knew climate change was real. The fact that the Current President has eliminated all White House pages on climate change concerns me deeply.
I was 19 and decided to get birth control. The Affordable Care Act was not yet in place, so I had to pay for it. It didn’t strike me as unusual at the time. But it wasn’t until I needed to have several OBGYN appointments I realized that I was lucky that the ACA greatly reduced the costs of my health care.
When I was 19 I needed to see a therapist. You can see more of why in my TED Talk, here. It was a scary time for me, but I’m glad I was able to get help. I’m sad that the current President dismisses mental illness. More people struggle with anxiety and depression and other things than you think.
I was 10 when I was in elementary school and a boy snapped my bra strap when we were walking to the cafeteria. Ten. Gross. So I’m not sure why people think it’s okay to assault women and it makes me sad.
When I was 21 I realized what good role models were. And I realized that women can do anything they set their mind to.
When I was 22 I realized how important of an election this was going to be. I had been informed on the issues before and did my civic duty to vote each year. But this year, I tried to step it up. I always wanted to keep my Twitter/Facebook neutral in case potential employers read these things (which I’m sure they do) but that all went out the window this year. I needed to stand up for what I believed in and make sure that others knew they could come to me if they needed to talk or find a safe space.
I’m 23 now and Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States. Sadly, it’s not a bad dream. And I am most certainly not okay with it. I think it’s stupid to pretend that you are and it’s stupid to ignore what’s happening. Don’t hide your feelings – SPEAK UP. You don’t have to get angry at someone for supporting this, but you need to make them understand that their actions are hurtful to you. You can’t normalize this what is happening in the United States because IT IS NOT NORMAL. You are not alone in thinking this way.
And you aren’t alone in the fight.