Yesterday was not an easy day but it was worth getting out of bed after all. The results of the election hit me harder than I expected.
I left home early in the morning, on Tuesday, to get to Boston for a week of workshops and meetings for Liter of Light. I was sad that I wouldn’t be home that night to watch the results of the election, especially when my home has been in DC – the center of politics -, for the past 11 months. I was sad because I wouldn’t be able to celebrate Hillary’s victory with those who became my family here in the US. So I thought. I just didn’t expect to have such a terrible night and experience a live nightmare.
Following the results from the living room of someone I had met just a few hours before, I felt scared. As a woman, latina, and lesbian, fear was the least I could feel. But I also felt guilty for not contributing more to a campaign that represented my values and believes, despite not being a US American Citizen and therefore, not being able to vote. I felt bad for being away from home. For not being next to my friends, my roommates and girlfriend, who are citizens, and who I am sure experienced a worse night than I did.
Worse than going to bed at 3 in the morning with a sour taste in my mouth was waking up 4 hours later to realize that it was not a bad dream. It was real and reality was not pretty. I sat on the couch I slept and I cried.
I cried for all the values I stand for and the minorities’ rights that were smashed by those results. I cried because I felt afraid, useless, and hopeless. I cried because my energy was so low that I hated my agenda for the day. I just wanted to stay on that couch mourning and crying. I didn’t know that my busy agenda was gonna make my whole day worth it.
At 9 am, Liz (the amazing person who’s room I am still sitting on, while I write this, and who now I believe I can call a friend) and I arrived at the Hamilton Primary School in Weymouth, MA, for our first Liter of Light workshop with 3rd-grade students. Liz and Joe (her son) are our Ambassadors of Light, and it was Joe’s idea to pitch Liter of Light to the school so they could have our workshop with the kids.
Being around those kids was like receiving blood donation. Fresh blood full of hope. They knew, of course, that a new President had been elected. They didn’t quite know, though, the meaning of it to their future.
“Today is a very important day”, I started saying. “It is important because today you can help us give light to those living in darkness”. And as I continued to talk to them about the importance of giving back and rethinking our actions so to help mother nature keeping nurturing us all with its natural resources, it hit me how much I love doing what I do, and how this work, this cause, give me hope and strength to work harder and to do better.
Followed that first workshop came another 2. A total of 3 groups of almost 150 kids that Liz, Joe, and I made light with. Yes, we made light on a dark day.
Today is a new day and I feel much better and full of energy again. Reflecting on yesterday I came to acknowledge this: the whole world seems to be upside down (a darker place than in Stranger Things). Back in Brazil, where I am from, a poor version of Trump is already being considered to run for the next presidency. My neighbors in Venezuela are starving to death due to a failed political state. Haiti has been devasted by Matthew and no one gives a dime about it. And I’m not even talking about the refugee’s situation, the #BlackLivesMatter, or how all the Muslims are being presented as the new people to blame for all the disgrace in the world – just like the Germans blamed the Jews not long ago. And we said never again!
And when a dark true hit us that bad it seems to me that we only got two options. We either drop the towel and give up for real, leaving a suicidal note behind (yes, I’ve suffered from depression and this thought has crossed my mind more times than I wish), or we get up out of bed, and fight harder than ever. There is no more time to be just “ok” about everything that’s going on. There’s no more space to be quiet when minorities’ (basic human) rights are being violently disrespected.
I made my decision. And with it a commitment. I am going to be louder and stronger than I ever was if that’s what it takes to live in a country that is having Trump as new President and in a world that looks like to have woken up in a new Era, just like the Bible has painted.
And I hope you do the same. #WeAreStillStrongerTogether

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