What happened?

Well, I had an entire post written out about my Rome visit a few weeks ago… but then the unthinkable happened, and it feels wrong to talk about anything else. Donald Trump is our president elect. Here's an image from election day that pretty much sums it up:

There is nothing I can add to this that hasn’t already been said. I’m scared. I’m scared for my rights as a woman, and I’m scared for the rights of minorities. Yes, I know Donald Trump is one man, and there is a system of checks and balances to keep him from causing too much harm. The thing that I find most worrying is that America's majority decided he should hold this position. I'm not sure how we got here, but somehow the people of a country built by underdogs has chosen a bully and hate monger to represent us as a nation. I don’t believe that’s who we are, but the poll results say otherwise. This country has made so much progress, but then… what happened?!

There are two things I can do. Firstly, I'm not going to keep quiet about injustice. This doesn’t mean burning Trump effigies in the streets or causing havoc; there’s other ways to fight for what you believe in. However, if and when the despicable policies Trump has been campaigning on come to fruition, I sure as hell will not be silent. I hope others will use their voice as well. Secondly, I am going to stand in solidarity with those who are afraid. I’m going to wake up every day and make a conscious decision to love and be kind to everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or religion. I’m going to work at being the kind of person who lifts others up instead of promoting division and intolerance.

Those aforementioned Rome photos are below because I think we could all use a distraction from the past week’s events. My day-to-day reality is represented the images below, but I know that things are quite different at home, and there’s a deeper sense of helplessness that I feel when I look at the news every morning. Being in a foreign country during a moment of political upheaval is a strange feeling. Even though I’m an ocean away right now, my heart is with those who are hurting back home. He’s not my president. America, we can do so much better.