As you may recall, about a year ago, Dave Goldberg, husband to Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, died rather unexpectedly in a tragic treadmill accident. And she, as you might expect, was devastated. Being of the Jewish faith, she observed what is known as a sheloshim, a period of mourning after a loved one passes, at the end of which, she wrote an open letter to her late husband on Facebook that contains this anecdote:
“I was talking to one of these friends about a father-child activity that Dave is not here to do. We came up with a plan to fill in for Dave. I cried to him, ‘But I want Dave. I want option A.’ He put his arm around me and said, ‘Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.’
Dave… I promise to do all I can to kick the shit out of option B.”
For a lot of reasons, this anecdote has stuck with me ever since, on a professional and personal level. Particularly, this idea of taking a setback, a failure or just a plain unexpected turn of events, and seeing it as an opportunity for action. A commitment to moving forward and looking ahead. A way of taking a less than ideal hand of cards and staying in the game, because, well, no one else is going to play for you, if you decide to deal yourself out.
As I’m sure many of you can tell at this point, if you’re still reading (which I hope you are!), I am most definitely referring to the past 24 hours and our new President Elect, Donald Trump.
A few things I want to clarify first, before I dive in. I am fully aware that many of you do not come to my blog to read about my political views. Nor do I write this blog to share them. What I do hope I encourage and embody in this corner of the internet is simply this: self-expression in all forms. Of course, we focus on the more lighthearted forms of self-expression, namely style and beauty, but I’d be amiss if I didn’t feel like I strive, in some shape or form, to encourage you to be your own champion, of whatever you believe in. And maybe that’s lofty and maybe it hasn’t come through at times and maybe I’ve seriously fallen short. But my goal, albeit on a small, humble level, is to encourage you to go after whatever you believe in, be that starting your own business, supporting a charity cause you believe in or just plain rocking a certain trend with confidence because it makes you feel good and hold your head a bit higher. Whatever the reason, I’ve always hoped this little online community and kinship we’ve built here at TTT could be one of encouragement and inclusion, not of negativity and division.
With that said, I’d also like to clarify up front, I’m not here to stand on a soap box and alienate anyone on either side of the aisle. I think there’s been a lot of rhetoric thrown around (on both sides mind you) during this election that’s already done a more than sufficient job at that — I refuse to add to it. I think there’s far more common ground that unites us, than what divides us and I want to spend my time and energy focusing on the former, not the latter.
By now, I think it’s been clear in the political glimpses I’ve shared here and there on social media that I supported Secretary Hillary Clinton, and I’m certainly still with her. Not because she’s a woman. Not because I do not support her opponent. But because I think she is the most qualified and most prepared for the job and best represents the kind of America I want to see. And whether or not you agree with me is besides my point. My point is this: I think it’s undeniable, she’s worked tirelessly to get herself there — no easy feat considering that glass ceiling we have yet to break through is still standing and is double paned.
But on Tuesday night, somewhere between 2 and 3am and the seemingly never-ending calculation of Pennsylvania’s votes — it sunk in: The reality my candidate might lose. I was shocked. Saddened. Disappointed. Scared. But mainly numb.
And that numbness persisted through the next morning. I woke up, checked my phone to see if perhaps I had actually dreamt it, and with a heavy sigh, started my day. New York was (perhaps quite poetically) overcast and grey and, as it was repeated numerous times on social media, clouded by a palpable sense of mourning in the air. Around noon, as I was leaving an uptown subway station, I stopped in front of several large screen TVs to watch Secretary Clinton take the stage to deliver her concession speech. Her words were graceful and elegant — the undertones of which are best summed up by her closing scripture excerpt and are what I’d like to emphasize in my post today, because I think they ring true, no matter which party you identify with:
“‘Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.’ So my friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart for there are more seasons to come. And there is more work to do.”
While yesterday may have been a day of mourning for many people in this country, I think it’s important today we mobilize into action. To help spread love whenever possible. To listen better. To empathize. To reach across party lines and to connect. To recognize our differences and to not vilify them, but celebrate them. To get involved. To work together. And yes, to stand together, at a time when our country is so deeply divided. It won’t be easy. It won’t be pretty. But nothing worth having ever is.
Today, we don’t plan our moves to Canada. Today, we dig our heels in and work even harder and more diligently — together.
Regardless of who you supported on Tuesday, our civic duty doesn’t end at the voting polls. If there’s a change you’d like to see, we have a decision to make. We can either lose momentum and continue to point fingers at each other (or worse yet, give in to apathy). Or we can kick the shit out of option B.
I vote for the latter.
If you, like me, are looking for ways to get involved in light of this election, here’s a collection of organizations and non-profits that might be up your alley. And if, you like me, are also looking for smaller ways to just spread love, I think Geri has a beautiful write up here.
And again, if I happened to offend you with my views, my word choice, my rhetoric or any combination of the above, please know it wasn’t my intention. I simply meant for this to be a call to arms for everyone, regardless of party lines, to work together and stand together because I truly believe that’s the only way this country moves forward. Together.
Photos by Lydia Hudgens