One of the things I vowed that I would work on during this round of NaBloPoMo is my habit of discounting anything other than a formal blog post as ‘not a real post’. I have a tendency toward perfectionism, which inevitably leads to me giving up when I realize that I can’t possibly live up to the standard that I’ve set for myself. It’s silly, really – I spend half of my workday explaining to high school kids the value of hands-on experience and experimentation and creativity, and then I stifle those things in myself.
I suppose it stems from my self-esteem issues in high school. I was constantly petrified of looking stupid, and so I carefully guarded anything other than what I saw as my best work. But as I age and come to know myself better, I’m learning that limiting the parts of me that others see benefits no one. In fact, I’m finding that my imperfections and my efforts to work on them have brought me new friends that challenge me, new interests that excite me, and new knowledge that makes me a more interesting and well-rounded person.
Sooooo thank you for listening and allowing me to work my shit out in here.
I’m hungry, so this Flashback Friday I’m taking you back to one of my childhood favourites: Wendy’s, the only restaurant where I could order chocolate soft serve ice cream as a drink with full parental approval. Our Wendy’s in Welland had a full self-serve salad bar for some reason, and I still remember exactly how I used to make them: iceberg lettuce, cheese, carrots, sunflower seeds and a mountain of ham cubes, no dressing. #classy
Note that both my updo and my outfit would look right at home on some Ossington hipster today.
I’ve been trying all day to muster up a post about last night’s election results, but…
OK, that’s a lie.
I’ve spent all day reading a bajillion liberal think pieces and violating my cardinal rule: thou shalt not read the comments. I’ve careened wildly between anger and fear and hope and resignation and just plain mushy-brainedness, and I haven’t been able to settle on one long enough to take a position and write something.
And maybe that’s a good thing. I can’t speak for you, but I’ve been reading and fretting and ranting about this election for almost 16 months. The result I feared has come to pass: Donald Trump is the President-Elect of the United States of America. Hillary Clinton has conceded to him. The election is over, and there isn’t anything anyone can do to change the outcome.
The only thing Democratic Americans can do right now in my opinion is exactly the thing that Donald Trump and his supporters would never have done: gracefully accept defeat, calmly and rationally assess how they ended up here, and start thinking about how they’re going to protect the rights and freedoms they hold dear.
Hey America. It’s almost over. How are you holding up? Do you need me to get you a glass of water or something?
I’m trying to imagine how you’re feeling right now. After well over a year of watching your once-noble electoral process degenerate into a schoolyard brawl and your highest office become a joke, you must be exhausted. Whether you’ve been calmly researching your decision on your own or angrily launching yourself into the front lines on the Internet, you’ve had to sift through the opinions of millions of imperfect, biased people who formed their opinions based on the opinions of other imperfect, biased people. You did your best to base your decision on facts, but in a race where both sides are desperate to prevent the election of a candidate who they honestly believe represents the end of the America they love, how can you trust anything you hear?
But none of that matters right now. Decisions have been made, votes have been cast, and in a few hours (if all goes well – haha), either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be elected President of the United States of America. And regardless of which one you voted for, you will have to live with America’s decision for at least 4 years. And in light of that fact, I’d like to offer you a little advice from someone who understands what it’s like to live under the rule of an elected official you have little to no respect for.
Go High: If you lose, concede with grace. Declaring that an unsatisfactory result means the election was rigged doesn’t just reveal your ignorance of the fact that election fraud is exceptionally rare; it also undermines the public’s trust in the election process. And you just can’t afford to further erode that.
Have Faith: Remember that, flawed though it is, you do live in a democracy. Electing someone who promises to do things that you despise doesn’t mean that those things will actually get done. Look at poor Obama’s time in office!
Be The Change: If you can’t rely on your elected leader to fix things, get out there and do it your damn self!
That’s it from me, guys. I wish you the best of luck tonight. I’m off to tap class and then I’m going to watch the results come in with some friends. If you need a shoulder, give us a shout. We’re pulling for you!
Once again, I have managed to reach the end of the day without writing a blog post. It’s my curse: if I don’t have time to write, I have billions of brilliant ideas, already fully formed into lovely prose; if I do have time to write, my thoughts get jumbled and I lose my point and I end up posting some random meme just to have something to post.
I’m hopeful that the speech recognition software I’ve been using to write will help me get things down while the ideas are flowing. I’m certain that if I engaged in mindfulness meditation more regularly I would be able to keep my ideas sorted in my head. I should probably also try mind-clearing walks in the crisp autumn air, stream-of-consciousness journaling, way less sugar and junk in my diet. But I think that the most important strategy of them all is to work on ridding myself of my crippling self-doubt. I tend to circle back on an idea, worried that it’s somehow unclear or too simple or just not good enough, and so instead of writing more I just re-write the crap out of the first thing until it’s barely recognizable and I can hardly even remember what I was getting at. I need to just plot through, get it all out there, and trust in myself that things I have to say are worth saying and worth reading.
My dinner party ran super-late, and so in lieu of the post I had drafted but not completed regarding an average American’s irrational hatred of Hillary Clinton, instead I present you with this highly relevant and amazing fridge magnet:
I babysat my 3-year-old niece tonight and I am exhausted, so this will be short. I just want to say that my favourite thing about hanging out with kids is that all of those things that I do that everyone else finds annoying — kids freaking can’t get enough of them. Tonight I sang my own version of The Wheels On The Bus, in which I detailed the things that each member of our family would do on the bus, for like half an hour and she was ENRAPTURED.
THANK YOU, Stella. I think I’m hilarious too!