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Amy F. Quincy Author/Freelance Writer

Month

November 2016

What To Do

yo-yo_coloring_pageDeal with it. Move on. Fight. Stand up for what you believe in. In the wake of the 2016 election, many people are wondering what to do next. It’s a conundrum. Every day I vacillate.

I’ve considered turning off the cable news that has become the background noise to all my activities. (I’ve become my mother.) But it’s pointless. The addiction has already taken hold. Last night, I watched politics instead of The Voice. What’s the world coming to?

I’ve even contemplated staying off of Facebook. Or becoming a lurker. You know, reading all, but posting nothing. It’s painful to realize that friends or family feel differently than we do. When the people with whom we shared a daily motivational quote or a funny cat video suddenly make their political beliefs known. Oh, we think. She’s one of them. People are hurt or angered by the unfriending going on. Don’t be. It’s natural for people to want to surround themselves with like-minded individuals. People are hurt and emotions are running high.

I can feel my own stress building. The distance between my ears and shoulders grows shorter every day. Never underestimate the toll stress takes on your body. Particularly, if you’re paying attention. Particularly, if you’re in the losers corner. My dad reminded me of the dangers of getting too wrapped up in things. “There’s no point in worrying about what you can’t control.” He lectured me. Wait. That’s my line! So this afternoon, I had a massage from a 19-year old handsome latino named Louis. That helped a little.

Writing helps too. Having to put things into words helps clarify my own feelings. A group of comedians were on the news the other day. They felt all artists had a duty to use their talent to shine a light on the situation, to give voice to the masses who felt as they did. Woah. A duty? I have a few writer friends who aren’t going to like that one. I think, instead, what you do – Democrat or Republican, artist or not – is up to you. It’s personal. I remember trembling all over just to hand out brochures protesting the circus. Conflict and confrontation are hard. Maybe you feel motivated. Maybe you keep your mouth shut. Maybe you need to unfriend some people just to have the strength to turn on the computer. Let’s try not to judge each other.

Personally, I’m curtailing my Facebook activity. Which is not to say I won’t be active in standing up for what I believe in. But I’m not going to be sharing any “in your face” posts. I think I’ll leave that to the people who are comfortable with the “in your face” approach. The people who can stick a flyer “in your face” without shaking.  And the world needs them. I’ll do my part by giving money to the organizations I feel are threatened by the incoming administration. That and sharing the feel-good stuff. And funny cat videos, of course.

Accepting and Protesting

solIt seems the world is falling apart. With the election of Donald J. Trump into the White House, protests have broken out across America and family and friends aren’t speaking to one another.

I’m grappling with this myself, I am. A Democrat and supporter of liberal ideals, I woke up Wednesday morning, donned all black, plastered a homemade sign on the back of my power chair with the words “not my president” and headed out to Memorial Park to walk Frankie. I saw no one. It was a quiet, drizzly morning and it’s safe to say, true to the grief process, much of the left-leaning world was still in shock and denial. I was my own one-woman protest. And I had no followers except a dog and he was more leading anyway (and not even donning a cute shirt like ‘Mutts Against Mitt’).

Then I came home and tearfully listened to Hillary’s concession speech (unfortunately the best and most authentic speech I’ve heard her give). “Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. We don’t just respect that, we cherish it.” Yes, I thought. And in the spirit of that speech, and not wanting to add to the divisiveness, threw away my sign.

Then the protests started, some of them chanting the very same words I had printed out on my computer, and I felt compelled to get back in the fray again. Cher and Madonna say I need to fight! The wonderful thing about living in a democracy is being allowed the freedom to disagree – loudly even.

But here’s the thing – it’s turning violent and ugly. They are also chanting F*** Trump. I would never be comfortable chanting that no matter how much I dislike the man.

So here’s what I’ve decided today. I’m going back to what Hillary said and what rings true to my own heart. I’m focusing on the peaceful transfer of power. What I’m having a little more trouble with is owing Trump an “open mind and the chance to lead.” Really? Do I really owe him that?

I don’t have all the answers. I’m watching it unfold just like all of you. I’m emotional,  sleep-deprived and struggling with my civic responsibilities and friendships.

But I will also exercise my freedom of speech and cherish the fact that I live in a country in which I am free to object and stand up against any would be leaders. So, my presence on Facebook may be just a little more political. I have dear friends, Republicans or even Trump voters, who read my blog. I have tried (sort of) to remain publicly neutral for the sake of my writing. I guess I don’t feel I can anymore. If I lose readers, so be it. Not only is writing wonderfully cathartic, it is my peaceful protest.

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