Thursday, January 19, 2017

my hardest break up ever

I've been crying a lot since election day. Every last something with Obama has made me cry. The Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremonies where every honoree looked deeply distraught that he would soon be replaced by he who shall not be named. His last press conference. Michelle Obama's farewell speech. Obama's own farewell remarks in Chicago that made me cry even before he uttered a single word. If that wasn't enough... I sobbed when he surprised Joe Biden with the Medal of Freedom. All I could think was: PLEASE DON'T LEAVE US.

And that's when it hit me. The nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach, all the comfort eating, the tears, the sleepless nights, the anger at other people's happiness-- saying goodbye to the Obamas is the hardest break up of my life.


A lot of us worked to get him elected in 2008. I managed to drive a giant rented van with my cousins to Las Vegas to knock on doors and talk to strangers about why I thought Barack Obama would make a great president. Most people said they were already voting for him, some people debated us, or politely said they were voting Republican (how good does John McCain sound these days?) and closed their doors, but we drove back to California feeling inspired and cautiously optimistic.

Our relationship with the Obama family lasted eight years. We've all known the end was inevitable, but I figured someone just as (moderately) progressive would take his place. We would make history again! We'd have a woman President! Nate Silver doesn't get it wrong! The future is female! No one will vote for a guy who thinks it's okay to mock the disabled or grab women by the pussy! We all know how that story ended.

It's hard to believe that today is Barack Obama's last day in office. After growing up as an illegal immigrant, I was able to become an American Citizen in 2006. Obama was the first presidential candidate I voted for. I survived George W for the bulk of my twenties, I got Obama for most of my thirties. I still hope I live to see a female president, but I'm frankly sick of wanting the future to be female. I wanted the present to be female.

Tomorrow is going to be a very hard day. I won't be watching any of the inauguration. I'll be marching on Saturday in Los Angeles, but I know I'll need a period of time to detach, regroup, etc. There's one thing I've been telling myself that gives me some comfort. If he who shall not be named was elected in reaction to eight years of Obama (which frankly makes no sense, because this country has vastly improved since 2008)-- then, I can suffer through the horror. Getting to experience eight years of Obama makes it all worth it. Even a nuclear war. (Okay, maybe not that far, but you know what I mean.)

A close friend once told me that the harder you love, the harder you grieve. Well, that means there's going to be a lot of grief in our future. Perhaps in four years someone else will come along to fill the void and help us heal (Corey Booker? Elizabeth Warren? Are you listening?) and then the abyss of sadness will be replaced by hope and change again. Until then, thanks Obama. You'll be missed everyday.

1 comment:

  1. And that's when it hit me. The nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach, all the comfort eating, the tears, the sleepless nights, the anger at other people's happiness-- saying goodbye to the Obamas is the hardest break up of my life.

    YESS! Nailed it again Saaara! ��

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