Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's a Little Embarrassing

Yesterday Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States and I've been so overcome with emotion that I can't stop crying. What is it with me?!

It may seem silly of me but I cried all through his acceptance speech and finally settled down and went to sleep. Again this morning I began crying every time I saw something about Obama's win or people talking about it or the replaying of his speech. I still have huge, audible sighs rolling off my shoulders-- one after the other.

I didn't realize how much I had emotionally invested in this election and the past eight years of the Bush administration. It creeps up slowly. The frustration. The heartache. Your shoulders tense up; your neck muscles tighten. You have tension headaches and day after day, month after month, year after year it culminates into an uptight ball of nerves.

I've always been empathetic; to feel others pain and be deeply moved by it. I don't talk the talk-- I walk the walk.

Since I was a teenager I've marched and protested with all the underdogs, both black and white. My kids still keep the old photos and mementos. I've felt like an underdog since I was a teenage hippie and raged against segregation, gay rights, women's rights, but I never really knew what it's like to be discriminated against. There's a massive difference between being inconvenienced and being discriminated against.

Am I being presumptuous to feel so strongly about this Obama win? I am white after all. How dare I pretend I might know how great it is for an Obama victory. I've had every benefit possible. Is it white woman's guilt? Is that what it been all these many years? Maybe if I had never cared about equality and human decency until now it would be.

I'm still trying to sort out my feelings. For now I'll just let my emotions roll off me in waves of relief and tears of joy.

I Googled can't stop crying + Obama and links flooded back in agreement.


Julie said...

I shed a tear or two as well and I'm not even there!

Sherry Martschink said...

The real tragedy is those who have no feelings, no emotions, no connections.

brooke said...

yeah! someone who's shed more tears than me! whoo hooo! thank you :)

also - your comment "there's a huge difference between being discriminated against and being inconvienced" is what i've been looking for. i didn't get discrimination until i came out as queer. once i came out my dedication to human justice and human rights increased significantly. and now - now as a resident in utah trying to explain to my LDS friends why prop 8 is such a big deal to me i find words are at a loss. i hope you don't mind me quoting you when i tell them that as straight white christian highly educated westerners they just can't get it.

btw - one of the things that made my cry last night was seeing the Obama family on stage together. It hit me "this is the new first family and they don't look like me" - how beautiful is that? how incredibly beautiful is it that the first family does NOT look like me? i felt foolish saying it outloud - what privilege i have that i get to say that b/c until then all the first families have looked like me - but it brought me true joy from the bottom of my heart that finally non-white folks - specifically the african american community - get to have a first family that looks just like them. it's taken way to long in my eyes.

Susan said...

Julie: Thank you for your input, Julie. I love that you have the courage to show your emotions. Even though you're half way across the globe, we can share together this victory in progressive change.

Sherry: Thank you for your warm and kind words. They bring added relief and validation. =)

Brooke: I'm so glad you stopped by. I admire your courage and convictions, Brooke. I am blessed to have your input and friendship.

Julie said...

Brooke, where I'm coming from, they DO look like you. They look like human beings.